White Balls on Walls
Unconscious bias and systemic racism are tackled by the prestigious Stedelijk Museum in Sarah Vos' compelling documentary feature.
The slogan “Meet the Icons of Modern Art” needs to be scraped off the glass wall of the Stedelijk, Amsterdam’s Museum of Modern Art; precisely who these icons of modern art are is very much the question. Who gets to decide? And who loses out?
In 2019, as director Sarah Vos started shooting her documentary, more than 90 percent of the art at the Stedelijk was made by white men. The museum’s director Rein Wolfs embarks on a mission to correct this course with an urgent mandate to address this lack of diversity.
A big part of observational documentary filmmaking is being in the right place at the right time, and director Sarah Vos is in both. The place is Amsterdam's prestigious Stedelijk Museum. The time, though, is perhaps more significant. It's at this moment that established museums around the world are asking important questions about their collections: how works were acquired and what biases are at play in their acquisition and display.
It's at this precise moment that Vos' film begins, giving us unprecedented access to the inner workings of the Stedelijk Museum as it attempts to correct its course.
White Balls on Walls made its premiere at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam and is presented here as an exclusive Australian premiere season.
– Reece Goodwin (Curator, Film & TV)
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