9 February – 21 May 2018: Babel Bookspace, PrintRoom 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

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!

3 March 2018: Birch Bar & Back Yard Sauna

8 pm – 1 am      Museumnacht @ PrintRoom

You are invited to celebrate spring!

With Mari Keski-Korsu and Contemporary Wild (Asnate Bočkis and Willem van Doorn)

Even though it’s still cold outside, the spring spirit is here- the days get longer and the sun gains strength. This moment, charged with sparkles of new life energy, can be used to activate our own energy flows and cleanse our bodies from outside and within.

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 printroomnl@gmail.com, if you would like to join.

 This event is also the lead in to the production of the next PrintRoom Net-book.

More information:

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.

PrintRoom @ My Zine – Independent publishing project in Taiwan

My Zine – Independent publishing project in Taiwan VS the Netherlands, an exhibition about Dutch indie publishing and Risograph printing in Taipei Taiwan, hosted by Tien Tien Circle Creative 🇹🇼 🇳🇱 田田圈文創工作群


17 February 2018: The Lost Library – Babel Bookspace @ Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

Daniela Cascella & Sara Sejin Chang (Sara van der Heide)

3 – 5 p.m.
Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Museumpark 18, Rotterdam
Email us if you’d like to join! info@printroom.org
We gather at 2.30 at the information desk of the museum (main entrance)

An afternoon of readings, talk and book presentations on resonances and remainders, the transmission / translation of knowledge and the politics of the (altered) library at our Babel Book Space with writer Daniela Cascella and artist Sara Sejin Chang (Sara van der Heide).


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

Sara Sejin Chang (Sara van der Heide), The German Library Pyongyang, Guangzhou, China, 2015

16 February 2018: Give Up Art! by Maria Fusco

Give Up Art!

Book launch by Maria Fusco

7 – 9 pm

Give Up Art is a new collection of critical writing by author Maria Fusco. Operating across fiction, criticism, and theory, Fusco’s work forges a contemporary space for critical art writing. Give Up Art brings together nearly two dozen essays, reviews, and smaller pieces published between 2002 and 2017.
Edited by Jeff Khonsary / New Documents.
Other books and magazines at PrintRoom written and edited by Maria Fusco are: With A Bao A Qu, Reading When Attitudes Become Form, Master Rock and The Happy Hypocrite.

More info:
Maria Fusco is a Belfast-born writer and editor of fiction, criticism and theory based in Scotland. Author of Legend of the Necessary Dreamer (2017) and Master Rock (2015) among many others, her much-acclaimed writing is published internationally and has been translated into ten languages.

12.1.2018, Ian Whittlesea: Some books and light to read them by

Some books and light to read them by  

Books and installation by Ian Whittlesea

7 – 10 pm

In conversation with Eline Verstegen

From 13 January to 13 February 2018, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, Ian Whittlesea’s A Breathing Bulb will shine its light on the books he has published over the last decade and a selection of items from the archive of printed matter that informed their production.  

To accompany the display Eline Verstegen has written an essay on Whittlesea’s work, to be published as an illustrated booklet by PrintRoom.

The booklet (like the invitation) is set in Sol Sans, a typeface designed by Whittlesea. Sol Sans is based on Sol LeWitt’s handwritten Sentences on Conceptual Art first published in 0-9, New York in 1969. Any letters not used in LeWitt’s original text have been replaced by Helvetica Medium.

More information:  
Ian Whittlesea (b. 1967, Isleworth, UK) is an artist whose work is concerned with the ability of text to transform the physical and psychic state of the viewer. He has worked with The Everyday Press, London to publish a series of books that have been collectively described as ‘instruction manuals for transcendental exercise’. His translation of Yves Klein’s Les Fondements du Judo was published in 2009, and his newly appended edition of Mazdaznan Health & Breath Culture in 2012. Becoming Invisible, published in 2014, is a visual primer that draws on the literature of Rosicrucianism, theosophy and esoteric yoga. It describes how, through visualisation and breathing exercises, the reader will be able to split light into its constituent parts and then recombine the seven colours of the spectrum to form a glowing white cloud that envelops its creator. His most recent book is The Egyptian Postures, an illustrated guide to the advanced Mazdaznan exercises that Johannes Itten taught his students at the Bauhaus.  

Eline Verstegen (b. 1991, Antwerp, BE) is an independent curator and writer based in Antwerp and London. She holds an MA in History from the University of Antwerp, where she specialized in 19th and 20th-century (art) history, and an MA in Curating the Contemporary from London Metropolitan University and the Whitechapel Gallery. Her curatorial practice is informed by a keen interest in immersive installations, atmospheres and environments, and by an attention to multidisciplinary cross-overs with the performing arts, film, literature, philosophy and cultural theory. She recently worked with the curatorial teams at Whitechapel Gallery on Art Night 2017, London and she is currently involved with the contemporary art platform Tique in Antwerp.



Happy 2018!! PrintRoom is closed until 10 January