Invitation "Being moved things around. Deferral at Hillside"

28 Jun 2023

Dear friends and colleagues,

I warmly invite you to the opening of “Being moved things around” on Thursday, July 6, at Beautiful Distress/Amsterdam from 5-9pm.
The exhibition will be on over the whole summer and will be accompanied by a small side program - two screening events (July 23, Sept 03) and another iteration of my ongoing “We are listening to a record” series (Aug 12).


In the exhibition Being moved things around. Deferral at Hillside artist Stephan Blumenschein presents a new installation deriving from his research into anxiety, architecture and the extended medical gaze. The origin story of panic disorder as a medical category, which unfolded during early pharmaceutical experiments at Hillside Hospital/NY (1959-62), served him as a point of departure. What captured the artist’s imagination was the hallway of the Morris Lowenstein Pavilion in which the changed movement of a patient became visible; and the role of an anonymous nurse who’s observations were the base of a new conception of panic. Blumenschein’s interest lies here specifically with the production of (in)visibilities. Looking back in time, back at the institution, and to the back – the artist challenges what is deemed unheard and unseen.

The exhibition is centered around a series of new sculptures, which incorporate different moments of his research. Inspired by a mysterious cabinet depicted in an image of a patient’s room, the works explore dynamics of ‘looking-into’ and ‘closed spaces’, alternating between promise and deferral. The works speak about the artist’s Kafka’esque experience with the current Hillside administration, the patriarchal production of absence in the archives, and his own movement through these spaces. Blumenschein thereby continuously questions the relationship between these insides and outsides without resolving it.

The artist draws from a variety of sources and is mingling a diverse set of relations: voicing archival material with his family, fusing historic and contemporary material, and relying upon employees within the institution as informants for his research. By doing so he spins a web across times and spaces looking for echoes in the reproduction of hierarchies and (in)visibilities.

Blumenschein’s show at Beautiful Distress House comprises a series of sculptures, photographs and an architectural intervention. The exhibition is accompanied by a publication and a side program featuring a series of screenings co-curated with writer and organizer Janine Armin, and an iteration of the artist’s ongoing “We are listening to a record” gatherings.


July 23
Screening #1 with Ansuya Blom - “Dear…” (1998),

Aug 12
We are listening to a record #11

Sept 3
Finnisage and Screening #2 with
Milena Bonilla - “The Last Drink is for the Sun” (2022)
Felicia Broberb von Zweigberk - “Manic Depression” (2019)
Yashaswini Raghunandan & Arianna Zuanazzi - “I Invite You” (2021)

For more information see: Beautiful Distress

The exhibition is kindly supported by:
Mondrian Fund, the public fund for visual arts and heritage
Federal Ministry Austria for Arts, Culture, the Civil Service and Sport
Amsterdam Fund for the Arts

Invitation: "Still, moving walls"

10 Dec 2022

Dear friends and colleagues,

with delight I invite you to the opening of Still, moving walls at mistral/Amsterdam on Dec 13 from 6-9pm.

The presentation at mistral is a constellation of moments from the material collected from different archives and semi-official visits to the Hillside Hospital’s premises in my research on the origin story of panic disorder at Hillside (1959-62).

For the occasion of the opening writer and organizer Janine Armin programmed a 25 minutes screening featuring work by Felicia Broberg von Zweigbergk, Yashaswini Raghunandan & Arianna Zuanazzi and Milena Bonilla.

Please find more details here: mistral

With special thanks to Leonie Kuipers and Karol Swiezynski.

And, Vita Buivid’s project TEXT/TEXTILE; not (too) old, not (too) young at Hotel Maria Kapel/Hoorn is still on view until December 10th.
And, Unterwerfungen by Philipp Gufler is on view at Kunstraum Leuphana Univeristy Lüneburg from Dec 8 - Jan 28.

Best wishes, Stephan

Invitation: "A stain inside a paper, a whisper"

10 Nov 2022

Dear friends and colleagues,

I’m happy to invite you to the presentation of A stain inside a paper, a whisper at PAKT Salon this coming Saturday, 12th of November from 8-12 p.m. The same evening Aslan Goisum will open his show in the main space, and Boo 2 is opening a group show in the spaces of the former PAKT Pool (read more.)

A stain inside a paper, a whisper

Inspired by Felicity Callard’s “The Intimate Geographies of Panic Disorder”, which analyzes events that took place at Hillside Hospital/New York during 1959-62 and would become the origin story of panic disorder as a new medical category. Thinking together (the disregard) of both, the specific architectural conditions and the role of care work in the tale of the birth of panic disorder A stain inside a paper, a whisper explores processes of (dis)appearance, withdrawal, and traces of (in)visibilities the artist encountered in the archives and during his research period in New York in spring 2022.

Saturday, 12. November, 8-12 p.m.
at PAKT (Zeeburgerpad 53, 1019 AB Amsterdam)

Invitation: "We are listening to a record #10" + publication launch

01 Jul 2022

Dear friends and colleagues,

I am delighted to invite you to “We are listening to a record #10” and the launch of a new publication.
Date: 8th of July 2022
Location: deVlugt, Burgemeester de Vlugtlaan 125, Amsterdam
Time: 8 pm

After nine editions of semi-private session for which a set of eight invitations cards were distributed by hand, “We are listening to a record” is going public. For this occasion I invited artist Vita Buivid to pick a record that is dear to her. Growing up in the Soviet Union she will share a record that was important to her in her youth. As an introduction she will talk about the role Western music/the dream of the West played for her and her peers, how it was sold, distributed and hidden. The artist will also bring a set of “official” Soviet (state) records giving us a glimpse of the otherwise (musical) landscape.

“We were listening to records” publication

Since 2019 I have organized this gatherings of listening to a record in different spaces in Amsterdam and Vienna. The publication “We were listening to records” (designed by Bram van den Berg) is giving a taste of the past events and presents reflections and intentions that developed along the way. The publication includes an essay by artist Flora Valeska Woudstra. She writes, “In my experience, crip time appears from and through listening to the body, this act of listening opens something up, lifts some of the veil of normative time, just as it does during the we are listening to a record sessions.”

Update summer 2021

16 Jun 2021

Dear friends and colleagues,

Summer sun and slight burns, lemon sparks and ice cube white wines are arriving, maybe already lingering, or simply just around the corner.
Below a quick update on things happening:

  • A website
  • A new record
  • A text, two publications
  • A presentation

Warmest wishes,

a website

All credits to Bram van den Berg, who – once more – helped to articulate and frame the things (and definitely the leading voice in this one most of the times).
The website features a.o. a beautifully made documentation video of the exhibition “Upon arrival and during our stay; leaving, leaving and leaving again” at P////AKT, made by Baha Görkem Yalim.

a record release

The release of my record “Hmm… 1, or 2 or so metres. Inside.”, which I made for the exhibition at P////AKT last summer, was already once announce, but now the record is officially officially finally out, released by ventil-records.

I m super happy the record now found some companionship with such great artists like Schrecken aka David Schweighart – who is not only an amazing musician, but one of my most favorite people <3 – as well as Katharina Ernst, Katharina Klement or Andreas Berger and Peter Kutin.

Extra special credits once more to Susanna Gartmayer (bass clarinet), David Schweighart (drums), Christoph Hehn (drums) and Manuel Mitterhuber (recording, mixing and mastering) for making this record shine.

The record (vinyl and digital) is available online via ventil-records, or at P////AKT (Amsterdam), San Serriffe (Amsterdam), soon at Kiosk (Rotterdam), and of course you can also contact me directly.

a text, two publications

The text “Tiny splashes, splashes against the wall of the exhibition space” (the script of a performance that took place as part of the exhibition at P////AKT last fall) will be published on two occasions.

I am very happy to have been invited by Helena Grande to contribute to the July issue of A*Desk which she is responsible for as a guest editor. The text, combined with some other a/v snippets will go online on 5th of July here on A*Desk.(the text will be available also in Spanish and Catalan)

The text appear also in P////AKT’s annual publication looking back at the previous year’s program. Titled like their last year’s program (or was it 1.5 or 2.5ni years, who still knows?) “The space conductors are among us” will further include texts by the great Dieuwertje Hehewerth and Valerie Tee Lee, as well as the fantastic Isabelle Sully a.o. There is an official launch on June 25th from 12-8pm (on that same day Nicola Arthen will also present a sound piece at P////AKT, a first taste of his upcoming exhibition). Go here for more information.

a presentation

I will be showing a new installation at Art Rotterdam as part of the Prospect and Concepts program together with lots of other artists who have received the Young Emerging Talent stipend of the Mondriaan Fund.

This will happen at the van Nelle building in Rotterdam, 1 – 4 July. Time slots (still) need to be booked. Here.

Invitation to “Upon arrival and during our stay; leaving, leaving and leaving again”

31 Jul 2020

Dear friends, colleagues and others,

I hereby warmly invite you to my exhibition “Upon arrival and during our stay; leaving, leaving and leaving again” at P////AKT Amsterdam opening on the weekend of the 5th of September. Please find below an invitation text incl. exact dates and further information.

I want to specifically point to the opening weekend (5th and 6th of September) as well as the following Sunday (13th). On these days a performance on a boat (on the canal at the backside of the building of P////AKT) will take place as part of the exhibition. A documentation of it will be presented outside these 3 dates.
Due to the current covid19 pandemic seats are limited and a reservation for the performance is recommended. Reservations can be made here.

Part of the exhibition will be a record I made for this occasion. After some years of music making abstinence I deeply enjoyed this process of submersing myself into this - at least to me - special universe again. Thus, I am even more excited that the record will be released byVienna-based ventil-records, joining their rooster of great artists such as Schrecken, Kartharina Ernst or Peter Kutin a.o. . From 1st of October the record will be available as 12" and digital via their website (or contact me directly). There is hope the record will already be available at the opening of the exhibition. (*fingers crossed). At this point I would like to mention Susanna Gartmayer (bass clarinet), David Schweighart (drums), Christopf Hehn (drums) and Manuel Mitterhuber (recording and sound design, goon studios) who have done an incredible job, translating my laptop ideas beyond what I imagined.

Looking forward to welcome you at the exhibition and see some friendly and familiar faces, which has become so rare in recent months.
Best, Stephan

Update first half 2020

01 Jan 2020

Dear friends and colleagues,

I would like to warmly invite you to the following:

Bewährungsprobe #33 @ depot, Vienna
I will give a talk about my practice and some works, addressing key concerns in my research. I will be sharing the stage with Birgit Knoechel, who will also give a presentation. FB

As part of the “Why Not”-Festival, we will be showing Clara Amaral’s “In our eyes, a cascade” at W139/Amsterdam.
In this lecture performance, Clara Amaral explores the fall of a smartphone and the shifts in perspective of space that come with it. Just like a cascade that keeps on falling again and again - downward and onward - she stares into the same surface in order to produce porosity, depth and poetics. FB

exhibition @ New Jörg, Vienna
a collaborative exhibition together with Janine Schranz and a contribution by Maike Hemmers. Invitation will follow!

Spring will bring some more:

  • The coming issue of Kunstlicht will feature my work “Protocols 1,2 and 3 for exhibition documentation”.
  • Matthieu Blond’s “Journal” - an immaterial publication which is presented as a solo performance - is fabulous and hilarious to watch. I am very excited to contribute with an essay about doors in exhibition spaces to the upcoming issue.
  • Significant Other, run by Laura Amann and Jen Kratchvil, is an exhibition space in Vienna looking at the mutually influential relations of Art and Architecture. For their entrance door I am designing a new door handle. What a great thing to do! Soon to be attached.

I’d be delighted to see some of you at one the above.
Currently supported by the mondriaan fonds, Netherlands.