February 8, 2021 - Kunstinstituut Melly - 2021 program
February 8, 2021

Kunstinstituut Melly

[1] Lisa Tan, My Pictures of You, 2019. [2] View of Simon Fujiwara, A Conquest, 2020 at Dvir Gallery, Brussels. Courtesy of the artist and Dvir Gallery, Tel Aviv / Brussels. [3] Sasha Huber, Rentyhorn, 2008. [4] Iris Kensmil, Six Women (Understanding Futurity), 2019. Charcoal on paper, acrylic on wall, 325 x 1435 cm. Museum of Art, Haifa. [5] Jasmine Thomas Girvan, Rooted - Terra Incognita, 2016. Bronze, wood and feather, 12 x 80 ⅜ x 9 ⅞ inches. [6] Interior of the Museum of Education and Art, ca. 1880. Collection of the Rotterdam City Archives.

2021 program

Kunstinstituut Melly
Witte de Withstraat 50
3012 BR Rotterdam
The Netherlands
Hours: Wednesday–Sunday 1:30–6pm,
Friday 6–9pm

T +31 10 411 0144
F +31 10 411 7924

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With a new name for the institution having come into effect on January 27, 2021, Kunstinstituut Melly in Rotterdam announces its 2021 program of temporary exhibitions and multi-year initiatives. *

84 STEPS is a new initiative, for which an entire floor in Kunstinstituut Melly is transformed to feature projects at the intersection of art and education. This transformation of a white-cube gallery into a dynamic space for socializing art follows our 2018 makeover of the ground-floor gallery, MELLY. The name—84 STEPS—marks the distance from the ground-floor to the third-floor galleries, where the initiative is sited. The first edition of 84 STEPS will feature immersive art installations and activity-based art projects by Afra Eisma, the Feminist Health Care Research Group, Moosje M Goosen and Suzanne Weenink, Raja’a Khalid, Lisa Tan, Domenico Mangano & Marieke van Rooy and Romily Alice Walden. From April 9, 2021 to March 20, 2022, programming within these installations will give attention to issues surrounding mental health.

Since 2018, we have been presenting SOLO DUETS, two solo exhibitions side-by-side in our second-floor galleries. We aim to introduce, compare and contrast the work of artists with a strong research-based practice who sensually express the pulse of our times. These exhibitions present newly commissioned work or survey a multifaceted art project or artistic trajectory. For 2021, SOLO DUETS is divided into two seasons, including a total of four solo-exhibitions. From April 9 to August 22, 2021 it will feature work by Simon Fujiwara and Sasha Huber; from September 10, 2021 to March 20, 2022, it will feature work by Iris Kensmil and Jasmine Thomas-Girvan

ANCHORED is a series of site-specific commissions that focus on our building, street, and neighbors. ANCHORED offers new research and community narratives and deepens the engagement between Kunstinstituut Melly and the cultural ecosystem of Rotterdam and the Netherlands. Also, our Work Learn Project, begun in 2018, is being redeveloped and is set to re-launch in the summer as CLIP, which stands for collective learning in practice.

2021 marks the start of multi-year collaborations for Kunstinstituut Melly, including the co-presentation of a number of exhibitions. One of these is with Sour Grass, a curatorial agency led by Annalee Davis and Holly Bynoe. An outcome of this collaboration is an annual solo exhibition of a Caribbean artist, starting with Jasmine Thomas-Girvan. This year we are also pleased to be among five national art institutions collaborating with the Hartwig Art Foundation, presenting newly completed artworks that the foundation will then donate to the Dutch National Collection. For its part, the current broadcasting and streaming of MELLY TV has been co-developed with Brand New Guys and Lilith and is co-presented with Open Rotterdam.

The programming team at Kunstinstituut Melly involves curators, educators, and organizers who work collaboratively on the conceptualization and programming of exhibitions and initiatives. 84 STEPS is led by Sofia Hernández Chong Cuy (director) and Rosa de Graaf (associate curator), and programmed with Docus van der Made (curator of academic and public programs), Jessy Koeiman (curator of collective learning), Emmelie Mijs (education assistant), and Vivian Ziherl (research and programs manager); it is organized by Wendy van Slagmaat-Bos (project coordinator). The exhibition of Simon Fujiwara is curated by De Graaf; she also co-curates Sasha Huber’s exhibition with Justine Kholeal (assistant curator at The Power Plant); the exhibition of Iris Kensmil is curated by Hernández Chong Cuy; one of the Anchored projects is curated by Van Slagmaat-Bos.

Kunstinstituut Melly was conceived as an art house in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, with a mission to present and discuss contemporary art and theory. We commission art, organize exhibitions, publish, and develop educational and collaborative initiatives. Kunstinstituut Melly is supported by the city of Rotterdam and the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science in The Netherlands. Our activities are also supported through foundation grants, project sponsorships, individual donations, and income from admission tickets, sales and events.

*Kunstinstituut Melly is the new name of the institution formerly known as Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art. 

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