2020 → 2021, our best wishes

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“We cried and sobbed and wept and bled tears. But when we were finished, all we could do was continue living.”
― Nnedi Okorafor

None of us were prepared for these exceptional times, not for the lockdowns and their uncertainties nor for the unknown that still await us. We feel more vulnerable than ever before. However, while we continuously distance ourselves from each other, while the world economy crashes, while inequalities widen, we are suddenly made aware of how connected our lives really are, regardless of places to which one belongs. This pandemic reminds us of our global interdependencies too, of our entangled being.

Within this sudden reassurance of our shared vulnerability, the curatorial team has been in conversations about the futures of sonsbeek20→24. We are moving towards a productive position that is in line with the changing conditions, simultaneously stressing the importance of a sonsbeek that is stepping out, a sonsbeek that is moving, making noise, listening, and contributing.

Although it was inevitable to announce a postponement in 2020, we’ve taken the opportunity to further embed this edition of sonsbeek in the governing conceptual framework, from which this edition has been conceived, namely: a long-term and mutual relationship between artists, institutions, place, and audiences. It is exactly nine months ago since we introduced this new viable format, aiming to decelerate the traditional artistic practice surrounding large-scale art exhibitions. Today we find our decision to stretch-out the programme in a continued public process until 2024, thereby consolidating and encapsulating two editions, not only relevant but potent to achieve its durable form.

Even though these present-day uncertainties will continue to shape our lives beyond 2021, we look forward to a year that will be marked by a critical celebration of sonsbeek20→24 with new partnerships, exhibitions, discursive programs, residencies, publications and radio that will revolve around the issue of labour, its conditions, and rights in relation to varying times and geo-cultural spaces.

Lastly, we are forever indebted to the artists, partner organisations, colleagues and friends for their solidarity and commitment to sonsbeek20→24. Thank you!

Happy new year.

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