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The position, function, scope, and character of the modern and contemporary art museum was defined in a drastically new way by the critical practices of conceptual artists in the 1960s and 1970s. The institutional criticisms which emerged in the 1980s also raised questions which made the future of the museum as an institution increasingly uncertain. Where will art belong in the future? Will it still have a place in the museum? And where will the museum belong, considering the public and context? Or is the utopian art institute a museum that is truly global and public, so that we can no longer talk in terms of a sense of “belonging”?

The future is not always rosy. In the Netherlands and other parts of Europe, museums and contemporary art institutes are currently facing drastic spending cuts which will force them — in the most ideal case, if they do not disappear altogether — to think of new institutional strategies and methods. If the museum of the future will soon be organized completely differently, if the four walls of the “white cube” are broken down and museums begin to function extra muros, what will the new theory of the art institute look like? What institutional, futuristic concepts do we need to deal with these sorts of changes?


HANS BELTING has taught as Professor for Art History at the universities of Heidelberg and Munich, where he held the most prominent chair in the field. In 1992, he became co-founder of the School for New Media (Hochschule für Gestaltung) in Karlsruhe, where he built up the discipline of Art Theory and Media Studies. In 2003, he held the European Chair at the College de France in Paris, where he presented a series of public lectures on the history of looking. He received an honorary degree from London University. Among his books in English translation are: The End of the History of Art? (1987); The Image and its Public in the Middle Ages (New York, 1990); Likeness and Presence. A History of the Image Before the Era of Art (Chicago, 1994); The Germans and their Art. A Difficult Heritage (New Haven, 2000); The Invisible Masterpiece (London, 2001); Art History after Modernism (London, 2003); Duchamp’s Perspective: Duchamp. Sugimoto. Jeff Wall (Cologne, 2009) and Bodies and Pictures. Toward an Anthropology of Images (forthcoming).

*Please note that HANS BELTING will not give a lecture, but will be interviewed by the moderator REIN WOLFS.

IWONA BLAZWICK is director of the Whitechapel Gallery in London, leading its expansion and reopening in 2009. As head of exhibitions and displays at Tate Modern, London, director of exhibitions at London’s ICA, and an independent curator in Europe and Japan, she has organized and commissioned numerous exhibitions of modern and contemporary art. She also developed the Contemporary Artists Monographs and Themes and Movements series at Phaidon Press and is the series editor of the Documents of Contemporary Art series published by Whitechapel/MIT Press.


REIN WOLFS is the Artistic Director of the Kunsthalle Fridericianum since January 2008. From 2002 until 2007 he was the Director of Exhibitions of the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam and in 2003 he curated the Dutch pavilion at the Venice Biennial. Before that, from 1996 until 2001, he was the first director of the Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst in Zurich. Among his most important exhibitions were shows with Douglas Gordon, Maurizio Cattelan, Angela Bulloch and Cady Noland at Migros Museum and retrospective exhibitions with Bas Jan Ader and Rirkrit Tiravanija as well as larger surveys with Urs Fischer and Erik van Lieshout at Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. For 2012 he is preparing an exhibition, entitled The New Public, for Museion in Bolzano. He is currently teaching at the School of Art and Design Kassel, Free University Berlin, Zurich University of the Arts and Philips-University Marburg.

With an
introduction by:

NATASHA GINWALA is an independent curator and art critic based in Amsterdam, where she participated in de Appel Curatorial Programme 2010/11. As part of the programme she co-curated the group exhibition ‘Fluiten in het Donker’ at de Appel Boys School. Natasha has completed her postgraduate studies at The School of Arts & Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University (New Delhi). In 2008, she was part of the curatorial team for the exhibition ‘Where in the World’ at the Devi Art Foundation and was critic-in-residence for the PEERS Residency at KHOJ Studios in 2009. Her writing has appeared in Afterall Online, C Magazine and TAKE on Art Magazine, amongst others. In 2012, Natasha has contributed to the Studium Generale Programme at the Rietveld Academie and will teach at the Masters in Artistic Research (UvA).

8 March 2012
Hans Belting
Iwona Blazwick
8–10.30 p.m.
Language: English

LOCATION: Oude Lutherse Kerk,
Aula of University of Amsterdam,
Singel 411, Amsterdam
TIME: 8–10.30 p.m.
TICKETS: It is required to buy your ticket in advance.