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Event, W139 hosts... 2023

W139 hosts… 2023 – Week 7

With our second edition of W139 hosts… we are excited to open up the W139 exhibition space for a dynamic seven-week long programme providing 55 makers and initiatives with the opportunity to present new projects or works-in-progress. During W139 hosts… a new constellation of makers and collectives moves into the exhibition space every week—creating a fluid and constantly changing environment. 

Photography by Elodie Vreeburg.

Anahit Yakubovich
Data Harvest Selfie

Data Harvest Selfie is a durational interactive performance that physically visualises the extractive processes of surveillance capitalism from our simulated world of images, by transforming the gallery space into a model of a digital platform where visitors are confronted with their own observed image while they consume images themselves. Using the pre-internet medium of printed matter as well as the timelessly surveilled sexualised feminine body, I perform in the role of content creator, engaging in a cycle of selfie taking, each image being instantly printed upon capture, flooding the gallery space with my digital reincarnations. Dressed as a stereotypical bimbo I allude to how algorithms are influenced by the male gaze and how sexualising one’s own feminine body is a known method of generating profit, causing feminine bodies on the internet to change in accordance to the algorithms preferences. While the feminine body profits off of its adoption of male-gaze oriented algorithmic preferences, the platform that the body exists on profits simultaneously of all user activity surrounding these images by harvesting the data and mining it for valuable predictive information that will be sold to those interested in manipulating human behaviour. 

Artist Bio:
Anahit Yakubovich is a Russian-American 22 year old currently studying at Gerrit Rietveld Academie. She loves to read theory, wear cute outfits and take sexy pictures for instagram. Previously she has been a sex worker, where many of her clients were powerful tech bros, they inspired Anahit to start researching tech ethics because she found herself profoundly disagreeing with many of their views which prioritised profit over human connection. Currently, in her art practice Anahit is interested in overthinking images, creating research based immersive installations and using her work to confront her past and future. 

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Ulrike Möntmann
Parrhesia: The Risky Activity of Speaking Up and Speaking Out

OUTCAST REGISTRATION serves as an archive of all research projects by Ulrike Möntmann and documents their results. The data collected during all phases of the projects enable observations and comparisons to be made of the cultural, social, geographical, and political differences as well as the numerous parallels in the lives of the project participants. 

Central to OUTCAST REGISTRATION and the projects are the biographies of drug-addicted women in Europe. In dialogue with the participants, the facts of their biographies are ascertained and put into a specific form with the aid of the Matrix Method, which presents their lives as a sequence of events and decisions, actions and reactions.

The conceptual architecture of the OUTCAST REGISTRATION is based on the study of different social spaces: the isolated space, the cultural space, and the public space. The situation and perspectives of drug-addicted women are made perceptible in terms of their social context in each of these spaces.

Both THIS BABY DOLL WILL BE A JUNKIE and PARRHESIA are gender-specific arts-based research projects focusing on an issue that western European countries have consistently ignored. Although women drug addicts represent “only” 4 to 14% of Europe’s total population of drug users and are thus considered by the legal system and society as a “negligible phenomenon”, around 65% of the inmates in women’s prisons are drug addicts. How can it be that this state of affairs leads to the marginalisation of this group and what has brought them into this precarious position?

Artist Bio: 
Ulrike Möntmann has been realising multi-year projects with partners from art, science and politics in cooperation with drug addicts in European prisons, therapy facilities and reception centres. In interdisciplinary artistic research and practice, complex issues are discussed that arise from the cooperation of all participants. The aim of the investigations is to uncover facts and to identify concrete connections from different perspectives. This is not about confirming the asymmetrical relationships with the women affected which certainly exist or about discussing the measures of the organs of executive power; the aim is to uncover the conditions in societal systems that are unthinkingly taken for granted and accepted.

OUTCAST REGISTRATION is a form of intervention that requires reflection and commentary to reveal the conditions that are structurally entrenched in social processes and make them perceptible as public affairs.

The following are the two main projects devised and conducted by Ulrike Möntmann, in cooperation with incarcerated, drug-addicted women throughout Europe since 1998.

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Parcours – Chantal van Lieshout, Joke Beltman, Judith Reijnders, Peter Krynen
Take Me to the Pinball River

Like balls in a pinball machine that are pushed in different directions by each other, our collaboration creates movement in various ways. Based on our own interests and working method, we seek connection in the playful and inquisitive in various materials. Individual art objects and interventions in the space require attention in their own way. The course will work as a generator for our imagination and play, and then for those of the visitors.

The track arises organically during the construction: an obstacle course of works of art as a world full of wonder, stimuli and humor, where people roll out with a big smile, while they wonder what just happened to them.

Starting points for the course include chalk paintings on floors, pinball machines, cardboard parties, inflatable sculptures – just like the course that Beltman and Van Lieshout made in 2022 at exhibition space P–OST in Arnhem. A cakewalk at the fair and a walk in the park were the starting point for this surprising and large installation, with spatial and kinetic works and small videos.

Artist Bio:
PARCOURS is a group of artists of different ages with a playful, inquisitive attitude:

Chantal van Lieshout (29) uses humorous poetry to make the overwhelming inaccessibility of other worlds of experience and of the universe manageable;

Joke Beltman (59) is fascinated by the instability of the work process, failures, combined with glamour, and likes to play with the duality of attraction-horror, irony-seriousness;

Judith Reijnders (27) works from a love for playgrounds and investigates the dialogue with spaces and infrastructures;

Peter Krynen (71) seeks out the confusion in playful machinations and stagings.

PARCOURS grows, after each exhibition new artists are invited to participate, to build new trajectories in varying artist combinations.

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Tatjana Macić
Leftovers Initiative

Leftovers initiative is a call into action for research and reflection upon the sustainability of exhibition-making in terms of materials and discourses, founded by the artist Tatjana Macić.

The aim is to engage within a broader art community to improve, inspire and envision more sustainable processes of the production of art. Climate change, child labour, waste economy, global migration and commodification of art production- are the urgent topics the art world is facing today. Exhibitions follow each other up in a certain fashion and speed, producing thereby exhibition displays and offering temporary focus. When an exhibition is over it is built down, and it is time for a reset. After a few days, a new exhibition emerges. The cycle is repeated. However, the urgency of sustainability and the nature of contemporary critical artistic practices expect more durable solutions. We aim to raise awareness about the sustainability of exhibition-making by organising exhibitions, workshops and public programme. Also, we hope to create a (digital) publication and a manual for sustainable exhibition-making, which will serve as an inspiration and guide for artists, art institutions, curators and art academies. We welcome collaborations and are open to flexible solutions and contributions.

Artist Bio: 
Tatjana Macić is a visual artist and writer originally from the country that does not exist any more, and currently based in Amsterdam. She is deploying her artistic practice to blur the boundaries between visual art, theory, exhibition-making, education and language. Work was shown at Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, the Venice Biennale Collateral Events and de Appel in Amsterdam. Tatjana is a lecturer of artistic research and exhibition making at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague. 

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Ayman Hassan and Ghenwa noiré

A genocide is in the making – All eyes on Gaza – A genocide is in progress – All eyes on Gaza – A genocide is being applauded – All eyes on our humanity

Artist bio:
Ayman Hassan is a graphic designer and installation artist based between Beirut, Berlin and Amsterdam. Ghenwa Noiré is an audio-visual artist based in Amsterdam. 

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Alvaro Ugarte
Curing the Institution
1hr participatory performance

The project “Curing the Institution”, taps into the notion of curing art institutions and their social and power structures in order to reimagine institutional hierarchical systems and their representation. By connecting both staff members and visitors at W139 into a series of “toques toques” – a common practice in Mexico, where collective electroshocks are offered in bars and restaurants as entertainment – the project aims to transform the psychic, mental and emotional state of the participants through a horizontal, collective exercise. The burst of electricity running through the bodies generates shared emotions and physical reactions, acting as a social glue between the participants. “Curing the institution” has been successfully implemented before at Hangar, Lisboa (2021), Jan van Eyck Academie, Maastricht (2022), LagoAlgo, CDMX (2023) and HIAP, Helsinki (2023).

Artist Bio:
Alvaro Ugarte (1984, MX) Is a visual artist interested in analyzing mental structures and social behaviors. His artistic practice often begins as social experiences by staging scenarios or situations to function as devices of engagement between members of a given community. Consequently, the material outcomes, which are often unpredictable due to the nature of the actions and its collective dimensions, may take the form of sculptures, installations, actions, sounds or any other documentary format.

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