A Decorated Room with Invaded Ideas, Digital collage, book cover Literatuur; Jan Frederik Helmers - De Hollandsche Natie -1812

A Decorated Room with Invaded Ideas, Digital collage, book cover Literatuur; Jan Frederik Helmers - De Hollandsche Natie -1812

They Man-Made It, So I Exist
A Decorated Room with Invaded Ideas Collective: Anastasija Pandilovska, Eline van Dijk (Tsvetkova), Jakob Ehrlich. Plus invited artists: Hedvig Koertz Mikkelsen, Nicola Godman, Phil Baber , Smári Rúnar Róbertsson, Lotte van der Woude.
4 till 26 May 2019
Opening: Saturday 4 May 2019 — 17:00 till 19:00 hrs

The exhibition features works by the collective (Eline Tsvetkova, Jakob Ehrlich and Anastasija Pandilovska) and by the invited guests artists: Smari Runar Róbertsson, Hedvig Koertz, Nicola Godman, Lotte van der Woude. Based on their relationship with the themes Heimat, Belonging and home making as a political instrument, in their own manner, each questions the notion of domesticity in regards to leaving and returning home.

The group exhibition is laid out as a flat landscape, open and unhidden. This presentation resembles the function of the known wide, transparent Dutch windows in family houses that are situated on ground floors. The message such windows attempt to convey is to demonstrate that the family in the Netherlands has "nothing to hide." Gradually, over the course of the programme, the artworks are contextualised and henceforth removed until we end up almost with an empty space. Referring to the project title A Decorated Room with Invaded Ideas we intend to discuss the concept of 'invasion of ideas' on objects. Therefore, the works will gradually be taken away instead of filling (decorating) the space, as opposed to the first project in Sofia where we gradually added ideas and elements to the space. The complementary programme, which will consist of three public events at puntWG, is aimed at initiating collective discussions in the space and active participation of the public. 

“They man made it, so I exist” is the final phase of the project series “A Decorated Room with Invaded Ideas”, a research-based project initiated and realized by three artists Eline van Dijk (Tsvetkova) (NL/BG) Jakob Ehrlich (AT) and Anastasija Pandilovska (MK/NL).

“They man-made it, so I exist” is a four-week programme consisting of a group exhibition and three public events, revolving around the notions of “belonging”, “Heimat“ and the process of “home making”. More precisely, the programme focuses on key factors that define the current Dutch, domestic space-making. 

Finding ourselves in the man-made country, we realise that we stand in a mountain-less, non-naturalistic “Heimat”. A self-made “Heimat”. We are wondering to what extent have local democracy, “speculative'’ romanticism and pragmaticism affected the current notion of Dutch domestic life? How have these concepts become problematised within an increasingly polarised society? 

Keywords to our programme and group exhibition are the Dutch words: GEMEENTE (municipality, community), VLAK (plain, without depth, area) and VLOED (flood). Their various meanings provide a solid ground for our research in defining how we belong.


And no-one knows////Meanwhile
Lecture Performance/Reading by Phil Baber
11 May 2019, 18:30-20:30

“…What I am making is
A place for language in my life

Which I want to be a real place
Seeing I have to put up with it
Anyhow…” (W.S. Graham)

 Phil Baber will perform a close-ish reading of Friedrich Hölderlin’s fragmentary poem “Heimat,” or “Homeland.” By tracking the poem’s syntax and imagery, and activating some of its resonances with other texts, this reading will suggest how Hölderlin’s poem – and perhaps poetry as such – offers ways of thinking about “home” and “belonging” that refuse spurious (and often poisonous) notions of authenticity, nationhood, and “place”. 

Phil Baber (London, 1987) is an editor, writer, and book designer living in Amsterdam. Together with Snejanka Mihaylova, he runs The Last Books, a small press with a focus on literature in translation. His work has been exhibited, published, and presented internationally, at venues including the Whitechapel Gallery, London, REDCAT, Los Angeles, and the Literarisches Colloquium, Berlin, and is part of the collection of the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam. Essays have appeared in Solitude Atlas, Reliquiae, and Signals from the Periphery, among others. He has been an artist-in-resident at Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart (2013–14), and a writer-in-residence at Hordaland Kunstsenter, Bergen (2017). Since 2015 he is a writing teacher and thesis advisor in the graphic design department of the Gerrit Rietveld Academie. He is the editor, most recently, of Friedrich Hölderlin: Selected Poems and Letters, translated by Christopher Middleton. 

The exhibition space on Saturday will be open from 14:00 onwards for those who want to see the show.


Multimedia Installation/Performance by the Collective A Decorated Room with Invaded Ideas
18 May 2019, 18:30 – 20:00

The second event will focus on the Amsterdamse School style as we consider this architectural style to be a pivotal point of Dutch space-making as all three keywords GEMEENTE, VLAK, VLOED can be exemplified through the work of the architects that adopted this way of thinking. As a case study we will take the building Het Schip in the Spaarndammerbuurt in Amsterdam designed by the architect Michel de Klerk in 1919.


Spatial Intervention and Discussion by the Collective 
25 May 2019, 18:30 – 21:00 

People enter
People see the works
We give a small talk
People have questions
We answer questions
We give little food

“Handle with Care” is the final event of “They man-made it, so I exist” and at the same time the closing of the series A Decorated Room with Invaded Ideas projects .* For this finissage, we break our established routine in the space by shedding a new light on the artworks through alterations made by the individual artists. By doing so we hope to create a polilogical approach to this set of works that share a common space. Finally, the project is wrapped up with the questions: How much care does one need to take when moving in a space shared by many others and what attitudes should be applied when trying to coexist?

Photo documentation by Ilya Rabinovich

They man-made it, so I exist is supported by the AFK (Amsterdam Fund for the Arts) and the Austrian Embassy


A Decorated Room with Invaded Ideas, Digital collage, book cover Literatuur; Jan Frederik Helmers - De Hollandsche Natie -1812