a big surprise
March 17 was a memorable day, to say the least. ASCA had organised a “Tribute to Mieke Bal” titled In Medias Res, alluding to the book of the same title I published last year on the brilliant shadow plays of Nalini Malani. See In Medias Res. The integration between that event and the opening of an exhibition of works by Nalani at the Stedelijk Museum expressed concretely the value of collaboration so dear to both Nalini and myself. At the end of a series of eight lovely speeches, each addressing a different field in which I work, the vice-mayor of Amsterdam took the microphone to appoint me “Ridder in the Orde van de Nederlandse Leeuw” (Knight in the Order of the Netherlands Lion). This took me completely by surprise. And so, this photo by Erik de Jager suggests, did it to the audience:
As you can see from the photo below, the “ribbon” (lintje) is not the most aesthetic piece of jewelry I have, but it has meaning: it comes in the name of the people of Amsterdam, for having left the ivory tower with my work.
with the artist Nalini Malani, who has become a great friend. photo: Johan Pijnappel
I also participated in a video posted at the entrance of the Stedelijk museum during the tenure of the exhibition Transgressions. You can see the video here and learn about Nalini’s work from herself, the curator Margriet Schavemaker, and a small bit from me. The entrance hall with its cozy video corner looks like this:
The webpage of the University of Amsterdam posted the news of my knighthood immediately. See here for the university’s text about the distinction.
Below are some photos, by Erik de Jager. The first series shows the speakers in order of appearance, with only Griselda Pollock missing.
- Patricia Pisters, Director of ASCA
- Jon-Ove Steihaug, director of exhibitions, Munch Museum (curating)
- Jonathan Culler, Cornelle University (narratology)
- Jonneke Bekkenkamp, UvA (Bible)
- Maaike Meijer, Maastricht (feminism)
- Michelle Williams Gamaker, Goldsmiths (film making)
- Ria Lemaire, Poitiers (founding interdisciplinary programs)
- Esther Peeren, vice-director ASCA (cultural analysis)
- Checking out the turn-out
- my cousin Elaine and my sister Leontine
- Margriet Schavemaker, Beatrix Ruf, Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev
- with Ursula Neubauer
- Thijs Vissia, Margreet Vermeulen, Françoise Davoine
- with Nina Folkersma, curator of Reasonable Doubt
- full house
- Simone Kukenheim, Vice-Mayor of Amsterdam
- the surprise
- I got it
- "another piece of jewelry"
- still in shock
The photos after these eight show the event, from before to after-effects, including some tears.
The day after, Saturday 18, was the opening of Reasonable Doubt in Castrum Peregrini. It was a glorious event, with lots of visitors and a broadcast conversation with brilliant curator Nina Folkersma. See the relevant page, Reasonable Doubt in Castrum Peregrini, Amsterdam.
Sunday morning, finally, Anna-Helena Klumpen, who had come from Berlin to be present at all these events, came to my house for an interview. See Anna-Helena_Klumpen. Anna is a specialist of my film work. She is writing her PhD dissertation about thinking in film, and before that she wrote her MA thesis on A Long History of Madness.
Today I am off to Norway, for some lectures, a meeting to plan the new display of Munch’s work when the Museum moves to the new building, in 2019, and, above all, a conference at the Munch Museum, “Modern Sensibilities”, on Thursday and Friday, to probe some more of the issues the exhibition Emma & Edvard: Love in the Time of Loneliness has brought up.