Old Brand New

In the arts, the concept “new” is an ideal as well as a curse. The avant-garde has been declared dead and “the cult of the new” is past its peak. The pursuit of absolute originality and total innovation has given way to concepts such as remix and postproduction, eclecticism and syncretism. Is “new” still permitted, how new is neo, how innovative is retro?  

By looking at the term “new” in the light of “old” subjects such as virtuosity, beauty, knowledge and idealism, the lecture series the old Brand new proposes to free “new” of its stale image and present it in its full complexity.

The Old Brand New is a series of English-language lectures initiated by research group Art Practice and Development, which took place from January till September 2009 in the Stadsschouwburg Amsterdam. The Old Brand New intended to make the connections between topical subjects in society and in the arts visible. Speakers from the Netherlands and abroad, with backgrounds in diverse disciplines - from the visual arts and theatre to dance and architecture - reflected on 'the old in the new' (and vice versa) from varying, oscillating perspectives. Every night two speakers discussed a theme from their own perspective, with a informal discussion afterwards.

With the multidisciplinary series The Old Brand New wanted to bring together insights, thoughts, and views who can contribute to a better understanding and reading of contemporary art forms. The Old Brand New - a play upon words - focusesed not only on one particular art form but it emanates from culture in the broad sense of the word and was therefore interesting for a broad audience.

New Subversion 21 January
With Marina Gržinic, Michael Uwemedimo and Joep van Lieshout
New Knowledge 10 February
With Bracha L. Ettinger and Clémentine Deliss
New Virtuosity 24 March
With Luc Tuymans and Boris Charmatz
New Centre  14 April
With Rajagopalan Radhakrishnan, André Lepecki and Trinh T. Minh-ha
New Idealism 14 May
With the Otolith Group: Kodwo Eshun & Anjalika Sagar and Marianne van Kerkhoven
New Beauty 22 June
With Marina Warner and Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster
What is New? 15 September
With Dick Hebdige and Keith Sawyer

Initiated by de Appel arts centre, If I Can’t Dance I Don’t Want To Be Part Of Your Revolution, LISA, Studium Generale of the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, DAI/Master Programme/ArtEZ Institute of the Arts and Stadsschouwburg Amsterdam

Thanks to Goethe Instituut, de Kring, het Holland Festival and Werkplaats Typografie Supported by Mediapartner At Stadsschouwburg Amsterdam


Download the essay 'On Making Art in the Present Tense' about the lecture series written by Alena Alexandrova