Exhibition: A Sheet of Paper Can Become a Knife

© Zanele Muholi  Courtesy Of Stevenson Cape Townjohannesburg And Yancey Richardson New York Photo: MaID, Philadelphia, 2018 © Zanele Muholi. Courtesy of Stevenson, Cape Town, Johannesburg and Yancey Richardson, New York

The Prince Claus Fund for Culture and Development is proud to announce that A Sheet of Paper Can Become a Knife, a thematic exhibition featuring ten international artists, opened at the Prince Claus Fund Gallery on 8 November 2018. The exhibition brings together contemporary artists who are connected by the struggle against violence. The participating artists, all Prince Claus laureates, are exhibiting together for the first time in the Prince Claus Fund Gallery in Amsterdam. (Nederlands)

The exhibition title, A Sheet of Paper Can Become a Knife, is inspired by a poem by Tsering Woeser that suggests that anything can become a weapon—inexplicably and without warning. Curator Selene Wendt explains, ‘The title resonates as an apt metaphor for the proximity and threat of violence throughout the world. The entangled histories of violence and oppression conveyed in the exhibition convey a deeply unsettling collective narrative of social injustice. Although the primary focus is on contemporary society, the brutal weight of history looms heavily throughout. The stories that unfold reveal striking similarities between forms of violence regardless of location.’

The exhibition features a wide range of artwork including photography, video, installation, sculpture, textile, and work on paper.  Works range from a collaboratively embroidered textile by Teresa Margolles (1963, Mexico, 2012 Prince Claus laureate); a series of photographs of female guerrilla fighters of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) taken by Newsha Tavakolian (1981, Iran, 2015 Principal Prince Claus laureate); galvanized steel sculptures by Naiza Khan (1968, Pakistan, 2013 Prince Claus laureate), and an installation by FX Harsono (1949, Indonesia, 2014 Prince Claus laureate). The exhibition will also feature work by Regina José Galindo (1974, Guatemala, 2010 Prince Claus laureate); Oscar Muñoz (1951, Colombia, 2013 Prince Claus laureate); David Goldblatt (1930-2018, South Africa, founder of 2018 Principal Prince Claus laureate Market Photo Workshop); Amar Kanwar (1964, India, 2017 Prince Claus laureate), and Cildo Meireles (1948, Brazil, 1999 Prince Claus laureate), and Zanele Muholi (1972, South Africa, 2013 Prince Claus laureate). Tsering Woeser, the writer and blogger whose poem was a source of inspiration for the exhibition, received the Prince Claus Award in 2011 (1966, Tibet/China).

About the curator: Selene Wendt is an independent curator, writer, and founder of The Global Art Project, which was established to promote contemporary art across geographic borders, with particular focus on artists from Latin America, the Caribbean, and Africa. For many years she has been an advisor to the Prince Claus Fund. 

A Sheet of Paper Can Become a Knife

Prince Claus Fund Gallery, Herengracht 603, 1017 CE Amsterdam, 

Entrance is free

Exhibition Opening:  Thursday 8 Nov. 17:30-20:30 hrs 

Exhibition dates & times: Monday through Friday 10:00 – 17:00 hrs 9 November 2018 through 26 April 2019 

Special opening times and tours during Amsterdam Art Weekend: Friday 23 Nov. 10:00-20:00 hrs, Saturday 24 & Sunday 25 Nov. 12.00-18.00 hrs. Selene Wendt gave a tour of the exhibition on Wednesday 27 March 11.00 – 12.00. 

Closed for the holidays: Please note the Prince Claus Fund Gallery and office is closed on 11 April, 19 April and 22 April 2019.

Accessibility: Please note, there is a functioning lift with access to the entire gallery space.

About the Prince Claus Fund:  The Prince Claus Fund supports, connects and celebrates artists and cultural practitioners from regions where cultural expression is under pressure. The Prince Claus Awards honour outstanding individuals and organisations whose work has had a positive impact on their societies.

The exhibition is made possible with the support of the Amsterdam Fund for the Arts


For press inquiries, please contact:

Martine Willekens, Prince Claus Fund PR Manager

[email protected]