Former detention center Pieter Baan Centrum in Utrecht is a building charged with heavy histories and unsavory events. The UNshaping exhibition unwinds over four floors in the labyrinthic building. Its wide corridors, observation rooms, still furnished cells and exercise areas are taken over by an intervention sculptures, site specific sound works, performance and multimedia installations made by 32 Dutch and international artists.
The artists have been asked to present work that interacts with the architecture and character of the building. Yet, the exhibition is not so much concerned with the building’s past, rather reflects on the now and the future of the society outside of its walls. The curators have invited artists to reflect on the relationship between the physical and the digital: how digital technology creates new realities, how digital structures influence our perception of the physical world, ultimately: how the relationship between the physical and the digital shapes our current society.
Unshaping offers a sensory experience, presenting a myriad of interdisciplinary art works that self-evidently blend art and technology. The artists explore topics that range from the philosophical implications of 3D modelling to surveillance technology and the ethics of bio-technology. The textbook definition of unshaping, ‘to throw out of preconceived form and order’, shows itself in art works that juxtapose the logic and visual language of the digital reality with our perception of the physical world. The Pieter Baan Centrum, a structure that has been designed and used to control and monitor, is being transformed into something much less rigid.
UNshaping is presenting the works and contributions of: Akmar, Art van Triest, Elie Schakel / Ztar Magic, Giuliana Dieni, Hans Schuttenbeld + Ivo Brouwer, Jaco Schilp, Jan Willem Campmans, Jeroen Bos, Laurie Drew, Lisa Derksen Castillo, Marleen Sleeuwits, Max Dovey + Nina Goedegebure, Mischa Daams, Paul Hohner, Pim Boreel + Karenina van den Crommenacker, Roel Weerdenburg, Sabien Engels + Pépé Heijenberg, Sebastian Kox + Henny Overbeek + Werner Urban, Sem Schreuder, Skander Jaïbi, Timo Hoogland, W.H. de Groen, Willum Geerts and Zeno van den Broek.
UNshaping is the result of a collective curating process, a collaboration between the organisers of Uncloud and several independent young curators: Jaco Schilp, Skander Jaïbi, Fabian van Sluijs, Kim Nathalia, Arda van Tiggelen, Art van Triest, Bas van Eijk and Jelle van der Ster.