A Tale of a Tub is a platform for contemporary art exhibitions. Our program centers on the question of how art can contribute to our understanding of present-day social, political, and ecological issues. From the former bathhouse at the heart of the monumental Justus van Effen complex, A Tale of a Tub offers a testing ground for artists and other (art) professionals to develop new artistic productions that are often based on long term-research and interdisciplinary dialogue. The name A Tale of a Tub refers to both our bathhouse as well as to the first major work written by the Anglo-Irish satirist, essayist and poet, Jonathan Swift. With his layered and multi-voiced satire A Tale of a Tub Swift questioned politics, authorship, and structures of society. The work was translated into Dutch by the author Justus van Effen, who achieved international recognition as a writer of periodicals.
A Tale of a Tub was founded by Nathanja van Dijk and Suzanne Wallinga in 2014 and has been run in partnership with Fleur van Muiswinkel and Carolyn Drake Kandiyoti. From September 2019 on, A Tale of a Tub is led by Julia Geerlings and Niekolaas Johannes Lekkerkerk. Taking their academic backgrounds as a departure point, the curators commit to giving contemporary art in the Netherlands new impulses whilst pursuing collaborations with initiatives abroad. Depending on what an artistic project requires, an exhibition at A Tale of a Tub can take different forms and often includes performances, reading groups, screenings, artist talks, publications, and lectures by artists, curators and scholars. By doing so, we offer a discursive space for social exchange, where a growing community can meet and critically reflect upon the urgent questions of our time through the lens of art.
Since 2014, A Tale of a Tub has presented solo and duo exhibitions by Maurice Blaussyld, Kelly Schacht, John Skoog, Evelyn Taocheng Wang, Igshaan Adams, Paul Geelen, Dario D’Aronco, Kerstin Ergenzinger, Alejandro Cesarco, Yeb Wiersma, Hamza Halloubi, Lotte Reimann, Emma van der Put, Jonathas de Andrade, Michal Helfman, Christopher Kulendran Thomas i.c.w. Annika Kuhlmann, Basel Abbas en Ruanne Abou Rahme, Shezad Dawood and Kate Cooper. Group exhibitions included work by Zarouhie Abdalian, Ian Kiaer, Apichatpong Weerasethakul & Chai Siris, Helen Dowling, Basma Alsharif, Jason Loebs, Isaac Julien, Paulo Nazareth, Mounir Fatmi, Ursula Biemann, Olfa Ben Ali, Adrian Paci, Sander Breure & Witte van Hulzen, Himali Singh Soin & David Soin Tappeser, Nicoline Timmer, Lee Kit, Tamar Guimarães & Kasper Akhøj and K.r.m. Mooney, among others.