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Group show: One's History is Another's Misery (over)

26 July 2009 until 6 September 2009
  Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam (SMBA)

Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam - SMBA
Rozenstraat 59
1016 NN Amsterdam
Netherlands (city map)

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tel +31 (0)20 4220471

The 19th century myth of national identity is experiencing an important resurgence in the West and certainly in The Netherlands, which is wrestling with the introduction and deployment of a national historical canon and the founding of a National Historical Museum. But what a nation state embodies in symbolism and collective identity generally also has a negative version for those who stand outside it. The works in the exhibition One's History is Another's Misery focus attention on specific histories and events that are part of national identities and which have this reverse side, positive or negative, integral to them. The artists involved work from a documentary oriented, investigative attitude in which analytic images, lifted out of the flow of events, have a particular dramatic effect. At the same time, complying with Salman Rushdie's motto, "If history creates complexities, let us not try to simplify them," they often add an extra layer on top of the enormously complex and ambivalent histories that they lay bare.

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