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Guest curator Aziz Bekkaoui is late with the exhibition Ben Cobra see that Cobra's search for hope, the urge for absolute freedom, spontaneous expression and social and artistic innovation are just as important today as they were then.Text: Mical Joseph
Image: Raymond van Zessen


The Cobra movement (1948-1951) was a post-war, influential art movement whose artists were known for their outspoken anti-bourgeois views and great desire for freedom.

A varied group

Aziz invited a diverse group of more than 25 special individuals to participate in the project: from the children's mayor of Amsterdam Ilias Admi to choreographer Uri Eugenio, from the president of the University of Amsterdam Marise Voskens to writer Arnon Grunberg, from politician Hedy d'Ancona to opera singer Claron McFadden. Bekkaoui then linked all participants to a work of art from the collection of the Cobra Museum.

The works of art selected by the curator are on display, together with the photographs in which he brings them into dialogue with the special individuals in whom he discerns a kinship with Cobra. The photos and accompanying texts express this relationship narratively and visually. Together they breathe the spirit of Cobra.

Aziz's powerful mark in the industry

Aziz graduated from the University of the Arts, Arnhem. Shortly afterwards he won the Grand Prix for the best women's collection during the Festival des Jeunes Stylistes in Hyères and opened the Paco Rabanne couture show in Paris. Over the course of his career, Aziz has developed a powerful signature in his fashion, in his art and performances and installations. Characteristic of his multidisciplinary practice is his love for innovation, flowing forms and movement. He worked with Marina Abramovic at the Guggenheim Museum in New York and his work has been on display in, among others, the Van Gogh Museum, Centraal Museum, Kunstmuseum The Hague, Musée de la Mode et du Textile in Paris and the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. . The artist has a number of renowned awards to his name: in 2007 he received the Amsterdam Prize for Art and in 2014 Bekkaoui was a finalist of the Dutch Design Awards.

The exhibition

The exhibition will open next Thursday, September 10 at 16.00 p.m. in the Cobra Museum for Modern Art in Amstelveen. This can be seen until Monday, April 5, 2021.