Bik Van der Pol
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I've Got Something in My Eye
Museum collections on occasion start from a
privately owned collection, which then later
becomes the foundation for a public
institution. The Marieluise Hessel Collection is also an organically and intuitively assembled collection art formed over more than three decades, and is now on permanent loan to the Center for Curatorial Studies and Hessel Museum of Art at Bard College.
This situation provides students and visiting curators with material that can be continuously reviewed, questioned and reorganized. The collection, the museum itself, as well as the Center's library and curatorial archive are active parts of a learning situation; together they form a continuous challenge to the institution and to the students who use them as an arena for discussion and study.

Is there a difference between public and private art collections? Coming from a country where most art collections are public, a private collection on permanent loan to a public institution raises questions on what is public and what is private.
When we were invited by CCS/Bard curator Maria Lind to work with the Marie Louise Hessel Collection, we did not have the illusion that we would be able to settle this question once and for all.
I've Got Something in My Eye
Rather, we wanted to see a collection as a testing-ground where our questions, with the help of the works, can be tested and tried.

Having had the opportunity recently to work with the public collection]] of the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven (The Netherlands) has prepared ground for us to explore the Marieluise Hessel Collection, reflecting on notions of history, responsibility, private passion and public interest.
This museum has contemporary works that in some cases overlaps or almost 'touches alongside' with the Marieluise Hessel Collection. As an instrument of articulation we choose to include some of our own works as well as pieces from the Van Abbemuseum.

For I've Got Something in My Eye different positions works of art, documents and traces are brought together in one arena, aiming to create a scenario of looking and perceiving.
Following Henri Bergson's idea that perception is a function of time, we looked at how works are surrounded by different sources of knowledge and how they grow from and are feeding back into that.