The (Con)Temporary Museum Amsterdam is the imaginary museum that creates a parallel program to that of Art Amsterdam. The floor plan of the Museum was the entire city. The halls were made up by prominent Amsterdam-based art institutes, like de Appel Arts Centre, Foam, Kunstvlaai A.P.I., SMART Project Space, Stedelijk Museum CS and W139. Art Amsterdam is where the pulse beated. Visitors were provided with a free passe-partout, a go-as-youplease ticket that gives access to all ‘halls’ of the (Con)Temporary Museum Amsterdam. Each individual institute had realized an extra programme by artists also represented by Art Amsterdam galleries of ephemeral installations, guided tours and video programmes. All exhibitions, lectures, presentations and meetings are presented within inspiring routes. From gallery-route to solo-route, from openings to cafés. The extended ‘Temporary Museum Guide’ gives detailed program information and a critical context on the wider meaning of the art as a market. Culture sociologist Rozanne Kraak interviewed the directors of the participating institutions and asked them about their strategies behind showing art. Art Amsterdam director Anneke Oele breaked a lance for the authentic gallery manager, and art historian Isabelle Graw described how gossip has become an important part of valuation in the art business. The (Con)Temporary Museum Amsterdam was the perfect opportunity to experience the city as a space for contemporary art, to reflect on the need and vulnerability of these cultural presentations and to celebrate art. Day and night, inside and outside, high and low; with each moment new encounters.

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It’s a huge project, because of its many elements, collaborators, institutions and media, but at the same time only lasting for 5 days. So the design had to be clear and simple, immediately recognizable, able to be adjusted in very different circumstances (like the facades of the institutions and the TMA-terrace on Art Amsterdam, but also on posters, as a logo and as a printed passe-partout). Next to that, parts of it needed also to be easily adapted by collaborating institutions (imagine painting 15 facades on your own) and not to mention the fact that there wasn’t much budget to execute everything. So much of the outcome is based on goodwill and enthusiasm of third parties.

The first edition the concept of the “city as a museum” needed to be developed including a suitable design. For the institutions it was the first time collaborating in this specific context. So everybody needed to figure out what this project potentially could be, also within the given low budget. As a result the focus was on the representation of the temporary museum. The following editions there was more space, also mentally, to deepen the content of the event’s programme. We started to think more and more what a project like the Temporary Museum means in a wider perspective. How does it relate to art production? What are the strategies behind presenting art? How can design conceive new relationships? How could graphics create an entity of a very fragmented reality? What new perspectives can design offer? These questions became starting points for additional programmes and design decisions.