“Opening Soon / Opening Now” and “KP 23”

Angela Serino


In her work, Laurence Aegerter uses different mediums as a way to explore various systems of classification and principles of archival order. Thus books, common objects and phenomena of daily life become signs of a social code which the artist subverts, manipulates or otherwise changes, imposing on them new rules and principles of classification. By doing so, the artist reveals nuances, ambivalences, and contradictions, showing the sides of reality that would otherwise go unnoticed.

During her residency at RED A.i.R., Aegerter transformed her studio at Korsjespoortsteeg 23, turning the studio itself into the object of her research. Intrigued by the transitional character of the space, until recently used as a brothel, the artist presented a series of temporary transformations entitled Opening Soon|Opening Now. Between May and September 2009, Aegerter’s studio has been turned into: a Public Library, a Golf Club, the Institute for Cultural Remembrance and Mnemonic Practices, a Turkish Snack bar, an Agnostic Temple, a Symposium for Urban Investment, a Public Swimming Pool, as well as Anne Frank Museum, New Wing.

Some of these events have functioned as social gatherings, while the others have been turned into installations visible from the outside. On further occasions, the artist herself or specialists in various disciplines have been invited by the artist to ‘read’ the space according to their own specialties.

Imbued with playfulness and light spirit, yet realized in a very precise and careful manner, all these transformations functioned as proposals for possible different uses of the space. By accumulating so many different possible uses (“I fast-forward the time”) the artist has provided the public attending these events with a glimpse of a wide range of alternatives. Will those episodes inspire future actions or new visions for this space? Or was the experience of a single moment good enough?

For this final presentation, various traces left behind all those transformations are gathered in a temporary format, open for further investigation before they are materialized in the form of a book later this fall. Three large photographs and a selection of posters designed in collaboration with the graphic designer Jennifer Skupin complete the presentation of the overall project Opening Soon|Opening Now.