Ghost In The System - Scenarios For Resistance


14.09 - 05.10.2013

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Program: [Collections]

Place: National Centre for Contemporary Arts, exhibition hall

Curators: [Xander Karskens], [Irina Gorlova]

Participants: [Guido van der Werve], [Joost Conijn], [Erik van Lieshout], [Renzo Martens], [Nathaniel Mellors], [Julika Rudelius], [Pilvi Takala]


© Guido van der Werve «Nummer 14, Home»
Courtesy Guido van der Werve/Galerie Juliette Jongma



Video works and installations from the collection of De Hallen Haarlem, Netherlands

In the frame of the Netherlands-Russia Year 2013
Special Project of the 5 Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art


Co-organizer: Museum De Hallen Haarlem (Haarlem, Netherlands)
With the support of: Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, SICA Dutch Centre for international cultural activities, Mondriaan Fund

Opening on September, 13, 7 p.m.

Tour on exhibition: every Thursday, 7 pm. Free admission

For visitors


What remains the potential of art in a crisis-ridden world, a world subjugated to the cynicism of neoliberal capitalism and ever-expanding globalization? As Theodor Adorno already argued half a century ago, resistance to the ‘totally administered world’ is both absolutely necessary yet utterly impossible. The gargantuan task resting on the artists’s shoulders today is to try and navigate this paradox without losing faith or succumbing to resignation, and to try and find ever new ways to imagine the world around us differently.

The artists in “Ghost in the system – scenarios for resistance” each hold individual artistic positions in which they navigate the possibilities of refusal, in order to resist the hegemony of the governing order. In doing so, they aspire to generate debate and conflict – whether actively responding to sociopolitical reality on the world’s stage, or negotiating the forces of individual subjectivity. From Renzo Martens’s provocative analysis of the economy of poverty to Guido van der Werve’s exhaustive exploration of against-the-grain self-determination, the exhibited artists look for ways to counter the forces that govern us, using the work of art as a site for resistance and speculation.

“Ghost in the system – scenarios for resistance” brings together a selection of recent video works and installations from the collection of De Hallen Haarlem. De Hallen Haarlem is a museum for modern and contemporary art in Haarlem, that presents an international program of temporary exhibitions, public programs, and collection presentations. Since 2000, its collection focus has shifted towards photography and video. Focusing on a broad range of performative strategies in contemporary art, it comprises important contemporary works by artists like Paul McCarthy, Rineke Dijkstra, Andrea Fraser, Nan Goldin, Erik van Lieshout, Guido van der Werve, and Artur Zmijewski.

“Ghost in the system – scenarios for resistance” presents works by a young generation of artists, which is representative for the international character of the artist community in the Netherlands. Many of them have been participants in internationally acclaimed postgraduate educational institutions like the Rijksakademie or De Ateliers in Amsterdam. They are widely exhibited in the Netherlands and abroad.

Xander Karskens


With the support of:

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