Jennifer Tee meets COBRA*

Pierre Alechinsky, Asger Jorn, Frits Lemaire & Eugène Brands, Jennifer Tee, Raoul Ubac, Reinhoud
In collaboration with The Cobra Museum of Modern Art
November 29, 2015–January 16, 2016

Book launch of Jennifer Tee’s The Soul in Limbo: ‘Listening to The Soul in Limbo’ November 29, 12–2pm, with live music by Glenn Ryszko, octopus rice triangles & bloody caesars


Copyright: Frits Lemaire/MAI

It’s always better to be a little bit hungry
-Agnes Martin

[Two women sit down at a rectangular table across from one another. Both open their laptops and type in google docs. One makes a ‘zip your mouth’ motion with her right hand. The other nods. The first starts to type. The other follows.]

Short forms

If I were a branch

Awkward poses

If I were a…The one thing people probably still read is a list.

How long will it all last?

I mean, how do we have to go on?



[She looks up over the head of her companion, out of the window]

When the water reflects up onto the trees and you stare at it for a while you make the trees move.

If yoga could turn into sculpture.

Breathe, breathe. Breathe towards the belly.

How do you do that? I always end up just sticking out my belly and hoping the air will find its way down and up.

A carpet that determines the spacing of movement. No foot stepped out of the rectangle. I remember a grey man doing a grey performance on a grey carpet.

And the urns, oh the urns.

The urns that are death but also vessels to hold food, grains and air.

Next to them, they sit, cross-legged, knees not quite touching the floor. And their hands are open upwards. Their arms stretched high, but their elbows still bent. Welcoming, but awkward.

[She looks out of the window again]

Laissez-faire gardening.

Seasonal curating?

No. Well, yes. Maybe that would be more interesting.

Peter Brook talks about the stage the empty stage and if you cross it you assume an audience, or you affect one. I can take an empty space he says and call it a bare stage. A man walks across this empty space whilst someone else is watching him, and this is all that is needed for an act of theatre to be engaged.[1]

Tee’s work affects. Now there’s a start.

Tick tock
Tick Tock


*Kunstverein is the proud host of the launch of artist Jennifer Tee’s Monograph ‘The Soul in Limbo’, published in conjunction with her winning the prestigious Cobra Art Prize Amstelveen, and her solo exhibition of the same title, held at The Cobra Museum of Modern Art (24 November 2015 – 21 February 2016). As a means of creating a mise-en-scene for the publication, Kunstverein, together with Jennifer Tee and the Museum have selected historic and lesser-known works from the museum’s collection creating an intimate and perhaps impertinent exhibition. The associations and non-hierarchal, cross-historical pollination between selected works from the Cobra and Tee allow Tee’s work to enter into a conceptual and formal discussion with specific pieces and specific concerns. The selection was based on a definitive parallel that can be drawn between the works of Reinhoud, Brands and Alechinsky and Tee’s, most notably in Tee’s and their study and use of ethnographic sources. As well as the role of the shaman, the magician – which overlaps in all works. A spiritual and expressionist interest in the earlier pieces might even be brought into a conversation with such contemporary thought as Objet Oriented Ontology (OOO), a ‘movement’ that Tee’s work is conceptually connected with.


The event entitled ‘Listening to the Soul in Limbo’ is a performative launch that takes place during Amsterdam Art Weekend, presenting the book through live music and ritual. ‘Listening to The Soul in Limbo’ also marks the opening of the exhibition ‘Jennifer Tee meets Cobra’ at Kunstverein.

[1] Peter Brook, The Empty Space, 1968 (Penguin edition, 2008)

Kunstverein wishes to thank its (Gold) members, Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst, Mondriaan Fonds, and Stadsdeel Zuid.