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SONSBEEK and SKOR join forces

Date uploaded: February 6, 2013

Sonsbeek International Foundation and SKOR | Foundation for Art and Public Domain announce their close collaboration to realise the next SONSBEEK exhibition in 2016.

Joining forces allows the internationally renowned visual arts exhibition to benefit from a high quality stimulus in terms of organisational structure and continuity.

On the basis of shared principles and in consultation with the municipality of Arnhem and the province of Gelderland, research is to be conducted in 2013 to achieve a new and improved framework for SONSBEEK 2016 with the aim of continuing the collaboration after 2016.

The shared principles are based on the importance of innovation in the field of art in the public domain, with special focus on audience participation and good commissioning practice. In addition, the aim is to cooperate and collaborate with other contemporary art institutions in the Netherlands and abroad. The first presentation of the artistic direction and content takes place during the Istanbul Biennial in 2013. Other milestones for 2013 include the establishment of a core organisation and a (legal) structure for the collaboration, the appointment of a joint supervisory board and an (artistic) advisory committee, as well as the preparation of communication and fundraising plans. These take place together with the decision-making process of the municipality of Arnhem and the province of Gelderland.

The municipality of Arnhem has allocated the amount of €50,000,- to establish a core organisation in the next months, tasked with conducting the (financial) feasibility study and researching the artistic framework for the next SONSBEEK exhibition.

Hedwig Saam, chair of Sonsbeek International and director of the Municipal Museums of Arnhem (Museum of Modern Art Arnhem, Historical Museum Arnhem), explains: “This collaboration brings together the networks, knowledge and ambitions of both SKOR and SONSBEEK, as well as MMKA. Thereby meeting one of the important requirements for realising the next exhibition.”

Tati Freeke-Suwarganda, business director of SKOR: “SKOR sees the collaboration with  SONSBEEK as a grand gesture to the general public. This enables us to achieve our international ambitions in presenting key developments in art in the public domain through large-scale temporary exhibitions.”

Since 1949, Sonsbeek International Foundation has organised SONSBEEK exhibitions at irregular intervals, marking key developments in (inter)national contemporary arts. The sculpture exhibition in Sonsbeek Park is central to the event. For every exhibition SONSBEEK cooperates with partners in the cultural sector in and outside Arnhem. SONSBEEK has achieved an important reputation with cutting edge exhibitions. By organising quadrennial exhibitions, i.e., every four years, SONSBEEK hopes to provide a new, confrontational and/or broad perspective on social issues and the spatial organisation of the public domain. Interaction with its audience is one of the essential aspects of art in the public realm. SONSBEEK aims to increase its interaction by actively involving the audience in various projects and activities, to be organised in the intervening years. The new direction also provides openness and transparency regarding artistic decisions and seeks alliances aimed at long-term cooperation with partner institutions.

About SKOR 
Since 1999, SKOR | Foundation for Art and Public Domain has dedicated itself to the development and realisation of exceptional art projects within the public domain. In doing this, SKOR has always supported art of the highest quality, contributed to the design of public spaces, stimulated good commissioning practices as well as invested in researching and developing new practices for the field. In recent years the organisation has focused on raising its international profile, increasing its (public) visibility, introducing institutional alliances, and initiating innovative forms of public-private commissioning practices. 

As per January, 1 2013 SKOR’s structural funding from the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science has been discontinued. Building upon the organisational restructuring which started in 2009, it was decided to streamline the organisation and its activities as much and as rapidly as possible to respond to the changing situation after January 1, 2013. The close collaboration with Sonsbeek International Foundation is one of the future scenarios, which, with the permission of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, may result in legal successors of SKOR. For further information, click here.

Image: Breaking Ground: Broken Circle/Spiral Hill (1971 - 2011) is a video work, which land art artist Robert Smithson was never able to finish due to his untimely death. The film was completed forty years later in 2011 by his widow Nancy Holt and a Dutch film crew with SKOR’s artistic supervision and financial support. The work Broken Circle/Spiral Hill (1971) was initially developed in the context of Sonsbeek buiten de perken (Sonsbeek beyond lawn and order) (1971) by the curator of the Stedelijk Museum at the time, Wim Beeren.

Robert Smithson, Broken Circle/Spiral Hill, 1971, Emmen, The Netherlands. Photography: Job Janssen. © Estate of Robert Smithson / Licensed by VAGA, New York. Courtesy: Land Art Contemporary / SKOR | Foundation for Art and Public Domain.

Robert Smithson, Broken Circle/Spiral Hill, 1971, Emmen, The Netherlands. Photography: Job Janssen. © Estate of Robert Smithson / Licensed by VAGA, New York. Courtesy: Land Art Contemporary / SKOR | Foundation for Art and Public Domain.