Archive for the ‘labour’ Category


Welcome emilia!

January 29, 2020 posted in collaboration, labour, projects

emilia dudziec (obite łokcie) – is a visual artist who’s concerns are the permanent anxiety phenomenon, and the aspect of powerlessness in the current state of affairs. Therefore she believes in plant-based cuisine, friendship and collective activities. Emilia graduated from the Faculty of Painting and Sculpture at the Academy of Art and Design in Wrocław and recently she has completed an art residency at the JEST gallery also in Wroclaw. Since 2012 she has been co-creating the DO READ! Word Deconstruction Festival. Together with Agata Lankamer she runs the relax art space in her hometown Częstochowa. Between January and April emilia is assisting with the daily activities at Upominki and developing her own project due in April 2020.




December 7, 2019 posted in labour

Upominki is closed for holiday season until the 6th of January>>



September 18, 2019 posted in collaboration, functional objects and materials, labour, projects

Image: Automated image by the Rib247 camera currently at Upominki, Rotterdam

Rib247 is back online this time looking outward inside Rotterdam’s art initiatives. LIVE footage of seemingly unproductive time, the camera observes a cat, a plant on the windowsill and counts the endless passing of a person going to its studio. Starting with Upominki, followed by Het Wilde Weten and others.

Since 2012, Upominki is a project space located in the house of Rotterdam-based artist Weronika Zielinska and her family.

“As the years go by, with each new project we establish new collaborations. Through (re)searching, practicing and negotiating for new forms of exchange, we learn about the multiple relationships built throughout our creative processes. Upominki means in Polish “gifts”. With our program, we like to explore the concepts of hospitality, reciprocity and gift-giving theory.”

For live footage go to

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Polymath – hominem universalis #2

June 3, 2018 posted in collaboration, events, functional objects and materials, labour, research, subsidy

image credits NIKA

Polymath – hominem universalis # 2

Sunday 3rd of June at 3PM


We are very excited to invite you to the second of many conversations/collective imaginings/speculations/gatherings/meals and workshop situations, we’ll be hosting around the notions of giving, receiving and reciprocating.

In this opportunity we will have as a guest, academic and assistant professor at the Department of Business-Society Management of Erasmus University, Dr. Samer Abdelnour.

“The discussion will try to unpack a question that social scientists have long been preoccupied with: Can actors spark institutional change when they are deeply embedded in those very institutions they seek to change? The talk will give an overview of different ways of thinking about this question, and possible ways to think about actors and institutions.

We will do our best to apply this question to our own work as well as our community and societal ambitions. Bring your thoughts, ideas and questions!”

As part of this workshop, Samer would like to share a text that addresses some of the key themes we will be discussing:

Over the course of the afternoon and alongside Samer’s presentation, readings and discussion, we´ll be looking into some excerpts of texts that may inspire our conversation.
We will revisit John Brunner’s sci-fi novel, Polymath, while we actively change and create the new physical space of Upominki.
As such, and for the purpose of this new beginning, we would like to offer a non-monetary transaction for your time and dedication in the creation of the new Upominki.

If you are interested in participating, we then ask you:
How could we reciprocate? What would you need most of a space like Upominki? How can we build a relationship that benefits both the space and your needs or desires? What can we do for you?

The gathering will start at 3PM at Upominki, feel free to propose someone who might be especially interested in these ideas.

Please confirm your participation so we can make sure to have enough food, drinks and tools for all of us.

We are really excited about these get-togethers and look forward to seeing you there!

Weronika and Natalia


Polymath – hominem universalis is a series of gatherings meant to open up a discussion on the post-work post-home and post-capitalism time. Taking as a starting point the book of John Brunner, together with the invited guests, we tend to touch upon the notion’s like: skills, being skilled, being universal versus being trained in a specific field, being a hybrid person (among others).



Polymath – hominem universalis

March 27, 2018 posted in collaboration, events, functional objects and materials, labour, projects, research, subsidy

image credits NIKA

Dear …,

Since the beginning of 2012 Upominki has been operating in Rotterdam, and beyond, as a platform for exchanging artistic ideas.

It became a space through which life and work connect. The unofficial opening of Upominki took place on the 20th of March 2012, which was also the day of my …birthday. Maybe it’s a coincidence, maybe not. Yet, we (Natalia, you and myself) find ourselves almost at the same time of the year, six years further from Upominki’s initial thoughts on giving, receiving and reciprocating.

On appreciating and giving back.
On labor. On time.
On investment, knowledge and sharing.
On sharing knowledge, especially that of the artist, the mother, the friend, the lover, the neighbor
On care. On acknowledging the other, and oneself reflected in her/him/it/they.
On acknowledging the presence and consistency of those who decide to stick around, no matter the material return, the profit or advantage it may reward.

“A polymath is a man or woman adapted and trained for years, right up to the age of forty, to take on one job on one particular planet. Not a superman, not a kind of walking computer, just a person with a special kind of dedication who’s been worked on by a vast team of experts, chemically, surgically, intellectually… I couldn’t tell you this, because you’d expect me to perform miracles. First you had to get acquainted with me as a person, didn’t you? Otherwise you’d have regarded me as a machine.” Pg. 70

Today we are very excited to invite you to the first of many conversations/collective imaginings/speculations/gatherings/meals and workshop situations, we’ll be hosting around the above notions and questions, but also many more that may derive from our collective thinking.

Together with you we would like to establish a group of informal board of trustees, friends and colleagues, who are open to think, discuss and implement a communal idea of how to work together?

 “Point taken, Lex. I guess all of us want to go on seeing things run by popular consent, too, not by one man the way they are up on the plateau.” Pg102 

 Would you like to accept this invitation?

Over the course of the early afternoon on Sunday 25th of March 2018, accompanied by food and warmth, we´ll be looking into some excerpts of texts that may inspire our conversation. During the reading/discussion Marc will develop a restoration workshop, where we will be invited to propose solutions, restore, fix or give new functions to objects that no longer serve their original purpose.

Therefore, please bring an object with you that needs restoration, has to be fixed and/or re-adapted but you never had enough time to do so.

The gathering will start at 12PM at Upominki, feel free to propose someone who might be especially interested in the idea.

Please confirm your participation so we can make sure to have enough food, drinks and tools for all of us.

We are really excited about these get-togethers and look forward to seeing you there!

Weronika and Natalia


Polymath – hominem universalis is a series of gatherings meant to open up a discussion on the post-work post-home and post-capitalism time. Taking as a starting point the book of John Brunner, together with the invited guests, we tend to touch upon the notion’s like: skills, being skilled, being universal versus being trained in a specific field, being a hybrid person (among others).

Quotes: Polymath John Brunner DAW BOOKS, INC. DONALD A. WOLLHEIM, PUBLISHER 1301 Avenue of the Americas New York, N. Y. 10019

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Welcome – Natalia Sorzano!

February 10, 2018 posted in collaboration, labour, open call, subsidy


Natalia Sorzano graduated with degrees in Law and fine art from Los Andes University in Bogotá, 2010. Alongside her artistic practice, she worked in the field of human rights research, and coordinated the office for LGBTIQ affairs for the Colombian Government. On 2016, Natalia finished her MFA degree in fine art (cum laude) at the Piet Zwart Institute in Rotterdam, where she is now based. She co-founded and co-directs the facilitative and collaborative artist-run platform by the name of GHOST. Her most recent exhibitions were at BÎTACORA (Bogotá 2018), M I A M I Prácticas Contemporáneas (Bogotá, 2017) and MACBA (Barcelona, 2017). Natalia composes and exemplifies conversations and encounters into music, video and installation works. Her practice explores belief practices, mixed identities and relation, channeling multiple voices and modes of story telling to juxtapose mysticism, politics, oral histories and theory.




Window dressing #2

September 20, 2017 posted in events, functional objects and materials, labour, projects
Sandim Mendes Untitled, 2016
Courtesy of the Artist

Window dressing #2 by Sandim Mendes
24 September – 30 November 2017

INAUGURATION: Saturday, 23 September 2017 at 19:00h

Sandim Mendes (NL, 1986) is a mixed media artist with a strong focus on photography and textile design. Throughout her projects Sandim researches the concept of identity in and between the various cultures. While looking back at and exploring the classic fine arts techniques, the artist’ manual labor involved in the production process, often becomes part of her work.


Window dressing is an ongoing project since 2017 that gradually unfolds in the frontal window of Upominki. The project takes a form of smooth gestures that come and go, while being carried out by various invited artists. As the months go by, Upominki’s window becomes an on-site dialogue where the individual and the collective identity meet. Window dressing is made possible with the joint effort of beloved family and friends.



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ARTIST4ARTIST – The economic performance / selection of images

June 30, 2013 posted in documentation, labour, money, projects, research, subsidy

ARTIST4ARTIST temporary office at Upominki

workshop Brave girls sing! Walk taller, speak louder  

brainstorm with Creasies – network of Rotterdam women entrepreneurs

workshop with Jessica Sligter, recording-artist based in Amsterdam

ARTIST4ARTIST – The economic performance was a project between Upominki and ARTIST4ARTIST. Our collaboration was based on the agreement of 12.5%; from each money earned by A4A 12,5% fee (for use of the office and other facilities) was paid to Upominki. Respectively, Upominki paid 12,5% to A4A from the subsidy they recived to realise the entire project. Last but not least, thank to our collaboration and according to A4A working method, during the summer we were able to fundraise two working periods for artist-in-residence.

ARTIST4ARTIST – The economic performance was made possible with the kind support of Gemeente Rotterdam. For more info about the project please go here. The educational program Brave girls sing! Walk taller, speak louder was made possible with the kind support of Het Rotterdamse Vrouwenfonds.

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ARTIST4ARTIST – The economic performance

April 15, 2013 posted in collaboration, events, labour, money, projects, research, subsidy

02 April – 30 June 2013 ARTIST4ARTIST – The economic performance. A collaborative project between Upominki and ARTIST4ARTIST platform.

2 May at 19.00h launch of ARTIST4ARTIST platform by Yuli Minguel

Despite the current economical struggles and in defiance of an omnipresent lack of trust in the financial economy, Upominki takes the challenge to enter into collaboration with a novel business initiative – ARTIST4ARTIST. Through this project, Upominki aims to explore the possibilities (and the impossibilities) of cultural entrepreneurship and profit-driven thinking. 

Between 2nd of April and 30th of June, Upominki’s corner space is turned into the office of ARTIST4ARTIST – a platform and a company, established by and for artists. Initiated by Rotterdam based singer Yuli Minguel (NL, 1978), ARTIST4ARTIST is a fresh concept of a cultural enterprise that is not purely based on speculation and the dependence between demand and supply. Instead, ARTIST4ARTIST is focused on people’s relying-ness and the mutual trust being offered within it. Moreover, the implied reciprocal approach of the platform is, on the one hand meant to bring each creative individual further in his/her achievements and on the other to enable the community to grow strong, while operating independently from an intermediary.

Over the last 2 years Yuli Minguel has been developing her concept of the ARTIST4ARTIST platform, which will now have its pilot at Upominki. From the 2nd of April A4A will be structurally at work as a team of artists working for artists’ community, firstly for singers and musicians, then ideally for artists from other disciplines.
ARTIST4ARTIST operates on the level of exchange of one’s network and the dissemination of open calls among these networks. Within this practice, the shared aim of the artists to become financially independent from agents and managers, manifests itself through a transparent and pragmatic solution.
In this pilot phase, from all the money earned by the artists the percentage of 12.5% will be forward to the other artist who booked the assignment, of which 12.5% will be then given to Upominki. During the working period at Upominki, Minguel will be researching the costs of facilitating the A4A platform in order to serve artists and their potential clients in the future.

In business-terms, the notion of economic performance refers to the way in which the success and the market strength of a certain company are both being measured. Here the economic growth and capital appreciation are the degree according to which such performance can be recognized as achieved (or not).

Through ARTIST4ARTIST – The economic performance project, Upominki points out to the idea of an economic performance in its broadest sense. By bringing together both notions of formal and informal economy, the project wishes to illuminate these aspects of the economic performance, which usually are being put aside. Hence, the aesthetic or the affective processes that play a role in the realm of economy and have an influence on the act of exchange.

Yet, does our collaboration have the potential to create a node for these informal and formal economies to meet? And otherwise, where does such take its place?

During the ARTIST4ARTIST – The economic performance project, three public events will be organized in Upominki’s adjacent space. In each of the gatherings, together with invited artists and academics, we will be exploring further the ideas of cultural entrepreneurship and economical thinking within the cultural field.

In the frame of this project, an educational program – Brave girls sing! Walk taller, speak louder – consisting of free-of-charge singing workshops for girls and women from Delfshaven district, will be conducted by Your Soul Academy. Next to that, ARTIST4ARTIST office will be open daily for walk-in coaching conversations, between Minguel and female neighbors, about achieving personal goals and the practical execution of one’s future plans.


23.05.2013 at 19.00h with  Andrew Varano (AUS) and Jessica Sligter (NL)

13.06.2013 at 19.00h with Eliska Zakova (CZ) and Rebecca Stephany (DE)

30.06.2013 at 14.00h Closing Event 

ARTIST4ARTIST – The economic performance is developed in collaboration with Jesse van Oosten and ARTIST4ARTIST platform. The public program is developed in collaboration with Eloise Sweetman.

ARTIST4ARTIST – The economic performance is made possible with the kind support of Gemeente Rotterdam. The educational program Brave girls sing! Walk taller, speak louder is supported by Het Rotterdamse Vrouwenfonds.



Day Shifts: Taking Turns

November 13, 2012 posted in collaboration, events, labour, projects

23 November – 2 December 2012

As a part of this year’s Kunstvlaai: Festival of Independents, Upominki presents Day Shifts: Taking Turns, a collaborative project by: Mercedes Azpilicueta (AR) with Ohad Ben Shimon (IL/FR), Sæmundur þór Helgason (IS), Dico Kruijsse (NL), Claire van Lubeek (NL), Eva Molenaar (NL), Robbert Pauwels (NL), Marija Repsyte (LT), Rosa Sijben (NL), David Stamp (UK), The Force of Freedom / Micha Prinsen (NL) and Roel Roscam Abbing (NL).

During the Kunstvlaai festival, Upominki will explore a very specific format of an event, i.e. the relay. The term, which derives from the Olympic relay running race, addresses the way members of a team take turns in performing a certain action. Each artist, as a member of Upominki’s relay team, takes a one-day shift and works on the spot during the ten days festival. Everyone uses the given space according to his or her own insight, as long as a trace of this action is passed on to the following participant, to be reshaped again. By using this method, the space is in a constant transition whereby the artist’s activities, in the lapse of events, create a particular rhythm. The space of the classroom serves as a condition for making connections through time, where all individual gestures influence the quality of a collective project.

Additionally to the project happening in the space, a video is presented on the corridor. In September this year, together with the artists Upominki produced a video work, which was shot and edited in exchange of labour by Joaquín Cociña. The image shows the group of artists and curators playing in the Upominki’s space the ‘Chinese whispers’ game. It invokes the ambiguities and possible misunderstandings of the meaning of a passed on message or statement, and how these ambiguities or misunderstandings don’t stop the process of passing on, but push it forward in creating new meanings.

In order to take part in Kunstvlaai festival this year, Upominki was asked to pay €300 fee. To make Day Shifts: Taking Turns happen we equally split this amount among ourselves and the artists.

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