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Het Nieuwe Instituut and Bureau Europa organised a joint symposium on 20 February in connection with The Great Indoors Award 2013: The Nature of Things. This symposium formed part of the programme running parallel to the exhibition 1:1 Sets for Erwin Olaf & Bekleidung, which was on display in Het Nieuwe Instituut until 30 March 2014.

A new Baroque?

A number of tendencies can be concluded from the submissions to The Great Indoors competition, initiated by Bureau EuropaMarres, House for Contemporary Culture, and FRAME magazine. The empty, smooth and aesthetically overwhelming interiors seem to have become a thing of the past. They have been replaced by a human dimension: a spectrum of recycled materials, styles and buildings outlines a reappraisal of what already exists in the creation of personal environments. During the event we aim to understand The Great Indoors in a broadened perspective. It will not so much be about the prize itself but rather what we can assess from it. As mentioned in the juryrapport, sifting through the entries of these (semi) public interiors one could identify a new baroque. After smooth clean or minimal spaces, a lush and comfortable personal universe in the – public – interior seem to emerge. The re-appreciation of texture, pattern, (natural) materialization, mix of stylistic fragmentation can be defined. Yet what does this mean and/or how do these tendencies mirror our zeitgeist and mediated reality? How can we understand these shifts in a historical perspective? Is this something you recognize or relate to, or are there other issues at stake? The evening will shift between the practice, cultural analyses and a more theoretical understanding of notions of the interior.

The evening will be moderated by Tim Vermeulen of Het Nieuwe Instituut. After a short introduction by Guus Beumer, Director of Het Nieuwe Instituut, and Saskia van Stein, Artistic Director Bureau Europa. Brendon Cormier, editor of Volume, will further introduce and frame the topic at the hand of his essay No Interest in Reality. This essay was written for Het Nieuwe Instituut’s current exhibition 1:1 sets for Erwin Olaf and Bekleidung.

Through the lens of their own oeuvres, the evening's speakers Edouard François (Maison Edouard Francios), Rodney Eggleston (March Studio) and Hester van Dijk (Overtreders W) will tackle such questions as: Has a new Baroque manifested itself and can we pinpoint a reason for the end of minimalism?

Pictures of The Great Indoors symposium can be viewed here.


Het Nieuwe Instituut
Museumpark 25
3015 CB Rotterdam