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Be[com]ing Dutch was announced by the Mondriaan Stichting as winner of the 'Development Prize for Cultural Diversity'

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With support of Stichting DOEN

Culture Programme of the European Union
With support of the Culture Programme of the European Union.


Be[com]ing Dutch was a large project developed over two years both inside and outside the Van Abbemuseum. Consisting of debates, reading groups, artist's projects, exhibitions, residencies, the project interrogated various forms of collective participation and production.

As questions of cultural identity and normative 'national' values become ever more of an issue in political and cultural debate, Be[com]ing Dutch asks whether art can offer alternative examples of thinking about how we can live together today. Be[com]ing Dutch seeks to put our ideas of cultural identity under pressure and examine the process of inclusion and exclusion in the world today.

At the end of January 2007 launched the project Be[com]ing Dutch at the Van Abbemuseum with The The Gatherings a weekend of talks, debates and art projects and. Several collaborative ran throughout November 2008 with our partners (see timeline).

This led to an intensive three week international Caucus in Eindhoven from 9th November to the the 6th of December, 2007. The final phase was then a large-scale exhibition of newly commissioned works in the Van Abbemuseum which opened in May 2008 and will be followed by a publication due for release at beginning of 2009. During the past months we presented and debated Be[com]ing Dutch with a wide variety of interdisciplinary audiences including academics, artists and social actors locally, nationally and internationally. This open conversation will continue.

Since the Autumn of 2007 our project has become part of a series of the museum’s documentary exhibitions – an extension of the Living Archive. This Be[com]ing Dutch display in The Tower of the museum is the place where visitors can follow up all of the sub-projects that have happened so far and track our ongoing developments. The documentation in The Tower will be on display until April, 2009. This website will then remain as a documentation source.

Be[com]ing Dutch - Partners

  • BAK basis voor actuele kunst [Utrecht] - As an 'extension' of the Dutch Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, BAK organises a series of lectures, seminars and discussions entitled Citizens and Subjects: Practices and Debates, which further connects with Becoming Dutch and National (Re)presentation, a series of gatherings organized by Witte de With in connection to the German Pavilion project.
  • WdW - As part of a collaborative project with BAK, basis voor actuele kunst (Utrecht) and the Van Abbemuseum (Eindhoven) - and as a critical follow-up to the Venice Biennale - Witte de With presents four evening discussions (every Thursday in October) on the topic of the ‘national’ and how it relates to contemporary cultural production and theory today.
  • Gate Archive [Eindhoven] - The resources of the Gate Collection will be catalogued and integrated in to the Van Abbemuseum library and will form the basis of a series of ongoing critical
  • Kosmose [Eindhoven] - Centre of expertise for Cultural
  • The New Museum of Contemporary Art [New York] - organizes a long-term long investigation into notions of the neighborhood called The Museum as Hub with partners Townhouse Gallery [Cairo], Insa Art Space[Seoul], Museum Tamayo Arte Contemporaneo [Mexico City], and the Van Abbemuseum [Eindhoven]
  • Stichting InterArt [Arnhem] - will organize a long-term collaborative project called Creative Citizens which address the culturally diverse citizens of
  • KKH [Stockholm] -
  • NSF [Cork] -
  • Public Preparation [Tallinn]
  • Dynamo [Eindhoven]- Youth centre in Eindhoven collaborating with us in the long-term project called ‘Creative Citizens’ which address the culturally diverse citizens of Eindhoven -

In 2006, the Van Abbemuseum was announced as winner of the Development Prize for Cultural Diversity by the Mondriaan Foundation for their plan Be[com]ing Dutch. A total of nine plans were submitted by thirteen institutions. The Van Abbemuseum project has concentrated on Eindhoven and the region as a place where multiculturalism is practiced on an everyday basis.

Be[com]ing Dutch - Creative team

Be[com]ing Dutch is led by Charles Esche and Annie Fletcher and is developed with an extensive curatorial team in- and outside the Van Abbemuseum.