Speech by Amsterdam Elderman Art and Culture Touria Meliani
What a beautiful venue here in the East of Amsterdam. In my opinion, a well-suited location for you.
Framer Framed started 10 years ago, in 2009, as a travelling platform after which they settled in ‘de Tolhuistuin’. Framer Framed is a special institution. They are pioneers in opening up the conversation about art.
They dare to question the status quo. For example, the triptych on identity, wherein Marie Hudelot presented her exhibition Heritage and, based on the stories of her ancestors, she made new symbolic portraits about her family.
Framer Framed offers opportunities to curators and creators, they help museums to look at their collections differently and show other ways of presenting art. Besides exhibiting there is always an in-depth public program; lectures; film screenings; performances. In this way people are tempted to broaden their ‘framework’ and to enrich their perspective.
With the new cultural policy of Amsterdam, I want to give room to all Amsterdammers in our city so that everyone can identify and feel at home in the expressions of art and culture. That in its itself will be a reflection of Amsterdam. In order to accomplish that sometimes one must be self-critical and get rid of familiar patterns. To be brave and courageous. Opening up to the unknown and the other, that is what it’s all about for me.
That Framer Framed is making an important contribution, has not gone unnoticed by the Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst (AFK). Framer Framed was nominated for the Amsterdamprijs voor de Kunst (An art prize awarded by AFK). The jury praised them for their striking programming, in which they work together with artists who dare to go beyond traditional paths. The renewed outcomes and works this creates is an asset to Amsterdam.
I hope you continue your good work in this beautiful district. For example, through the cultural center you are developing in collaboration with the community here in Amsterdam East.
However, we have not only come together tonight to celebrate the new home of Framer Framed. We also want to highlight the new exhibition we see here, the first one at this location.
The current exhibition Elsewheres Within Here is curated by Jo-Lene Ong. She asked eleven artists to collect their own stories to show here. Jo-Lene Ong used the Malasian word ‘Tanah-air’ for framing this exhibition. She argues that this term can be associated with ‘home country’, but it also means ‘land’ and ‘water’. The feeling of being at home, or feeling at home, can be as sturdy as standing on solid earth, and also as soft as floating in water.
For me feeling at home is also about recognisability. Are you being represented in theaters and museums? Do you feel at home if you enter a building? Do you feel the space to develop your talents and claim your spot in the canon?
My vision for the upcoming period is that every story deserves to be heard in this city. Art allows us to reflect and discover new stories insides ourselves. We need to connect these stories to the world and society of today.
If you look at art in this way you can get new insights, insights you are conscious of or have unconsciously ignored or not fully given the time of day.
Together we can make sure that everyone feels represented and at home in, and by, the art and culture of our city.
I hereby open this exhibition and wish you all a pleasant evening!
Amsterdam, September 27, 2019
Amsterdam Oost /