11.00 – 17.00
Babel Book Space
PrintRoom @ Museum Boijmans van Beuningen
The publications of Nicole Jordan and Hannah Dawn Henderson deploy autobiographical voices so as to generate an oscillation between past and present. Departing from their Caribbean heritage, both writers seek to address histories that have contoured their conceptions of selfhood, whereby a literary register serves as a device to navigate political/politicised heritage.
Being, in a State of Erasure recollects Hannah Dawn Henderson’s research in the archives of the British National Council of Civil Liberties. Henderson’s excavation of the archive was motivated by a desire to comprehend the political inheritance of Commonwealth descendants living in Britain today. During the 20th century many formerly colonised countries acquired independence, yet this dissolution of the empire saw a rise in nationalism on the British mainland. In the wake of independence, it was the body and identity of the Britain-bound Commonwealth migrant that thus became the territory upon which colonial power-plays would be exerted.
Commissioned as part of Beyond Words Library residency by the Freedom Festival Arts Trust, Hull Culture and Leisure Library Services and Book Works, in association with Hull History Centre, Wilberforce Institute for the study of Slavery and Emancipation, University of Hull, funded by James Reckitt Library Trust and Arts Council England. This project was also supported by Stroom Den Haag and the Mondriaan Fund, Amsterdam.
In 89, a series of meditations as poems by Nicole Jordan, a staccato meter evokes the pace of memories scattered across the Caribbean, Canada, and Europe, particularly the Netherlands. Featuring eighty-nine poems completed over one year, the anthology is a meditation on sentiments of nature, spirituality, (mis)placement, longing, inheritance and resolution. Written in what Nicole calls “hashtype”, 89 simultaneously explores abstract form and emerging clarity in contemporary communication while it commemorates and extends the legacy of works penned by Nicole’s grandmother, Hope, published over seventy years ago in Kingston, Jamaica.
The presentation will involve readings from both publications and a discussion on the process of their creation.
Thanks! Centre for Visual Arts Rotterdam (CBK) for supporting Babel Bookspace at Boijmans Van Beuningen
On the occasion of ‘BABEL – Old Masters Back from Japan’, on view from 3 February until 21 May 2018, PrintRoom takes up space at the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen. Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s Tower of Babel (c. 1568) imagines an actual architectural construction in its rise and fall. In the Babel Bookspace, occupied by PrintRoom, we imagine what lies in its long-cast shadow: lost, living, and imaginary libraries, books in and about translation, the confusion and commingling of tongues.
On view at the Babel Bookspace are works by Zoe Beloff, Masha Krasnova-Shabaeva, Sara Sejin Chang (Sara van der Heide), Sora Kim, and a selection of artists’ books from the PrintRoom collection.
Further contributions and events by: Niels Bekkema & friends, Kate Briggs, Daniela Cascella, Moosje M. Goosen, Dongyoung Lee, Nick Thurston.
* To be announced: Supposing You Do Not Like to Change: Studies in description translation, a live translation of Gertrude Stein’s Tender Buttons, a project initiated by Kate Briggs and Moosje M. Goosen, in collaboration with Niels Bekkema, Katarina Jazbec, Ash Kilmartin, Sarah Posman, Riet Wijnen, Mia You, et al.
Zoe Beloff explores the role of the historical context in the development of a specific pictorial idiom. These three watercolours are part of a spatial installation titled ‘Emotions Go to Work’. They investigate the way technology translates human emotions into statistical information and how this data is used to shape society – in the past, the present and the future.
In the mid-nineteenth century the scientist Duchenne de Boulogne used electrodes to produce emotions on the human face. He did this to study and categorize them. Now Duchenne’s facial expressions have been translated into emojis and no one needs to move a muscle to show that they are angry, surprised or happy. In the future Beloff foresees enormous data clouds in the sky, constructed from the emotions of millions of people, which have gobbled up each individual emotion.
Masha Krasnova Shabaeva
Masha Krasnova Shabaeva grew up surrounded by chemical plants, in an environment that evoked post-apocalyptic visions and where her imagination was able to flourish as rampantly as the weeds on the pavement. Her childhood in Russia is still the source of complex and moving narrative images in diverse media. These are not stories in the normal sense of the word, but surprising situations where everything is out of proportion and human figures seem to have been cloned or taken on hybrid forms.
Sara Sejin Chang (Sara van der Heide)
THE GERMAN LIBRARY PYONGYANG (2015) by artist Sara Sejin Chang (Sara van der Heide) was a fictional recreation of the German library of the Goethe-Institut in Pyongyang, North Korea, operative from 2004-2009. Chang’s library, revived for the 1st Asia Biennal in Guangzhou, became a space for critical questions regarding imperialism, the parallel histories of Korea and Germany, and issues of censorship.
Sora Kim, who’s work is present here as well, was one of the participants.
On the occasion of her presentation of The German Library Pyongyang (Sternberg Press, 2017), a publication that brings together the four original exhibition booklets in German, Korean, English, and Chinese, Chang has re-installed elements of the library in the Babel Bookspace.
Thanks CBK Rotterdam (Centre for Visual Arts) for co – funding our projectspace and programme at Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen!
In the centre of our Spring Celebration is a birch tree, the messenger of spring, the carrier of new energy within its sap. A temporary sauna, fired up with birch wood, will become an intimate celebration place that brings comfort to body and mind.
Our Birch Bar will offer refreshments and warm drinks made from birch sap and buds. At the campfire – the heart of the sauna – we will make tar and charcoal from birch wood and in the last part of the evening we will dive into the sauna and leaf bathing rituals.
There is a limited amount of places available for the sauna session that will start around 22:00 and will take about 90 minutes.
Please apply via firstname.lastname@example.org, if you would like to join.
This event is also the lead in to the production of the next PrintRoom Net-book.
Mari Keski-Korsu (mkk) is a transdisciplinary artist. She explores how ecological and socio-economical changes manifest in everyday life. The work is based on collaborations with different kinds of communities, individuals and species. Her current practice is focused on inter-species communication and creating emphatic environments to enable empathy towards whole ecosystems. She is interested in relations in between art, activism, politics and science from permaculturic and ecofeminist perspectives.
The collective Contemporary Wild is founded by two designers, Asnate Bočkis and Willem van Doorn, after their graduation at Design Academy Eindhoven.
Willem grew up in a farm near to Amsterdam and works in the context of DIY culture, nature and constructions. Asnate has her roots in Riga, Latvia; she was educated as a classical artist before attending design studies. Her work concerns social and spatial interventions.
In Contemporary Wild they share their fascination for the duality between Man & Nature. With their projects they challenge public rituals and rethink usage of natural elements in the urban landscape.
3 – 5 p.m.
Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Museumpark 18, Rotterdam
Email us if you’d like to join! email@example.com
We gather at 2.30 at the information desk of the museum (main entrance)
Daniela Cascella’s new book SINGED starts not with creation, but destruction – a library ravaged by fire. What of the singed debris can be salvaged? Which of the disfigured inkblots deciphered? How much will be remembered? Rewritten, re-invented, re-imagined? Singed, only to sing again? The condition of instability permeating Cascella’s project is already conveyed by the book’s title, Singed, at once a reference to burning/singeing and a mistaken past form of “to sing.”
The title thus posits writing as located at the interference of a burning and a singing, unmaking and making meaning. Writing, not foreknown or guaranteed, is here enchanted through rhythmic events: “Of hearing a rhythm in reading, a song sometime, voices sound words, wh-h mh-m maybe that is why.”
Singed performs a transmission of knowledge in a condition of instability across languages, media and cultures.
In conversation with Kate Briggs, writer and member of the Babel Bookspace team.
Sara Sejin Chang (Sara van der Heide) will give this afternoon a talk about her library project THE GERMAN LIBRARY PYONGYANG (2015), which was a fictional recreation of an existing German library once opened in Pyongyang by the German Goethe-Insitut in 2004-2009. Germany believed it could help the two Korea’s with the unification process. Chang’s project became a space for critical questions, regarding imperialism, the two parallel histories between Korea an Germany. Several artistic interventions merged with the library looking for peaceful relationships through language or questioning nationalistic politics.
After her project was censored in China as well, we are excited to present a publication that brings together the four original exhibition booklets in German, Korean, English, and Chinese. An additional reader is included with critical reflections as well as documentation of the exhibition and the organized seminar. Design by Dongyoung Lee.
Contributions by Anselm Franke, Changho Choi, Chankyong Park, Chen Tong, Dongyoung Lee, Egon Hanfstingl, Gabriele Stötzer / Künstlerinnengruppe Erfurt, Hans Haacke, Henk Slager, Janet Grau, Kyungman Kim, Liu Ding, Louwrien Wijers, Rory Pilgrim, Sora Kim.
Published by Sternberg Press, 2017
7 – 9 pm