Language: English
Location: Witte de With’s auditorium

Wednesday 19 October, 7 pm


by Anne-Claire Schmitz, junior curator
In her lecture, Anne-Claire Schmitz will discuss the pressure put upon art institutions – and by extension, on artists – to please others, whether it be by following the dictates of funding bodies or by pandering to the demands of an increasingly populistic society. Taking a critical look at how this functions and what impact it has upon culture, she will use selected case studies to examine questions of popularity and accountability.

Wednesday 26 October, 7 pm


by Zoë Gray, curator
As part of the debate about public funding for art, there has been an increasing focus on accessibility, with institutions encouraged to attract ever new audiences. Laudable though the intention may be, the discussion about accessibility is too often considered solely in terms of visitor demographics. In her lecture, Zoë Gray will look at the question of accessibility in a broader sense, within and beyond the art institution, relating access to education and class divisions which shape our increasingly service-driven society.

Wednesday 2 November, 7 pm


by Juan A. Gaitán, curator
In this lecture, Juan Gaitán will talk about the way in which the public sphere is being produced into a manageable entity, and the impact that this has on art and on the people currently involved in cultural production. He will also explore how – from the point of view of contemporary art – one can affirm the necessity of having an open space in which to express different and differing positions, be these social, cultural or economic.

To Tell The Truth began this spring, with a lecture on 18 May titled The Danger of Mediocrity by Nicolaus Schafhausen, director of Witte de With, which was followed by a lecture on 25 May titled The Empty Center by Monika Szewczyk, Witte de With’s Head of Publications.

Wednesday 18 May


by Nicolaus Schafhausen, director of Witte de With
In a political atmosphere increasingly dominated by reactionary rhetoric, cultural institutions are under great pressure to be popular, to be liked, to appeal to the mythical ‘‘masses.’’ As his tenure as director of Witte de With draws to a close, Schafhausen’s talk explored alternatives to this dangerously simplistic approach to culture and how they are relevant to institutions of contemporary art.

Wednesday 25 May


by Monika Szewczyk, Witte de With’s Head of Publications
Proposing a politically constructive way to scrutinize contemporary art institutions, Szewczyk’s talk argued for their role in shaping a truly open public sphere. This began with a celebration of ‘‘the empty center’’ – which in part implies an art space that is not void of visitors or of art or of radical ideas, but of a logic that turns people into numbers.