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Artist Talk: Jean-Baptiste Maitre

Museums/Institutes Manifesta

Herengracht 474
1017 CA Amsterdam 
+31 (0)20 6721435

Open Thu - Fri / 10-19 hrs

27 Sep


In the context of the group exhibition 'It ain’t whatcha write, it’s the way atcha write it', on display in the Manifesta Foundation and DutchCulture offices at Herengracht 474, French artist Jean-Baptiste Maitre has been invited to talk about his current project 'Mandala Republique'.
Jean-Baptiste Maitre (1978) is interested in how images are created and remain in our cultural collective unconscious.
His projects play with the way original artworks are transformed by the so-called ecology of art - i.e. every text, image, film and conversation that is not an artwork but talks about it- and how it can affect the way we perceive and remember them.
In the project 'Mandala Republique', moments and images from the collective imaginary of the 1920s are brought together and translated from medium to medium. Maitre takes as a starting point a collage of Hannah Höch of 1919: « Cut With A Kitchen Knife …» that describes in a frantic composition the state of the Republic of Weimar. Through isolating every characters and objects of the collage, Maitre finds their equivalents today, and proposes new formal ways to display them. For example, the early 1900s German minister of Defense Gustav Noske – whose portrait is featured in Hoch’s composition – becomes in Maitre’s work the former American secretary of Defense of the early 2000s Donald Rumsfeld, portrayed through paintings along with extracts of his speeches. Thanks to a specific process of his invention, the artist then transforms the paintings into a motion film.
‘Mandala Republic’ is unfolded in different works and exhibitions.
Before (16:00 – 16:30) and after (17:30 – 18:30) the artist talk it is possible to visit the exhibition 'It ain’t whatcha write, it’s the way atcha write it'.
About the exhibition 'It ain’t whatcha write, it’s the way atcha write it'
Manifesta, the European Biennial of Contemporary Art, and DutchCulture, centre for international cooperation, invite Amsterdam-based gallerist, Martin van Zomeren, to install a group exhibition throughout their shared historic grand Amsterdam canal house turned office space at Herengracht 474.
Participating Artists: Edith Dekyndt // Martijn Hendriks // Alexandra Leykauf // Fiona Mackay // Katja Mater //Jean-Baptiste Maitre // Navid Nuur // Nick Oberthaler // Cornelius Quabeck // Anne de Vries
Exhibition dates: May 9 - October 1, 2014
Ranging from video works, sculptures, paintings and installations, the exhibition explores the practice of 10 Dutch and international artists. Some of them express clear statements about society and cultural history while others investigate their surroundings in a methodical way fluctuating between objectivity and experience.
To make an appointment to see the exhibition, please contact secretariat (at)


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