27 December, 2006

Stedelijk Museum

I went to the Stedelijk Museum this morning, particularly to see the Pierre Bernard exhibit, celebrating his winning the Erasmus Prize for 2006. The Erasmus Prize is awarded annually to a person who, within the structure of European cultural traditions, has made an exceptionally important contribution in the realms of culture, society or the social sciences.

Most of the work on display was either posters or identity work. That being said, there were some gems on the poster wall (the exhibit was hung salon-style), particularly a poster entitled 'Apartheid Racisme'. The ID section featured work for the Louvre and the Parcs nationaux (the French national parks system). For both the Louvre and the Parcs they had all of the branding and identity work, which was comprehensive, particularly for the Parcs job. They had a standards manual for Parcs on display, which is fascinating to leaf through (if you're into that sort of thing).

The rest of the museum wasn't bad, keeping in mind that they're at a temporary location while renovating (similar to the MoMA until last year), and most of their big work is in storage. They had some contemporary stuff up, some of which was interesting, particularly 'Facts, Fictions and Stories: Two projects by Broomberg & Chanarin', a series of photo-essays on life after apartheid in South Africa, and another photo-essay about a training ground in Chicago for the Israeli Defense Forces. Yes, Chicago. I didn't know about it either. Go figure.

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