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Installation overview, Castrum Peregrini, 2015, Amsterdam

Historically, art has always been in the crossfire between politics and power and a pawn in the game of those who want to be remembered in history. Art exhumes wealth and in turn wealth exhumes power. It’s behind the lines of wealth and power that history is written. ‘In the Face of History’ explores ideas behind cultural patronage and the strategies for writing one’s name into the annals of history.

Where the work initially presents itself as a piece of institutional critique, it simultaneously alludes to a more generous and romantic narrative that pays homage to personal historic events, which would likely have gone unnoticed otherwise in the bigger scheme of things. By assuming the role of patrons of a historical museum, more specifically the historical museum of Hannan’s birthplace, Hannan in collaboration with Steven van Grinsven paid for for the founding of the “Seán Hannan gallery” within the museum and open a door to show a personal narrative within the museum’s rich history and tradition. ‘In the Face of History’ demonstrates that regardless of privilege, upbringing or entitlement, a place in history can be both bought or earned, simply depending on what side of morality you find yourself on.

Curated by Vincent van Velsen

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