Valentijn Byvanck is director of Marres, Center for Contemporary Culture in Maastricht, the Netherlands. At Marres he initiated and curated numerous exhibitions, often with an emphasis on experience and perception such as the all-encompassing 350m2 installation 'Levi van Veluw: The Relativity of Matter (2015)'. The program he is currently developing at Marres focuses on the working of the senses and body language. This subject was for example researched in 'Katja Heitmann: Museum Motus Mori (2019)'. By launching exhibitions such as the first 'Limburg Biënnale' in 2020, he ensures Marres remains an important platform for talent development for artists and curators.
Byvanck studied cultural history in Utrecht and New York, and was a fellow at the Smithsonian Institution and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. From 1999 to 2002, he was responsible for communications and theory at Witte de With, Center for Contemporary Art in Rotterdam (currently known as Kunstinsituut Melly). Between 2002 and 2009, he was director of the Zeeuws Museum in Middelburg. With his team, he renovated the museum building and reinvigorated its presentations. The Zeeuws Museum was awarded the prestigious Museum Prize by the Council of Europe in 2009. In the same year, Byvanck was appointed as one of two directors responsible for the newly founded innovative Museum of National History of the Netherlands, a project initiated and later scrapped by the Dutch government. As co-director, Byvanck was responsible for the mission, content, curators and projects, along with the museum, history and heritage networks.
Byvanck's projects extend beyond exhibition-making. In addition to his work as director of Marres, he is a member of several boards and committees in the cultural field. Byvanck is also a guest teacher at the Theater Academy Maastricht. He is regularly invited to speak, write or moderate debates on topics pertaining to culture, art and society. He has experience presenting programs about contemporary art on national television, such as AVROTROS' Kunstuur titled 4ART. His publications include exhibition catalogues for Marres (2013-current) and a series of columns about the museum for national newspaper De Volkskrant. For an overview of all publications and projects, download the complete resume below.