Looiersgracht 60, Amsterdam

21 September 2018

The symposium will present lectures, visual case-studies and conversations by artists and researchers around the concept ‘seeing without a seer’ by Japanese philosopher Kitaro Nishida (1870 – 1945).


09.00 Doors open / Coffee
Welcome and introduction by RR
Lecture by Henk Oosterling
Visual case study by Hiryczuk/ Van Oevelen
Lecture by Adam Loughnane
Frank van der Stok in conversation with Toril Johannessen and Marjolijn Dijkman
12.20 Lunch
Visual case study by Alena Alexandrova
Visual case study by Tuula Närhinen
Basje Boer in conversation with Martine Stig
15.00 Introduction open space sessions
Open space session I
Open space session II
Conclusions open space sessions
Resume of the day: Ali Shobeiri
17.15 Drinks

Register for the symposium
21 September 2018
Looiersgracht 60, Amsterdam
(€20,- lunch and drinks included, limited seats available)

Symposium Contributors

Alena Alexandrova (b. 1975) is a cultural theorist and an independent curator based in Amsterdam. She teaches at the Fine Arts and the Photography departments of the Gerrit Rietveld Academy, Amsterdam. Currently she is writing a book titled Anarchic Infrastructures: Re-Casting the Archive, Displacing Chronologies. She is the author of Breaking Resemblance: The Role of Religious Motifs in Contemporary Art (Fordham University Press, 2017) and regularly contributes to art publications and catalogues. Alexandrova curated a sequence of exhibitions exploring the conceptual figure of “anarcheology” in the practices of present-day artists. She holds a doctoral degree from the University of Amsterdam.

Basje Boer (b. 1980) is a writer and journalist. Having been educated as a photographer, she currently focuses mainly on writing. She has published a collection of short stories, Kiestoon (De Arbeiderspers, 2006) and a novel, Bermuda (Nijgh & Van Ditmar, 2016). A new novel called Nulversie will be published by Nijgh & Van Ditmar in January 2019. Boer writes essays on film and pop culture, mainly for De Groene Amsterdammer, and she has worked on several projects combining text and images, with visual artists including Ruth van Beek (at a residency at Kunsthuis SYB), Mariken Wessels and Marleen Sleeuwits.

Marjolijn Dijkman (b. 1978) is an artist based in Brussels. Her interdisciplinary works can be seen as a form of science-fiction; partly based on facts but brought into the realm of fiction, abstraction and speculation. Exhibitions include solo shows at The Munch Museum (with Toril Johannessen), Oslo (2018); ICA, London (2015); IKON Gallery Birmingham (2011), the Berkeley Art Museum (2010); and international group shows such as the 21st Biennale of Sydney (2018), the 11th Shanghai Biennial (2016) and the 8th Sharjah Biennial (2007). Dijkman is co-founder of Enough Room for Space, Brussels.

Hiryczuk/ Van Oevelen is a collaboration between artists Elodie Hiryczuk (b. 1977) and Sjoerd van Oevelen (b. 1974). Both studied at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy (Amsterdam) and respectivey the Sandberg Institute (Amsterdam) and the AA Architectural Association (London). They experimentally explore how photography influences our understanding of the world. In addition to making art, they write and publish essays on their blog The Detached Gaze and in magazines such as Philosophy of Photography (UK) and EXTRA Magazine (BE/NL). Hiryczuk/ Van Oevelen have had exhibitions at Unseen Amsterdam (2017); Bradwolff Projects, Amsterdam (2016); DordtYart, Dordrecht (2013) and Contemporary Istanbul (2012). They are currently tutors at AKI ArtEZ Academy of Art and Design, Enschede. Hiryczuk and Van Oevelen are co-founders of Radical Reversibility.

Steven Humblet (b. 1970) is a writer and art critic with a focus on photography. He studied philosophy and Social and Cultural Anthropology at the KU Leuven (BE). He regularly writes for magazines like De Witte Raaf, DW B, Ons Erfdeel, Etcetera, EXTRA Magazine and Camera Austria. Humblet is member of Thinking Tools, a research group at the University of Antwerp that focusses on questions like ‘how does ‘the photographic’ manifests itself in contemporary art and photography.

Toril Johannessen (b. 1978) is an artist based in Tromsø (NO). Ways of seeing — and not seeing — are recurring themes in Johannessen’s artistic practice. Combining historical records with fiction and her own investigations, her works often contain elements of storytelling in visual or written form. Exhibitions include solo shows at The Munch Museum (with Marjolijn Dijkman), Oslo (2018); AroS, Aarhus (2017); and Museum of Contemporary Art Oslo (2016) and international group shows such as the 13th Dak’Art Bienniale de Dakar (2018); the 13th Istanbul Biennial (2013) and Documenta 13 (2012).

Henk Oosterling (b. 1952) is a philosopher and a strategic advisor. He studied philosophy, linguistics and Japanese in Leiden and Rotterdam. Since 1985 he has taught courses in dialectic philosophy, French ‘philosophy of difference’ and intercultural philosophy and has been Associate Professor since 2001. He is the Secretary of the Dutch-Flemish Union for Intercultural Philosophy, coordinator of the Centre for Philosophy and Arts, and chairman of the Dutch Aesthetics Federation. He is the initiator of several cultural and social projects, including Rotterdam Skill City. His latest book ‘Waar geen wil is, is een weg’ published in 2016, proposes to look anew at the differences and similarities between Asian and Western thought.

Martine Stig (b. 1972) is an artist based in Amsterdam. She studied photography at the Royal Academy of Fine Art (The Hague) and philosophy at the University of Amsterdam. Photography itself is the locus of Martine Stig’s work. The voyeuristic act: photography (verb) and the autonomic product: photo (noun). Whilst using photography she researches the role of the medium in the perception of reality. Her most recent book Noir was released in November 2016 (Fw: books, Amsterdam). Her work has been shown at a.o. Unseen Festival, Amsterdam (2017); Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam (2015) and Aperture Foundation, NYC (2015). She is currently tutor at the Master Institute AKV St. Joost, Den Bosch and researcher at Caradt, Centre of Applied Research for Art, Design and Technology at Avans University of Applied Sciences, Breda. Stig is co-founder of Radical Reversibility.

Adam Loughnane is lecturer in Philosophy at University College Cork and co-director of the Irish Institute of Japanese Studies. His research and teaching centre on the phenomenological and aesthetic traditions of Europe and Asia. Focusing mostly on French and Japanese philosophies, Adam explores themes relating to phenomenological accounts of motion, perception, and expression, intercultural philosophical methodology, and non-theistic conceptions of faith. He has recently completed a book, "Nishida and Merleau-Ponty: Artistic Expression as 'Motor-Perceptual faith'" (SUNY Press, 2019).

Tuula Närhinen (b. 1967) is a visual artist based in Helsinki (FI). Her works explore the pictorial agency of natural phenomena such as water and wind. Re-adapting instruments derived from natural sciences, Närhinen has developed methods for letting trees trace the shape of wind on their branches and found techniques that enable the waves of the sea to inscribe themselves on paper. Närhinen holds a Doctorate of Fine Arts (DFA) from the University of the Arts Helsinki. She is a graduate of the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts (MFA), and the Helsinki University of Technology (M. Sc. in Architecture).

Ali Shobeiri (b. 1984) is a visual culture theorist. He is currently Assistant Professor of Photography at Leiden University and lecturer of Cultural Studies at Radboud University of Nijmegen. Shobeiri aspires to propose the notion of ‘placial aesthetic’ through the triangulation of the fields of philosophy, photography and geography. He functioned as a guest editor for the online journal Depth of Field (scherptediepte.eu) at Leiden University, and co-organized the international conference Animation and Memory at Radboud University (2017).

Frank van der Stok (b. 1967) is a curator, editor and intermediary for artists, institutions and academies. He also works as an editor and producer of artists’ books. Van der Stok studied art history in Leiden. He was a staff member at Fotomania Gallery, Rotterdam (1989-2000). Van der Stok curated the show Lest we Forget at Zeeuws Museum, Middelburg (2015) and the festival To be Continued for the Dutch Doc Days at Central Museum, Utrecht (2011). He initiated the independent research-programme The Past in the Present, which culminated in the show and publication Questioning History (2009). Van der Stok is co-founder of Radical Reversibility.