Is een nieuw curatorial programme waarbij de Vishal een gastcurator uitnodigt voor een presentatie in De Kleine Zaal. De gastcurator zal het stokje aan een zelf uitgekozen curator doorgeven.

Julia Geerlings (1985, Amsterdam) is onafhankelijk curator en schrijver woonachtig in Amsterdam en Parijs. Julia heeft haar bachelor en master kunstgeschiedenis aan de Freie Universität Berlin (2010) en aan de Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (2012) behaald. Ze schrijft regelmatig voor Metropolis M, Museumtijdschrift, Tubelight en Frieze en heeft meegewerkt aan verschillende publicaties. Julia is als curator gespecialiseerd geraakt in het presenteren van hedendaagse kunst op niet alledaagse locaties. Zo heeft ze diverse tentoonstellingen en performances samengesteld voor onder andere de Amsterdamse brutalistische Thomaskerk, kunstinitiatief -1 in een garagecomplex in Parijs en voor het historische Kunstfort bij Vijfhuizen. Op het moment is Julia werkzaam als gastcurator ‘Nachtelijke Dwalingen’ (performance programma) bij de Oude Kerk, gastdocent bij de Hogeschool voor de Kunsten Utrecht, adviseur bij het CBK Rotterdam en curator-in-residence aan het ISCP in New York.

INVITES Kristina Benjocki (1984, Zrenjanin, Slovenië) woont en werkt in Amsterdam.

Kristina Benjocki behaalde haar bachelor aan de University of Arts in Belgrado (2008) en aan de Gerrit Rietveld Academie (2009) en haar master aan de KABK in Den Haag in 2011. Kristina is gevestigd in Amsterdam en werkt als beeldend kunstenaar in verschillende disciplines, waarin het proces van de kunstproductie als een alternatieve vorm van kennis genereren wordt gezien. Haar onderzoek richt zich vooral op het post-socialistische historische en culturele revisionisme en met haar huidige praktijkonderzoek op de politieke mechanismen van het vergeten en herinneren in de context van het voormalige oost en west Europa. Kristina’s recente tentoonstellingen bestaan onder andere uit; Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Rjeka, ‘Social Contract’ in Izolyatsia in Kiev, ‘Dmitrije Bašičević Mangelos Award’ in Remont art gallery in Belgrado, ‘Resolution 827’ in Stedelijk Museum Bureau (SMBA) in Amsterdam, ‘Excude/Include’ in Castrum Pelegrini in Amsterdam, ‘This is the Time. This is the Record of the Time’ in AUB gallery in Beirut en SMBA.


Tot 22 december is het werk van Kristina te zien in de Kleine Zaal


Kristina Benjocki White Turtle, 2016

collage with graphite drawings, photographic print

from research project ‘canner hill’ 2015-2016

Canner hill in Maastricht is situated on the border between the Netherlands and
Belgium. It is part of the Caestert plateau largely made of limestone rich with flint
nodules. A hard sedimentary rock is carved since Neolithic times until today. The view from the hill top stretches in all directions to forest, agricultural land and wine yards. In vicinity it is still possible to see former border control house. The best known touristic land-mark of Canner hill is the castle Château Neercanne. Hidden from view,
underneath the ground lays history still to large extend unknown and repressed.

From Neolithic times continuous mining of flint nodules and later lime stone created a complex network of corridors popularly called ‘the caves’. Until industrialisation, lime stone was cut by hand and material from underground quarries was used to build castles, churches and government buildings. During WW2, German troops repurposed one section of the Canner hill ‘cave’ into storage facility for assembly of V-1 rockets. The V-1 was developed under code name ‘cherry stone’. Vast amounts were launched in the bombing of London mainly from the facilities along French and Dutch coast lines. During the Cold War NATO rented out the ‘cave’ previously set up by Nazis and used it as the headquarters for war operations. The code name of the headquarters was ‘Joined Operations Centre’ or the JOC. The JOC was actively operating since 1954 until 1992 using about 9km of underground corridor space of the ‘cave’ systems. Another part of the ‘cave’ is a wine cellar where the treaty of European Union was signed in 1992. The wine cellar is regularly rented out for events. One section of the ‘cave’ was shared with Jezuiten monks who used it as a sight for recreation.

Up to 250 people worked in 49 office spaces and large-scale command centre accessible only for the high rank generals. Many of performed tasks are still classified today. Employees were strictly forbidden to discuss any aspect of their work with fellow col- leagues let along the outside world. At the time of ‘play exercises’ the cave would host up to 1500 people for a period up to five days.

After 1989 and the fall of Berlin Wall the NATO headquarters undergone major reorganisation consequently leading to rationalisation of labour and resources. Many employees were re-posted or fired. In 1992, soon after the labour changes were implemented, the presence of asbestos was discovered, causing rapid closure. Following events were two fold: a struggle for healthcare compensation by former employees and stand off between the NATO and Maastricht municipality about cleaning of the ‘cave’. This process resulted in 10 years of cleaning and costed 40 million euros, payed by the Dutch tax payers. In 2013 the key was returned to the municipality, but the ‘cave’ stays unused. Since 2014 group of volunteers whose core members are former NATO workers took charge of the space.

Traces of these histories, situations and politics are still present in the physical and mental space of the cave and its former inhabitants. These trances are collected and documented on film, photographed and scanned. Interviews with former Nato workers are conducted in Dutch and English. The visual and audio archive is the central source for making up the film essay, installation with photographs and sculptures and the book.