August 16, 2012 - Kunstinstituut Melly - Surplus Authors
August 16, 2012

Surplus Authors

Daniel Gustav Cramer & Haris Epaminonda, The Infinite Library, 2007–ongoing.

Surplus Authors
5 September–28 October 2012

Opening: Wednesday 5 September, 5–8pm

Witte de With | Center for Contemporary Art
Witte de Withstraat 50
3012 BR Rotterdam
The Netherlands

info [​at​]
Event page

Outside of personal romance, collaboration is perhaps the most elemental form of politics—just consider how the term plays a hand in issues as basic as “two heads are better than one” and as large as international alliances. To crack open this power relation, Surplus Authors looks at a group of artists whose work traces and delineates several fault lines inherent in the act of collaboration from (art) historical and social indebtedness, to trust, generosity, incentives, antagonism, and even cooption. Without laying claim to any illustrative narratives, Surplus Authors presents itself during a growing urge and call for institutions to work together as a promised means to alleviate the reasons for austerity. As a possible retort, Surplus Authors begs the question: Is collaboration an end in and of itself, or is it a tenuous and unfolding process in which psychological, intellectual, and political dynamics are contested and reconstituted?

Participating artists: Michael Blum & Damir Nikšić, AA Bronson & Ryan Brewer, Club Moral, Maya Deren, Song Dong & Yin Xiuzhen, Haris Epaminonda & Daniel Gustav Cramer, Chris Evans, Dora Garcia, Luis Jacob & Chris Curreri, Alicja Kwade, MadeIn Company, Karen Mirza & Brad Butler, Annaïk Lou Pitteloud & Steve Van den Bosch, Ana Roldán & Falke Pisano, Wu Shanzhuan & Inga S. Thorsdottir, Hito Steyerl, Jalal Toufic, Oscar Tuazon, and Ho Tzu Nyen.

Work (2011) by Marianne Flotron
Saturday 6 October 2012, 5pm
Marianne Flotron talks to talks to Surplus Authors co-curator Philippe Pirotte about her use of Agusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed, a directing technique which aims to turn passive audience spectators into active participatory actors, in a Dutch insurance company as a means to try and expose an underlying process of subject formation.

Assemblages (2010) by Angela Melitopoulos and Maurizio Lazzarato
Thursday 25 October 2012, 7pm
Angela Melitopoulos presents their audio-visual research project Assemblages (2010) as a lecture-performance.

Surplus Authors is curated by Defne Ayas together with Philippe Pirotte and is presented as part of Prompts & Triggers: An ongoing series of propositions by artists and thinkers who call attention to how certain conditions spur social anxieties and defense mechanisms, so as to ponder if such symptoms actually betray underlying cultural divides which should be first unpacked and examined. Meriç Algün Ringborg’s Line no. 2 (Holy Bible) which was on view from 26 April to 17 June 2012, transformed the Bible itself into an inescapable datum. Qiu Zhijie’s Blueprints (on view until 19 August 2012) maps complex and anachronistic universes in which various histories of thought including that of China and Europe were enmeshed so as to question cultural origin myths, related assumptions, and expectations.

Consensus Bar
Opening: Wednesday 5 September, 5–8pm 
Welcome to Harmonistan! – A lecture by Markus Miessen on 9 October at 7pm
On the first floor of Witte de With lies the Consensus Bar, a temporal dark space that functions as a shared space for social gatherings and events. Furnished with a structure made of simple wooden benches and a dissipating cloud of white smoke from the ceiling, that is rejuvenated on the hour, the space echoes the look and feel of an apse. The Consensus Bar, designed by Studio Miessen, will be jointly used with Rotterdam-based TENT.

Also on view:

Alexandre Singh, The Humans
26 April 2012–6 January 2013
Event page

A project in production, an evolving installation, multiple encounters in the form of Causeries, rehearsals, and a play.

Since April 2012, Witte de With has been hosting the on-site realization of The Humans, a theatrical play by visual artist and writer Alexandre Singh, along with monthly Causeries, a series of intimate and lively discussions in which Singh expands on The Humans’ key themes, which range from cosmology and cosmogony to literary and pictorial satire, dance in drama, and other topics.

The Causerie titled Theatrical Costumes on 16 August features experts invited to discuss the origins and evolution of theatrical costumes from a variety of traditions and periods—including Shakespearean drama, Commedia dell’Arte, and the Japanese tradition of Kabuki theater—with participants Alan Cummings (School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London), Amy Kenny (Globe Theatre, London), and Valeria de Lucca (University of Southampton). Aristophanes on 13 September explores the rich legacy of the Greek satirist Aristophanes, who ridiculed his contemporary Athenians through comedic plays. This day-long Causerie brings together a number of scholars to explore a wide range of subjects including the chorus, costumes, dramaturgy as well as the social and political context of Ancient Greece. Participants include (among others): Edith Hall (Professor of Classics, King’s College, London), James Robson (The Open University, London), and Alexa Piqueux (Université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense).

Saturday 18 August 2012, 7–10 pm
Location: Spring Hong Kong, 3/ F Remex Centre, 42 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Aberdeen, Hong Kong
Event page

Moderation(s)‘s inaugural project Guilty Pleasures is a performative platform developed by artist Ang Song Ming, who uses music as a starting point to produce artworks and performances. Here, audiences are invited to bring a song of their choice to a listening party, and in so doing, confess their secrets and their secret music love.

Guilty Pleasures acts as a teaser to and marks the kick-off of Moderation(s), a year-long multifaceted platform taking place between Witte de With and Spring Hong Kong from January 2013 onwards. At the core of Moderation(s) stands ‘The Moderator,’ incarnated by Singaporean visual artist and writer Heman Chong.

For further information on Witte de With’s Fall program including artist talks, lectures, and symposia, please visit

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