— Delphine Bedel

Lecture: Informance “Consumed by Fire: The Romantic Artist Now”

Sunday 16 March, 4pm-8pm

Michael Landy, Delphine Bedel, Constant Dullaart, Doro Franck, Lars Kwakkenbos, Mustafa Stitou and surprise guests…

Films by Joan Jonas, Michael Landy, D.A. Pennebaker / Yves Tinguely

Hosts: Ann Demeester & Mark Kremer

During the course of an afternoon and an early evening various guests will discuss the theme ‘neo-retro-Romanticism’ in the context of the exhibition “To Burn Oneself with Oneself: the Romantic Damage Show” (Feb 23 – April 6) in de Appel. A company of makers and thinkers will discuss Romanticism, in a series of consecutive presentations. Statements, short lectures and film screenings will combine in focusing on the exhibition in de Appel and casting links to the outside world.

Currently Romanticism is a topical theme. This is shown, for example, by three other recent exhibitions about Romantic tendencies and thematics in contemporary art. The exhibitions “Wunschwelten. Neue Romantik in der Kunst der Gegenwart (Frankfurt 2007), “Romantic Conceptualism”(Nuremberg and Vienna 2007), and “RAW Amongst the Ruins” (Maastricht 2007) made clear that Romanticism forms a strong undercurrent in the generic development of contemporary art. An undercurrent that even makes itself felt within the reputedly strict confines of conceptual art that is based, after all, on irrefutable logic.

But how does Romanticism relate to contemporary Romantic feelings? How do today’s artists experience and express a Romantic stance? These are just some of the questions that form the starting point for the development of the exhibition in de Appel. In order to answer these questions it seems necessary to refresh our memory about Romanticism as a historical epoch. At the time there was no hint of the shallow sentimentality now popularly associated with the notion of ‘Romance’. The explosive character of Romanticism, the period directly after the Enlightenment in which the individual led by personal feelings once again determines his position in the world, has been covered by Isaiah Berlin in “The Roots of Romanticism” (1965/1999). Berlin, among other things, shows convincingly that during the period of Romanticism, a new paradigm evolves whereby consensus on the basis of rationality is replaced by divergence – and its acceptance on the basis of emotion. However the discovery and acceptance of an individual world of emotion for poets, thinkers and artists, had a strong critical and reflective component. The realm of emotion fascinated people: a zone in which man, no longer bound by ratio, might experience freedom. Nonetheless they also acutely realized that in this world man ventured along the edge of his own abyss…

De Appel, Amsterdam
Nieuwe Spiegelstraat 10
NL-1017 DE Amsterdam
+31 20 6255651