Rites de Passage

18 June 2009 - 5 September 2009

Schunck - Glaspaleis, Heerlen, NL

Rites de Passage is the name and catchphrase for the cultural happening that is about to mark the metamorphosis from Glaspaleis to SCHUNCK new-style. A distinguishable and pioneering institution of culture and education in Parkstad Limburg, SCHUNCK is the dynamo that drives critical, artistic and cultural encounters between the community and the world. SCHUNCK-Glaspaleis is gearing up to celebrate this landmark event with Rites de Passage.

Rites de Passage is an internationally and locally oriented exhibition that fills the entire building. It was assembled by our in-house team in association with two guest curators, Pier Luigi Tazzi (Italy, Thailand) and Rich Jacobs (USA). Pier Luigi Tazzi, who was involved in Dokumenta 9 amongst other projects, highlights three themes in the exhibition. First, he presents an anthropological take on adolescence. Then, he focuses on the arts circuit, asking who belongs there and who does not. And third, he asks which view of quality, aesthetics, and value actually counts. He approaches the project as a rite of passage, in which both the maker and the audience are protagonists as well as witnesses. In other words, as a dynamic process. His part of the exhibition features artists from Thailand, Asia and Africa: Abdel Abdessemed, Huang Shih Chieh, Yoshitomo Nara, Jirayu Rengjaras, Shao Yinong & Mu Chen, Weal Shawky, Maitree Siriboon, Tseng Yu-Chin and FuDong Yang.

The second guest curator, Rich Jacobs (USA), associates the theme Rites de Passage with a specific youth phenomenon. Jacobs’ part of the exhibition turns the spotlight on ‘Zines', the self-published magazines from the Californian skateboard culture in the 1980s, which produced various well-known artists including Barry McGee, Thomas Campbell and Ed Templeton.

Architecturally, Rites de Passage draws attention to the most obvious and most striking part of the exhibition: the building itself. The architectural history of the building will be discussed in an essay in the SCHUNCK Guidebook. At the same time, in the Rites de Passage exhibition, the re-design of the building along the lines of SCHUNCK new-style will be translated into new strategies for exhibiting contemporary art and new presentation settings involving exhibition architecture, apparatus and signposting.

As a whole, the Rites de Passage project is, at all levels, the business card of the new SCHUNCK-Glaspaleis. It does not mark the completion of a development project. On the contrary, it shows the result and points to the potential that SCHUNCK-Glaspaleis still has to offer. It embodies a new vision and a new course.
SCHUNCK-Glaspaleis is pursuing its international ambitions by engaging with curators from other countries and by explicitly exhibiting non-Western art. The geographically unique location of SCHUNCK-Glaspaleis should attract interest from Belgium and Germany as well.

Rites de Passage is accompanied by the 'Handboek SCHUNCK' (SCHUNCK Guidebook); a catalogue that contains information on everything connected with SCHUNCK-Glaspaleis in addition to the Rites de Passages projects.