ON PAINTING is the reading group I have been running since 2016. This reading group focuses on the discussion of literature on painting: theory, philosophy and art history texts that explore painting’s position in relation to the post-medium condition, and in relation to its history and traditions. While at the same time, exploring the position of the artist in relation to this type of textual material. Central to this initiative is the question: how to reconcile what is said on the behalf of painting (by thinkers through text) with what artists themselves say (through visual work)?

Since its beginning the reading group has taken place in institutions such as Platform BK in Amsterdam, Hospitalfield in Scotland, Dundee Contemporary Arts in Scotland, the Atlas boat in Breda, Frank Mohr Institute in Groningen, amongst other places. More recently we have been experimenting with expanding on our textual conversation, by adding a visual conversation to it. The goal is to challenge language, and by doing so, incite their inherent performativity. In the words of Karen Barad: ‘(…)performativity is precisely a contestation of the excessive power granted to language to determine what is real.’ ‘Posthumanist Performativity: Toward an Understanding of How Matter Comes to Matter’, Karen Barad, 2003

Atlas Initiative, Breda

Hospitalfield, Arbroath, Scotland

With Bas van den Hurk and the master students of the Frank Mohr Institute, Groningen