Kunstinstituut Melly

June 28, 2011

3 September–27 November 2011

Friday 2 September 2011 as from 2 pm
See the program belowCenter for Contemporary Art
Witte de Withstraat 50
3012 BR Rotterdam
The Netherlands
+31 10 411 0144
info [​at​]

Witte de With’s Melanchotopia explores the tension between melancholy and utopia.

It is a context-specific exhibition that invites more than forty international artists to work with different venues in Rotterdam.

From large-scale interventions to simple gestures, Melanchotopia supports a range of artistic practices that go beyond the classical approach to displaying art in public space. Working with the existing dynamics of the city, Witte de With’s intention is to bring forward the diverse layers of daily life in Rotterdam, creating a rich framework for subjective encounters.

A city under perpetual construction, Rotterdam today seems equally driven by the habit of a self-willed mourning and the promise of an ideal place, yet to come. The center of the city, which has sustained the most development, remains primary ground for the contradictions at play.

Far from adding any artificial layer to Rotterdam’s core, Melanchotopia performs and renders visible the present of the city through specific artistic propositions. Participants have been invited to work with one of the forty selected locations—ranging from sites of leisure to places of professional activity—and to activate their potential as spaces for ideas, discourse and invention.

Over the course of the exhibition Witte de With’s galleries will be reconfigured to become the epicenter of Melanchotopia: the projects, which spread throughout Rotterdam’s center, are brought together via a graphic mapping. Besides its new function as an information center, Witte de With will be equipped with a designed bookshop and an auditorium dedicated to a side-program.

Saâdane Afif, Harold Ancart, Danaï Anesiadou, Sven Augustijnen, Dirk Bell, Michael Beutler, Guillaume Bijl, Pierre Bismuth, Monica Bonvicini, George van Dam, Thea Djordjadze, Olivier Foulon, Murray Gaylard, Filip Gilissen, Adam Gillam, Arnoud Holleman, International Festival, 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, Tobias Spichtig, Nasrin Tabatabai & Babak Afrassiabi, Zin Taylor, Harald Thys & Jos De Gruyter, Octavian Trauttmansdorff, Kostis Velonis, Lidwien van de Ven, Peter Wächtler, Lawrence Weiner.

Beurs WTC, Bilderberg Parkhotel, Delftse Poort, Hartman Binnenhuisadviseurs, Holland Casino, KBS Willibrord school, Manhattan Hotel, Museum Rotterdam, Pathé Schouwburgplein, Pauluskerk, Robeco, Rotterdam Centraal Station, R.S.V. Sanctus Laurentius, SPAR Supermarket, Stadswinkel, VVV Info Rotterdam, Weenink Bedrijfskleding, Wereldmuseum, amongst others…

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

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).

Grand Opening
Friday 2 September 2011, starting from 2 p.m. till late

- Start at Witte de With: guided tours of the exhibitions
- Opening speech and drinks
- Premiere of ‘concertante version Melanchotopia’ by George Van Dam, performed live in Rotterdam’s theater de Stadsschouwburg
- ‘It’s all downhill from here on’, an event by Filip Gilissen, from sunset till sunrise
- Melanchotopia party at Witte de With

Check for updates on the program.

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

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Kunstinstituut Melly
June 28, 2011

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