Corporate Offsite Dwelling A - The new museum space for flex-workers
07 07 2022
How and where we work has changed drastically since the Covid pandemic. Being physically present at the office is no longer a given and hybrid work forms are the new normal for many employees and their employers. Art collected by corporations over the past several decades, intended to adorn the workplace and conference rooms, now seems to have lost its original purpose. What is the role of these corporate art collections, how do they function and what do they mean to those in the workplace? Jelmer Wijnstroom, winner of the fourth VBCN OPEN curatorial prize, explores these questions through the exhibition Corporate Offsite Dwelling A, in which a third place of work is created in the museum. From 11 September to 4 December 2022, you can come to work at a unique location in CODA Museum and be surrounded by inspiring artworks on loan from Dutch corporate collections.
Jelmer Wijnstroom is presenting not only a surprising selection of art out of corporate collections, but is also providing a different context for the art: a third kind of workplace situated in the museum, a workspace that differs from headquarters or the home office. The exhibition aims to raise questions about the significance of corporate collections when the circumstances around them have changed. Have employees missed the artworks that they used to see daily at the office, before Covid times? What is the impact of the new context on people and how does this influence the meaning in corporate collections? And what happens if we create a third space to work, one that has art from a variety of collections? What are then the dynamics between art and its environment, or art and the viewer? Does the art from corporate collections acquire a new significance? The visitors who come to work in the new CODA Museum workplace can best answer these questions.
The title of the exhibition, Corporate Offsite Dwelling A, is derived from the American phenomenon of “offsite meetings” which put an end to meetings in boring offices with standard coffee and cakes. The goal of offsite meetings is to meet up in an inspirational environment and, as a result, have different work conversations, benefit team-building and performance, and increase creativity or productivity. In the context of this exhibition, offsite also refers to the art that has left its usual office space to be shown at a completely new location. This new space in the museum is to serve as a new home for flex-workers and art lovers. The title of the show also suggests a follow-up: what might Corporate Offsite Dwelling B look like?
About Jelmer Wijnstroom and Willem de Haan
Jelmer Wijnstroom (Haarlem, 1993) is a curator, art historian, and editor. He studied art history and earned a Masters in Museum Conservation from the University of Amsterdam. He has curated a variety of exhibitions for museums, galleries and publicly-oriented organisations. Wijnstroom won the fourth edition of the VBCN OPEN curator award with his exhibition proposal Corporate Offsite Dwelling A. The new workspace in CODA Museum will be designed by artist Willem de Haan (Apeldoorn, 1996). In his work De Haan adds convincing elements to recognisable situations. His interventions are of a sculptural nature and have the power to intervene directly in everyday experiences. Willem de Haan graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Art from the ArtEZ University of the Arts in 2017. For Corporate Offsite Dwelling A in CODA Museum, both Jelmer Wijnstroom and Willem de Haan visited corporate collections (those affiliated with VBCN) to gain a feeling about what constitutes the essential office environment and to be able to build a unique workspace that both hosts artworks and is a work of art itself.
About VBCN and the VBCN OPEN Curator Award
The Netherlands Association of Corporate Art Collections (Vereniging Bedrijfscollecties Nederland - VBCN) is an independent non-profit organisation for sharing expertise among Dutch companies and public or semi-public institutions that have their own art collections. The VBCN OPEN is a triennial prize for curators, initiated by VBCN to provide a platform to contemporary curators. The winner receives a cash prize to turn the exhibition proposal into reality. The jury voted unanimously for Jelmer Wijnstroom’s concept because of its contemporary relevance and surprising logicality. Jury Chairperson Philippien Noordam says: “This time the jury opted for an idea that easily speaks to the imagination, is in line with the times, was appealing to CODA, and directly involves members of the VBCN.” The jury of this fourth VBCN OPEN prize included Philippien Noordam (art advisor to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs), Esther Vossen (art advisor to the Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Hospital), Els Drummen (curator CODA Museum), Steven van Teeseling (director Sonsbeek & State of Fashion), Hélène Webers (winner of the 3rd VBCN OPEN and consultant to the Culture Committee of the Municipality of Alkmaar), Anouk van Buuren (curator Essent-Enexis collection) and Lianne Schipper (curator Aegon collection).
The exhibition opens on 11 September at 2:30 p.m. Would you like to join us? Please fill in the form at www.coda-apeldoorn.nl/opening.