Curated by Lora Sariaslan
Art historian and “No one is more popular than Mohamed” curator Lora Sariaslan on Mo Sirra:
“Mo Sirra examines and theorizes the essence of creation. How can one mediate art? How can one create? And more importantly, how can one create freely? This examination has deeply influenced his approach to cultural practice and is reminiscent of the (memory of the) sites or lieu de mémoire (site of memory) of the French historian Pierre Nora. As Mo Sirra approaches art practice as an act of urgency, he focuses on the impermanent and spatially complex nature of art practice through his diverse and fluid work encompassing drawing, installation, photography, and sculpture. The politicization of life and hence art is one of his driving forces, informed and enriched by personal experiences leading to (hi)stories that entangle the first person with(in) the third--blurring the edges of a self-portrait.”
The artist in question argues that art is an act of urgency requires practitioner and institution at state of emergency. Despite this prescheduled presentation; please be advised that the artist, the content of the presentation, the opening hours, the location are subject to change.
What if the human being inherited a contaminated knowledge?
What if ‘art’ is advertisement instrument for Capitalism, propaganda for other Ideology?
What if ‘freedom of expression’ is daily exercise, rather than an article in Human Rights Act?
What if ‘independence’ is a continuous struggle against suppression rather an inactive clause in a constitution?
When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty
Advertisement VS Propaganda
This is what the ‘artist’ in residence has been performing since age of nine, when he refused to fill-in the affiliation form of the ruling Baath party. As he resists to offer his skin as a banner for totalitarian regime’s propaganda as he resists to stretch his forehead for Capitalism’s advertisement to light on
No room even in Rome
This is a performance of a boy, who had drawn an upside-down tree at age of 3, but years later he was confronted with the reality; the world is not willing to accommodate an imagination of 3 years old boy. Thus, he jumped in the river and walks in wrong side through which he creates temporary virtual room for his soul to perform…
How actual is this today?
“In the Western art from ancient times well into the nineteenth century even the most innovative artists depended upon patrons and public that measured quality in relation to well-known standards of subject matter, technique, and style.” Jonathan Fineberg, Art since 1940
The aesthetic of resistance
It is about 4890 km south, where he had to construct a tiny room out of metal lockers at the rare of the sculpture studio in the Academy of Fine Arts in Baghdad in order to pursue developing his research. he refused to attend the students military training camp during the 4-months summer break, therefore he was dismissed from resuming his study, furthermore he was tortured, sentenced and compelled to do one-year military service at the war front. Instead he had to escape the military training camp to the academy pursuing the course although he was dismissed. Despite performing under pain of death, he has created more than 40 sculptures at the end of that year. Art is an act of urgency that requires a practitioner and institution in state of emergency
The Tyranny of Popular
I have to confirm, that he survived all. However, by reaching out the ‘Democratic’ society he was confronted with the impossibility to have any room except the margin, instead he was forced to lay out a virtual room to resume his performance. Whenever the virtual room gets eliminated by water cannons or contaminated by tear gas and sound bombs, he layout a new. You are either to serve the mainstream or to be a prospective extremist.
Is there an urge to begin calling into questioning and challenging the legitimacy of the commonly accepted cultural, social, and religious norms, revealing their hypocritical and repressive nature?
Footnote: he was probably born on the banks of the river Tigris – in a hot summer day in May, around siesta time…and he was born standing. The midwife said that this brought a lot of luck, and he can’t complain, really. It is thought that he may have studied art and design in the Netherlands, England, Spain, Norway, and he probably travelled to Italy, Turkey, Senegal, Canada, Egypt and other countries; however, the continuous performing illegally in the State of Art
By this preface, I assume that many of you especially who reviewed his submitted portfolio is confused whether am I speaking in the first or the third person? It could be both
This is the most beautiful thing you said in years
– This is the only thing I have said in years
I see the mirror
I get up
One more time
I see the mirror
I get up
he is absent,
I am he, who I was or
A play with the relation of object, artist and agency in the gallery space, as well as in a broader sense of history writing.
“I want to belong to the living” is an exhibition by Isfrid Angard Siljehaug, Anna Hillbom and Ann-Catrin Olsson. The artists wish to make possible a tactile re-reading of the past, where the agency of each artist's work at times is blurred, at times visible. A play with the relation of object, artist and agency in the gallery space, as well as in a broader sense of history writing.
Elements from art history, architecture, mythology and the body are used to enable a personal understanding of time, a rupture in chronology. By that bring out a possible mystic, a giggle, something skin-warm.
The title indicates a wish to bring to life fragments adapted from the past. Canalized and altered, they become animated shreds of something vaguely familiar. “I want to belong to the living” refers to the body's yearning for eternality. A fantasy about sculptures who long to be touched. Like John Berger is looking for the living in Greek sculptures.
”All the sculptures stolen from Greece who are now in foreign museums, are strangely un-sensual and that's one of the reasons they belong here (in Greece). The sensual in art is in a way a glorification of participation, a cohesion between body and nature. Here does no such cohesion exist. The famous ideals that the classic sculptors searched for was actually a comfort for the loneliness of the body. All these sculptures were, it seems to me now, mediators of a well controlled longing without end.”
- John Berger
This exhibition is generously supported by the Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst and Iapsis/Swedish Arts Council.
Strange things are happening in the village. Rumours of plague. Just ask at the Tavern: there’s something a little odd about this year’s crop, the baker has gone mad, and the brewer is working overtime…
It’s just after harvest time, the autumn of 1519. Or 2019. It’s the aftermath of…of what? Strange things are happening in the village. Rumours of plague. Just ask at the Tavern: there’s something a little odd about this year’s crop, the baker has gone mad, and the brewer is working overtime… You, the itinerant artist, have just arrived to fulfil your commission at the Abbey. But to complete your work, you must navigate village life, and find out what’s eating this town before it gets you too. The bel is kapot, you have to knock to get in. This is an exhibition in the form of a riddle, set in a space and time very much like our own.
Ash Kilmartin (Aotearoa/New Zealand) and Bergur Thomas Anderson (Iceland) are artists who live in Rotterdam. Their collaborative exhibition is richly enhanced with custom-made beers by Amsterdam brewers Arbeiter. This exhibition is made possible with the support of AFK.
Title: Stonecarver’s Dilemma
Date and time: 26 October 2019, 17:00-19:00
Stonecarver’s dilemma (2019) working drawing. Bergur Thomas Anderson and Ash Kilmartin
Stonecarver’s Dilemma is a live choose-you-own-adventure, performed by Bergur Thomas Anderson and Ash Kilmartin, in which the audience decides the fate of the young artist who attempts to live by their work, and by their good conscience. Live music, improvised foley, dangerous snacks and specially brewed drinks might just help with these difficult choices.
atelierWG Foundation invites artists to organize an exhibition to be presented at puntWG. Deadline: August 1st 2019.
OPEN CALL for 2020 Program
atelierWG Foundation invites artists operating in any medium to organize an exhibition to be presented at puntWG, an exhibition space located in the centre of Amsterdam.
puntWG seeks to provide a platform for invited artists to temporarily own the space with a sense of freedom and responsibility to give form to their own programme and make contact with the public.
We encourage proposals for duo and group exhibitions that encourage dialogue between the artists and their work. We also invite proposals for one-person presentations on the basis that they seek interaction with other (relevant) individuals or groups through a public program.
We welcome proposals that include a rich public program of events such as artist talks, performances, screenings, (performative) lectures, dinners etc.
Artists will be selected on the basis of the quality of their proposal and their considered approach to using the space.
Each exhibition will last four weeks (including installation and de-installation times).
This call is not intended for curated group exhibitions.
The organization of both puntWG and Foundation atelierWG almost fully depends on volunteers.
atelierWG Foundation provides selected artists with an open platform to realize their projects at puntWG. This includes the space and basic equipment, professional photo documentation and the production of printed matter to accompany each exhibition. As a small non-profit organization run by a group of artists, we unfortunately cannot provide financial support for production. puntWG’s team will issue acceptance letters for successful applicants to support their applications for external funding.
You can find the puntWG floorplan HERE.
Please send ONE pdf (max 10 mb) which includes the following documents in your email submission:
Please indicate if you at the time of this application have already (partly) secured funding for the exhibition.
Proposals to be emailed to email@example.com
The submission deadline is August 1st 2019.
All recipients will be notified before October 1st 2019.
For general information and questions regarding puntWG, contact team puntWG: firstname.lastname@example.org
Organization and programming of puntWG: Lily Lanfermeijer, Mila Lanfermeijer, Michelle Son, Maaike Anne Stevens and Tao G. Vrhovec Sambolec.
Following the relocation of the hospital Wilhelmina Gasthuis in 1984, now the AMC – Academic Medical Center – artists, small business owners and residents have shaped and preserved the unique character and special site of WG in Amsterdam. Today a large number of artists are living and working on the grounds, including those who are part of atelierWG (in Pavilions 18 and 19).
AtelierWG Foundation, established in 1989, houses 120 artists' studios as well as initiating projects in the fields of art and culture, including international exchanges and Open Studio routes.
In 2006 puntWG was created as an interdisciplinary exhibition space and platform for the arts, with a lively program of exhibitions, performances, concerts, lectures and discussions with the aim of initiating an open and broad discourse between artists and the public. PuntWG was initiated by the artists of atelierWG, who finance the space and organize its programming.
airWG, an artist-in-residence, opened in September 2015, hosting a guest studio for national and international artists with an emphasis on research and collaboration.
An experimental video game composed by field work material collected in the Alps, with personal narrative content inspired by mainstream pop culture.
The central piece of She-Wolves is an experimental video game composed by field work material collected in the Alps (during workshops, interviews, and walks), with personal narrative content inspired by mainstream pop culture.
It tells the sensual story of women werewolves in the Alps de Haute-Provence, where the wolf re-appeared 20 years ago, a hundred years after its extinction in France. The return of the predator causes great political tensions in local communities opposing shepherd protecting their cheptel, to ecologists in favor of its protection. In parallel, vernacular legends raise again, inspired by local stories and movies like Twilight. The mythical meets the political ; the local blends into the global.
She-Wolves capsizes the gender paradigm of the powerful fertilizing force in nature and gives the bestial hairy power to women. It opens the door for an open narrative experiment taking its sources in ecological matters, feminism, folklore and pop culture.
During the opening, the performative version of the game will be performed at 19:30.
I have told myself there are three things I should write about: images, sounds, and their coincidence.
I am writing these notes on the train from Berlin to Amsterdam. A self-imposed exile of six hours to write down some thoughts. I have told myself there are three things I should write about: images, sounds, and their coincidence.
A yellow figure floating in an endless grey space. The figure has no outline, no boundary, but melts into the surroundings.
Images from an infrared camera. Photography without light. Or actually, photography of light we cannot see. At first, it makes you think of an X-ray; instinctively you think that an image which shows something hidden, must be the image of an inside. But in fact, these images show only radiation; not even a surface, but that which envelops the surface.
You could say these images are a metaphor, because a sense is carried over. That which usually is felt--warmth--is transferred to a visual representation. The invisible is made visible (is that a form of synesthesia?) To paint what you hear. To say what you feel.
On these images you can see that the warmest places in the body are those where we say feelings house: the chest, the belly, the crotch. In a flash, I link the infrared images to a Jesus painted by Grünewald. Not the famous crucifixion, but the one on the back, Jesus resurrected from the grave. Floating in a night sky, painted in a surreal combination of yellow, pink and red, his face merges with the light of a bright star. The wounds on his hands and feet radiate the strongest. They must be the warmest.
Infrared cameras were developed by the military, and are used by drones to find their targets. Omer Fast interviewed a drone operator, who 'flies' a small plane in Afghanistan from a room in Las Vegas:
“…if someone sits down on a cold surface for a while and then gets up, you’ll still see the heat from that person. For a long time. It kind of looks like a white blossom. Just shining up in heaven. It's quite beautiful.”
A wooden spoon hitting a steel plate, a song coming from a bucket, a coffee cup sounding like an alarm clock.
It might be cheesy to put it this way: objects that speak to us. But it is tempting to do so, to think of what they would say. In my imagination, they are desperately trying to get a point across in a language that we don’t understand. Lending them a tragic air, suffering from their inability of expression. Or perhaps they are ghosts from the past, an echo from history, trying to warn us not to make the same mistakes again. Or finally, they could be incarnations from another world, who are not saying anything, but quietly laughing at our feeble will, our changing emotions, our petty concerns.
The planets are aligned in a particular way, and at the same time someone's life is in crisis. For example, the break up of a relationship between two teenagers. To think that the alignment of the planets and the break up are in a necessary causal relationship with each other is a fallacy.
But at the same time, it is deeply human to ascribe meaning to coincidence. Put a plastic Spiderman figurine on a baroque table and the meaning of both objects changes. I think of the collaborations between John Cage and Merce Cunningham, in which they would independently of each other create a music and dance piece, to be performed simultaneous.
I imagine the loop of the slides different in length than that of the sounds. Thereby creating a multitude of coincidental relationships. Sometimes the sound will coincide with the image of a washing machine, the next time with a naked woman, again a next time with an image of the sea. Like two planets in different orbits, two lives lived independently of each other. At times crossing each other, at times not.
We are thrilled to have been granted the Werkbijdrage Kunstinitiatieven.
puntWG is thrilled to announce that we have been granted the Werkbijdrage Kunstinitiatieven from the Mondriaan Fund. We join a beautiful list of 23 artist-led initiatives existing throughout the Netherlands.
This contribution will allow us to continue to improve our programme and support our activities over the next year.
Congratulations to all recipient initiatives!
A participatory performance and an unconventional organic dinner...
2 June - 18:00 - Duration: 6 courses.
Nomadic Picnic is a participatory performance, an unconventional meal, during which people meet each other in silence. This is an intimate gustative experience for up to 16 people. Nomadic Picnic dishes are served without tableware and eaten without cutlery.
The dishes are sculptural and conceptual and are designed and prepared by the artists. This meal consists of six vegan organic courses without gluten and added sugar, the most universal diet letting everyone participate.
The space for the performance is composed from the picmats and arranged using knowledge of proxemics. Nomadic Picnic explores the realms of human-human and human-food relations. This performance questions social and cultural norms and gives conditions for authentic ways of communicating, as well as eating.
Let's break the cycles of inner repetitions.
If you have food allergies, e-mail email@example.com by 28 May.