NIMk gets the axe but lives on at NASA

NIMk gets the axe but lives on at NASA

Nov 16, 2012 |  by  |  Art, Spots
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Thomas (25) is a recently graduated art historian with a passion for modern and contemporary art. He loves writing about interesting artists and unexplored art spaces, so if you are or know one, don't hesitate to get into contact with him.

Chances are you don’t exactly keep track of every new art space popping up around town, because there are just so many. The new ambitious art space at the old morgue housing SMART Project Space however, is definitely one to watch. During the last Museumnight on November 3rd, New Art Space Amsterdam (NASA) celebrated its first birthday with a lively opening to an exhibition curated by renowned Dutch artist Gabriel Lester entitled The Future that Was.

A long and winding road to nowhere in particular

Although current and future director Thomas Peutz prefers to call NASA “a sort of SMART +”, the addition of some experienced personnel from the recently axed Dutch Institute for Media Art (NIMk), indicates that NASA’s launch (excuse the pun) involves more than a simple name change. Former head of exhibitions at NIMk Petra Heck for instance, will continue to do her old job at NASA, where she will be responsible for the organization of all regular exhibitions. NASA will furthermore expand on SMART’s existing film programme and implement an educational programme aimed at pre- and high school students.

NASA could become the museum for contemporary art the city now lacks.

Last but not least, NASA will also continue to support the production of new works by inviting artist residents. No wonder then that Amsterdam’s independent arts council, the Amsterdamse Kunstraad, stated in its report that NASA could well become the “museum for contemporary art that the city now lacks”. That sounds like a slap in the face of the recently reopened institutions like De Appel or the Stedelijk Museum if you ask me.

Surasi Kusolwong holding one of his fixed-price flea-markets at the opening of "The Future that Was"

But will the new institution continue to produce anything interesting for us art freaks? Well, Gabriel Lester, for one, has already done so. For starters by augmenting SMART’s existing exhibition spaces for The Future that Was with some extra convex and concave styrofoam wallstructures. Apparently Lester hates squares and straight angles. The opening to the exhibition wasn’t that straight-forward either, for that matter. Surasi Kusolwong for instance organized one of his staple flea markets where everything costs 1 euro, while sound artists like Florian Hecker gave pretty abstract sound performances, which yours truly at least found quite disturbing.

So if the celebratory night organized by Lester himself is indicative of what we can expect in the future, then hold onto your panties and be prepared to get pulled out of your comfort zone. But if you’re not as easily disturbed as I am, there are probably still enough exciting things to go see. So why don’t you?

Part of "The Future that Was"

Exhibition: The Future that Was

When: 03-11-2012 – 30-12-2012
Where: NASA, Arie Biemondstraat 105-113
Admission: Free of charge!

Photos courtesy of NASA.

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