Sonsbeek, the public-art exhibition in Arnhem, the Netherlands, that dates back to 1949, is returning for its 12th edition in 2020, and today its organizers released word that they have tapped Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung to be its artistic director.
Ndikung, the founder and artistic director of the space Savvy Contemporary in Berlin, served as curator at large for Documenta 14 in 2017 in Athens and Kassel, Germany (for which his efforts included an ambitious radio program), and as guest curator of the Dak’Art Biennale in Senegal in 2018. This year, he’s curating Finland’s pavilion at the Venice Biennale as part of the Miracle Workers Collective.
Curator Charles Esche, a Sonsbeek board member who led the selection committee for the 2020 position, lauded Ndikung’s proposal for the show in a statement to press, and said that Ndikung “often takes a surprising approach to curating, incorporating sound, performative and discursive frames into his projects. What makes his work special, is that he does not approach an exhibition scientifically, but much more as poetry and rhyme. He compares his working method as a curator to a musical jam session.”
Like Documenta, Sonsbeek was born of efforts to restore culture in the aftermath of World War II, and takes its name from its main venue, Sonsbeek park in Arnhem, a city of about 150,000 located near the Netherlands’s eastern border with Germany. The show has been staged at irregular intervals over the years, running as a triennial through 1958, and then appearing in 1966, 1971 (probably its most famous edition, which involved the creation of the only extant Robert Smithson earthwork outside the United States, among other endeavors), 1986, 1993, 2001, 2008, and 2016, when it officially became a quadrennial.
Sonsbeek 2020 is set to run from June 5 to September 13 in 2020, making it a nice stop before or after trips to Art Basel.