— Delphine Bedel


26 September- 26 October 2008
Breda Photo 2008 / Lokaal 01, Breda

The Experience of Atopia.
Exhibition and Film Programme curated by
Delphine Bedel
Kamal Ajafari, Delphine Bedel, Renata Poljak, Ilya Rabinovich, Rossella Biscotti

With a very singular and strong photographic or cinematographic language, the works presented in the exhibition and the films selected for the screening, investigate the urban or political transformation -that occurred in the diverse contexts addressed by the artists- and draws unexpected and complex relations between personal memory, history and experience. Personal narratives reflect upon historical and political changes, which often find a translation into specific architectures, places and images. Buildings, industrial sites, holiday location or family houses become the central character of the works presented. The ‘return to place’, the recall of familiar locations and images or films becomes a subtle movement between architectures of memory and placelessness. Atopia, as defined by Roland Barthes, is a singular place that resists taxonomy, stereotypes and territorialisation. It is a place in movement. The exhibition offers a reflection upon the transitory structures of cultural representation and the experience of atopia.
A publication, edited by D. Bedel will be available in the exhibition.

Film Screening Saturday 27 September, 20.00
Jérôme Schlomoff, Mounir Fatmi, Ayako Yoshimura

These films present unexpected perspectives on the inescapable process of urban transformation, from the city of Amsterdam to the French suburbs or the megalopolis. Often made out of still images, and constructed on visual and poetic narratives, these films reflect upon urban palimpsests and globalization. Schlomoff and Yoshimura will introduce their film.

Breda Photo 2008 / Lokaal 01, Breda
Kloosterlaan 138, NL-4811 EE BREDA. +31 (0)76 514 19 28
Opening: Friday 26 September, 20.00 Thur-Sun, 13.00-17.00

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Press: Fraction magazine, nr. 3

The Top 15 Photo Books of 2008!

selected by Melanie McWhorter (Photo-Eye magazine)

All that is solid melts into air – Notes on Tourism by Delphine Bedel
Authors: Delphine Bedel, Francesco Barnardelli, Rachel Esner, Bruno Latour, Marco Pasi, Olivier Rolin and Thibaut de Ruyter
Design by Esther Krop.
episode publishers, Rotterdam 2008

All that is solid melts into air, Notes on Tourism is a reflection on the work of artist and writer Delphine Bedel. From amusement parks and monuments, to camping and beach resorts, her photographs and writings document sites of tourism in diverse contexts. She brings into question the visual representation of leisure, architecture, and cultural artefacts.

This book explores three complex and controversial tourist destinations
and cultural heritages whose identity, use, and meaning have shifted radically over time: a giant Lenin statue buried in a forest of Berlin, the monumental Nazi holiday resort in Prora, and the nearby landscape of the Chalk Cliffs on Rügen as painted by Caspar David Friedrich, all located in Germany. As one of today’s largest world industries, tourism and leisure influence our way of life and reflect
upon shifting cultural, economic, social, and historical realities. The process of constructing meaning and interpretation through images takes center stage in the experience of tourism.

What is the relationship between architecture and identity? Who owns the past? What is the Romantic imagination of nature in relation to tourism today? Using her photographic research as a starting point, Delphine Bedel invited writers from diverse disciplines to contribute to the book, resulting in original and unexpected historical and critical perspectives on the relations between visual culture, tourism, and memory politics.

Language: English
Size: 24 x 17 cm, 64 pages, paperback
ISBN: 978-90-5973-072-4

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Exhibition 20 July – 7 September 2008
Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam

Curated by Delphine Bedel and Ayako Yoshimura,
in collaboration with Jelle Bouwhuis

Bik Van der Pol, Patricia Esquivias, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Mustafa Hulusi, Arnout Killian, Matthieu Laurette, Sascha Pohle, Lisl Ponger, Erkan Özgen & Sener Özmen

“The […] ambivalence of tourism, which also applies to our world in general, is reality and its copy at a time when copies are increasingly more realistic and reality is increasingly penetrated by the illusion of fiction” (Marc Augé)

In the exhibition Beyond Paradise tourist image production and narratives, as we know them from travel brochures, postcards, advertisements, films and so on, are appropriated in the works presented. They reflect on the construction of expectations, experiences and the social imaginary of places evoked by the ubiquitous and pervasive culture of tourism we are living in nowadays.

The starting point of this exhibition also stems from the paradox that tourism still involves romantic, if not paradisiacal imagery, whereas the tourist experience is actually shattered by all kinds of forces that haunt our daily lives: commercialism, gentrification, the complex entanglement of migration and tourist destinations, war, and fear of terrorism. But it is also significant for the strength of our tourism-minded culture that even such threatening notions and experiences can be integrated in a package tour.

Beyond Paradise
investigates modes of representation and visibility, starting from the mass production of images ? a scheme central to the leisure industry ? and the idealized imagery of places, and moves away from the familiar Tourist Gaze to construct unexpected fictional or personal narratives. The promises of these idealistic and seductive images are appropriated and eventually shifted in the works presented in the exhibition, to reveal other realities, and take us beyond paradise in order to question one of the greatest fictions of our times: that of tourism.

Film programme
In the framework of ‘Beyond Paradise’ a film programme will be presented in Maison Descartes in Amsterdam on Thursday, September 4, starting at 7:30 p.m. The programme, compiled by Delphine Bedel and Ayako Yoshimura, aims to present broader perspectives on some aspects of tourism activities and fictional representation, in various geographical and political contexts. The programme features work by: Kamal Aljafari, Olivo Barbieri, Bik Van der Pol, Mounir Fatmi, Kwang-Ju Son and Quirine Racké & Helena Muskens. The complete programme will be announced on the SMBA website and by Maison Descartes.

The exhibition is accompanied by the free SMBA Newsletter nr. 105 (EN/NL) with an introduction by the curators and a work by Matthieu Laurette .

Rozenstraat 59, Amsterdam
Opening: Saturday 19 July, 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Supported by the Institut Français des Pays-Bas and in partnership with Maison Descartes

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Book Launch Thursday May 15 at 8 p.m.

Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam is pleased to invite you to the launch of the publication All that is solid melts into air – Notes on Tourism by visual artist and independent curator Delphine Bedel. Within the framework of this book presentation British sociologist John Urry will give a lecture, followed by a short introduction to the publication and a round table discussion with some of the contributing authors.

Notes on Tourism is an ongoing artistic project that aims to produce a discursive platform through lectures and writings, to bring into question the visual representation of leisure, architecture, and cultural artefacts. As one of the largest world industries today, tourism influences our way of life and reflects upon changing economic and social realities. All that is solid melts into air explores controversial tourist destinations and cultural heritages. One of those is the Nazi holiday resort of Prora on the Baltic island of Rügen. Its identity, use and meaning have shifted radically over time, which was subject of a photographic project by Bedel. Using her photographic research as a starting point, writers from diverse disciplines were invited to contribute to the book, resulting in unexpected historical and critical perspectives on the relation between visual culture, leisure, and memory politics. The book is published by episode publishers in Rotterdam.

After a short introduction by Jelle Bouwhuis, curator of the Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam, British sociologist John Urry will give a lecture on ‘The Tourist Gaze’, a topic he researched for his book of the same name which was published in 1990 and republished in 2002. After that, Rachel Esner, one of the contributing authors of All that is solid… will briefly introduce the publication, followed by a round table discussion with Urry, Bedel, Esner, Francesco Bernardelli and Marco Pasi.

John Urry is a British sociologist and Professor at Lancaster University. He is noted for his work in the fields of the sociology of tourism and mobility. Among his many publications are The Tourist Gaze (1990, 2002), Consuming Places (1995), Touring Cultures (1997), Tourism Mobilities (2004), and Performing Tourist Places (2004). Other fields of research include regionalism, economic and social change and complexity theory.

The publication will be available at the book launch through Shashin, an Amsterdam based bookstore for contemporary art, photography, design and fashion.

All that is solid melts into air – Notes on Tourism
Editor: Delphine Bedel
With contributions by: Francesco Barnardelli, Rachel Esner, Bruno Latour, Marco Pasi, Olivier Rolin and Thibaut de Ruyter
Design: Esther Krop
Language: English
Size: 24 x 17 cm, 64 pages, paperback
Price: € 17.50
ISBN: 978-90-5973-072-4
Published by: episode publishers, Rotterdam 2008

Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam
Language: English
Free admission

The publication is available online at Shashin.nl

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Press: L’Observatoire nr 33, La Revue des Politiques Culturelles

Artist as a role model in Neoliberal Economies
by Marko Stamenkovic

With contributions by:
Oliver Ressler, Philippe Mairesse, Veronika Tzekova, David Maroto, Valerio del Baglivo, Cicero Egli, Mladen Hrvanovic, Cris Faria, Peter Fuchs, Marco Baravalle, Delphine Bedel, Vlado Alonso, Mark Brogan, Nada Prlja

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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

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Lectures Series Studium Generale / Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam
Autumn 2007: ‘Are You Alive Or Not? Is There Nothing In Your Head?’
Location: De Appel, Amsterdam, Wednesday at 16.00

‘Flash Back/Flash Forward’
In an intriguing text on the future of anachronism in our media and information based society Jorinde Seijdel starts her argument by explaining: “Regardless of the hegemony of the New and the Now, you only need to cast a superficial glance at the world around you to be confronted with numerous anachronisms, things and ideas that are in fact contradictory to the time in which they exist. They are literally ‘out of time’.

The word ‘anachronism’ stems from the Greek: ‘ana’ (back), and ‘chronos’ (time). Whether it concerns architecture, images, objects, or political or social structures, anachronisms are omnipresent. This does not imply that they are always recognised as anachronistic. The reverse is true; many relicts of the past contribute to the manifestation and the experience of the contemporary, which, in order to be able to profile itself cannot do without the ‘old’. The ‘now’ needs continuous signs from the past to prove that it is ‘new’. In a certain sense these ‘desired’ anachronisms are wilfully produced and cultivated in order to suggest that everything happens as if it happened already”. (‘Het einde van de anachronismen’, Jorinde Seijdel, de Witte Raaf, nov.- dec. 2001).

As an upbeat to ‘The Old Brand New‘, a collaborative project in which the Rietveld Academie, De Appel, as well as several other partners, present an ambitious series of lectures on the New, De Appel will host 6 lecturers who are invited by Studium Generale to present their artistic research projects on anachronisms and other wilful manipulations of past, present and future to a combined audience of Rietveld students and participants in De Appel ‘s Curatorial Program.

The coming weeks 6 speakers will convey their very particular sense of time, place and intellectual space. Seminar and presentations of Flash back / Flash forward will be moderated by artist and curator Delphine Bedel.

Jürgen Pieters: Still Speaking With The Dead

Florian Göttke: The ZOO: Enriched Imaginary Environment

Lisette Smits: RAW (Material)

John Heijmans: Futuristic Sounds, One Century Later

Erik Hagoort: St. Petersburg: Cunning Defiance Of Expectations

Delphine Bedel: All That Is Solid Melts Into Air, Notes On Tourism

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