Master Research Award 2022

From January 25 through 27 January 2023, Willem de Kooning Academy (Research Station) will host the Research Festival Making (in) the Unforeseen in Rotterdam. In addition to the conference, the presentation of the Master Research Award will take place on Thursday January 26, 2023.

About Research Awards
The Willem de Kooning Academy Research Award was established by the Willem de Kooning Foundation in 2015 to emphasize the central role of art and design research within the newly introduced curriculum. The Research Awards are not prizes for just theses or research documents but for projects merging theory and practice where art or design work is a vital part of the research. The Award is granted to Master graduation projects that combine theoretical and field research with artistic research and which provide new insights to broader audiences of experts and the public at large. Valuing art and design research, the Willem de Kooning Academy will grant one monetary award for a Master graduate of the year 2022.

Programmme January 26, 2023
Presentations by nominees from Piet Zwart Institute, the international Master programmes of the Willem de Kooning Academy will take place from 10.15– 14.45 hrs at WH 04.115, Wijnhaven 61.

The Research Award Ceremony will take place from 17.15 – 17.30 at WH 04.115, Wijnhaven 61.

The nominees for the 2022 Master Research Awards are:

Fine Art: Samboleap Tol | A broken heart for a soulful lament (in the key of reckoning and rejoicing) 

My artistic (re)search is largely informed by my experiences as a second generation Cambodian. Our parents and their peers suffer from undiagnosed PTSD as war children, which had a detrimental effect in our homes growing up. Experiencing loss and displacement in my child- and adulthood broke my heart completely, but also set it wide open: I learned to express compassion for others early on, and understood the power of creating space for voices unheard. Today I am especially moved by airing (hi)stories that are painful, complex and decolonial, because I believe reckoning with them will set everyone free.

“Tol excels at unfolding the link between political and spiritual forms of reckoning. In her paintings, writing, and public projects she draws on her own experience — both of Cambodian tradition, and urban life, in Rotterdam, and London — to provide a profound understanding of what it means for cultures to exist „in the wake“ (as political theorist Christina Sharpe puts it) of tremendous violence caused by imperial expansion, and post-colonial displacement.

Tol vividly demonstrates in her art and writing how „keeping the wake“ can be a practice where communal mourning goes hand in hand with vivacious community building, and how young urban cultures may tap into old spiritual knowledge to acknowledge pain and loss, while seeking a future, and dignity in life.” – Jan Verwoert (critic, writer and teacher at the Piet Zwart Institute).During my decade abroad in London, Sydney, Antwerp and Phnom Penh, I’ve been cared for by different diasporic communities who each saw me as their own. These experiences largely inform my imagination and realization of dignified life.

Lens-Based: Dachen Bao | Synecdoche, Chongqing

The Synecdoche, Chongqing project centers on a reconfiguration of history and the network of reminiscences (mutually interwoven empirical memories of the individual, the collective, the material, and the place) in Chongqing, a mountain city in Southwest China, seeks to use Chongqing, and the mountainous regions of southwest China as a case and a method, aiming to investigate several sets of ever-shifting entanglements: the indigeneity encounters both nation-state construction and the ghosts of the Anthropocene; the tensions and mediations between the frontier hinterlands and imperial governance and late capitalist modernity; the dynamic embodiment of ancestral ecology at geological scales and temporalities.Through the mobilisation of a series of perceptions and substances that call up different timescales latent in place, this project attempt to combine methodologies of ethnography and speculative fiction to research and practice by the zones of: place (architecture, rural area, wilderness), landscape (plants, crowd, geology), narrative (voice, storytelling, fabulation, myth). These zones are through chapters mapped across film, sound, and texts. In this way, this practice-based research explores the ever-shifting structural relationships between history and ecology, self & other, re-touch the history and memory of Southwest China on an archival, incarnational, and perceptual level, thus a potential space opened to produce alternative narratives outside the grand framework of the empire and the nation-state

XPUB: Floor van Meeuwen | Sobremesa

Last summer, for my graduation project of the Master Experimental Publishing, PZI, Rotterdam, I’ve researched the abstractness of materials in publishing and alternatives. For this I started researching through the thesis Fluorspar; Understanding the materiality and the invisible environmental impact of self- publishing about existing models that measure energy use, computer servers and colors/ pigments, things that are invisible to me as a publisher. The thesis is questioning tools, practices and impact I encounter in designing published material. Colors play a special role in this by showcasing our abstract knowledge of pigments and colorants, things that are used in almost every manufactured object, with every color as a unique property.

The fnal project for my graduation resulted in a dinner table. A place that is used to eat, meet and/ or make. The time spend after dinner is the English translation of the Spanish word “sobremesa”. As a meeting space and simultaneously as a publication the table serves as a open used interactive tool. Engraved in this dinner table are sentences taken from my thesis, mostly questions. Visitors could grab a take away styled menu which listed all ingredients of my project, a short piece of the thesis and a blank space of 20x20cm to use as a tabula rasa. Together with provided pencils this empty spot invited visitors to copy the engravings by rubbings creating their own sentences. The list inside the menu consisted of materials and tools; all the software used to create the menu, all machines used to make the table, the engravings and a technical list of the pigments from the pencils to showcase the intentie list of tools and materials used in publishing.

MIARD: Agnes Tatzber | Past Petrol Present 

In 1930 oil was found in the Vienna Basin. The tapping of what was stored in the very depths of the strata under the back then agrarian village Neusiedl massively influenced spatial processes on the surface. In addition to the obvious oil spaces, this study identifies the leisure facilities in Neusiedl as a crucial part of the urbanization processes initiated by resource extraction. Petroleum became an indispensable basic building block for many facets of modern life. By reading Neusiedls recreation spaces and material archives I aim to reveal how these places, as places of new and different experiences, have been instrumental in shaping subjectivity and how these imprints further remain as patterns of decision-making, thinking and action even if sooner or later, extraction inevitably ends. The architecture of the competition pool for example calls for a different relation between the soil and society than the prior bathing in the muddy river. The stability that the built environment communicated in the early years turned out to only exist in the dependency. The phasing out of the extraction in Neusiedl rendered the place from a boom to a bust town. It became harder to buy the myths that oil provided. And yet the petro-culture is still permeating everything today. Given its sheer ubiquity, it seems ironic that petroleum acts that much from the shadow. 

The performance “Past Petrol Present” takes place in a white and clean, ripped out part of a swimming pool. Through a ritual of smearing oil over the almost sterile surfaces, a disclosure of a map happens that contains information about incidents, oil structures and data revealing what actually stands behind the fact that the surface can be so smooth. 

MEIA: Lorenzo Gerbi | Indisciplined by Learning

In his graduation project, Lorenzo Gerbi proposes a rupture in the broad discourse around inter-, trans-, and multi-disciplinarity by disengaging from the methodological trap of the self-referential academic discussion around disciplinarity. The latter is too detached, in his opinion, from concrete experiences and existing non-disciplinary practices. Therefore, starting from his personal practice and struggles inside an interdisciplinary cultural institution, he decided to sketch an alternative approach that relies on temporarily removing disciplines to help develop a better collaboration attitude between them, not in an interdisciplinary project but by having people from different disciplines learning together.

In this way, learners become aware of how people with different backgrounds think and grasp reality, challenging the assumptions and hierarchies that normally originate from stereotyped images of specific characters (the nerd scientist, the greedy economist, the eccentric artist…). He called this approach indisciplinarity, a concept already briefly introduced by French philosopher Jacques Rancière, which he expanded to distinguish between the specific discipline that students learn within a traditional teaching environment and disciplines, the way they divide knowledge and separate those who can contribute to it from those who cannot.

For his graduation project, Gerbi co-designed an indisciplinary online learning community, called Make Economy Yours Again (MEYA), whose aim was to co-create a new knowledge base for developing alternative economic narratives. Participants were diverse in age, nationality, background and level of education, united only by their interest in economic activism. Through two editions of MEYA, he tested different pedagogical devices and de-disciplinarizing strategies to translate the approach of indisciplinarity into a concrete case study. The learning community became a space to practice economic change, a weekly 3-hour training session to exercise other ways of being in the current economic system, while questioning some of the assumptions and ideologies that dominate our understanding and action in our complex world.

Master Design: Bas Kortman |PULSE


Working as a design, theatre practitioner and educator for over 20 years, i gained extensive tacit knowledge about interaction and participation. in my design research, i aimed to make this knowledge explicit through participatory practice. i wanted to know how i could structure interactive processes and how to exchange this knowledge with others.I therefore developed perspectives on interaction, methods for assessing and analysing interactive projects and design tools to train interaction design.


Over the years, I noticed that participation and interaction also became increasingly important for civil servants and governments. At the Willem de Kooning Academy (WDKA), and other art schools in the Netherlands, I experience that students and tutors are increasingly prone to focus on participatory design and interaction with citizens and target groups.

However, in my practice, I see it often fail in cities, neighbourhoods, schools and research. There is seldom enough time to build a trusting relationship when students engage with citizens in 8-week projects or civil servants, and professional social workers hop from one neighbourhood to the next, dropping valuable contacts and connections. So, there is evident pressure to find effective ways to engage people. This is the primary design challenge I took on.


With my research, I focussed on ‘how to design and direct participation and interaction’ through game design and workshops with students and professionals. The result of this research is a methodology derived, which I call PULSE. PULSE is an acronym for five abilities that initiators or inter-actors should possess. They must be able to provoke, understand, lead, support ‘spect-actors’, and expand their interactions with participants. The PULSE methodology is a framework for participatory and interactive projects in a broad sense.

PULSE can be used twofold:


As a research framework for joint reflection on interactive projects and processes and assessment through the lens of PULSE.


As a practical application in the form of a programme with exercises and workshops to train inter-actors, designers and directors to design, direct active participation and interaction, and assist in participatory research.

Image: Samboleap Tol, A broken heart for a soulful lament (in the key of reckoning and rejoicing) 

Applications now open for the Master of Education in Arts for the academic year 2023/2024

Applications now open for the Master of Education in Arts for the academic year 2023/2024

March 7, 2023: Priority deadline Dutch and EU applicants.
May 10, 2023: Final deadline Dutch and EU applicants.

We review applications, interview and accept candidates on a rolling basis from February 2023 until May 2023, until all positions in the cohort are filled. We strongly encourage you to apply early.

Learn more? Please visit our Annual Open Day at February 11, or one of our Open Information Meetings.

Research in Art & Design Education and Collective Practice

What is the significance of material practices and embodiment for artistic research and education? How can we develop an art-driven, interdisciplinary pedagogy within secondary education? What are the main challenges when it comes to forging transdisciplinary connections between the arts and sciences in education? What are the current developments with respect to art mediation in museums? How do pivotal topics like the climate crisis, intersectionality and decolonialization – influence our view on education in the future?

A learning community

We pay attention to contemporary developments in art and design education, considering it to be an expanded and interdisciplinary field that also includes socially engaged practices in art. The curriculum is designed for educators in the fields of secondary, vocational and higher arts and design education, educators in museums and community arts, as well as artists and designers with an interest in pedagogical practices. The course prepares graduates to engage with formal educational structures as well as with informal learning environments or collective practices. Peer learning and being part of a learning community is a key feature of our programme.

Application procedure

If you wish to apply, please use our on line application tool. Please check all the requirements here. For questions (content wise) about the application procedure, please contact us via:

Concept: Jeroen van der Heijden
Photography: Mireille Wieggers

Open Day – February 11, 2023

Join us for the Piet Zwart Institute (PZI) online open day which will take place on Saturday February 11, from 10am–3pm.

Throughout the day, both the Willem de Kooning Academy (WdKA) and the Piet Zwart Institute (PZI) master studio spaces will be open to the public. It is a day when many PZI staff and students are present to answer your questions. Some of our master programmes will hold presentations, and it is also a time when the six WdKA stations (workshops) located throughout the WdKA Blaak 10 and Wijnhaven 61 buildings are open for you to roam in and out of, giving you a better idea of our current facilities.

The Piet Zwart Institute houses four full-time master programmes, Interior Architecture: Research + Design (MIARD); Master of Arts in Fine Art and Design, which encompasses Fine Art (MFA) Lens-Based Media (LB) and Experimental Publishing (XPUB) and two part-time Master programmes, Education in Arts (MeiA) and Master Design.

In addition to this year’s open day at the main WdKa-building, the Master Fine Art welcomes you for open studios in their building at the Karel Doormanhof 45, also from 11am–6pm. Below you will find more specific information per Master Program and their programming during the day. We strongly advise you to visit us during our open day. If you are not able to join us it’s possible to make an appointment for an individual visit. E-mail:

Fine Art

Location: Karel Doormanhof 45, Rotterdam*
(*please note: this location is different from the other Piet Zwart Master programmes)

Open Studios from 10:00-18:00 hrs.
Info-session – Admissions process:
Session 1: 11.30 – 12.00 
Session 2: 14.00 – 14.30 
Info-session – Curriculum structure:
15:30 – 16:30

The Piet Zwart Institute Master Fine Art welcomes the public for our annual Open Studios event. From 10:00 – 18:00, current MFA students will open their doors to share their research and practices. The main event is complemented by a video screening and an offering of refreshments at the bar. Prospective students are welcome to come and learn more about the MFA curriculum during an information session hosted by course director, Danny Giles and core tutor Katarina Zdjelar. Master Fine Art and Admission Coordinator Petra van der Kooij will hold admission sessions for prospective students as well. Please join these sessions if you want to know more about our admission procedure or if you have specific questions about how to apply to our programme.



Interior Architecture: Research + Design (MIARD)

Location: Wijnhaven 61, fourth floor, MIARD studios

We gladly invite you to join us during our annual Open Day at MIARD. Our Open Day this year is in-person. During the day you will get a chance to learn about the program, have questions you have answered, and speak with the Course Director and Coordinator, tutors, students and a few alumni. 

Please let us know if you will join us. Send us an email at to confirm your attendance by February 11. We kindly ask you to provide us your name, background (discipline) and a short description of what interests you about MIARD.

To know more about us, here you can visit our online MIARD archive to see the work of our students and alumni, review the recent program announcements and see a list of the exhibitions and publications, here.

If you are not able to attend on February 11, email us directly at to schedule an online or in-person meeting. If you would like to visit and meet members of the program in-person send us an email to make an appointment.

Start stations and building tour: 1pm.We look forward to seeing you soon, On behalf of the MIARD community.


Experimental Publishing (XPUB)

Join us on Saturday 11th of February, 2023 at the XPUB studio: we will be around from 10:00 to 15:00. You can find us on the 4th floor in the WdKA/PZI building at Wijnhaven 61, Rotterdam.

Or join us on Monday 6th of February, 2023 for the online open day: we will host two online sessions at 10:00 (UTC+1) and 17:00 (UTC+1). You can register by writing to More info….

Location: Wijnhaven 61, fourth floor, XPUB studios

A two-year master focussed on the acts of making things public and creating publics in the age of post-digital networks.

Calling all entrepreneurs interrupting anti-open dictionaries, robots uploading semi-version-controlled vinyls, presidents feeling raw maps, AI leaking centralised startups, architects writing anarcho-syndicalist LaserDiscs, individuals screening ante-libre games, adults playing multi-complex codes of conduct, doctors vandalizing micro-organic warez, dogs portraying marxist privacy, victims cooking closed source viruses, book binders criticizing craft radio, students controlling binary screensavers, authors provoking infra-vertical vandalism, nations shouting on entangled canvases, librarians lying about deep corruption, governments spamming federated memes, artists sending ex-encrypted futures, politicians parodying digital PDFs, readers obscuring shared epubs, makers mediating non-authoritarian wikis, viruses screaming xeno-contradictory music, designers echoing hyper-capitalist newspapers, tourists listening to uni-communist dances, networks translating proto-apolitical forums, editors debating trans-online graffitis.


Lens-based Media

Location: Wijnhaven 61, fourth floor, Lensbased studios

The Master of Arts in Fine Art & Design: Lens-Based Media program focuses primarily on artistic and experimental lens-based practices (both still and moving image/animation) that embrace the use of artifice, formal and technical innovation, fictional strategies and other unconventional visual approaches to create new and meaningful visions of the world.

We support visions that seek to move beyond the conventional narratives of our society and create new impetus in the viewer towards an open-eyed engagement with myriad challenges humans (and non-humans) collectively face in a world saturated with disinformation, increasing polarisation and fragmentations of communities, centuries-old political and social injustices, marginalisation of the most vulnerable, and a rapidly degrading global environment.

NB: There will also be a further online Q&A sessions – dates and times to be announced.


Education in Arts

Location: Wijnhaven 61, fourth floor.

During the Open Day, the Master of Education in Arts presents itself by means of a presentation: course material as well as graduation research will be on display providing a detailed insight in the content and profile of the programme. There is ample time to talk to the course director, coordinator, staff and students and ask any questions you might have about the course! There is also time and space to discuss your possible application. From 11am to 11.30am the course director will give a presentation about the course. If you would like to attend it, please make sure to be in time.

Is this date not working for you? Please visit one of our Open Information Meetings. For detailed information and how to subscribe click here. Please let us know if you will join us. Send us an email at to confirm your attendance by February 11. We kindly ask you to provide us your name, background (discipline) and a short description of what interests you about MEiA.

Research in Art & Design Education and Collective Practice

What is the significance of material practices and embodiment for artistic research and education? How can we develop an art-driven, interdisciplinary pedagogy within secondary education? What are the main challenges when it comes to forging transdisciplinary connections between the arts and sciences in education? What are the current developments with respect to art mediation in museums? How do pivotal topics like the climate crisis, intersectionality and decolonialization – influence our view on education in the future?

A learning community

We pay attention to contemporary developments in art and design education, considering it to be an expanded and interdisciplinary field that also includes socially engaged practices in art. The curriculum is designed for educators in the fields of secondary, vocational and higher arts and design education, educators in museums and community arts, as well as artists and designers with an interest in pedagogical practices. The course prepares graduates to engage with formal educational structures as well as with informal learning environments or collective practices. Peer learning and being part of a learning community is a key feature of our programme.


Master Design

Location: Wijnhaven 61, fourth floor, room WH4.139

Based on their own design questions, students within the Master Design learn to do designerly and in-depth design research. They constantly reflect on what they discover and convey their work and expertise through storytelling. They combine and integrate this part-time master with their design practice, renew their own role and in this way that of creative professionals in society and organizations. They contribute to social, environmental and technological change. The combination of participatory work and authorship is fundamental. Join us in our second open day to find out more on our course and get your questions answered.

10am –> room WH 4.139 open
11–11:45am –> Keynote on Master Design with general Q&A
11:45am–1:30pm –> Q&A with students & tutors
12:45–1:15pm –> academy tour with tutor
1:30–2:30pm –> Keynote on Master Design with general Q&A
3pm Room –> WH 4.139 close


Image credit: Steven Maybury

Site-Writing: The Grid and its Unruly Edges

This workshop will introduce the concept of site-writing based on two locations in Rotterdam, Hof Van Noord and the Van Nelle Factory building.

Site-writing is the analysis of space based on the body’s perception. The term was coined by Jane Rendell in Site-Writing: The Architecture of Art Criticism (London: Bloomsbury, 2010.) The technique is centered on a heightened attention to embodiment. Rather than relying on abstract representations of space, or using tools that distance the body from the final drawings, this method asks students to center their awareness of spatial design in the senses. 

The first part of the workshop will be led by Yoeri Guepin, a visual artist based in Rotterdam who has a plot in the community garden . A community garden is considered a grid with plots of land assigned to different amateur gardeners. Guepin’s artistic practice challenges that spatial idea by conceptualizing the surface of the earth as a volume containing myriad interdependent microcosmic universes. Guepin will give a short introduction to his work on bacterial microcosms, then lead students through an examination of the different soil conditions present in the garden.

The second part of the workshop will begin with a guided tour of the Van Nelle Factory, which was built between 1925 and 1931 in the International Style of modern architecture, influenced by Russian constructivism. The Van Nelle Factory is a Dutch national monument and was granted UNESCO World Heritage Site status in 2014. In many ways, it is the spatial inverse of the garden: built-to-order to process tea, coffee, and tobacco grown in Indonesia and other Dutch colonies before being shipped to Rotterdam, the space was designed to package and standardize agricultural products for mass consumption.

This workshop is led by guest tutor Natasha Marie Llorens, a writer and curator based in Stockholm where she is Professor of art and theory at the Royal Institute of Art.

image courtesy of Yoeri Guepin


Time: Thursday October 20, 2022, 16.00hr/4pm, free admission
Location: Karel Doormanhof 45, a short walk or bike-ride from Rotterdam Central Station.

Lyndon Barrois Jr. is an artist and writer based in Pittsburgh, PA where he is an Assistant Professor of Art at Carnegie Mellon University. He is half of LAB:D, with artist Addoley Dzegede, with whom he has collaboratively staged two exhibitions, and co-authored a book of essays (Elleboog, at the Jan van Eyck Academie in 2019). Using magazines, advertising, cinema, and vernacular imagery as primary subjects of inquiry, Barrois’ multimedia practice breaks down and re-configures the languages of print, design, and popular culture in order to investigate underlying ideology, ethics, and conceptions of value. 

Recent solo exhibitions include How to Make a Mirror at Melanie Flood Projects, Mirage Collar at Artists Space, Others Who Struggle with Nature at Rubber Factory NYC, and Zaal 8 at Kasteel Oud Rekem in Belgium, and the two-person exhibitions Mercantile with Addoley Dzegede at Sharp Projects, and Dreamsickle with Kahlil Robert Irving at 47 Canal. Barrois Jr. received his MFA from Washington University in St. Louis (2013), and his BFA in painting from the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore (2006). He has recently completed residencies at Latitude in Chicago, Loghaven in Knoxville, the Van Eyck Academie in Maastricht, Netherlands, Fogo Island Arts in Newfoundland, and the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin, Ireland. 

On Thursday October 20, 2022 Lyndon will give a talk at the Piet Zwart Institute about his practise. This talk is free and open to the public.

Image credit: Installation view of Mirage Collar, Artists Space, NY 2022

Addoley Dzegede

The Piet Zwart Institute Master Fine Art is thrilled to welcome artist Addoley Dzegede as our very first Fulbright researcher-in-residence. Addoley is a Ghanaian-American artist who grew up in South Florida. With her Fulbright project Exploring textile lineages in Dutch collections through dyeing, batik, and wax print histories, Addoley takes Dutch museums and collections as primary sources and will explore textile lineages through the lens of dyeing, batik, and wax print. These lineages include textile crafts from around the world, such as Indian chintzes that have been incorporated into Dutch traditional wear, Javanese batik, and mass-produced wax prints that have found popularity in former Dutch colonies and their neighbors within Africa. During her nine-month residency, Addoley will gain a deeper understanding of the history of cross-cultural textile production, imitation, and adaptation. In the spring, she will lead workshops with MFA students to cultivate dye-producing plants in the Piet Zwart Institute’s garden. 

Addoley Dzegede received her BFA from Maryland Institute College of Art and MFA from Washington University in St Louis, where she was a Chancellor’s Graduate Fellow. She has been an Artist-in-Residence at Loghaven Artist Residency in Knoxville, Tennessee, AIR Green textile residency in Norway, the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach, Florida, Osei Duro in Accra, Ghana, Thread: a project of the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation in Senegal, and Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris, among others. Solo exhibitions include, Ballast, at Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, Missouri, and millefiori at KSMoCA in Portland, Oregon. Special projects include the Ask Addoley + Anna podcast with Anna Ihle, with seasons commissioned by Coast Contemporary, the National Museum of Norway, A Structure Envisioned for Changing Circumstances, and most recently by CAC Brétigny. 

On Wednesday September 28 2022, Addoley will give a talk at the Piet Zwart Institute about moments and discoveries that developed her deepening interest in textiles and led her to apply for a Fulbright to come to the Netherlands. This talk is free and open to the public. 

Time: 4pm. 
Address: Karel Doormanhof 45, Rotterdam 

Image credit: Veiled Prophet/Profit, Addoley Dzegede, 2018


This is reality is the graduation exhibition of the Piet Zwart Institute Master Fine Art class of 2022. This year, the exhibitions are installed in Showroom MAMA, UBIK and the S/ash Gallery, all located on or around the Witte de Withstraat in the centre of Rotterdam.

Artists: Andrea Celeste La Forgia, Emma van Noort, Grazia Gallo, Kate Price, Madeleine Ruggi, María José Crespo, Oliver Doe, Xiaofeini Liu, Samboleap Tol, Shertise Solano.

Curated by Kim de Haas

July 8 5–10pm / Open from July 9 till July 16 from 2–7pm (July 15 open until 9pm) / Closed: July 11 and 12.

Showroom MAMA – Witte de Withstraat 29 – 31, 3012 BL Rotterdam
UBIK – Boomgaardsstraat 69, 3012 XA Rotterdam
The S/ash Gallery – Boomgaardsstraat 69, 3012 XA Rotterdam

By Andrea Celeste La Forgia 

Performed by Andrea Celeste La Forgia, Silvia Arenas, Niloufar Nematollahi, Sarah Atzori, Tiago Santos, Linus Bonduelle
July 8 – 7.30 – 8pm and  July 9, 6.15 – 6.45pm at Showroom MAMA

I keep changing the way I have to address you
By Oliver Doe
July 8  (Duration variable)

Witnessing as a method of getting through gateways
By María José Crespo and Madeleine Ruggi
July 15 6pm – 6.45pm at Kunstinstituut Melly

Becoming an observer, then a mediator. Witnessing gains access to information around the realities and fictions of borders, territories, and the currencies and values which bodies are subjected to in these zones.

Madeleine Ruggi and María José Crespo draw together their separate processings of information within their artistic research by sharing ideas and working methodologies into an audiovisual performance presentation. The presentation will navigate different ways of collecting information, and the translation of found materials as research.

Where is my karaoke?
By Samboleap Tol
July 15, 6.40 – 6.55pm  at Kunstinstituut Melly

For this lecture performance, Tol has deviced a sonic and textual response to the prompt ‘Where is my karaoke?’. Through storytelling she takes us through her musical bicultural childhood, flashing back through different sonic memories and questions, out loud, how it all relates to her now.

This is reality and it was but a chat away

A real chat is hard to come by. Trust is in short supply. But trust is needed to get a chat going, and let it generate what may qualify as social reality.

Reality is trembling. Where desire, grief, and power are at stake, many demons populate society, pulling people together and apart. Orange letters rub up against their lavender grounds in Oliver Doe’s large canvases, boldly making viewers’ retinas vibrate as performers lingering nearby signal, to whom it appeals, a readiness to engage in the poetry of clandestinely scripted encounters. Seeds, plants, clay plate poetry for garden beds, and fermented vegetable paintings are elements Kate Price offers up as tokens of trust, inspiring a commitment to fostering future ecologies. In her paintings and videos, Shertise Solano summons the multidimensional beings her grandmother in Curaçao still knew how to converse with, and who, channeled afresh, voice unaccounted traumata and limitless powers arising from the recollected history of Black families.

Places of encounter are ripe with tensions. Grazia Gallo trusts sculpture to rebuild a sense of a home, where generations clash, as the family improvises in close quarters a state-imposed architecture of social housing, to keep spirits up, and claim dignity in everyday matters. María José Crespo takes you to the Tijuana border, and in her sculptural environments makes you feel the intensities governing a strip of land where police lights color reality red and blue on CCTV, and paths are blocked, but the will to get by asserts itself with full defiance. Meanwhile, at the Metal Exchange all things solid melt into air with a flick of a trader’s hand, as Madeleine Ruggi shows. Her installation portrays how capital puts its spell on materials, and turns heavy scrap into currency flowing through Rotterdam harbor. Tracking the current make-over of port city real estate, Emma van Noort messes with the building blocks of model architecture: her sculptures scramble its vocabulary and recast it in the spirit of high precision slapstick engineering.

Stories build worlds. Xiaofeini Liu calls a universe into being with few objects and words, as she recounts the fate of a Mice Folk leaving their Salt Marshes in search of a Sugar Book, a taste of which was prophesied to bring bliss. Universities, like factories, once promised a future. In her paintings and performance, Andrea Celeste La Forgia commemorates the toll workers pay when that promise is broken, and the mill of wage labor grinds away time and health. La Forgia paints from photos her mother sends of her factory work, and relays her stories of everyday sabotage. A better life cannot be built unless communal mourning prepares the ground. In this key Samboleap Tol addresses displacement and death, yet also parenting and spiritual practice in her paintings and sound installation. After colonial modernities have destroyed and uprooted countless lives, she observes, restless spirits abound who must be engaged for justice to come. Across multidimensional realities, liaising with ghosts can be done, says Tol: Chat with them daily!

Jan Verwoert

Image: courtesy of The PZI Archipelago (Urte Baranauskaite, Oliver Doe, Shiila Infriccioli)