press release

'We are like sailors who have to rebuild their ship on the open sea, without ever being able to dismantle it in dry dock and reconstruct it from the best components.' - Otto Neurath

In recent years there has been a renewed interest in the work of the Austrian utopian philosopher Otto Neurath (1882-1945), in fields as various as fine art, design, philosophy, cultural theory and urban studies. With the ‘After Neurath' project Stroom poses the question what Neurath, this architect of modernity, this social engineer, can teach us today. The exhibition 'After Neurath: Like sailors on the open sea' brings together a group of artists whose work engages with the implications of the work of Neurath. They investigate the possibilities of collectively building a better future, the unification of different fields of knowledge and emancipation through organisation. Subjects closely linked to the social-democratic ideals from the past, which now, at the start of the 21st century tend to be submerged in a culture of individualism, consumerism and indifference.

The participating artists are: Gerd Arntz (G/NL) who collaborated with Otto Neurath and Marie Reidemeister (AUT) on the development of Isotype. The exhibition also shows examples from the International Foundation for Visual Education in The Hague, founded by Neurath during the years he lived in The Hague (1934-‘40).

The Bureau d'études (F) shows the latest in a series of works that make the usually invisible links between the institutions that shape our lives (industry, governmental agencies) visible. website Université Tangente

Alice Creischer & Andreas Siekmann (USA/G) show a series of collaborative works that use the forms and language of Neurath and Arntz to ask questions of contemporary relevance. © Generali Foundation Collection.

Stephan Dillemuth's (G) recent work is concerned with groups that came to be collectively known as the Life Reform Movement. Within them they held the kernel of contradictory ideas, like bohemianism, modern socialism and nazism. website Society of Control

Chad McCail (UK) puts up a discussion about a money-driven world using cartoon-like imagery. website Chad McCail

Oliver Ressler (AUT) engages with concepts and models for alternative economies and societies, which all share a rejection of the capitalist system. website Oliver Ressler

Thomson & Craighead (UK) question the idea that the use of templates - for example for the web - generate knowledge. website Thomson & Craighead

Curator: Steve Rushton.

The exhibition is made possible in part by: Mondriaan Stichting, gemeente Den Haag, Embassy of Austria, Goethe-Institut Rotterdam, Gemeentemuseum Den Haag.

An exhibition on the occasion of the project After Neurath.

After Neurath
Like sailors on the open sea
Kurator: Steve Rushton

mit Gerd Arntz, Bureau d´études, Alice Creischer & Andreas Siekmann, Stephan Dillemuth, Chad McCail, Oliver Ressler, Jon Thomson & Alison Craighead