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Dream On | Featuring Betye Saar

The artists in Dream On are hopeful of putting the world to rights in uncertain and frightening times. They are not enticed by doom-mongering in their art. For them, old folklore, legends, rituals and incantations form the starting point for new artworks. New life is breathed into historical customs and stories, which serve as mirrors for current social problems and the depiction of an alternative future. They dare to muse nostalgically and dream about things to come while laughing.

Activist but not cynical. Based on this fundamental attitude, the artists put politically and socially engaged topics like decolonialisation and intersectional feminism (and various forms of social injustice) on the agenda. They claim a place for marginalised groups and vanished cultures, and thus essentially for under-represented and under-valued stories. The artists denounce things, but do so in a light-hearted and humorous way.

The presentation includes proposed acquisitions by Ali Cherri, which incorporate mythical elements from Judaism and Sumerian mythology, for example, in a video and sculptures about the social and ecological impact of the Merowe Dam, in northern Sudan. Three new acquisitions by Sofiia Dubyna portray good friends of the artist, surrounded by sexual objects and religious elements. They address the thin line between pleasure and violence, and trust and abuse, that women have to tread with regard to sexual matters. Especially for the museum, Morena Bamberger (Roermond 1994) created a new work about her Sinti family, in dialogue with the artist Małgorzata Mirga-Tas.

Dream On explores a new line in the Bonnefanten Collection and contemporary art. The exhibition links up with the first Dutch solo exhibibition by Małgorzata Mirga-Tas: This is not the end of the road. A key point is one of the most important works in her oeuvre: Re-enchanting the World, a series of twelve tapestries. The project is an attempt to expand on European art history and its visual idiom through scenes from the Roma culture. Mirga-Tas (Zakopane, 1978) takes visual motifs from the West-European canon and then throws them open, adding a new storyline, which revolves around the importance of women in her community.