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In conjunction with the exhibition In the Presence of Absence, several of the participating artists discuss various themes related to the exhibition. 

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How do we know what we know? Moderator Lisenne Delgado will have open conversations with various artists and designers based on the exhibition In the Presence of Absence. In three episodes they will address related themes, all leading back to this central question. The episodes will appear on this page from 22 December onwards. 

EPISODE 1: PERSONAL & COLLECTIVE KNOWLEDGE

This episode is a critical reflection on established forms of knowledge transfer and power structures related to knowledge and its one-dimensionality. What is collective knowledge, and who makes this decision? How does individual knowledge relate to that which is considered ‘generally accepted’ knowledge? These and other questions regarding their work in this exhibition will be discussed with: Rowena Buur , Werker Collective, Kristina Benjocki, Alicia Hoost

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ABOUT THE SPEAKERS AND MODERATOR

Kristina Benjocki (1984) studied at the University of Arts in Belgrade, Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam and Royal Academy of Art in The Hague. Benjocki was also artist in residence at Jan van Eyck Academie in Maastricht. Her research-driven practice includes moving image as well as sculpture, textile and photography. Works by Benjocki have been shown at, among others, the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (Rijeka), the American University of Beirut Art Gallery, and Stroom (The Hague).

Rowena Buur (1990) studied graphic design at Utrecht University of the Arts and continued their education with postgraduate studies at the Sandberg Instituut in Amsterdam. Their work is often highly personal. Without hope I have no dreams (2020), the documentary on show in the exhibition, captures the sincere and confrontational process of two family members trying to come to terms with their past. Work by Buur has been exhibited at Albert van Abbehuis (Eindhoven), the School of Arts and Humanities at the University of Lisbon, and Melkweg (Amsterdam). The documentary Without hope I have no dreams was broadcast as part of the Makers van morgen series on 2Doc.nl.

Werker Collective was founded by Marc Roig Blesa and Rogier Delfos in Amsterdam, 2009. It operates as an open platform for addressing subjects such as neoliberalism, patriarchy, and other dominant power structures. Work by Werker Collective has been exhibited at The Showroom (London), Foam (Amsterdam), and Tate Modern (London).

Alicia Hoost (1995) is an author, performer, and heritage expert. She has written for various platforms on her experiences studying, dating, and going out as a person with a vision impairment. Hoost has also participated in various theater productions and performances. In collaboration with Alicia Hoost and Leroy de Böck, Sarah van Lamsweerde developed the performance Sightless Seeing #4: Acquisitions, that is part of this exhibition.

Lisenne Delgado, LLM, is a legal expert on human rights, educator, storyteller and moderator. In her work she takes the role of awareness, historicity, identity, negotiation, power and knowledge production seriously. In other words, Delgado takes the human aspect seriously. It is her way of exploring and creating space for concrete change towards freedom, equality, and justice. Parts of her work can be found on

Kristina Benjocki (1984) studied at the University of Arts in Belgrade, Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam and Royal Academy of Art in The Hague. Benjocki was also artist in residence at Jan van Eyck Academie in Maastricht. Her research-driven practice includes moving image as well as sculpture, textile and photography. Works by Benjocki have been shown at, among others, the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (Rijeka), the American University of Beirut Art Gallery, and Stroom (The Hague).

Rowena Buur (1990) studied graphic design at Utrecht University of the Arts and continued their education with postgraduate studies at the Sandberg Instituut in Amsterdam. Their work is often highly personal. Without hope I have no dreams (2020), the documentary on show in the exhibition, captures the sincere and confrontational process of two family members trying to come to terms with their past. Work by Buur has been exhibited at Albert van Abbehuis (Eindhoven), the School of Arts and Humanities at the University of Lisbon, and Melkweg (Amsterdam). The documentary Without hope I have no dreams was broadcast as part of the Makers van morgen series on 2Doc.nl.

Werker Collective was founded by Marc Roig Blesa and Rogier Delfos in Amsterdam, 2009. It operates as an open platform for addressing subjects such as neoliberalism, patriarchy, and other dominant power structures. Work by Werker Collective has been exhibited at The Showroom (London), Foam (Amsterdam), and Tate Modern (London).

Alicia Hoost (1995) is an author, performer, and heritage expert. She has written for various platforms on her experiences studying, dating, and going out as a person with a vision impairment. Hoost has also participated in various theater productions and performances. In collaboration with Alicia Hoost and Leroy de Böck, Sarah van Lamsweerde developed the performance Sightless Seeing #4: Acquisitions, that is part of this exhibition.

Lisenne Delgado, LLM, is a legal expert on human rights, educator, storyteller and moderator. In her work she takes the role of awareness, historicity, identity, negotiation, power and knowledge production seriously. In other words, Delgado takes the human aspect seriously. It is her way of exploring and creating space for concrete change towards freedom, equality, and justice. Parts of her work can be found on jesuiszenne.com.

EPISODE 2: TAKING SPACE, TAKING PLACE

This episode will address themes such as public property, public space and the socio-political dimension of (cultural) spaces. How do museum collections relate to public space? What are the interrelations between subjects such as housing, ownership, racism, the imperialist appropriation of regions and active resistance to this phenomenon?

Lisenne Delgado will discuss these and other questions regarding their work in this exhibition with: Ahmet Öğüt, Wendelien van Oldenborgh, Pieter Paul Pothoven, Anna Dasović

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ABOUT THE SPEAKERS AND MODERATOR

Ahmet Öğüt’s (1981) work encompasses video, photography, and installation. His work is exhibited both in public space and in museums. After studying fine arts at Hacettepe University in Ankara, Öğüt went on to obtain his MA in art and design at Yildiz Teknik University in Istanbul. From 2007 to 2008 he was a resident at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam. His work has been exhibited at Kunstverein (Dresden), Kunsthal Charlottenborg (Copenhagen), and Centre Pompidou (Paris). Öğüt was one of the artists selected to represent Turkey at the 53rd Venice Biennale in 2009.

Wendelien van Oldenborgh (1962) studied at Goldsmiths College, University of London. Exhibitions of her work have been staged at CA2M (Madrid), The Showroom (London), and Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art (Rotterdam). In 2017 she represented the Netherlands at the 57th Venice Biennale. Van Oldenborgh won the 2014 Dr A.H. Heineken Prize for Art and the 2011 Hendrik Chabot Prize. In the work Prologue: Squat/Anti-Squat (2016), part of this exhibition, Van Oldenborgh gathers a group of individuals from different generations who each have a background in activism and/or architecture. They discuss topics that range from rapidly changing views on housing and property to issues surrounding decolonization, diversity, and racism.

Pieter Paul Pothoven (1981) studied at Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam and at Parsons School of Design (The New School) in New York. In 2014 and 2015 he was a participant at Jan van Eyck Academie in Maastricht. Pothoven’s work has been exhibited at The Kitchen (New York), Nest (The Hague), and TENT Rotterdam. His works facade suspended (2018) and observatie contra observatie (2020), shown in this exhibition, are part of a research project into the Revolutionary Anti-Racist Action (RARA). Rara is an anonymous collective, which in the 1980s and 90s fought against racism, oppression, and exploitation—the ongoing legacy of Dutch imperialist history. The project is a collaboration with the activists involved.

Anna Dasović’s (1982) video editing, photography, and installation work arises out of archival and bibliographical research, fieldwork, and interviews. She studied photography at HKU University of the Arts Utrecht and continued her studies at the Dutch Art Institute at ArtEZ University of Arts, Arnhem. From 2017 to 2018 she attended the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam. Dasović’s work has been exhibited at Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, Kunstverein Braunschweig, and Bergen Assembly.

Lisenne Delgado, LLM, is a legal expert on human rights, educator, storyteller and moderator. In her work she takes the role of awareness, historicity, identity, negotiation, power and knowledge production seriously. In other words, Delgado takes the human aspect seriously. It is her way of exploring and creating space for concrete change towards freedom, equality, and justice. Parts of her work can be found on jesuiszenne.com.

EPISODE 3: TRANSHISTORIES AND TRANSLOCAL EXCHANGE

This episode was inspired by Diasporic Unwrappings*, the title of a dialogue between artist Lubiana Hamid and Jane Beckett focused on the complexity of migration and showing certain invisible historical narratives by means of art. In this episode, the participating artists will discuss the ways in which their work transcends particular histories and geographies. 

The participants in this conversation will be: Sadik Alfraji, Ghita Skali, Quinsy Gario, Gilleam Trapenberg, Leonardiansyah Allenda

*This phrase was taken from the book Women, the arts and globalization (Marsha Meskimmon, Dorothy C. Rowe (eds). Manchester University Press, 2015), which includes a conversation with artist Lubaina Himid under the title Diasporic Unwrappings. 

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ABOUT THE SPEAKERS AND MODERATOR

Sadik Kwaish Alfraji (1960) studied at the Institute of Fine Arts and the Academy of Fine Arts in Baghdad, and at the School of the Arts Constantijn Huygens in Kampen. His work has been exhibited at, among others, MoMA PS1 (New York), the 56th and 57th Venice Biennale in 2015 and 2017, and the 21st Contemporary Art Biennial Sesc Videobrasil in 2019. Alfraji’s practice engages video, animation, and sound as well as drawings, paintings, and sculptures. In his oeuvre, themes such as memory, narration, and nostalgia play a role, in which the personal and the political overlap, as do history and current affairs.

Quinsy Gario is interested in the Dutch Caribbean history of resistance against, and refusal of, (Dutch) colonial rule overseas and in Europe. Mina Ouaouirst is a visual storyteller and researcher. Her work focuses on Amazigh culture and heritage and on women’s emancipation through film and photography.

The work of Ghita Skali (1992) consists of installations, interventions, performances and video. In this exhibition her work Ali Baba Express: Episode 2 is shown. This work is an example of how Skali’s practice brings in realities that exist outside the arts and empowers other realities through her work. Gossip, rumors, underground activities and anecdotes often inspire her to begin further investigation into potential social or political issues that have been strangely left unsolicited, unseen, and untouched.

Gilleam Trapenberg (1991) received his BA in photography from the Royal Academy of Art (The Hague). The work This Surely Must Be Paradise in this exhibition is a photography project set on the island of Saint Martin that addresses the imaging and imagining of the Caribbean. His work has been published in W, i-D, Volkskrant Magazine, Refinery 29, and It's Nice That, among others, and shown at Fotodok (Utrecht), Unfair (Amsterdam), and La Cité (Paris). In 2017 he won the Lensculture Emerging Talent Award and he is the 2020 recipient of the Florentine Riem Vis Stipendium. His first solo exhibition will be held at Foam, Amsterdam, late 2020.

In his artistic practice, Leonardiansyah Allenda (1984) focuses on researching the perception of body and space. He is interested in how such notions interweave with fiction and with subjects such as social history. Allenda was a resident artist at the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten in Amsterdam (2016-2017). His work has been shown at the National Museum of Fine Art (Taichung), the Kathmandu Triennale, the 2015 Jakarta Biennale, and Cemeti Art House (Yogyakarta).

Lisenne Delgado, LLM, is a legal expert on human rights, educator, storyteller and moderator. In her work she takes the role of awareness, historicity, identity, negotiation, power and knowledge production seriously. In other words, Delgado takes the human aspect seriously. It is her way of exploring and creating space for concrete change towards freedom, equality, and justice. Parts of her work can be found on jesuiszenne.com.

OVER DE TENTOONSTELLING

In the Presence of Absence toont een selectie kunstwerken en ontwerpprojecten die het begrip van algemene kennis en collectief bewustzijn uitdagen met verhalen die ongezien blijven, genegeerd zijn of vaker verteld mogen worden binnen grote publieke instellingen. Wanneer deze verhalen niet besproken worden door instellingen zoals scholen, bibliotheken, archieven en musea, ontstaan door hun afwezigheid kennislacunes binnen publieke debatten die het collectieve bewustzijn en geheugen mede bepalen.