June 25, 2012 - Kunstinstituut Melly - Prompts & Triggers: Qiu Zhijie
June 25, 2012

Prompts & Triggers: Qiu Zhijie

Qiu Zhijie, Map of Utopia, 2012. Courtesy of the artist.

Prompts & Triggers 
Qiu Zhijie

28 June–19 August 2012

Opening: 28 June, 5–8pm
View the artist at work 25–28 June, 12–6pm

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

info [​at​] wdw.nl

Event page

For the second edition of Prompts & Triggers, Qiu Zhijie (b. 1969, Fujian), one of China’s most versatile artists, draws from major political and historical narratives to produce large-scale, ink-based maps. From Confucianism to Enlightenment, Qiu Zhijie charts new paths, centers, nodes, and relationships, scrutinizing the mutable boundaries that outline histories of world thought. The concepts on which Qiu Zhijie bases the series of mappings of the contemporary world are summarized in the maps titled Map of 21st century, Map of Utopia, Map of Total Art, Map of Chinese History, Map of Nanjing Yangzi River, and Map of Spirit Renew. These maps also form the departure point for the 9th Shanghai Biennale, with ‘Reactivation and Energy Collection’ as its central theme. Blueprints is presented as part of Prompts & Triggers—a series of propositions by visual artists that activate reflections on the defense lines on the European continent and enables possibilities for comparative readings from across the globe.

Artist talk & 9th Shanghai Biennale Presentation
28 June 2012, 6pm
Following an introduction of the lead Blueprint by artist Qiu Zhijie, also the Artistic Director of this year’s Shanghai Biennale, this event brings together select City Pavilion curators to discuss the framework of the Biennale. Presenters include Laura Barreca (Researcher at the University of Studies of Palermo and independent curator), Chris Fitzpatrick (Director, Objectif Exhibitions, Antwerp), Henk Slager (Head of the Utrecht Graduate School of Visual Art and Design), Davide Quadrio (Director, Arthub Asia), and Defne Ayas (Director, Witte de With), with Charles Esche (Director, Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven) as the main respondent to the session.

Currently 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 2013, Witte de With has been hosting the on-site realization of The Humans, a theatrical performance by visual artist and writer Alexandre Singh. 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. Leading up to the final presentation of the play in the Spring of 2013, Singh transforms parts of Witte de With’s second floor into an artist’s studio, a script-room, and a display area, allowing visitors to follow the evolution and development of this ambitious play.

Inspired by Singh’s pre-production of his play, the Causeries are set up as a series of intimate and lively discussions in which Singh expands on The Humans’ key themes, ranging from cosmology and cosmogony to pictorial satire, dance in drama, and religion. Rather than discursive events in the well-known format of a conference or a symposium, the Causeries are conceived as monthly informal chats between the artist and an expert in a given field, thus fostering a different kind of exchange in which the edification of the artist himself is pivotal to the disclosure of the underlying themes of the play to the audience. The first of the Causeries took place on 2 June and focused on “The Creation: On Cosmogony and Cosmology” with astrophysicists, archeologists, and philosophers, amongst others.

Pictorial Satire: on Hogarth, Daumier, and South Park
12 July 2012
Participants include: Martin Myrone (Lead Curator, Pre-1800 British Art, Tate Britain, London) and Brian Dunphy (American media specialist, Brooklyn College, U.S.A.), among others.
Organized in collaboration with critic and writer Donatien Grau, and supported by Institut Francais.
Follow Singh’s The Humans on Tumblr.

Spatial Design by Studio Miessen
Taking its cue from the history of Witte de With’s building, which was originally a girls’ school (erected in 1875), and a technical school in the 1970s, the Berlin-based collaborative agency Studio Miessen has developed a unique setting that includes a reading table, a bleacher covered with bright green artificial grass, and a multi-purpose yellow monolith on the second floor of the building. This giant modular cube, consisting of sixty-four separate blocks, is transformed following a series of events taking place during 2012, including Singh’s Causeries. The new setting provides a tailored, yet open platform to stage and host discursive events, bringing the many different artists and projects closer to the audience and offering a new way to reflect on artistic creation.

Recently at Witte De With:

Speculative Art Theory Reading Group
11 & 25 June 2012, 7pm
Event page
Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art is pleased to announce a new partnership with the Center for Art and Philosophy (CAP), an interdisciplinary research platform based at the Faculty of Philosophy of the Erasmus University Rotterdam.

Reading Group Session # 1:
Brian Massumi, Semblance and Event: Introduction & Speculative pragmatism, 2011

Reading Group Session # 2:
Brian Massumi, Semblance and Event: The Thinking-Feeling of What Happens: Putting the Radical Back in Empiricism and The Diagram as Technique of Existence: Ovum of the Universe Segmented, 2011

Prompts & Triggers
God Never Left the City. Talk by Siebe Thissen
Saturday, 16 June 2012, 4pm
Historian and philosopher Siebe Thissen (Head of Art & Public Space, Centrum Beeldende Kunst, Rotterdam) traced the provocative links between the religious narratives within the history of the city of Rotterdam and its debate tradition, and highlighted Rotterdam’s rapid population growth since the 1880′s as well as its transformation from a provincial town of artisans into a working class industrial city fueled new religious battlefields.
You can find the recording of this event here.

How Attitude Becomes Form: Collaborative Practice in Asia? Talk by Zoe Butt
Tuesday, 5 June 2012, 7pm
Curator Zoe Butt talked about the ethos of collaboration and her experiences in working with artists to forge new curatorial and production practices in China, Vietnam, and Cambodia. Butt elaborated on artists’ processes in developing projects and how they reflect Asia’s political context, and discussed the role of archives built by artists and the dilemmas confronted with when aiming to achieve local and international visibility; dilemmas in which collaborations and funding principles play a key role.
This event was organized in collaboration with the Mondriaan Foundation.
You can find the recording of this event here.

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