Press Announcement

The Hartwig Art Production | Collection Fund

A new art fund has been established in The Netherlands, created to help artists realize ambitious productions. Projects realised with the Funds’ support will be acquired by the Hartwig Art Foundation and donated to the Dutch National art collection.

Encouraging experimentation and creativity at the highest level, the Hartwig Art Production | Collection Fund creates a framework and holds the funding for an annual series of new artworks, collaborating with artists to help them realize ambitious production ideas. Upon production, the artworks will be donated to the national art collection through the Hartwig Art Foundation, thus contributing permanently to Dutch and international society.

Ingrid van Engelshoven, Minister of Education, Culture and Science, The Netherlands said: “Fantastic that the Hartwig Art Production | Collection Fund is coming! Thanks to the efforts of the Hartwig Art Foundation, this artistic project supports young artists in actually shaping their creative ideas and innovative projects. This is badly needed in these times. In addition, it is important that their works of art are preserved for the Netherlands through donation to the Dutch state.”

For its inaugural year, the Hartwig Art Production | Collection Fund proposes a special project that will run over the course of 2020-2021 and will respond to the critical moment artists and institutions are working in now.

To emphasize the importance of post academic programs and residency organizations for artists and curators in The Netherlands, highlighting their enormous contribution to a culturally vibrant society, the Fund is inviting their alumni to define the parameters of the 2020/21 project.

The Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten Amsterdam (which celebrates in 2020 its 150th year), the Jan van Eyck Academie (Maastricht), De Ateliers and If I Can’t Dance, I Don’t Want To Be Part Of Your Revolution (both based in Amsterdam), BAK basis voor actuele kunst (Utrecht) and CBK Zuid Oost/AIR residency (Bijlmer) and Tent (Rotterdam), all of whom work with artists, are invited to nominate a long-list of 35 artists who have attended their programs.

A group of small and mid-size institutions across the country will receive support to present newly completed works by the participating artists in 2021. The institution formerly known as Witte de Center for Contemporary Art (Rotterdam), the Vleeshal (Middelburg), Casco Art Institute (Utrecht), Stroom Den Haag and Oude Kerk (Amsterdam) have committed to presentations in the second half of 2021.

De Appel and Framer Framed - both of which actively promote an emerging and diverse group of curators - have nominated five curators, Sharmyn Cruz Rivera, Iris Ferrer, Aude Christel Mgba, Jo-Lene Ong and Rita Ouédraogo, who will be employed by the Hartwig Art Foundation as the curatorial team for this project. Together with the presenting partners the curators will determine the criteria, guidelines and process of selecting 15 participating artists from the long-list. This final group of 15 artists will be invited to participate in the 2020/21 project, with at least one artist represented from each nominating institution in the final list.

The curators will support and collaborate with the artists from the moment of their selection to the presentations of their work: “We are looking forward to the great responsibility and honor of curating an acquisition of contemporary artworks for the Dutch national collection. We are also delighted to be working closely with artists and some of the most forward thinking cultural institutions in the Netherlands. Together, we aim to rethink and reevaluate what relevant but overlooked narratives and artistic approaches are and how they can be made visible through this project.”

The 2020-2021 budget is 600,000 euros. Each artist will receive an honorarium of 10,000 euros to enable the continuation of their practice; 300,000 euros has been assigned to acquire newly produced works by the selected artists, and - in line with the Funds future activities - these works will then be donated to the Rijkscollectie and thus to the Dutch State.

Editors' Notes:

The Hartwig Art Production | Collection Fund believes in the contribution that the arts make to civic society and to the common good. Furthermore, the Fund believes in the importance of building and sustaining cultural heritage and in the strengthening of social awareness and identity through a shared national collection.

By donating in this way to the State collection, the Hartwig Art Production | Collection Fund is working to build upon and enrich our existing common heritage and also to encourage an active role and discussion concerning civic ownership, collection building and care taking for art.

Artists working in all disciplines and of any generation are eligible for the Fund: from the visual arts (painting, sculpture, installation and drawing) to time based art disciplines (performance, film, video) and works in the digital and public space.

The Hartwig Art Production | Collection Fund is managed and overseen by The Hartwig Art Foundation, also established in 2020. The Hartwig Art Foundation has pledged an initial amount of 10 million euros to the Hartwig Art Production | Collection Fund to ensure its activities for the longterm. From the end of 2020 onwards the Fund will appoint a Commissioning Board which will be responsible annually for defining the process of nominating and selecting the artists. The Commissioning Board will be composed of art experts and representatives of national and international institutions, in order to ensure productions are anchored in the concept of the ‘Collectie Nederland’ (the Dutch National State Collection) and also to establish the projects, artists and artworks internationally. Each year, up to five productions will be selected and realized. Neither the Fund nor the Foundation will have any control over the processes of nominating and selecting artists, nor will they have any control over the artists’ productions. Each Commissioning Board will be appointed for a three year term.

For more information, please contact: Noepy Testa en Rhiannon Pickles

Appendix: 2020-2021 Special Project Curator biographies

Sharmyn Cruz Rivera is a Puerto Rican curator and writer now based in Amsterdam. Her research departs from meditations on human geography, radical manifestations of identity, and methodologies of collaboration. Most recently, Cruz Rivera served as Project Manager at Volume Gallery and as Associate Curator at The Green Lantern Press based at Sector 2337 in Chicago. Cruz Rivera holds an MA in arts administration and policy from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a dual BA in art history and modern languages from the University of Puerto Rico. She was a participant of the 2019-2020 Curatorial Program at de Appel. Sharmyn has been a resident at Ox-Bow School of Art and Artists’ Residency (Saugatuck, MI), Summer Forum for Inquiry + Exchange (Kaneohe, HI), Roots and Culture (Chicago, IL), ACRE (Steuben, WI) all in the United States. She was the recipient of the Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation Curatorial Fellowship. She is the co-editor of This may or may not be a true story or a lesson in resistance, a de Appel publication due to launch in the fall of 2020.

Iris Ferrer is a freelance cultural practitioner from Manila, Philippines and now living in Amsterdam. She was recently part of the 2019-2020 de Appel Curatorial Program and is the 2020-2021 de Appel Curatorial Research Fellow. She has worked as a writer, researcher, project manager and curator across the field of contemporary visual arts and alongside Philippine and regional-based plat-forms and collaborators. In her involvement with the largely-independent infrastructure of artistic communities such as Back to Square Juan, she developed strategies for cultural production, com-munity engagement and collaborative curatorial work. Her involvement in attempts to renegotiate the position of VIVA ExCon, the longest running artist-led biennale in the wider Philippines art world, led her to the position of managing curator for its 2018 edition. Her work revisits Philippine cultural histories by enacting new approaches to archiving and exhibition-making, she has also assisted in providing discursive platforms across the region.

Aude Christel Mgba is an independent curator and art historian based between the Netherlands and Cameroon. She was a participant of the De Appel 2018/19 curatorial Program. In 2017, Aude worked as an assistant curator for the SUD2017, an international triennial of art in the public space, organized by doual'art, a center for contemporary art, for the city of Douala. She is a member of the Madrassa Collective, a group of eight curators from Africa, Middle East and Europe. She is co-curator of sonsbeek20->24 exhibition, an international exhibition in the city of Arnhem under the Artistic direction of Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung. Aude is a nominee of the fifth edition 2020-2021 of Forecast-Mentorships for Audacious Minds in Berlin; Her project proposal is mentored by Koyo Kouoh. She is also invited curator to ARTEZ Studium Generale Studies on the Future of Art School from September 2020 until February 2021.

Jo-Lene Ong is an independent curator working from Amsterdam, the Netherlands. She got her start in the field at the intersection of arts and social activism in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Her interests are in deploying non-western epistemic paradigms and more embodied ways of knowing as modes of extending boundaries. Jo-Lene is co-curator of visual arts and theory at Other Futures, a multidisciplinary festival for science fiction and speculative visions of the world. She teaches at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam and recently co-edited Practice Space a volume around locally embedded art initiatives. Jo-Lene was awarded the de Appel Curatorial Research Fellowship 2018-19 after completing their Curatorial Program 2017-2018. Recent exhibitions include unpacking the 3Package Deal (2020) for Amsterdam Fonds voor de Kunst; Elsewheres Within Here (2019) at Framer Framed, Amsterdam; SUNSHOWER: Contemporary Art from Southeast Asia from 1980s - Now (2017) at the National Art Centre, Tokyo and Mori Art Museum, Tokyo.

Rita Ouédraogo lives and works in Amsterdam. As a curator, writer, Research and Community programmer, her work is informed by her interest in African diaspora, decolonizing institutions, institutional racism, popular culture and social issues. Ouédraogo has worked on several community based projects based around museum collections and is informed by her ongoing research into questions of Samenwerking en Solidariteit (Collaboration and Solidarity), that explores modes of collaborative practices across power differentials, especially within a decolonial framework.

Projects & Programmes



The Hartwig Art Foundation in cooperation with the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam and De Balie is realizing a unique exhibition of two seminal films of the acclaimed artist Arthur Jafa.

Sunday, 21 June to Thursday

25 June, 2020

Sunday, 28 June 2020

8:00 pm

Daily 11:00 am to 5:00 pm

in several timeslots


De Balie, Kleine-Gartmanplantsoen 10, 1017 RR Amsterdam

Free admission

Conversation at De Balie led by Jörgen Tjon A Fong, with, among others, artists Charl Landvreugd, Iris Kensmil and Raul Balai.

The Hartwig Art Foundation is supporting this special exhibition financially and through the loan of “The White Album”. For more information and online booking of timeslots:

About Arthur Jafa

For more than three decades Arthur Jafa (born 1960, Tulepo, Mississippi) has developed powerful artworks that refer to and question representations of blackness and whiteness. His work has been on view in museums, at film festivals and in art centers worldwide.


Jafa is an artist, director, editor, and award-winning cinematographer whose poignant work expands the concept of black cinema while exploring African American experience and etnic relations in everyday life. He has stated, “I have a very simple mantra and it’s this: I want to make black cinema with the power, beauty, and alienation of black music. ”Jafa has developed a dynamic practice comprising films, artifacts and happenings that reference and question the universal and specific articulations of black being. Underscoring the many facets of Jafa’s practice is a recurring question: how can visual media, such as objects, static and moving images, transmit the equivalent power, beauty and alienation embedded within forms of black music in US culture?

Works on view


Video (colour, sound), 07:00 minutes, looped

Collection of the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, and the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam


Love Is The Message, The Message Is Death (2016) is a masterful 7-minute video of found footage set to Kanye West’s transcendent, gospel-inspired hip-hop track Ultralight Beam. The film traces African-American identity through a vast spectrum of contemporary imagery. From photographs of civil rights leaders watermarked with “Getty Images” to helicopter views of the LA Riots to a wave of bodies dancing to The Dougie. While Love Is The Message, The Message Is Death poignantly embodies the artist’s desire to create a cinema that “replicates the power, beauty and alienation of Black Music,” it is also a reminder that the collective multitude defining Blackness is comprised of single individuals, manifold identities and their unaccountable differences.



Video (color, sound), approximately 40:00 minutes, looped

Collection of the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, and Hartwig Art Foundation, commissioned by the University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA)


The White Album (2018) is Jafa's follow up to Love is the Message, The Message is Death and an unsparing portrait of whiteness in contemporary America. In this 40-minute film, Jafa weaves together Internet testimonials, broadcast clips, music videos and amateur home videos to form an audiovisual tapestry of etnic relations in America. Under Jafa's lens, but from two angles, we see that neither experience can be understood in isolation from the other.


The Foundation supports all systemic activity fields that foster and facilitate the production, presentation, communication and preservation of art for society, the public domain and the common good.

Art here includes all media of the visual arts, time-based arts and future art forms in the broadest sense that are related to the continuous development of media and technologies. The production, presentation, mediation and preservation of art aims, in particular, at the sustainable promotion of a cultural environment for society as a whole, both in terms of infrastructure and people.

The Foundation strives to support artistic production and to sustain institutional structures as places for people and continuous development. Promoting artistic exchange in all formats, it is also concerned to promote the societal ownership of processes and materials of art.

Assets & capital

The Foundation's assets consist of subsidies, gifts, bequests and assets obtained through inheritance, as well as other benefits. The Foundation does not engage in any activities to acquire these funds. The Foundation does not hold more capital than is reasonably necessary for the continuity of the activities planned in support of its objectives. Pursuant to the Foundation's articles of association and its actual activity, no single person within the Foundation has decisive control. Therefore, no single person can have access to the assets of the Foundation as if it were equity capital.



B.R. Ruf


 Press contact: Noepy Testa


Eisenhowerlaan 124, 2517 KM, Den Haag

[The Foundation does not accept unsolicited applications.]