Archive for the ‘research’ Category


Border Agency ~event in the framework of Liquid Landscapes: what if the ground under your feet can’t be trusted?

July 4, 2019 posted in collaboration, events, research

Date: Wednesday, July 10, 2019
Time: 19:00 – 21:30

Together with the Border Agency collective, we would like to cordially invite you to join and discuss their research titled Liquid Landscapes: what if the ground under your feet can’t be trusted?, through which the concepts of landscape, media, and identity are being addressed. This gathering is a proposition for starting a new conversation, during which each participant will be asked to reflect on the following question: what if the ground under your feet can’t be trusted? 

The participants’ answers will be then collectively discussed through the perspective of this research that questions the experience of a weaponized landscape. How can an everyday landscape become a weapon? Can a certain territory turn against its inhabitants? What strategies can we use in order to access and appropriate a territory that has been already weaponized?


This activity is a side event of the Border Agency collective solo exhibition at the Kunstfort bij Vijfhuizen. You are also invited to visit the exhibition opening on Sunday, July 7, 15.00. Opening speech at 15.30, followed by Q&A, drinks and music by Mayo. The exhibition will run until 1 of September this year. Kunstfort Vijfhuizen Fortwachter 1, 2141 EV Vijfhuizen.

Fort bij Vijfhuizen was part of a 19th cen­tury mil­i­tary strategy which trans­formed land­scape into a weapon by using water as a de­fense line. Con­sid­ering this Stelling van Amsterdam re­mained un­used and thus, in turn, be­came part of the land­scape, col­lec­tive Border Agency con­fronts in their ex­hi­bi­tion vis­i­tors with an “ac­tive” land­scape. For Liquid Landscapes they com­bine their on­going Land­mines Pro­ject with new work. This new in­stal­la­tion, made with local col­lab­o­ra­tors, ques­tions the ex­pe­ri­ence of a weaponized land­scape by linking the Stelling van Amsterdam and the mine­fields in the At­a­cama desert, at the bor­ders of Chile, Ar­gen­tina, Peru and Bo­livia.

Border Agency is an in­ter­na­tional col­lec­tive formed in Chile, which studies the rep­re­sen­ta­tion of land­scape and re­la­tion­ships that are es­tab­lished in dif­ferent com­mu­ni­ties. They use video, audio, dig­ital pho­tog­raphy, draw­ings and in­stal­la­tion. The col­lec­tive is run by Maria-Rosario Mon­tero, Paula Salas and Se­bas­tian Melo.

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Upominki at Galería Metropolitana

May 5, 2019 posted in collaboration, events, projects, research, residency, subsidy

GALERÍA METROPOLITANA, within the framework of its curatorial program 
2018-2020, Strategies to divert Neoliberalism, presents:
Upominki (residency and research)

Friday 3 May 2019 at 19h

Weronika Zielinska (Upominki, Rotterdam) finishes off her residency in Galería Metropolitana, as part of an intercontinental exchange, which includes two self-guided residency programs between Santiago and Rotterdam. This exchange results from the same interests that both projects share with respect to: autonomy and self-initiative, economy and relationships; reciprocity and care. And, given that the two projects operate from the domestic space, we wish to frame this exchange as an extension of our work’ politics that crosses art and life.

From April 19 to May 2, Weronika conducted a research-based project in collaboration with Bruno, Lilly and Marc Klein, the artist’s closest family. In this period they have been developing meetings and conversations with the local communities of artists, academics, students, neighbours, activists and Mapuche creators in order to learn about the different feminist and other practices.

“Galería Metropolitana is spacious and children friendly with easy access for wheelchairs and strollers. By taking my family on a residency I meant to productively deal with the struggle of balance –between my work and life– without undermining one from another. By making the existing precarious conditions explicit, I used them as opportunities for creating new meanings. Shaped by trust and generosity not by distant prejudices, this project’s main objective was spontaneity and no high expectations. The given conditions weren’t obstacles, hence neither they were counterfeit nor new, for any one. As work is part of life, life becomes part of the work. Finally this project carries the approach through which I claim and make visible the artist-mother’ way, amidst the two modes of her being and operating in the world. (WZK)

This project is kindly supported by CBK Rotterdam.

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Seed to seed 🍀Gill Baldwin with Upominki and others

March 28, 2019 posted in collaboration, projects, research, residency, subsidy

Seed to seed 🍀 Gill Baldwin with Upominki and others
6 April – 30 June 2019

Opening: 5 April 2019 at 19h

Looking at collaborative action as a means to create space, Upominki asks what happens if the creation of a garden is public? Can a collective experience form a spatial quality?

Over the next few months Upominki will host artist and curator Gill Baldwin, embarking on a series of research around the act of gardening, community and collective action. On Friday April 5th the project kicks off with an exhibition of the artists Minji Choi and Seokyung Kim’s work titled Manifesto for Living Beings, a typographic poster series depicting recommendations by the Ethics Committee on Non Human Biotechnology (ENCH).

Taking a closer look at the urban green spaces in the neighbourhood, we have created a reading bench, displaying a series of DIY local publications made by the creators of the spaces within Oude Westen. This includes a DIY publication made by artist Marie-Sarah Simon. Klimaten, a story of five different gardens and vogels zingen midden in de stad, telling the history of the Wijkpark and the Wijktuin. Both generously provided by Wilma Kruger from Werkgroep Wijktuin and Aktiegroep Het Oude Westen. Special thanks to volunteers for Amelie Unger, Magdalena Wierzbicka and Salvador Miranda, for maintenance and care of the garden. Our participant group is always expanding, including ongoing collaborations with performance artist Sophie Schmidt and many more to come.

Admission to the space is requested in the donation of a package of seeds, a plant, soil or even a deceased plant. We don’t mind! Together using the gardening tools provided we invite you to collectively plant your donation, contributing to Upominki first ever indoor window garden.

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Taking Care ~ Rachel Epp Buller

November 10, 2018 posted in collaboration, events, research, residency, subsidy

Taking Care, by Rachel Epp Buller
19 – 23 November 2018
12:00 – 17:00

/Exhibition running until the 31st of December/

Dear friend, by Rachel Epp Buller
Friday 23 November 2018
19:00 – 20:00

From the 19th of November to the 23rd of November, between the hours of 12:00-17:00 the artist, scholar, printmaker and mother Rachel Epp Buller can be visited at Upominki, Rotterdam, where as the artist in residence she will embroider words on in a durational performance devoted to care and listening. The artist welcomes community members to join her in embroidering, crocheting, knitting, or just in conversation.

Epp Buller’s latest work Taking Care explores letter-writing as an act of care and a bond of human connection that is directly connected to slowing down, taking time to take care, with our words and for each other. In Taking Care, the artist invites participants to write her a letter that recounts an act of care, large or small; she offers to receive these words, to intimately listen, and to embroider the words to make publicly visible these often unseen labors.

The residency period will end in the performance of ‘Dear friend’, a performative reading of letters across time, written by Rachel Epp Buller and performed together with the artists Deirdre M. Donoghue, Barbara Phillip, and Weronika Zielinska-Klein. This performative reading of letters and epistolary texts considers how feminist maternal relations of care and attunement in the present, and a willingness to listen to voices from the past, might help us to radically reorient our ways of relational being for the future. Doors will open at 18:00, the performance commences at 19:00 and lasts for 1 hour. Before the performance there will be soup served and afterwards the bar will be open.

Please reserve in advance via:

Additionally, in the framework of the ongoing Field Trip programme by the m/other voices, on Wednesday, November 21, 2018, Upominki will be hosting the artist and her guests for Field Trip #17. Please reserve via as places are limited. For more information go to m/

Dr. Rachel Epp Buller is a feminist art historian, printmaker, book artist, professor and mother of three, whose art and scholarship often speak to these intersections. Her writings on art and the maternal include Reconciling Art and Mothering (Ashgate/Routledge) and the forthcoming Inappropriate Bodies: Art, Design, and Maternity (Demeter). Her current creative work explores letter-writing as a radical act of care and listening across time. Her curatorial projects often involve collaboration, across disciplines and across countries. She is a Fulbright Scholar, a board member of the National Women’s Caucus for Art (US), a regional coordinator of the international Feminist Art Project, and current Associate Professor of Visual Arts and Design at Bethel College (US).



Beyond the Moon ~ events

October 5, 2018 posted in collaboration, events, projects, research, subsidy

~ Wednesday 7 November at 12:45-14:45h together with Rotterdam based artist and architect Gill Baldwin, we will be hosting a workshop for children between 6-12 years from the Oude Westen primary schools, inspired by the artist’s fascination in dysfunctionality of architecture, curved lines and asymmetry. Maak je eigen droomhuis is being realised in collaboration with De Nieuwe Gaffel, a place for meeting, citizen power, participation, emancipation and reciprocity in the Oude Westen in Rotterdam.

~ Sunday 11 November at 15-18h closing event of Ger C. Bout Beyond the Moon. This event serves as a wonderful opportunity for a local get-together of different individuals and neighbourhood initiatives, actively involved in the on-going discussion on gentrification and social housing situation in the Oude Westen area.

This project is kindly supported by

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Beyond the Moon ~ Ger C. Bout

September 9, 2018 posted in collaboration, exhibitions, open call, research, subsidy

089_the_House_Project (dragged)
The House Project in Pori, Finland 1993

Beyond the Moon ~
Ger C. Bout

21.09 – 23.09.2018

during CO-OP at Unseen Amsterdam

OFFICIAL OPENING: 20 September 2018 18:30-21:00h

In the Summer of 2016 the artist Ger C. Bout (1950 NL) approached Upominki, seeking for mentorship and assistance on the prospects of presenting publically his photographic work. Despite the generational gap, their open attitudes led them to a friendship. They spent some time discussing exhibition making, the possibilities and specificities of his practice and his interest in images. Unfortunately, before making the first public presentation of his photographic work, Ger deceased in May 2017 after a yearlong fight against cancer.

Together with the insight and support of his wife Riitta Bout-Saari, in the last half-year we have been investing in re-visiting the archive of Ger’s rich body of work, as well as his most recent photographic series. One of them Beyond the Moon will be presented at CO-OP during Unseen Amsterdam.
Beyond The Moon produced between 2013-2015 shows the artist long fascination in body-movement, as observed in theatre and dance. It is a series of large-scale black-and-white digital photographs capturing zoomed-in body parts. The series derives from the artist in-depth – medium and material – research into the subject of a body in its most abstract form. Through this work Ger reminds us that seeing and thinking, only seem to be the same, but in fact are very different. Beyond the moon brings a memory of the time when as a child we looked at the world without any preconceived notions, thus with no input in the memory of things. This work is the artist’s proposition to look at only one thing at the same time, in its most pure environment, and where the body is intentionally detached from any possibility of being erotically interesting. Finally, this sincerely aesthetic work may be seen as the artist’s turn towards the Wittgenstein’s idea of pictures, which by themselves do not carry any meaning, but only acquire one by being put to a specific uses and by being applied in a specific contexts.

Beyond the Moon exhibition at CO-OP – conveying the same title as the central piece – is an experiment on the exhibition making and the exhibition formats that may channel the artist’s interests and work. It is a result of a collective effort, which brings along the collaborative spirits between Upominki, Riitta and Ger’s legacy. While showing a selection of the artist’s archive that studies the multiple meanings of a house, within his material and collaborative projects, and the Beyond The Moon series for example. We are physically and figuratively constructing a platform that carries and frames Bout’s practice within his endless interest around ideas of hosting, housing and making together.

Subsequently to this international exhibition, between October 13th and November 11th we will be bringing Beyond the Moon to Rotterdam and presenting it in our space and in the neighbours homes. This shift will be the perfect moment to give different formats to the exhibition of Ger’s work, while also enabling his legacy to be shown in the city he loved, where he lived and worked. This simultaneous endeavour will create a wonderful opportunity for the local public to see the artist’s work in a neighbourhood/community context.

Through this presentation Upominki wishes to explore the ways in which the individual artistic vision challenges that of the curator, and how they can merge or diffuse. We are interested in expanding the notions of collaboration and the manner in which the artist’s legacy can be transmitted outside of the sterile or the neutral. As we find ourselves most essentially motivated by the relationships we built throughout our creative processes. This project is a tribute to Ger C. Bout’s work and our friendship.

Ger C. Bout (1950-2017) was a Dutch architect and artist based in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Following years of completing furniture designs, architectural structures and installations, Bout began initiating large scale projects in public spaces internationally. In recent years he has focused on and incorporated photography into his projects. His ideas were always process based; he applied multiple techniques and skills to realise his work using varieties of mediums and expressions from architecture to furniture design, installation, drawing, performance, sculpture and photography.

This project is kindly supported by CBK Rotterdam, Gemeente Rotterdam.

With special thanks to Riitta Bout-Saari.




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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Upominki participates in…

February 3, 2017 posted in events, research


Initiated by Autonomous Practices department of Willem de Kooning Academy Rotterdam

Free, please register:
Full program:

On self-organization

THE AUTONOMOUS FABRIC symposium brings together over 20 self-organized practices located in the city of Rotterdam. They will discuss their short and long term impact on the city and society and question their potential as a learning environment.

The majority of self-organized initiatives in Rotterdam has been mapped in the framework of THE AUTONOMOUS FABRIC. The current count is over 85. An (online) publication that maps the growing inventory of these autonomous initiatives in Rotterdam will be launched the same day.

Participating self-organized practices:
Afrikaanderwijk Coö, Bibliotecha, Conversas Rotterdamfoundation B.a.dgalerie GalleryInstituto Buena Bista (IBB) “The Curacao Center for Contemporary Art”Leeszaal WestShowroom MAMA, M/other Voices, New School Collective, ObservatoriumPeach, Performance Art Event, The Performance BarPost OfficePublication Studio RotterdamStad in de Maak – City in the MakingUpominkiV2 Instituut voor de instabiele mediaWallgallery and others (TBA)

Petra van Brabandt, Binna Choi, Florian Cramer, Geert Lovink, Noor Mertens, Malique Muhamud and others (TBA)


In 2016 The Willem de Kooning Academy started a long-term research trajectory called THE AUTONOMOUS FABRIC initiated by the Autonomous Practices department. THE AUTONOMOUS FABRIC researches how self-organized artist and activist practices engage with other disciplines, the city and each other. THE AUTONOMOUS FABRIC revolves around two questions:

In what ways do self-organized practices find new forms to manifest themselves and what visions to shape society do they present?

How can an art school connect itself to this fabric of autonomous makers in the city in a structural way?

THE AUTONOMOUS FABRIC will kick off in the form of a one-day symposium. The symposium will be situated at the WdKA and six different self-organized spaces in the city of Rotterdam. At every location a specific topic is addressed that’s relevant to the location, which will be discussed with public, experts, teachers and other initiatives. These discussions will take place in a small setting.

Friday February 10, 2017 – 11:00 – 21:30h
Initiated by Autonomous Practices department of Willem de Kooning Academy Rotterdam
Starting location: Willem de Kooning Academie, Blaak 10 Rotterdam

Attendance is free, but please register here:



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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