Kunstinstituut Melly

August 26, 2011

3 September–27 November 2011

Friday, 2 September 2011,
from 1 p.m. till late (see program below)

Center for Contemporary Art
Witte de Withstraat 50
3012 BR Rotterdam
The Netherlands
+31 10 411 0144
info [​at​]

Melanchotopia – between melancholy and utopia

Witte de With’s Melanchotopia is an exhibition that invites more than forty international artists to work with private and semi-public venues in the city-center of Rotterdam—places where people live, learn and work—to activate their potential as spaces for ideas, debate and invention. The exhibition addresses the very fundamental question: What makes a city livable? With this project, we invite the inhabitants of Rotterdam and their guests to join us in exploring new ways of experiencing public life today.

From large-scale interventions to very simple gestures, Melanchotopia supports a range of artistic practices that go beyond the classic approach of displaying art in public space. Transcending traditional venues for public art, the show reaches out and provokes dialogue by inserting art in everyday contexts: in supermarkets, offices, schools. By deliberately choosing such familiar environments, the project reiterates the vital role that art can play in shaping a thriving civil society.

Working with the existing dynamics of the city, Witte de With reveals the many layers of daily life in Rotterdam, creating a rich framework for subjective encounters. Melanchotopia is an exhibition about the multiple individual realities of Rotterdam, a city that seems to be on hold, caught between its past and its future: filled with nostalgia for the pre-war city, while waiting for the completion of the utopian future, which is perpetually stalled in unfinished developments and reconstructions.

Michael Van den Abeele, Saâdane Afif, Harold Ancart, Danaï Anesiadou, Sven Augustijnen, Dirk Bell, Michael Beutler, Guillaume Bijl, Pierre Bismuth, Monica Bonvicini, George van Dam, Thea Djordjadze, Jean-Pascal Flavien, Olivier Foulon, Murray Gaylard, Filip Gilissen, Adam Gillam, Jos de Gruyter & Harald Thys, Arnoud Holleman, Peter Hutton, Adrià Julià, Leon Kahane, Erik van Lieshout, Minouk Lim, Sarah Morris, Alex Morrison, Kate Newby, Ricardo Okaranza, Henrik Plenge Jakobsen, Nina Pohl, Tomo Savić-Gecan, Markus Schinwald, Slavs and Tatars, Mårten Spångberg, Tobias Spichtig, Nasrin Tabatabai & Babak Afrassiabi, Zin Taylor, Octavian Trauttmansdorff, Kostis Velonis, Lidwien van de Ven, Peter Wächtler, Lawrence Weiner.

The Melanchotopia logo is a hybrid composition of Witte de With’s own cloud by Gerard Hadders (Hard Werken) and the Melanchotopia-rain of Sarah Morris, arranged by Markus Weisbeck (Surface).

Witte de With – Center for Contemporary Art, SPAR Corandewal, Pathé Schouwburgplein, Weenink Bedrijfskleding, ROTTERDAM. INFO, Museum Rotterdam, Robeco, Bar Mon Cheri, Shop Erotica, Avondwinkel Alexia, Galerie VIVID, Willibrordschool, Rotterdamse centrum markt, Grotekerkplein, Beurs–World Trade Center, Stadswinkel Centrum Stadhuis, Grand Hotel Central, Q-Park Weena, Het Schieblock, The Manhattan Hotel, Nationale–Nederlanden, Rotterdam Centraal, Groot Handelsgebouw & Engels Grandcafé Restaurant Zalen, Rotterdamse Schouwburg, Mauritsplaats, Pauluskerk, Van Urk Piano’s & Vleugels, Jan Segeren herenmode, De Karel Doorman, Queens of Rings, Bilderberg Parkhotel, Buro Rietveld / Dutch Style Company, Stiltecentrum Erasmus MC, Hartman Binnenhuisadviseurs, De Havenloods.

Curated by
Nicolaus Schafhausen and Anne-Claire Schmitz;
Assistant curators: Thomas Cuckle, Amira Gad, Fabian Schoeneich and Sam Sterckx.

Friday 2 September 2011, from 1 p.m. till late

1 p.m.–5 p.m.: guided tours of the exhibition, starting at Witte de With
6 p.m.: opening speech and drinks at Witte de With
7 p.m.: premiere of ‘music for Melanchotopia’ for soprano and string ensemble by George van Dam, live at the Rotterdamse Schouwburg
9 p.m.: ‘It’s all downhill from here on’, an event by Filip Gilissen, from sunset till sunrise
10 p.m. till late: party at Witte de With, DJ sets by Guillaume Bijl, Tobias Donat, Filip Gilissen, Kate Newby, Tobias Spichtig and Zin Taylor.

Check for updates to the program.


For press requests, please send us an email via or call us on + 31 (0) 10 411 01 44.

Supported by:

VSB Fonds; SNS Reaal Fonds; Gobierno de Espana AC/E; Institut Francais; Creative New Zealand; Danish Arts Council; Canada Council for the Arts; Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia

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Kunstinstituut Melly
August 26, 2011

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