The AAMU museum of contemporary Aboriginal art will close in six months. After sixteen years, this museum in the heart of the museum district of Utrecht will close its doors for the last time. The AAMU is the only museum in Europe to focus exclusively on contemporary Australian Aboriginal art. The museum is proud of all the unique exhibitions it has held in the past and it is closing with an appropriate farewell with the exhibition Tracking Memories: The collective memory of the nation. Beside the thematic pieces this final exhibition will display the most important museum pieces from the past sixteen years. The exhibition will be held from 22 January to 15 June 2017.
Since its opening on 3 March 2001, the AAMU has held two different exhibitions every year aimed at introducing a broad public to Aboriginal art and culture. The museum has also actively sought connections with art from other parts of the world. With its renowned art collection, over the last sixteen years the museum has evolved into a knowledge centre and a platform for Aboriginal relations within Europe. It is a central hub where Aboriginal artists, visitors, connoisseurs and professionals from the art world can meet up.
The museum has managed to survive for many years with the aid of private funding, which is now coming to an end. The governing board has consequently decided to conclude with an exceptional final exhibition entitled Tracking Memories: The collective memory of the nation as a lasting memory of the AAMU and Aboriginal art. Visitors can admire the diverse selection of magnificent Aboriginal art works until 15 June 2017. The AAMU will close for the last time on the final day of the Tracking Memories exhibition.
The memory is the theme of Tracking Memories
In the content-rich and visually rich final exhibition Tracking Memories: The collective memory of the nation, everything revolves around the connections between art from different parts of the world. Aboriginal work, African colon statues and European art by artists such as Danny Matthys, Dirk Zoete and Kristof van Gestel enter into a dialogue with one another. How do artists from different countries and continents depict the collective memory? How do they perceive the complexity of history? Tracking Memories is a reflection on Western history, colonisation and its continuing influence on the current situation in Africa, Australia and Europe.
Sixteen years of pioneering exhibitions
The examples below demonstrate the richness and versatility of the exhibitions held by the AAMU over the last sixteen years.
- Nomads in Art (2008) created an interplay between Western art and non-Western art.
- In Theme Park (2008), artist Brook Andrew transformed the museum into a cynical theme park that held a critical mirror up to its audience.
- Breaking with Tradition: CoBrA and Aboriginal Art (2010) displayed works by Aboriginal artists such as Inyuwa Nampitjinpa and Paji Honeychild Yankarr together with works by Karel Appel, Constant and Corneille.
- In Be My Guest (2011), ten Dutch museum professionals, artists and collectors chose a counterpart for a piece from the AAMU collection. This resulted in surprising pairings of works by Sol LeWitt, Yael Bartana and Roy Villevoye with Aboriginal art.
Mapping Australia (2016) displays a unique combination of historical Dutch East India Company maps and Aboriginal art. This exhibition was opened by King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima and can be admired until 15 January 2017.
Board chairman Dop Bär says,
“Thanks to the dedication of the employees and volunteers, the faith of the sponsors and subsidisers, and the enthusiasm of the many visitors, the AAMU has been able to share its collection with the public in Utrecht for many years in high-quality surroundings. We hope the final exhibition will attract many visitors, too.”
Posted January 21, 2017 Aboriginal Art Directory