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mistral amsterdam

2021 exhibition

Sands Murray-Wassink
In Good Company (Horsepower): Materials from the Gift Science Archive, 1993–present 1,2
6 March–23 May 2021

This spring mistral and If I Can’t Dance present In Good Company (Horsepower): Materials from the Gift Science Archive, 1993–present, an exhibition opening up the process of Dutch American artist Sands Murray-Wassink’s ‘monumental’ 18-month performance Gift Science Archive to the public for haptic engagements with the artist’s working and archiving process.

A queer cult figure in the Amsterdam art scene for nearly two decades, Sands Murray-Wassink (b. 1974, Topeka, Kansas) is a painter, body artist, writer and perfume collector indebted to various forms and permutations of intersectional feminist and queer art, with Carolee Schneemann, Hannah Wilke and Adrian Piper serving as key coordinates. As Murray-Wassink has moved in and out of institutional visibility over the years, his archive of art and non-art ‘studio objects’ has continued to grow. For his current commission with If I Can’t Dance, the artist has chosen to work with this massive collection of materials to create Gift Science Archive, a durational performance with different chapters, including archiving activities, process events, performances and exhibitions.

Working with a collaborative team at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten since October 2019, Murray-Wassink’s project has become a collective performance of archiving, an intergenerational process of remembering, and an experiment in re-thinking value production. In Gift Science Archive, emphasis is placed on the webs of social relations that hold objects together in affective fields, rather than on discrete artworks. The performance thus asks us: where does the value of the (art) object reside? What is the value of the relations that (art) objects create? What is the connection between relational value and commodity value? How do we evaluate friendship? What is the value of feelings?

The exhibition In Good Company at mistral follows from these questions, and from Murray-Wassink and the Gift Science Archive’s collecting and collective ethos. With over 2000 ‘studio objects’ now unearthed through the performance, the exhibition shares for the first time bodies of work and stacks of ephemera—including objects, documents, print materials, performance relics and more—dating back to 1993 when the artist began to develop his studio practice. Together with members of the Gift Science Archive team and mistral, visitors are invited to peruse the database and to pull materials from the archive for a closer look and a story. The ‘research experience’ is thus set into relational motion, and storytelling is taken up as a primary, valid and valuable mode of knowledge production and transmission.

We hope to hold your company soon.

Image caption: Sands Murray-Wassink, Big Pumpkin Series #65 (stamen) (2009). Photoprint of digital color image, 15×20cm. Performalist self-portrait from the Big Pumpkin Series of 92 digital images. Photo: Robin Wassink-Murray.

We are open by research appointment only on Thursdays and Saturdays 12–17hr, and also offer virtual tours on Fridays:
RESEARCH VISITS: Thursdays and Saturdays, 12–17hr. Book your slot here.
VIRTUAL TOURS: Fridays, 15–6hr / 17–18hr. Book your tour here.
For further inquiries, please e-mail us.

The exhibition is co-curated by Radna Rumping and Huib Haye van der Werf (mistral, Amsterdam) together with Megan Hoetger (If I Can’t Dance, Amsterdam). The exhibition is in relation with mistral’s focus on making constellations, inspired by collecting as an activated state of being, and our programme Staying with abundance.
  Gift Science Archive is a commission of If I Can’t Dance, I Don’t Want To Be Part Of Your Revolution and is supported by the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam. The project is curated by Megan Hoetger as part of the If I Can’t Dance’s Edition VIII—Ritual and Display programme. If I Can’t Dance is an Amsterdam based art organization dedicated to exploring the evolution and typology of performance and performativity in contemporary art. For further information, visit ificantdance.org.


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Pakhuis Wilhelmina
Groenhoedenveem 2
entrance round the corner at veemkade
1019 BL Amsterdam
The Netherlands

mistral amsterdam