Heartland is multi-dimensional project in Eindhoven featuring existing and newly commissioned art works and an international music programme called Into the Heart of Music. The project is dedicated to art and music that emerges out of the area’s rich cultural and geographic diversity. The programme also includes a series of debates and lectures, two publications, an artists-in residency programme and various special projects with local and international partners. It is the first time that a project of this scope has been initiated in Eindhoven. The official premiere / opening is scheduled for 3 and 4 October in Eindhoven where the project will run until 25 January 2009. After that, part of the exhibition will travel to Chicago. The collaboration between the Van Abbemuseum and the Smart Museum promises to combine insider and outsider perspectives on visual culture in the region in which individual artworks will be related to each other while being able to speak clearly about particular cultural, social and natural phenomena.
Why heartland? The image that we in the Netherlands have of the US is mainly the result of media reports coming from the major cities on the East and West coasts, as well as the main trade centres of the US. With Heartland, we want to steer away from these positive and negative clichés. The Heartland, the interior of the US on the banks of the Mississippi and its tributaries, has seen many crucial historical developments. With its diverse indigenous and immigrant cultures, the ‘delta’ is a benchmark for the country’s multilayered identity. It has become an intriguing mix of old and new traditions, where it seems that the social and political climate is largely determined by religion and race. Examples that have touched the region in significant ways include the population’s steady move westward, the Civil Rights Movement, the ebb and flow of the many waves of religiosity and its constant development as a major economic force. These factors have found their way into the art and culture produced in the region or commissioned for this exhibition. The Heartland project also coincides with the next US presidential elections and will inevitably form a artistic and musical counterpoint to the non-stop media coverage of politicians and reporters.
Check out the museum's web site
and read more about exhibition on the Heartland blog