September 30, 2022
YOUTH is Anne Imhof’s first solo exhibition in The Netherlands; a co-presentation between Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam and Hartwig Art Foundation. The exhibition was originally planned for Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow until they suspended their programming in response to the war in Ukraine. In this conversation, Stedelijk Curator of Photography Vincent van Velsen goes behind the scenes, and discusses the lead-up to the exhibition with Katya Inozemtseva, Garage’s Chief Curator, and architecture studio sub founder Andrea Faragauna. How do the two exhibitions relate to one another, in both a practical and conceptual sense?
The YOUTH installation intersects architectural, sonic, and visual arts elements to shape a dystopic labyrinthine installation. If you would like to read more about labyrinthine exhibitions, we would like to recommend Stedelijk Studies Journal #07 – Lose Yourself.
You can experience Anne Imhof’s disorienting installation at the Stedelijk until January 29, 2023.
Eliza Douglas and Franziska Aigner in ANNE IMHOF, FAUST (2017), German Pavilion at the 57th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia. Photo: © Nadine Fraczkowski
Calculated 3D model of HEXAGON executed in preparation of Anne Imhof’s initial exhibition plans at Garage Museum, December 2021. Courtesy of Katya Inozemtseva.
Image 1: Installation view of ANNE IMHOF, NATURES MORTES at Palais de Tokyo, Paris, 2021. Photo: Andrea Rossetti. Image 2: Installation view of ANNE IMHOF, NATURES MORTES at Palais de Tokyo, Paris, 2021. Photo: Andrea Rossetti. Image 3: Installation view of ANNE IMHOF, NATURES MORTES at Palais de Tokyo, Paris, 2021. Photo: Andrea Rossetti. Image 4: Performances at ANNE IMHOF, NATURES MORTES at Palais de Tokyo, Paris, 2021. Photo: © Nadine Fraczkowski.
Top: Exhibition render (axonometric view) of Garage arena, January 2022. Courtesy of the artist. Image from sub (Exhibition Architecture and Supervision).
Center: Exhibition render (axonometric view) of Garage arena and entrance hall, January 2022. Courtesy of Andrea Faraguna. Image from sub (Exhibition Architecture and Supervision).
Bottom: Exhibition render (axonometric view) of the first level at Garage, January 2022. Courtesy of artist. Image from sub (Exhibition Architecture and Supervision).
Image 1: Exhibition render of the ground view at Garage’s arena, January 2022. Courtesy of the artist. Image from sub (Exhibition Architecture and Supervision). Image 2: Exhibition render of the entrance hall at Garage, January 2022. Courtesy of the artist. Image from sub (Exhibition Architecture and Supervision). Image 3: Exhibition render of the view from stairs to access the first level at Garage, January 2022. Courtesy of the artist. Image from sub (Exhibition Architecture and Supervision).
Top: Exhibition view concept of Horses room for YOUTH. Anne Imhof, June 2022. Courtesy of artist. Image from sub (Exhibition Architecture and Supervision).
Bottom: Anne Imhof, 2022. Video, colour, sound. Featuring Eliza Douglas. Directed by Jean-René Étienne and Lola Raban-Oliva. Courtesy of the artist, Galerie Buchholz & Sprüth Magers. Produced with the support of Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow, Hartwig Art Foundation and Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. This new work, that will premiere at the Stedelijk Museum in October 2022, does not have a title yet.
Top: YOUTH exhibition render (axonometric view) of the lower-level gallery main space at Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, June 2022. Courtesy of Andrea Faraguna. Image from sub (Exhibition Architecture and Supervision).
Center: YOUTH exhibition render of the lower-level gallery floor plan at Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, June 2022. Courtesy of the artist. Image from sub (Exhibition Architecture and Supervision).
Bottom: YOUTH exhibition render of the “Sound Rail” at Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, June 2022. Courtesy of the artist. Image from sub (Exhibition Architecture and Supervision).
A: There is something monumental in the sense of feeling the weight in the movement of this element. A lot of effort has been spent. This was not the first time that we extracted a piece of building. The glass that is in Amsterdam comes from a bank in Turin that was about to be demolished, and all this glass has been extracted and then put in crates and sent. All the elements somehow look like they have a function, but in the end the function is suspended. They don’t serve anything specifically, and in this way become sort of characters. They perform, they do things. They are not used for anything.
K: Yeah, you’re absolutely right. They are not cultural elements. We made cages for them, supportive, metal constructions in order to have them.
K: But they are not like antique Greek or Roman sculptures where you have this visible metal element that guarantees stability. They were acting. Something really awkward happens because they become kind of acting elements.
A: Like animated…
K: Yeah, animated and animating elements. In a very free talk we discussed remembering examples when architecture was moved, something that shouldn’t be moved ever. Why was something moved to somewhere? We remember obviously this as the absolute expression of colonialism, of present European and American museums. When the Egyptian temple was brought into the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It was a big deal, also technical, but it’s a pure expression of an aggressive colonial approach. What we did was quite the opposite. We were also trying to recall some more examples of moving the unmovable, like the library of Alexandria that was moved with camels in alphabetical order. The role of camels was predefined by the alphabet. These kind of things were our agenda.
A: Here in Berlin the Pergamonmuseum has a couple of these examples.
V: Exactly. Greece and the Met of course have some.
Talking about the labyrinth and how these objects function, and in a way putting them to rest, is interesting. Probably not an endpoint, but a temporary point. And what they do within the space when they’re resting and then becoming objects with Duchampian notions.
Is there anything that you would like to add before we finish?
K: I’m still a big, big fan of the title of the show. In Russian there are versions of “youth”. And the one for our show should’ve been very similar to the English one. It’s almost a hope. For a lot of people at Garage and in Moscow, it was one of the most awaited shows. I think it’s a very important gesture toward the community that is there.
V: That’s very important indeed, this idea of anticipation, but also the possibilities for the future.
K: Yeah, there is a reality, you know? It’s not a speculative reality we played with, but it’s something that has physical form and I’m super happy that it’s happening at the Stedelijk.
V: It’s quite impressive, I think. Seeing the build-up is quite an amazing thing.
K: Yeah. I need to have my moment of reality as well.
Katya Inozemtseva is an art curator, and a graduate from Moscow State University. She worked in the Department of Experimental Programs at the National Center for Contemporary Arts (2003-2004), Gary Tatintsian Gallery (2004-2005), and as a Curator, Chief Curator, and then Deputy Director at the Multimedia Art Museum (2011 to 2014). From 2011-2016 she also worked as Deputy Art Director at Proun Gallery. At Garage Museum of Contemporary Art she was appointed Chief Curator in 2020 after working as a curator there since 2014.
Andrea Faraguna is an architect, and a graduate of the University of Venice and TU Berlin. A close collaborator of the studio E2A, he taught alongside Piet and Wim Eckert from 2011 and 2018. In 2017, he co-founded the studio sub in Berlin, and has since regularly collaborated with Anne Imhof, most recently designing the spaces of the exhibition Natures Mortes.
Vincent van Velsen is Curator of Photography at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. He has an academic background in art and architecture history, which he also applies in writing practice. He has written on several artists, institutions and for a plethora of magazines, including Volume, Tubelight, Archined, Frieze, Flash Art, and Metropolis M – where he also holds a position as contributing editor. He is also a member of the Stadscuratorium Amsterdam (SCA) and a board member of De Appel.