To inaugurate the program of Witte de With’s new Director, Defne Ayas, AA Bronson led a ritual blessing, with no audience, on 14 March 2012, at the time of the waning half-moon. Documentation is available upon request at email@example.com.
The Humans by Alexandre Singh
26 April–28 October 2012
Over the upcoming six months, visual artist and writer Alexandre Singh transforms the exhibition space into an artist’s studio, a script room, and a display area allowing visitors to witness the development of The Humans. Set before the Earth’s beginning in a proto-world populated by spirits, gods, artisans, and men of clay and plaster, The Humans—with ‘creation’ as its central theme—is modeled after the ancient Greek plays of Aristophanes. The project includes the on-site production of an ambitious play to be performed in the spring of 2013, along with monthly Causeries, informed by and shaping Singh’s script and props.
The Humans – Causeries
The Causeries are a monthly series of informal conversations between an expert in a given field, and a novice. The expert is invited to sit down and explain to the listener the very basic facts and questions of the topic: an overview of the subject to someone that is literate and curious yet who doesn’t have more than a popular knowledge of the given topic. The first of the Causeries titled The Creation: On Cosmogony and Cosmology will take place on Saturday 2 June 2012, with participants including Alexander Verpoorte (Lecturer, Archeology, University of Leiden); Bernadette Leclercq-Neveu (Senior Lecturer, History of Religion, École Normale Supérieure); Jessica Frazier (Research Fellow, Hindu Studies, University of Oxford); and Andrew Jaffe (Lecturer, Astrophysics, Imperial College London) and is organized in collaboration with critic and writer Donatien Grau.
Additional Causeries will explore key themes such as Aristophanes; Dance in Drama; Pictorial Satire; Literary Satire; The Voice and The Chorus; and more.
Prompts & Triggers
Meriç Algün Ringborg, Line No. 2 (Holy Bible), 2012
26 April–17 June 2012
As part of the first installation of Witte de With’s new series Prompts & Triggers, Algün Ringborg presents a seemingly simple horizontal line, consisting of scriptures from the Holy Bible that courses through the exhibition space. Perhaps the most unexpected point of departure for Line No. 2 (Holy Bible) is Alexander Selkirk, who is known as the original Robinson Crusoe, the central protagonist in Daniel Defoe’s fictional and biographical novel, first published in 1719.
Prompts & Triggers will continue with Blueprints by artist, curator, and thinker Qiu Zhijie, who draws from major political and historical narratives to produce large-scale, ink-based maps. Opening on 28 June 2012.
Everyone for Themselves
Discussing the Ethics and Economics of Art
A week of homework screenings (5–13 May), a workshop (Wednesday 9 May) and a day-long symposium (Saturday 12 May).
Locations: De Unie and Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art
As the cuts in arts funding are about to hit the Netherlands, the various players in the cultural field are forced into establishing new relationships amongst themselves. In this shared volatile arena, agents of the contemporary art scene are faced with the strategic choice to either compete or collaborate. Prisoners Dilemma, a film by the artist Richard Serra made in 1974, where the concept from game theory is used, is a departure point for Everyone for Themselves.
With Stefano Baia Curioni (economic historian, Bocconi University); Maria Lind (Director of Tensta Konsthall, Stockholm); Andrea Phillips (writer and curator, and director of Research Programmes, Goldsmiths College, London), Koen Brams (former director of Jan van Eyck Academy), Adam Kleinman (writer, curator, and dOCUMENTA (13) Agent for Public Programming), Bart van Rosmalen (associate lector, Interdisciplinarity and Open Innovation at ArtEZ, Arnhem), Burak Arıkan (artist), and Huib Haye van der Werf (curator, SKOR).
Everyone for Themselves is an initiative by artists Bik Van der Pol and Jan van de Pavert, developed in collaboration with Defne Ayas (Director, Witte de With), and Liesbeth Levy (Artistic Director, De Unie), and ‘adopted’ by AND AND AND by Rene Gabri and Ayreen Anastas as part dOCUMENTA (13).
The Causeries are in part supported by Institut Français. Prompts & Triggers – Meriç Algün Ringborg, and Burak Arikan’s workshop are in part supported by SAHA Association – Supporting Contemporary Art from Turkey. Witte de With is supported by the city of Rotterdam and the Dutch Ministry of Culture.