Open Call: M HKA / Van Abbemuseum Research Fellowship

9 November 2020

M HKA, Antwerp.jpg
Babi Badalov, I am Euromental, 2015 (detail). Mixed media installation, variable dimensions. Collection M HKA, Antwerp / Collection Flemish Community.

M HKA - Museum of Contemporary Art Antwerp and Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, are pleased to announce a Research Fellowship for an artist, curator, writer or thinker. The research grant will facilitate a period of research for up to 12 months, leading to manifestations of the research in two projects presented by M HKA and Van Abbemuseum respectively in 2021: Rewinding Internationalism: The 1990s and Today (Van Abbemuseum) and Eurasia: A Landscape of Mutability (M HKA). Both exhibitions take place within the context of the four-year programme Our Many Europes, by the museum confederation L’Internationale. 

We are looking for a speculative, ambitious research project that can speak across and between the frameworks of the two exhibitions. Researchers are welcome—though not required—to look to the archives, collections or local context of M HKA and the Van Abbemuseum as starting points for the research. We are looking for a research project that offers dialogical perspectives to analyse, question and form methodologies for exploring the designated research areas.

Research Areas and Methodologies

We invite proposals that address the following research areas and methodologies:

  • Critical engagement with the constructs of internationalism, transnationalism, globalisation and Eurasia.
  • A focus on microhistories, rather than master narratives that serve to illuminate the concepts, histories and visions explored in the research.
  • Projects that consider or use the site of the exhibition to mobilise the research.
  • Speculative thinking / practice in relation to the transhistorical, multipolarity and mutability.
  • Cultural networks of exchange (historical, current or futuristic) that facilitate the exploration of the terms above.

About the Grant

Should they wish, researchers will be given open access to the museums’ archives and networks to be negotiated on an individual basis. They are expected to present an internal seminar for museum colleagues at the start of their research (either in person or online). Research proposals should identify and account for potential restrictions to the project caused by COVID-19. We similarly encourage imaginative, critical ways of working from / through distance. The research (as artistic project or curatorial proposal) will form part of the exhibitions Eurasia and Rewinding Internationalism. The grant consists of EUR 10,000 research fee + a maximum of EUR 5,000 production budget. Limited presentation budgets will be discussed separately with M HKA and the Van Abbemuseum.

Proposals should be sent to researchfellowship [​at​] by December 6, 2020.

Please send proposals in PDF format, including:

  • Research outline (maximum 1000 words. It is not necessary at this stage to describe in detail how a project might be presented in exhibition form.)
  • Biography (maximum 500 words including relevant research experience)
    Images may be embedded in the PDF but should not be sent as separate files.
    Files should be labelled: L’I RESEARCH FELLOWSHIP_YOURNAME.

Proposals will be reviewed by:
Nick Aikens, research curator, Van Abbemuseum.
Nav Haq, associate director, M HKA.
Joanna Zielinska, senior curator, M HKA.

Further information on the grant and the exhibitions can be found here

About L'Internationale

L'Internationale is a confederation of seven modern and contemporary art institutions which proposes a space for art within a non-hierarchical and decentralised internationalism, based on the values of difference and horizontal exchange among a constellation of cultural agents, locally rooted and globally connected. It brings together seven major European art institutions: Moderna galerija (MG+MSUM, Ljubljana, Slovenia); Museo Reina Sofía (Madrid, Spain); MACBA, Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona (Spain); Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst Antwerpen (M HKA, Antwerp, Belgium); Muzeum Sztuki Nowoczesnej w Warszawie (Warsaw, Poland), SALT (Istanbul and Ankara, Turkey) and Van Abbemuseum (VAM, Eindhoven, the Netherlands), and its partners are HDK-Valand Academy (Gothenburg, Sweden) and the National College of Art and Design (NCAD, Dublin, Ireland).

About Our Many Europes

Our Many Europes is a four-year programme (2018–22) comprising exhibitions, public programming, heritage exchange and institutional experimentation across the L’Internationale confederation. The programme takes the 1990s as a starting point when our current Europe was born. It aims to think speculatively about the role of culture as a driving force in showing who and how we are in the world. This program is co-funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union.