This summer Huize Frankendael and artist Edward Clydesdale Thomson start the two-year collaborative project wild care, tame neglect. From now until the summer of 2018 Thomson will embed his artistic practice in the last remaining 17th-century country house in Amsterdam researching the paradoxes of nature that abound in this cultural heritage. Within the context of the Frankendael, Thomson will cultivate his daily working environment starting with a temporary studio in the garden from where he will realise artistic interventions, new artworks addressing the surroundings, a public program of workshops and lectures, an exhibition and a performance. Within this fluid programme there is the possibility for everything to bloom and decay with the seasons. Every aspect of Thomson's activities can be followed closely within the public sphere of this historical venue that has been both lake, mansion and city nursery.
The core of wild care, tame neglect is the long-term relationship that Frankendael and Thomson cultivate. Rarely will or can a cultural institution and artist develop an intensive, two-year cooperation. This cooperation is an experimental model for artistic production. What are the mutual expectations and possibilities? What are the practical and substantive requirements, goals and aspirations in which an artwork can come about? How is a work of art shaped by the conditions of its production? The cross-pollination between Frankendael and Thomson could be so different at the heights of summer or the depths of winter.
With wild care, tame neglect, Frankendael offers an artist the unique opportunity to use this historic location both as a laboratory and exhibition space and Thomson offers the institution the possibility to explore the identity of its surroundings. Historical and contemporary notions of nature and culture, work and leisure collide in Frankendael. The house was built as a country house for the 17th-century bourgeoisie, a sign of entrepreneurship, wealth and privileges and all that entails. On the other hand Frankendael is now used as a restaurant, venue for ceremonies, meetings, recreation and contemporary art.
Edward Clydesdale Thomson graduated at the MFA-programma of the Piet Zwart Institute in Rotterdam and the BArch-program of the Glasgow School of Art. He was an artist-in-residence at iapsis, Stockholm and the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin in 2013 and 2014. He was a resident at the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten, Amsterdam (2011-2012). In 2011 he received the Lecturis Award and he was nominated for the Dutch Prix de Rome.
Nils van Beek is guest curator of wild care, tame neglect. He is partner and curator at TAAK. He studied Art History and Archaeology at the Universiteit van Amsterdam and the Gerrit Rietveld Academie. Van Beek worked as a curator at SKOR | Foundation for Art and Public Domain. Many of the projects he develops focus on nature, landscape and the natural environment.