Contemporary art in the former old library

In November and December of 2020, 70 visual artists took possession of the vacant Central Library in the heart of Utrecht on the Oudegracht.

The exhibition consisted of six sections, each of which represents a basic attitude with which art is made. There were the Critical Spirits & Idealists, the Material Seducers, the Dreamers & Romantics, the Still & Slow, the Transformers and the Inventors & Researchers. A library where you could ‘read’ art, as it were.

The exhibition took place at a time when the corona pandemic was halting life worldwide. Nevertheless, visitors were able to move safely through the large building completely corona proof. Unfortunately, the doors of UtrechtDownUnder had to close earlier because of the complete lockdown. Despite the situation, a large audience managed to visit the exhibition. The reactions were praising and enthusiastic: being able to view and experience live art in these extreme conditions was an enormous relief.

The striking building on the Stadhuisbrug was temporarily awarded by the owner of the Municipality of Utrecht to Kunstl Liefde, to realize this edition of UtrechtDownUnder. The Kunstliefde project team had its office there from April onwards. The building had been used as a library since 1975 after V&D moved to Hoog Catharijne. At the beginning of 2020, the Central Library moved to Post Neude.

Participating artists:

Critical Minds & Idealists; Mazen Alashkar, Vesuhely Americaan, Kostana Banovic, The Critic, Mathhijs Hannink, Marie-Line Kercret, Andrianova Maria Klaassen, Sadik Kwaish Alfraji, Joyce Overheul, Fernando Sanchez Castillo, SETUP.
Material seducers; RaQuel van Haver, Amerentske Koopman, Maaike Kramer, Felipe van Laar, Temra Pavlovic, Cecilia Rebergen, Lieve Rutte, Art van Triest, Jop Vissers Vorstenbosch, Rachel van Vliet, Nicole Vooraat, Lou Vos.
Dreamers & Romantics; Annabelle Binnerts, Francine Claassen, Frank Halmans, Elise ‘t Hart, Inge van Heerde, Luuk Huiskes, Paul Klemann, Sonja de Ridder, Kyra de Rooij, Jolanda Schouten, Jonathan Straatman, Carien Vugts.
The Silenced & Slow; Emmy Beenken, Anke van den Borne, Maarten Dekker, René Eicke, Maarten Fijan, Britte Koolen, Bas Lobik, Ronald Nijhof, Alf Slegers.
Transformers; Cindy Bakker, Maze de Boer, Chantal Breukers, Noor van der Brugge, Robbie Cornelisse, Anne Forest, Jasper Hagenaar, Sam Hersbach, Bas Oussoren, Thomas Sadee, Roland Sohier, Jur de Vries.
Researchers & Inventors; Tim de Gier, Ienke Kastelein, Goof Kloosterman, Janneke Kornet, Uli Kürner, Jeroen van Loon, Jonny Mehrez, Tom Putman, Maurice de Rooij, Jonathan Stavleu.
Interventions Centraal Museum; Joost de Jonge, Julius Stibbe, Anouk van Zwieten and video works by; Janis Rafa, Zachary Formwalt, Tanja Ritterbex, Roy Villevoye and Jan Dietvorst, Emma van der Put.
Art Forever; ‘Cloud of Artists’, a series of video portraits of various participating artists in the former Broese bookshop, the building located below the former library on the ground floor.

Curator: Elaine Vis

Impression exhibition UTRECHT DOWN UNDER contemporary art in the old library (video ©UDU/Lou Vos 2020)

Impression building up UTRECHT DOWN UNDER contemporary art in the old library (video ©UDU/Lou Vos 2020)

Impression UTRECHT DOWN UNDER contemporary art in the old library

Amerentske Koopman, First Floor - Matter Seducers

Bart Lunenburg, Third Floor - Transformers

Sadik Kwaish Alfraji, Basement - Critical Minds & Idealists

Annabelle Binnerts, Second Floor- Dreamers & Romantics

Art van Triest, First Floor - Matter Seducers

Jonathan Straatman, Second Floor- Dreamers & Romantics

Britte Koolen, Second Floor- Silent & Slow

Cindy Bakker, Third Floor - Transformers

Elise 't Hart, Second Floor- Dreamers & Romantics

Maaike Kramer, First Floor - Matter Seducers

Mazen Alashkar, Basement - Critical Minds & Idealists

Ienke Kastelein, Third Floor - Researchers & Inventors

René Eicke, Second Floor- Silent & Slow