SHORT BIG DRAMA – Angela Bulloch

date datum 21 January 2012 -
9 April 2012

location locatie Witte de With



There is more than meets the eye to Angela Bulloch’s work. Her solo exhibition SHORT BIG DRAMA at Witte de With, Center for Contemporary Art plays with this red herring – the illusion of simplicity – and highlights the theatricality of Bulloch’s practice. Focusing on three types of works – namely her monumental wall paintings, colorful pixel installations and interactive drawing machines – SHORT BIG DRAMA presents a selection of existing works together with specially commissioned new pieces.

In this exhibition, contradiction takes center-stage and reveals the inherent beauty of Bulloch’s complex artworks. Playing with the nature of drama, whether epic or mundane, big or short, the project adapts the form of a play to structure a sequence of commissions and a new suite of works by the artist. For Witte de With, Bulloch interprets and manipulates earlier potentially clashing installations into a seemingly harmonious whole.

Bulloch adopts an interdisciplinary approach, incorporating references from a wide array of sources, be it history, film or music. In her wall paintings, specific references to artistic, political or social groups are deconstructed and graphically assembled. Through this process of détournement, the artist questions the informational status of an artwork, as well as the possibility of narrating history.  Bulloch’s drawing machines are interactive pieces, triggered or altered by the engagement of visitors. In this way, her drawing machines explore the dialectic between technology and labor, making us conscious of our place, and that of others, within the gallery space. With her Pixel works, Bulloch ‘programs’ our experience of art by encoding specific references in the technical programming of her modular light and sound installations. Though the complexity of the workings behind these installations is invisible, a predefined experience of the work is imposed upon the viewer, thus challenging the viewer’s subjective input.

A common thread in Bulloch’s artistic practice is thus the manipulation of codes and a sense of control. Whether that code is music or text-based, the artist plays with and orchestrates our perception and experience of art. She proposes that this experience can be ‘subliminally programmed’ and her work stages that which is beyond our grasp.

Curated by Amira Gad & Nicolaus Schafhausen.

Click here to download the exhibition guide (English, PDF).


Angela Bulloch, Fundamental Discord: 16 (2005)

                            Friday 20 January 2012 (6 – 9 pm).

6 – 7 pm: Guided tour of the exhibition (English and Dutch).

7pm: Speeches by Defne Ayas (Witte de With director as of 1 January 2012); Amira Gad (co-curator of the exhibition); and Nicolaus Schafhausen (Witte de With director from 2006 to 2011 and co-curator of the exhibition).

 10:30 pm: After-party at Nieuw Rotterdams Café (Witte de Withstraat 63).

Guided Tours                 Every Wednesday and Sunday at 3 pm.

IFFR                                     Exhibition open on Monday 30 January 2012 from 11 to 6 pm.

Art Rotterdam               Exhibition open on Saturday 11 February 2012 from 11 am to 10 pm.

Museum Night               Exhibition open on Saturday 10 March 2012 from 11 to 2 am.

Book Launch                  Tuesday 3 April 2012 at 7 pm. 


Angela Bulloch, Installation view with Short Big Yellow Drawing Machine (2012) and General Wall of Rules (1996)

The educational program conceived for this exhibition puts an emphasis on Angela Bulloch’s interdisciplinary approach by exploring her different artistic strategies, which are reminiscent of both minimal and conceptual traditions of art. The program draws upon the many references Bulloch makes in her work, linking visual art to literature, film and media. The workshops and master classes created by Witte de With Education address students and artists from different disciplines. They will explore the performative aspect of Bulloch’s work and dive into the science behind art, negotiating the relationships between art, technology and media.

PUBLICATION: Source Book 10: Angela Bulloch

Angela Bulloch, Anarchy (2004)

Book launch: Tuesday 3 April at 7 pm.

To accompany the exhibition, Witte de With Publishers releases Source Book 10: Angela Bulloch (launch event on Tuesday 3 April 2012 at 7 pm). In addition to visual documentation of the exhibition, this publication will include writings by Nav Haq and John Miller as well as a script by Christine Lang and Christoph Dreher. Source Book 10: Angela Bulloch is the 10th and final publication of Witte de With Publishers’ Source Book series, monographic publications providing an in-depth look into one artist’s practice.

ISBN: 978-94-91435-00-3


PARALLEL at the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

Angela Bulloch, Body Space Motion Things (2011), Photo 2012: Lotte Stekelenburg

On view in the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen is also Bulloch’s wall painting Body Space Motion Things (2011). 

With a Witte de With entry ticket, you are entitled to a € 2,50 reduction to your entry ticket at the Boijmans Museums van Beuningen, and vice versa. The museum is at a 3 min. walking distance. 

For press requests, please contact us via [email protected].

Goethe-Institut Niederlande, German Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Auswärtiges Amt), and the Canada Council for the Arts.    


About the participants
Bulloch, Angela Angela Bulloch (b. 1966, Canada) is a Berlin-based sculptor, installation and sound artist. She was included in the 1988 Freeze Exhibition. Bulloch was nominated for the Turner Prize in 1997. Bulloch teaches at De Ateliers in Amsterdam. Recent solo exhibitions include Information, Manifesto, Rules and Other Leaks…, Berlinische Galerie, Berlin (2011); Discrete Manifold Whatsoever, Simon Lee Gallery, London; Redux, Esther Schipper, Berlin (both 2010); and The space that time forgot, Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus & Kunstbau, Munich (2008). Recent group exhibitions include Art Parcours, Art Basel 41, Münster Cathedral, Basel; A Roll Of The Dice, Cristina Guerra, Lisbon; Drawing Time, Galeries Poirels, Frac Lorraine, Metz; High ideals and crazy dreams, Galerie Vera Munro, Hamburg; and Open light in private spaces, Biennale for international Light Art, Unna (all 2010); Universal Code, The Power Plant, Toronto; and Yellow and Green, MMK Frankfurt, Frankfurt (both 2009).
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About the collaborators
Goethe Institut The Goethe-Institut is the Federal Republic of Germany’s cultural institution operational worldwide.It promotes the study of German abroad and encourage international cultural exchange. Furthermore it fosters knowledge about Germany by providing information on its culture, society and politics. The educational and training products enable mobility in an international learning community.With the network of Goethe-Instituts, Goethe Centres, cultural societies, reading rooms and exam and language learning centres it has played a central role in the cultural and educational policies of Germany for over 60 years.
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