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Marlene Dumas @munchmuseet - Foto: Ove Kvavik

Marlene Dumas on the Huizinga Lecture: ‘Artists shouldn’t have to justify themselves’

Artist and painter Marlene Dumas will give the Huizinga Lecture in Pieterskerk on Friday 6 December. In an interview with Elsevier Weekblad, she talks about the preparations, the inspiration that she derives from Pieterskerk and the story that she wants to tell during the lecture.

To prepare for the lecture, Dumas has read previous lectures and imbibed large amounts of other information. She explored the history of Leiden and Pieterskerk, for instance, which is where she will deliver the lecture. Pieterskerk is a source of inspiration for Dumas: ‘I bought a thick book about the church. For one single photo. A photo of a ledgerstone. I’m going to do something with that during my lecture. The good thing is that I’m learning a lot too. I think I should say something about where I am.’

In the Huizinga Lecture she wants to champion the visual arts. The title of the lecture is: The Irresponsible Gesture – or go back to where you come from. She says the following to about the irresponsible gesture: ‘If you act subservient, you will never be able to produce art. Artists shouldn’t have to justify themselves. But nowadays, you almost have to be a saint. You are bombarded with moral standpoints, from good to bad. The emphasis is on opinions. The freedom of expression is thrown into the fray.’

More information?

Read the full article on the Elsevier website [in Dutch].

The 48th Huizinga Lecture, by Marlene Dumas

Dumas will give a speech in Pieterskerk in Leiden on Friday 6 December. The lecture is about thoughts and phenomena that arise when the visual arts are spoken about: terms such as origin, culture, freedom and censorship. And about the inescapable relationship between word and image. [The lecture will be in Dutch.]

Order tickets here
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