La Madre, il Figlio e l’Architetto (The Mother, the Son and the Architect) is a short film about a church in the form of a sphere in Gibellina, a town in Sicily that was destroyed by an earthquake in 1968 and was reconstructed in the 1980s. The church is designed by Ludovico Quaroni, an Italian architect. He’s the father of Emilio – a past lover of Petra Noordkamp – who killed his mother some years after their first encounter.
“During Noordkamp’s search for Emilio, the move that takes her to the church designed by Ludovico Quaroni – although prompted in part by chance – is as practical as it is inescapable. The multiple absence, caused by love, death, crime, madness, distance and incomprehension, that permeates all these relationships, as diverse as they are interrelated, surely could not be transformed into an experience anywhere better than in Quaroni’s church in Sicily. The questions are no longer why Emilio killed his mother, why his father built this church, or how Petra Noordkamp can still be interested in him. The questions have become more general, more important, spatial and visual. Or rather: instead of answering these questions, architecture creates the framework within which they can be asked in the best possible way.”
— Christophe van Gerrewey, Foamcahier, June 2012
Petra Noordkamp (Losser, 1967) studied photography at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam. Her film La Madre, il Figlio e l’Architetto got its premiere at Foam in 2012 and after that it was shown in various places around the world, including Tehran, Rome, Porto and Budapest. In 2014 she was commissioned by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York to make a short film to capture the Grande Cretto, a landart work by the Italian artist Alberto Burri. This film was in the last year part of exhibitions at K21 in Düsseldorf, the Centre Pompidou in Paris and the MAXXI in Rome. Her work has been published in many magazines and newspapers such as San Rocco Magazine, Club Donny, The Purple Journal, Volkskrant Magazine, NRC Handelsblad and Avenue. At the moment she is working on a new short film about the experimental éco-quartier Eva-Lanxmeer in Culemborg, the Netherlands.
Artwork by DANIELE FORMICA & SUYOUNG YANG
Poster design by Gilles de Brock, –A2 RISO printed–
Is a Refrigerator Good or Evil? The Moral Evaluation of Everyday Objects is a research publication from Springer Science + Business Media. De Jong based his second solo exhibition Court of Justice at Fons Welters Gallery in Amsterdam on this research. The show is a peculiar fusion of a courtroom and a prison. As the title of the exhibition already indicates, De Jong focuses specifically on elements of justice; from the hierarchical design of courtrooms, to the psychological manipulation of juries, the theatricality surrounding a judgement and the following isolation. Who is summoned to court? And who is to judge?
Although Folkert de Jong is known for his often grotesque-looking, human sized figurative sculptures, this time the eccentric character has been replaced by a clinical feeling of oppression. His use of material was mostly focussed on contemporary, often non-recyclable materials like Styrofoam. But recently he has broadened his material palette by adding transparent Plexiglas vitrines, enclosing foam assemblages of objects and body parts. As if they are preserved in formaldehyde. De Jong has also collaborated with radiologists in Utrecht, to create an M. R. I. scan of his head, which he has used to make a holographic 3-D image of his skull. Except from this hologram, the human figure disappeared in De Jong’s Court of Justice. While De Jong has represented immoral human behavior in previous works, he now questions the morality of things themselves. Can an object be intrinsically good or bad? Could an item be put to trial?
Folkert de Jong (Egmond aan Zee, 1972) lives and works in Amsterdam. Through his sculptures, cultural symbols and (historical) figures are transformed into theatrical narrative tableaux, addressing themes of war, greed, history and power. His work arises from a strong fascination for the psychological and bodily human condition. De Jong exhibited worldwide, recent solo exhibitions include Hominid Lands, Musee d’Evreux (2015); The Holy Land, Hepworth Wakefield (2014 – 2015); Amabilis insania. The pleasing delusion, Middelheim Museum, Antwerp (2013) and Actus Tragicus, Mudam, Luxembourg (2013).
Hallway Art :
Poster design by Gilles de Brock, –A2 RISO printed–
In an interview with the VPRO Rikko Voorberg commented on the concept of concern: “For those who have much to lose in power or money, this time can be disconcerting. But for those who have nothing, it is a time of vibrating hope.”
He continues: “There is a classic text: ‘You are in the world, but not of the world.’ But I have to take distance from these words. It’s been a long road to realise that I want to embrace this world. I want to be here. Simply, in this world it needs to happen. As a young Reformed boy I used to think that sin was something as premarital sex or to buy clothes on Sunday. But that’s what I call moralism today. Sin is a pattern in our society, in our human behaviour. To jeopardize what is weak is always evil, we have to learn to share our food, to be conscious about where our clothing comes from.”
Voorberg initiated the Popup Church, a weekly celebration on Sunday with unchurched creatives in Amsterdam-West, with brunch, bread, wine, silence, texts and conversations. This initiative is spreading to other cities like Rotterdam, Arnhem and The Hague. “Every week we begin again and again to realize another world, where we are sharpened by the ideas and actions of the early Christian church.”
Voorberg was one of the initiators of the so called Vluchtkerk, Church of Refuge. In 2014 a vacant church was squatted for a group of demonstrating asylum-seekers, who were labelled illegal by the government. We have to take our responsibilities.
Rikko Voorberg (Kampen, 1980) is a writer, theologian, church pioneer, and performance artist. He studied theology in Kampen and refers to himself as “a theologian in the wild”; always looking for a new understanding of our humanity by exploring the ideas of Christianity together with artists, creatives and unbelievers. Together with Martijn Horsman he wrote the book The Manipulator, lessons in winning and losing with recognizable themes such as longing, nostalgia, emptiness and uncertainty. At the moment he is finalizing his book De dominee leert vloeken, een pleidooi voor woede (How a pastor learned to curse, a plea for anger) that will be published in October.
Hallway artwork by DANIELE FORMICA & SILVANA GORDON VALENZUELA
Poster design by Gilles de Brock, –A2 RISO printed–
Charl Landvreugd will elaborate on the colour black at Studium Generale. Aesthetically, politically, theoretically as well as practically, black is the base colour in his practice. Landvreugd researches the visual strategies of Dutch Afro artists with a focus on the production of cultural citizenship. He argues that the discourse dominated by post-colonial theoretical frameworks does not always suffice in describing the Dutch and continental European Afro art production. At present, black serves only as an often-used borrowed denomination, without actual, concrete consensus on its meaning or applicability among members of the African diaspora in the Netherlands. Since a Black- or better still Afro-self-awareness is growing, naming all such subjects as black at this point in time is (possibly prematurely) advancing a case for recognition of a specific continental European Black condition. Landvreugd advocates for local European concepts and language that have the potential to speak about the sensibilities specific to the area.
Charl Landvreugd (Paramaribo, 1971) lives and works in Rotterdam as a visual artist. In his practice he mainly works with sculpture, performance, installation, photography and video. At Goldsmiths University in London he studied Fine Art and History of Art (BA). After that he continued his studies in Modern Art: Critical and Curatorial Studies (MA) at Columbia University in New York. Currently he continues his investigations at the Royal College of Art in London in the PhD programme Curating Contemporary Art, exploring black – with a small b, denoting colour rather than politics – and Blackness in all its different meanings and diversity. Also he has a wide experience as a curator and a writer, working in Europe, the Caribbean and the United States
Artwork by DANIELE FORMICA & SUYOUNG YANG
In 500 years, our views on evil have changed completely. From monsters, demons and witches to the cruelties of what people do to each other. Philosophically speaking, evil has changed from being vertical to being horizontal. The philosopher Sartre says: “hell is other people”. “Other people”, that is: you. Hell is you, that is. Modern philosophy says you can’t talk about evil without talking about yourself. Take up the challenge and explore the history of evil and how bad you really are.
Tempelman contributes to multiple blogs and is the founder of Denkjewel.nl. Under the title God or Not he wrote a series of three articles in which he questions the historical proof of God (and their refutations) and he relates to what philosophers thought about this subject. In a related article he reflects on the arguments against the existence of God. The most used argument is that of evil: “Since there is evil, there can’t be a God”.
Gerko Tempelman (1988) studied theology and philosophy and keeps himself busy with the oddness of life and how to discover what is meaningful in the postmodern playground. In his quest, Tempelman has developed several projects like the Dutch Death Cafe (‘conversations about death at the coffee table’) and the Dutch Church for Atheists. He has taught classes like The Meaning(-lessness) of Life, A Brief History of Hell and Philosophy and Islam (How the Arab science and enlightenment was brought to the European Middle Ages) at institutions like The School of Life and the Vrije Academie in Amsterdam.
Video by Niels Schrader:
Video by Niels Schrader:
Ritual performance by ALEX WEBBER, DIMITRI WITTEMBERG, DANIELE FORMICA & SUYOUNG YANG!
The artwork for this lecture deals with the idea of approaching evil in a playful, childish and innocent way, trough a ritualistic and absurd performance!
Unfortunately Jan Rosseel couldn't make it coming Thursday, but we found a photographer as good, with the same first name, so no need to stay home!
Jan hoek (1984) is our guest on 10th November, he recently won the Dutch Design Award for a collaboration with Duran Lantink, with the project 'Sistaaz of the Castle’ in the category Fashion. Next to that he is nominated for the Volkskrant Beeldende Kunst Prijs. A dutch art price for artist under 35 years old.
Jan Hoek has photographed amateur models, mentally ill homeless people in Africa, a girl with no arms and legs, a heroin addict who dreams of being a model, or people he has simply found in advertisements on the internet. The photo shoot is never what he expected, model and photographer always have different expectations. The model actually wants sex while Jan Hoek wants to shoot the dog. The model tries to be as glamorous as possible, while Jan wants to picture the decay. Photographing is not just about the image but also the relationship between the photographer and the model. How far can you go with your models? In the accompanying film, Me & My Models, Jan talks about the nasty, funny, painful or touching things that happen around photographing people.
“I believe there is always a certain degree of ethics involved in photography. It is almost impossible to take photographs of people without consciously, or unconsciously, crossing boundaries and with things happening that you don’t want or expect. I feel this is often covered up in photography, while I would like to show it … “
Artwork by DANIELE FORMICA & SUYOUNG YANG
Consists a series of Jan's portraits that Danielle and Sue were reproducing at the same time with bounded hands.
Daria Bukvić interviewed by Wieke ten Cate
The first theatre play that Daria Bukvić directed was her graduation project From Russia with love in 2013. Together with Vanja Rukavina, Bukvić created a play where four Dutch and four Russian youngsters meet on the stage floor. Confronted with themselves, each other and all the cultural clichés that they carry with them led to a physical, outgoing and humorous show.
In December 2015 her new show Nobody Home premiered at the Theatre Company in Amsterdam. In the show three actors (Vanja Rukavina, Majd Mardo and Saman Amini) look back at their past as refugees and tell their stories about their flight experiences and how they grew up in the Netherlands.
Bukvić and the actors were all born in the same year, 1989. As a kid they fled from their home country – Iran, Syria and Bosnia – and then started around the same time at the Maastricht Theatre Academy. These special circumstances almost naturally led to a perfor- mance. Nobody Home is a funny and poignant coming of age story about three young people, a reflection on how the treatment of refugees in the Netherlands has changed over the years, and a passionate plea for humanity. The play is a touching, critical and humorous portrait of a young generation in a country where the refugee policy changed drastically in the last twenty years. The dynamics between us and them is a constant and important issue in daily life. The production was selected for the Dutch Theatre Festival in 2015 and was among the eleven best performances of the season 2014–2015.
Daria Bukvić’s (Tuzla, 1989) mother is a Bosnian Muslim woman and her father a Catholic Croat. Because of the outbreak of the Yugoslav civil war Daria fled with her mother to the Netherlands in 1992. They have spent two years in a refugee centre before they got a permanent residency. Bukvić grew up in a village in Limburg, where she soon discovered her love for the theatre. At 17, she applied for the directing programme of the Theatre Academy in Maastricht where she obtained her diploma in 2011. Since then Bukvić directed all kind of theatre plays for Frascati Productions, Parade festival, Hofplein Rotterdam, Toneelschuur Producties, and many more.
Here by a picture from Daria and Wieke with the animation made by the Head of the department of Grapic Design, Niels Schrader.
And our favorite hallway artist, DANIELE FORMICA & SUYOUNG YANG :)
A cultural stoof, performance by DANIELE FORMICA & SUYOUNG YANG
We created a multicultural buffet combining ingredients from our nationalities.
As described on her website, Tinkebell provokes by exemplifying the blind spots of modern society. She confronts a public that revels in being indignant about everything that has nothing to do with them, but at the same time is very apologetic about their own actions. She questions why millions of male chicks are brutally killed every day, but she gets arrested for threatening to do the same in public. Why are people who openly discuss the lowering of the sexual age of consent treated as vile pedophiles, but are ‘barely 18’ websites intensely popular?
In 2004 she turned her own cat into a handbag, while she tries to show people their own hypocrisy about the use of animals for consumption and leather production. Outcry from the online world followed. Blogs and activist sites published stories about the atrocity she had committed. In the first few days that the story went online, more than 40,000 unique visitors visited her website and her mailbox was flooded with violent threats and death wishes. So she became an expert in the negative site of social media and tried to find out how to deal with it: she tried to find the people behind them. By publishing the book Dearest Tinkebell (2009), she no longer is just the receiver of all this faceless anger, but takes charge in responding to it.
From there on she created several projects about the blind spots of the modern society. The project Save the World deals with this clash of cultures. The need to help people, to pamper our own ego without communication with those that are in need.
Katinka Simonse (Goes, 1979), also known as Tinkebell, is a Dutch artist who engages with issues around our morals and the way society is developing. She graduated at the design department of the Sandberg Institute, Amsterdam in 2005. Later this year she will publish Waarschuwing: de schrijver van dit boek is kunstenaar – Tinkebell (Warning: this book is written by an artist – Tinkebell), a publication based on her visit to Idomeni, a Greek city where many Syrian refugees are located.
A performance by Alex Webber, Heesub Han, Oscar Cousins and Erlend Evensen!
SCROLL DOWN FOR THE SCHEDULE
(David Bernstein, 'Even if it's not true, it's well found' (2015) Performance (uit gesprekken met Jay Tan), sculptuur (aluminium, mother of pearl auto paint) gepresenteerd in TENT, Rotterdam.)
“But what is the difference between thinking and thinging? Thinking is just the thin king.”
David Bernstein combines performance, sculpture, and writing to tell stories through objects. He practices thinging, a back-and-forth process of thinking and making things. When exhibiting or performing, he tries to create an intimate space of hospitality. Bernstein is driven by obsessions such as spatulas and Fiat Multiplas. Some other themes he explores are: imaginative play, stars, language games, air, transcendental joy, rituals, abstraction, absurdism, simultiplaneous phenomena, zenwacky, loopholes, having fun and being together with others.
About the coming performance at the KABK: “I am not addressing directly the idea of good or bad in humanity, but am interested in togetherness. How can we find ways of being together when we don’t agree, when we have different interests, or even when we are violent to each other? What new situations of togetherness can we create and how can we recognize togetherness when we don’t realize it’s already present? How can language and playing with language open up a space to think differently about these issues? The performance is made by a transcendental Texas cosmic cowboy named Slim Denken (Smart Thinking).”
David Bernstein, (San Antonio, 1988) moved to Amsterdam in 2011 to pursue his masters at the Sandberg institute and after that he started a residency at the Jan van Eyck academy. He had a solo exhibition at Gallery van Gelder in Amsterdam in 2015 under the title Zenwacky. Earlier, in 2014, he did the performance There are always at least two ways of looking through a loophole at Walden affairs in The Hague.
Studium Generale Clapping Group by Audrey Cottin
Poster by Gilles de Brock, Hallway art work by DANIELE FORMICA & SUYOUNG YANG!
The scene is set like a white box sliced open, with walls that taper narrowly inwards. Walls that are nearly too white – fluorescent, almost. “An abstract space that forms a limitless chasm between imagination and reality,” is written in the theatre programme. Toneelgroep Amsterdam is performing a modern version of Medea.
Anna, played by Marieke Heebink, returns home from a stay in a psychiatric hospital. After discovering her husband’s infidelity, she adds a small amount of poison to his food every day. But that was then. She is determined to do better this time, to pick up the pieces and bring her family back together. There was love once, it couldn’t possibly have disappeared completely. We follow Anna’s obsessive thoughts, we learn of the sacrifices that make her husband’s betrayal unacceptable. But she starts feeling cornered when those around her don’t follow her ideas. She is about to lose everything she has. Jet black flakes fall down around her, gathering ominously on the floor. Meanwhile, her sons unexpectedly appear all over the place, camera in hand, shooting an intimate home movie for a school assignment.
Medea was written by Euripides in 431 BC. The Greek tragedy tells of Medea, who uses her sorcery to help Jason escape. But when he leaves her for a king’s daughter, she cannot bear her grief. She murders their children, the father and his lover. Revenge.
Director Simon Stone based his Medea on a true story that holds each of these ingredients: the case of Deborah Green, a woman who murdered her husband, his lover, and her own sons. Stone states: “I think the theatre may be the most important contemporary art form. Where else do people come together to communally experience and contemplate? Theatre is possibly the best medium through which to comprehend Medea’s decisions.”
Stone’s Medea is like a long stay inside a freezer. It seems inconceivable for a woman to murder her children, the ultimate incomprehensible evil. Yet we read about this sort of family drama time and time again. An evil that has been on repeat for thousands of years.
During a lecture in 2013, Rico Sneller discusses the book The Kindly Ones by Jonathan Little, in which a Nazi officer writes about the murders he has committed:“Should we understand political mass murders such as committed by The Kindly Ones’ narrator? How about Littell’s literary attempt to do so? As already suggested above, this question presupposes that we can understand them, for the impossibility of understanding would deprive the question of its sense.”
Don’t we live understanding lives?
“The desire to understand is a prominent feature of our Western culture. And while modern science tries to understand natural phenomena, contemporary hermeneutics attempts to understand and interpret human expression. On the one hand we can ask ourselves if evil can be fathomed, while on the other hand we can wonder if it should be. Because wouldn’t understanding evil amount to justifying it?”
Rico Sneller suggests we take a different approach to the matter of whether or not we should understand. “I would like to question the inevitability of understanding as an all-encompassing approach of consciousness.” he says.
But the extent of our understanding does not cover the entire mechanisms of human behaviour, nor does it fully include the space of what Rico Sneller has termed the uncanny. We cannot fully reach these dimensions, until we experience them ourselves, because there are no adequate means whatsoever of understanding them. Not yet. “But the horizon of sense and human understanding are always looming”, writes Sneller.
This year’s programme, Dark Water, considers the question of whether man is good or bad by nature and how your answer to this question affects your attitude to life. How far are you willing to go to understand the other? Where do we draw the line? And how does religion view good and evil? What can a person do to be a good human being, and what does that mean?
Head of Studium Generale
The Studium Generale is a programme that hovers, as it were, over the departments: it addresses themes that may not have an immediate practical use, but are potentially relevant to each and every student. It aims to introduce students to fields that aren’t directly addressed within their own course such as theatre, philosophy, poetry, film, sociology, invention, science, or a combination of these subjects. It is, more or less, a semi-theoretical programme to help you assess your own work from a different perspective and to draw inspiration from other fields of knowledge. The Studium Generale is a gift to the students: specially for them, famous actors, photographers, scientists, and many others will visit the academy to deliver a lecture on their professional field, ending in a discussion open to all.
Each student’s work is fuelled by the impulses surrounding him or her by the society they live in, and it’s important to gain an understanding of this environment from which you can distill your own unique interests and determine your own position. Especially for artists, it’s imperative to see beyond the borders of your specific professional field, to open yourself up to the grand and unorthodox thoughts of others and to integrate these with your own ideas. The Studium Generale hopes to break down barriers between departments and initiate collaborations to pave the way for groundbreaking new ideas. To do so, the Studium Generale works closely with each department to complement and broaden their existing programmes.
Studium Generale is brought to you by Hanne Hagenaars and Jeannette Slütter
Hanne Hagenaars — Head of programme
Jeannette Slütter — Coordinator
Writer Said El Haji published the article The School of Mixed Love in the Volkskrant in which he describes how his relationship with his Dutch girlfriend gave him insight into his own cultural baggage:
"Assimilation is a mistake, since it implies a total denial of a culture that simply can not be denied." Through a mix of music and video clips, Said will tell more about the analysis of these experiences and he will read aloud one of his stories (that is translated into English). On his site we read: "I write for the restless. For the eternal seekers. Always apostates. I write for the other. I also write for anyone else who deviates."
Said El Haji (1976, Morocco) is a writer, publicist, columnist, blogger and a (writing) teacher. He studied Dutch language and literature in Leiden and won the El Hizjra encouragement prize for his story The Little Hamid in 2000. This story turned into his debut novel The days of Shaitan (2000), which caused a lot of media attention and has (already) been published in French. Said El Haji also works as a columnist for numerous regional and national newspapers and magazines, and as an editor of the literary-journalistic magazine Passionate Magazine. He published Divine Devil and The announcement and Arise and live, father.
Poster by Gilles de Brock
Sculpture by Leonie and Treintje
‘Everyone knows that Darling is an end-of-the-line monstrous war-cry kinda pseudonym, taken in defiance of a world that doesn’t love you.’
Jesse Darling is an artist and occasional writer based in London. JD works across various media including sculpture, video, installation, and text. In the broadest sense their practice is concerned with the human condition and how it is mediated through the structures, narratives and technologies that govern lived experience, knowing that what constitutes this experience is shifting along with ideas about sovereignty, gender, matter and even sentience itself. Considering the social and physical body as a site where architectural, [bio]political and social structures manifest and become transformed, Darling's recent sculptural work has sought to explore the story of colonial modernity and the military-industrial complex through the materials with which the domestic spheres of home and homeland are built and upheld.
Originally trained in dance and physical theatre, Darling is often credited as a forerunner of the 'post-internet' generation, pioneering notions of networked performativity and digital labor in between space and the screen. Influenced by their background in squatting and community projects they also founded a series of communal living and working projects in London, most recently Fondazione Non Grata in Croydon. Darling has recently published texts in the MIT Press anthology Mass Effect: Art and the Internet in the 21st Century and Best British Poetry 2015, and their most recent projects include a performance piece commissioned for the Serpentine Gallery's Park Nights series (NTGNE, 2015) and some new large-scale sculptures for MoMA Warsaw. Other recent shows include GREY at Brand New Gallery, Milan (both 2016); Alive for An Instant, Galeria Stereo, Warsaw; Absolute Bearing, LD50 Gallery, London; Spirit Level (with Takeshi Shiomitsu), AND/OR Gallery, London; Devotions, MOT Projects, London; They/Them, DREI, Cologne (all 2015). This spring they will publish a text with Former West and present a solo exhibition for Arcadia_Missa in London. JD collaborates frequently and teaches at Sandberg Instituut and Spike Island in Bristol; they also work as editor-at-large for The New Inquiry.
Poster by Gilles de Brock
After-Talk-Talk with Jesse Darling
Cities in Africa are faced with complex urban conditions marked by struggles over land rights, infrastructures and access to material and immaterial resources. Confronted with the legacies of colonial rule and the emergence of neocolonialism, new urban movements of resistance arise. Elke Krasny's lecture focuses on her research in Dakar, the capital of Senegal. The lecture will address issues of public memory of the planning strategies of the colonial past and the emergence of bottom-up urban transformation through self-organised cultural, educational and artistic practices.
Elke Krasny is a professor at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. She holds a PhD from the University of Reading. In her work as a curator, cultural theorist, researcher and writer she focuses on issues of urban transformation, spatial justice, feminist art practices and curatorial knowledge production. In 2011 she was curator-in-residence at the Hongkong Community Museum Project. In 2012 she was visiting scholar at the Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montréal. She edited the book Hands-On Urbanism. The Right to Green 1850-2012, the exhibition of the same title was presented at the Vienna Architecture Centre, the Venice Architecture Biennale and is currently on show at the Moravian Gallery Brno. Her 2015 exhibition Suzanne Lacy's International Dinner Party in feminist curatorial thought was shown at the Zurich University of the Arts.
Poster by Gilles de Brock
Sculpture by Leonie and Treintje
A conversation on racism, on abject representations of human beings, on the economic structures that lie hidden beneath these representations, and on whether artists can take responsibility for the society they inhabit.
"Perhaps in the future … Congolese plantation workers will sip cappuccinos in the jungle while discussing, say, critical strategies in contemporary art practice, just as they do in Shoreditch and Brooklyn."
Renzo Martens (1973) is a Dutch artist and filmmaker, living and working in Kinshasa, Brussels and Amsterdam. In 2010 he founded the Institute for Human Activities, that 'aims to gentrify the jungle', by establishing what he refers to as a settlement where art can fully embrace the terms and conditions of its won conditions.
In his conceptual documentary films Episode I (2003) and Episode III: Enjoy Poverty (2008) Martens used his position as an artist to highlight the exploitation of underpriviledged people by media industries and cultural producers, including Martens himself. Renzo’s films have been shown at the 6th Berlin Biennial, Tate Modern in London, Centre Pompidou in Paris, Van Abbe Museum Eindhoven, Kunsthaus Graz, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, as well as at numerous film festivals and on public broadcast channels. Since 2013 Renzo Martens is a Yale World Fellow. He participated in numerous international exhibitions, including the 19th Biennale of Sydney in 2014, the Moscow Biennale 2013, and the 6th and 7th Berlin Biennial in 2010 and 2012.
Quinsy Gario was born in Curaçao and raised in St. Maarten and the Netherlands. He studied Theater, Film and Television Studies at the Utrecht University with a focus on Gender and Postcolonial Studies. He won the Hollandse Nieuwe 12 Theatermakers Prize 2011, the Issue Award 2014, the Amsterdam Fringe Festival Silver Award 2015 and was a finalist in the 2011 Dutch National Poetry Slam Championship.
His most well known work Zwarte Piet Is Racisme critiqued the general knowledge surrounding the racist Dutch figure of Black Pete which he followed up by bringing out into the open the governmental support that keeps the figure alive in the Netherlands. His latest focus is on state protection of the marginalized and political resistance as performance.
He is a member of the pan-African artist collective State of L3 and his work has been shown in Galleri Image (Denmark), Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst Antwerpen (Belgium), SMART Project Space and Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam (Netherlands). He has performed among other places in Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam), Contact Theater (Manchester) and Ballhaus Naunynstraße (Berlin). Currently he is enrolled in the Master Artistic Research program at the Royal Academy of Art The Hague.
In conversation: Quinsy Gario & Renzo Martens
The Studium Generale-sculpture for this week is a performance of three people (Trijntje Noske, Gideon Oosten and janne schripper) isolating themselves by covering ears and eyes for the whole day in the entrence hall. This performance is a reaction towards the political filmmaking of renzo martens. The three performers represent the wealthy society ignoring the matter poverty. The western society is too occupied with their own thoughts.
Anoek Nuyens (1984) is a Dutch writer, dramaturge and theatre maker based in Amsterdam, though often she works internationally, such as in Kinshasa, Brussels and Berlin.
In May 2015, her first solo performance Hulp (Aid) premiered at Frascati Theatre in Amsterdam. Hulp is a journalistic theatre project on the charity she inherited from her aunt, that forced her to think about a new mission: responsibility and solidarity in a time where individuality is paramount. But, which course is the right one? And, do we actually still believe in charities, NGO's and development initiatives? With these fundamental questions Anoek Nuyens traveled to Africa to visit some of the settlements of her newly owned charity.
Through her writing Nuyens tries to identify significant shifts in our present time. As such she wrote a series on released state secrets for the Dutch journalism platform De Correspondent and her essay West, wake up! was proclaimed the best theatre essay of 2013 and awarded with the Marie-Kleine Gartman Pen. Since 2013, Nuyens curates Nieuwe Grond (Nederlands Theatre Festival) and she founded het Transitiebureau. Het Transitiebureau consists of a group of thinkers and theatre makers that –through actions and theatrical interventions–try to redefine the role of theater in the 21st century.
by Gilles de Brock
Sculptureby Trijntje Noske & Leonie Schneider
At the moment Juliacks is working on a new participative performance that is the epilogue to Architecture of an Atom. Architecture of an Atom is a narrative film central to a trans-media project directed, written and co-produced by Juliacks. The film depicts a group of displaced ‘adult-children’ who move into an abandoned pool in France. In their creative escape from an impending war around them, they find a syncretic object, an anthropomorphic whistle that they use to grieve and move into death worlds.
Juliacks' work is about transformation through loss. As a layered narrative construction, Architecture of an Atom evolves using the elastic qualities of memory and imagination, enabling the manipulation of time, place and character with the mediums of narrative film, performance and comics. As characterized by the New York Times, "Juliacks whose work– crude, ornate, subjective and dreamy — is not for those who prefer their narrative crisp and tidy."
Juliacks (born April 9, 1986) is an artist, filmmaker, performer-choreographer,cartoonist and playwright living in the USA and the Netherlands. Her work has been screened and performed at the Moderna Museum of Malmö & many other places and was published internationally in magazines, including the Graphic Canon, Lumpen Magazine, and Insect Bath. In 2009 Sparkplug Comics published her book made in collaboration with Olga Volazova: Rock That Never Sleeps. She received a Fulbright grant for performance art in Finland and made the comicbook and film Invisible Forces. In 2012 her graphic novel Swell premiered as a play at Culture Project's Women Center Stage Festival in New York.
by Gilles de Brock
SculptureThrough an installation consisting out of 3 paintings we show the "Architecture of an Atom": The adult child and pool have been the linguistic guidelines for this visual work. A partly 3 dimensional, partly 2 dimensional installation that plays with the idea of screen and reality. Monumental qualities meet trivial characteristics. —by Leonie Schneider en Trijntje Noske
Lecture Architecture of an Atom
‘For the black collection I tried to use many techniques and fabrics to symbolize the different layers of society. I have a top saying in the front: ‘I’ll suck your dick!’ and in the back it says: ‘Lick my clit’, as nothing comes for free in this world. The logo I made for the underwear collection says ‘Fist Fucking God’s Planet’ and refers to all the big egos in this world who are at each others throat and in our ongoing craving for more, more and more. We are all laughing while fucking up this planet.’
In 2015 fashion designer Lantink and photographer Jan Hoek travelled to South Africa to start their project 'Sistaaz of the Castle', on the aesthetics and appearance of the transgender sex-worker community in Cape Town. In close collaboration with the local transgender support group Sistaazhood –made possible by sex-worker organization SWEAT– Lantink and Duran transform their appearances into fashion icons, through the creation of a fashion collection and photo series. The collection traveled from South Africa to the Netherlands and was presented at the International Amsterdam Fashion Week.
Lantinck will elaborate on Sistaaz of the Castle, by means of speech and a small fashion show.
Duran Lantink is an artist and a stylist: ‘I focus on mixed media with fashion and my work usually consists of attracting opposites.’ Among others, his clients are de Bijenkorf, Solar, Tommy Hilfiger, Vogue, Babylon, 3D Printshow UK, Muziekgebouw aan ’t IJ. He has had expositions in during the Dutch Design Week 2013, the Mode Biennale Arnhem 2013, at Design Centre of London 2013, Coursell de Louvre Paris 2014 and Metropolitan New York 2014
directed by Boris Gerrets
19h, Auditorium KABK
Set in the poorer parts of the Sierra Leonese capital of Freetown, this sensitive-minded documentary operates roughly in the vein of “Dark Days” (minus those outcasts’ exit strategy), humanizing innocents scarred by a recent civil war who now dwell in the shadows of a city with no shortage of adversity. Of course, the damaged souls also come out in the day, though Gerrets seems determined to confine his shooting to the haunted midnight hour, as the crippled yet charismatic young men talk a big game and orphaned children curl up atop hard pavement, dreaming behind sightless eyes. Compositionally, the dimly lit footage reaches back centuries to a tradition of dark and evocative Dutch painting.
Without much-needed narration or a clear structure to guide its woeful succession of stolen moments, the documentary answers questions we hadn’t thought to ask about how these dispossessed individuals bathe, date and otherwise pass their nights. The film functions as an act of empathy, but how well can we really know such strangers when the film keeps them at a distance? Despite occasional flashes of familiarity, Shado’man expects too much of a distant public, counting on audiences to fumble and find moments of connection in the dark.
by Gilles de Brock
Lecture Sistaaz of the Castle –by Duran Lantink
Pics by Diego Diez
The big pieces of black and slightly red, self-dyed cotton represent the layers of society that artist Lantink elaborates in his collection. The "black collection" was inspiration for me to create these abstract fabric columns that breathe when people pass. The pink middle fabric between the big columns, takes the form of the female genitalia and proposes a connection to the transgenders Lantnik was inspired by. —by Leonie Schneider
This time we screen Werner Herzog's Fitzcarraldo!
Manon came into contact with a group of illegal refugees who's asylum is rejected. They lived together in a big abandoned house and –in order to inform people on their situation– they handed out leaflets and invited people inside. But nobody came. Logical. Who wants to sit on bare mattresses?
Van Hoeckel came up with the idea to invent a neutral place where immigrants and residents can meet. A whitewashed gypsy wagon: In Limbo Embassy. Who represents these people? Not the media, not our government and certainly not any other government. Now there is In Limbo Embassy that does not represent a country but a group. Refugees without papers, without identity and rights, are the ambassadors.
Manon van Hoeckel (1990) is an Amsterdam based critical/social designer. Aside from self-initiated collaborative projects she does commissioned work for several clients. She studied at the Design Academy in Eindhoven and graduated Cum Laude in 2014 She has had exhibitions in WOW in Amsterdam (2015), Museum Boijmans van Beuningen in Rotterdam (2015) and at the Salone del Mobile in Milan (2015). She won the Connector Award 2014
by Werner Herzog
19h Auditorium KABK
Fitzcarraldo is a 1982 West German surreal film written and directed by Werner Herzog and starring Klaus Kinski as the title character. It portrays Brian Sweeney Fitzgerald, an Irishman known in Peru as Fitzcarraldo, who is determined to transport a steamship over a steep hill in order to access a rich rubber territory in the Amazon Basin.
Herzog could have used special effects for his scenes of the 360-ton boat being hauled up a muddy 40-degree slope in the jungle, but he believed we could tell the difference: 'This is not a plastic boat.' Watching the film, watching Fitzcarraldo raving in the jungle in his white suit and floppy panama hat, watching Indians operating a block-and-tackle system to drag the boat out of the muck, we're struck by the fact that this is actually happening, that this huge boat is inching its way onto land -- as Fitzcarraldo serenades the jungle with his scratchy old Caruso recordings.
Roger Ebert to Werner Herzog: What I admire above all about your film is the ambition of your imagination. You do not make small films and you do not have small ideas. You told me once that our time is starving for lack of images: All the images have been worn out by television and the movies and so we have nothing more to feed our vision. And you come up with images in your film that are so remarkable, including these countless red crabs in this one, that are so frightening to me -- because they are life, yet they are mindless and they just keep going on and on despite whatever we think or whatever we hope.
Lecture In Limbo Embassy –by Manon van Hoeckel
Sculpture This installation revers to the thought behind the images of the movie 'fitzcarraldo' and is there to feed our vision. Werner Herzog said that in our time, because of television and movies, there is a lack of images. In the movie they created a block-and-tackle system which sticked in our mind. As you see the sculpture exists out of 2 parts connected through a beam. –by Leonie Schneider en Trijntje Noske
Poster –by Gilles de Brock
18h = BRAAI TIME !
Hannes Bernard is a South African designer based in Amsterdam, and one half of SulSolSal – a design & research practice run with his Brazilian partner. The studio has a specific focus on design problematics in the Southern Hemisphere. Based between Amsterdam, Cape Town & São Paulo, SulSolSal uses research, publishing, food and performance as a means of investigating the complex relationships between design, economy & society and the austerity politics of Europe. Food is often incorporated into the practice as both a research tool and a medium of communication. – sulsolsal.com
This lecture will take as a starting point the aphorism “A rising tide lifts all boats” – popularized by JFK during the early 60s in a clarion call for an expanded welfare society – as a fundamental principle of global social democracy. We will consider an arc from the rapid expansion of modernism in the colonies, to the neoliberal globalization of today and discuss the possibilities for post-capital/post-liberation design. We’ll speculate on the near-future, as the risen boats of the global periphery return to old shores in Europe, with new cultural cargo.
Bernard is the co-founder and director of Jungle Jim, the first pan-African pulp fiction magazine, publishing genre fiction from across the continent & African diaspora – junglejim.org and he is a member of the DDG (designdisplacementgroup.com), which recently presented Digital Campfire #2 – a summer academy at the Jan van Eyck in Maastricht. After completing his undergraduate in South Africa, he moved to the Netherlands in 2011 where he received a masters in design from the Sandberg Instituut Amsterdam. Currently he teaches design and research at the KABK, Willem de Kooning Academie (Rotterdam) & ArtEZ (Arnhem).
After the lecture, we will make use of the KABK Braai werkplaats, located in the courtyard behind the cafateria.
Instructions will follow!
Lecture —by Hannes Bernard & Guido Guiglio
Sculpture: by Leonie Schneider en Trijntje Noske
Poster: By Gilles de Brock
Jeroen de Lange (1968) was Member of the Dutch Parliament for the Labour Party from January 25 to September 20, 2012. He worked as an economist at the World Bank in Kampala (Uganda), as diplomat in Kigali (Rwanda), he was one of the managers of the aid organization Cordaid and head of the staff of the city manager of Amsterdam.
During his career as diplomat and World Bank economist Jeroen de Lange struggled with the 'white man’s burden'. His ambition was to bring about positive change in faraway, poor and conflict ridden countries. Full of idealism and determined to make a difference he started his job as first secretary at the Netherlands embassy in Rwanda, some years after the genocide. He lived through shocking horrors, deep disappointments and incredible frustrations.
In 2010 De Lange published the essay Winning Hearts, Changing Mindsets. Interventions as Change Management: instead of instant solutions we should try to find out which solutions may work, in order to bring about and sustain a process of change. He investigated and questioned the mixed results of humanitarian and military intervention in Rwanda and other crisis countries. De Lange opens up new strategies for the Netherlands to cope with the situation in which we have to live with ‘the other’.
In his lecture, Jeroen de Lange will talk about his experiences as diplomat and economist working in Rwanda, Uganda, and South Sudan. He will discuss the representation of the other whom we would like to help. He will talk about the consequences of aid from the West in Africa. He will question your vision on the relationship between the West and Africa. Is aid helpful? And if so, what kind of aid, and how? Or, would it be better to stop all aid, as African Economist Dambisa Moyo proposes? Let them fix it themselves, let them fight it out? Giving war a chance?
Jeroen de Lange initiates 100weeks.nl : Temporary cash for permanent change. He believes that the poor know best how to spend money given to them. Because of new ICT developments –payment methods and platforms– we can now know for the first time in history all the poor by name and money can now be distributed widely at very low costs. 100weeks's appropriates these developments as strategy to help as many poor people as possible in developing countries to move out of poverty.
Jeroen de Lange: The White Man's Burden
The metal construction in form of a high seat like in tennis matches or at the swimming pool is a symbol for authority. A leather to climb up for success or a position of power. But the construction leads to a few wooden planks that are placed and not fixed. The work is proposing a certain function or power but doesn't fulfill these promises, as it's incomplete. It refers to 9 to 5 working and the disfunction and struggle in such a system. This work is based on Jeroen de Langes story. –by Leonie Schneider en Trijntje Noske
Poster —by Gilles de Brock
During RijksakademieOPEN 2015 Oussou showed a new installation. The starting point was an oral history recorded on a cassette tape. The story was narrated by a traditional singer in Fon, the language of the region of Allada, Benin. It dates back to the 13th century and tells about the royal family’s history, which is Oussou’s history as well as that of historical figures like François-Dominique Toussaint Louverture. It’s a story of migration, love, war, a search for power – topics that still dominate the world. By making a first official translation into English and French Oussou makes this oral history accessible in order to discuss its contemporaneity and universality.
Thierry Oussou is an autodidact, but was picked up by the art world by winning numerous awards. In 2012 he was selected for a photography studio at the Biennale in Benin. Thierry is best known for his videos. For admission to the Rijksacademie, he made an experimental documentary based on the four elements that was presented in the House of Cultural and Social Cohesion in Molenbeek, Brussels. He won at the Townhouse Gallery in Cairo Oneminute the prize for 'Local Spirit'.
Thierry Oussou –The Other Way, Together
Sculpture –by Leonie Schneider en Trijntje Noske
The metal construction in form of a high seat like in tennis matches or at the swimming pool is a symbol for authority. A leather to climb up for success or a position of power. But the construction leads to a few wooden planks that are placed and not fixed. The work is proposing a certain function or power but doesn't fulfill these promises, as it's incomplete. It refers to 9 to 5 working and the disfunction and struggle in such a system. This work is based on Jeroen de Langes story.
Poster –by Gilles de Brock
Vincent Meessen will discuss his exhibition for the Belgium Pavilion of the 56th Venice Biennial Personne et les autres with James Beckett, one of the artists who took part in the show.
Vincent Meessen’s work and artistic research have consistently explored the history and afterlife of colonial modernity. Through the use of various media he re-animates hidden or forgotten narratives of the relationship between Europe and Africa into speculative scenarios, pointing to the colonial matrix of western modernity. Both in his work as an artist and in his para-curatorial activities, Meessen likes to use procedures of collaboration that undermine the authority of the author and emphasize the intelligence of collectives.
Representing Belgium at the 56th Venice Biennial (2015), Vincent Meessen breaks with its (the biennial's) tradition of national representation by proposing Personne et les autres, an exhibition for which he invited 10 international artists. Through the work of the artists, Personne et les autres traces a timeline of references that connect the critique of colonial modernity with the so called Western avant-garde movements Dada, CoBrA and the Situationist International (1957-1972) and the emancipation of black people, Pan-Africanism, African independence movements, and ‘Global 68’.
Vincent Meessen (born in Baltimore in 1971), studied journalism and cultural policies before he completed his postgraduate studies at the HISK (Higher Institute for Fine Arts) in Antwerp. He is a founding member of Ambassade Universelle, a facility for undocumented people (2001-2005), of the artist collective Potential Estate (2006-2012) and of Jubilee, a Brussels-based platform for research and artistic production. Recent exhibitions include: Sire, je suis de l'ôtre pays, WIELS, Brussels, 2016; Patterns for (Re)Cognition, Kunsthalle Basel, 2015; My Last Life, FRAC Aquitaine, 2015; Patterns for (Re)Cognition, KiOSK, Gent, 2013 ; Mi Ultima Vida, MUAC, Mexico City, 2012.
James Beckett (born in 1977 in Harare, Zimbabwe) is an artist and musician, living and working in Amsterdam. His research-based practice explores minor histories, mostly concerned with industrial development and subsequent demise across Europe, a process of investigation which is as much physical as it is biographical. Beckett often relies on museological display mechanisms to present manufacturing developments, at times staged from the particular vantage point of product evolution. His more recent works focus on the disparate practices of architecture and dentistry and the more metaphysical subculture of dowsing.
Beckett was resident at the Rijksakademie (2001-2002). Exhibitions include: 5th Thessaloniki Bienalle, (GR); KaVo 1520 A, Wilfried Lentz, Rotterdam (NL);Dowsing Schools, Artspace, Aukland, (NZ); Passionate Advocate, TWAAS, New York (US), Khevsurvite Derivative, T293, Rome (IT), Annals of 21st C. Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridge (UK); A Thousand Varied Uses, Nogueras Blanchard, Madrid (SP); Liquid Assets, der steirische herbst, Graz (AT); Beyond Imagination, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (NL); When Attitudes Became Form Become Attitudes, CCA Wattis, San Fransisco (US). In 2003 he received the Prix de Rome for art and public space, and has published two monographs: Constant Interjections, TWAAS/Koenig books, 2013; James Beckett, Kehrer Verlag, 2009.
Personne et les autres –by Vincent Meessen and James Beckett
Sculpture –by Leonie Schneider en Trijntje Noske
The Oranges box placed on grass is a simple narrative sculpture referring to exporting and importing food goods between countries. The tragic of trade systems, where various goods are prepared for the needs of western society in an unethical way. The sculpture makes a comment on the industry of trading but also on colonies being forced upon countries, the western weight influences places, raises a wall in which cultures have to maintain. –by Leonie Schneider en Trijntje Noske
Poster –by Gilles de Brock
Studium Generale screens Hyènes, by Djibril Diop Mambéty :
Check the article Neoliberalism and the New Afro-Pessimism: Djibril Diop Mambéty’s Hyènes on e-flux to get in the mood.
Where does the work on Cultural Diversity start: with ourselves, or with the other? Can we find meaningful answers through researching databases? Or rather through social inquiries, and by making visible those who have been excluded from this discussion? Drawing on developments in contemporary arts, this lecture will focus through a historical perspective on knowledge from various disciplines that has been neglected in a European context, in order to use these as a starting point for a discussion on what Cultural Diversity might mean today. The talk will unfold the potential that lies within seeing diversity as a state of constant change.
Nana Adusei-Poku is Research Professor in Cultural Diversity at Rotterdam University and Lecturer in Media Arts at the University of the Arts, Zurich. She was a scholarship doctoral student at Humboldt University, Berlin, working on the curatorial concept post-black in relation to contemporary Black artists, following degrees in African studies and gender studies at Humboldt University, and in media and communications at Goldsmiths College, University of London. She published The Challenge to Conceptualise the Multiplicity of Multiplicities—Post-Black Art and Its Intricacies in Post-racial Imaginaries, a special issue of Dark Matter.
"Hyènes (Hyenas) … views African failure as something far more profound and universal. Its pessimism is found not in the depth of the African character but in the human one. In fact, if one were not told of the true origin of Hyènes, one would naturally assume it is 100 percent African, that it’s rooted in black culture … It looks like a perfectly black African parable of the dangers of greed and the foibles of communal life. One could even imagine transforming its main characters into animals, a common feature for African folk tales: the wise lion, the crafty rabbit, the persistent turtle, the pensive elephant. Indeed, the film begins with a herd of elephants, who, at the stroke of one cut, become human beings. But this is all an illusion. … the source of its story isn’t anywhere in Africa but in the heart of Europe. The story of the prostitute who returns to her village to exact revenge on the man who broke her heart when she was young and vulnerable was all dreamt up in the head of a Swiss. Hyènes turns out to be a very faithful adaptation of The Visit, a play by the German-Swiss dramatist Friedrich Dürrenmatt. And it is this link between a work that is so European and one that appears so African that captures the essence of Mambéty’s genius as an artist and the humanity of his pessimism."
Hyènes is a 1992 Senegalese comedy film adaptation of Friedrich Dürrenmatt's Swiss-German satirical play The Visit, directed by Djibril Diop Mambéty. The intimate story of love and revenge parallels a critique of neocolonialism and African consumerism. It was entered into the 1992 Cannes Film Festival.
Post-Black Dark Matter –by Nana Adusei-Poku
Poster –by Gilles de Brock
Sculpture–by Leonie Schneider en Trijntje Noske