Sowing and Weeding

Cobra Museum voor Moderne Kunst, Noord-Holland, Amsterdam, 06/18/2011 - 09/04/2011

Sandbergplein 1


This summer, the Cobra Museum presents a international group exhibition that links today's renewed interest in folk culture to contemporary art and cultural heritage. The exhibition takes a close look at the relationship between folk culture and art, in which the most pertinent issue is the role that folk culture plays in the continuing process of globalization. Over twenty European artists for whom folk culture is a source of inspiration are taking part. Several of these artists have been especially invited by the Cobra Museum to develop new work.

In Europe, and certainly in the Netherlands, we are experiencing a true ‘renaissance of folk culture’, with local traditions, regional customs and symbols from folk culture again a focus of attention. Folk culture is also receiving renewed attention in contemporary art. The majority of the participants in this exhibition create work that demonstrates a flexible, sometimes even ironic approach to the field of tension between ‘high’ and ‘low’ culture and to the would-be authenticity of folk culture. Works by other artists raise questions about the loss of traditions and rituals and about the commercialization of folk culture. Folk culture here can stand for a lost sense of 'feeling at home' and for lost stories and rituals that had been handed down from generation to generation. For some of these artists, their own cultural backgrounds motivate their work. For yet others, such subjects as identity, migration and social inclusion and exclusion are an extension of the concept of folk culture. Works by some of the Cobra artists are included. Cobra was the first post-war movement of avant-garde artists for whom folk art and folk culture were an essential source of information. The Cobra Museum views the heritage of Cobra as a dynamic whole. In this exhibition, giving new meaning to this still topical theme also bring added meaning to the heritage of the Cobra movement.

Participating artists:
Bureau Venhuizen (NL), Cobra, Hadassah Emmerich (NL), Steingrimur Eyfjörd (IS), Kristof Georgen (DE), Sebastian Hammwöhner (DE), Uwe Henneken (DE), Nadine Hottenrott (DE), Britta Jonas (DE), Aurelia Mihai (RO), Mariella Mosler (DE), Monika Nuber (DE), Gabriela Oberkofler (IT), Rory Pilgrim (GB), Pinar & Viola (NL), Lisl Ponger (A), Anselm Reyle (DE), Gitte Schäfer (DE), Wiebke Siem (DE), Martin Städeli (CH), Helmut Stallaerts (BE), Derk Thijs (NL), Olga Titus (CH), Gert & Uwe Tobias (RO).

This exhibition is based on a research project by the German guest curator, Dr. Nicole Fritz, and the Cobra Museum. The initial concept was presented as Säen en Jäten. Volkskultur in der zeitgenössischen Kunst at the Städtische Galerie in Ravensburg, Germany. For the exhibition at the Cobra Museum, the selection of the artists has been adapted, thereby enlarging the perspective of the exhibition.

For More Information


Gert & Uwe Tobias

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