annie and friends-002

During the hardest moments of my preparation for Memories of Montevideo, when work seemed to increase instead of decreasing and time became more scarce, I realised I was continuing a ‘Montevidean’ tradition. As a student of film without much knowledge of radical avant-garde art, let alone with curating, I was thrown in at the deep end of the pool.

After four months of reading, asking, searching and ultimately finding, the feeling starts to grow that what we have done isn’t that different from what Annie and Stan did with Montevideo: work hard and make do with what you have, hoping the final result will be respectable.

One has to think that a respectable result was something Montevideo was denied, gazing at the corpse of the once great dry-dock. But what did this now lifeless body leave behind? An archive with beautiful materials? A successful gallery? Absolutely.

What touched me the most, however, were the memories of that specific time and place. It is easy to notice in all the ones involved with whom I spoke, a burning passion for the art and the friendships that found there home in Montevideo. What is amazing is that this fire, unlike the building, proved much harder to put out. Even though it was at times a struggle to dig up all these ancient memories.

I sincerely hope that for anyone who visited the INBOX exhibitions at M HKA, looked at the pictures and listened to the interviews, this fire was tangible – notwithstanding our lack of experience, limited resources and, at times, complete panic during the preparation of the exhibition: a formula so close to that of Montevideo. I am Annie.

Photo: Bram Vroonland, first from right


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