George van Dam
Erik van Lieshout
Henrik Plenge Jakobsen
Slavs and Tatars
Nasrin Tabatabai & Babak Afrassiabi
Harald Thys & Jos De Gruyter
Lidwien van de Ven
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.
Witte de With’s Melanchotopia is an exhibition that invites more than forty international artists to work with different venues in the city-center of Rotterdam – places where people live and work – and to activate their potential as spaces for ideas, discourse and invention.
From large-scale interventions to very 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. It is an exhibition about the reality of Rotterdam.
Today, Rotterdam seems to be on hold between its past and its future: filled with nostalgia for the pre-WWII city and in wait for the utopian future, which is perpetually stalled in unfinished developments and reconstructions. Projections about yesterday and tomorrow drive the image of the city, that seems to lack a present. Melanchotopia performs the present of the city through the specific practice of each artist.
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 sideprogram of lectures and artist talks. Here you can buy the exhibition guide with Melanchotopia map. The comprehensive educational program provides guided tours, art encounters and a special audio tour.
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, 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 Savi-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.
Nicolaus Schafhausen and Anne-Claire Schmitz
Curatorial assistants: Thomas Cuckle, Amira Gad, Fabian Schoeneich and Sam Sterckx.
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
Among others, 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, ROTTERDAM.INFO, Weenink Bedrijfskleding,Wereldmuseum.
Gobierno de Espana AC/E; Institut Francais; Creative New Zealand; Danish Arts Council; Canada Council for the Arts; Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia.
Different venues in the city center - Rotterdam