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Highlights

Vullen/Voelen [Fill/Feel] Opening exhibition TENT (09.09, 1999 – 09.10, 1999)
The new exhibition space of the Centrum Beeldende Kunst was launched with the spectacular act BAD.Weather, by the Rotterdam artists’ initiative B.a.d. Enterprises. In a synchronized action, twelve window-cleaners washed the windows on the three floors of the building on the Witte de Withstraat 50, after which the public were able to enter the building with an umbrella, so as to avoid being sprayed with water. TENT was presented as a workplace. Vullen/Voelen was about the experience of space or certain aspects thereof. Art from Rotterdam occupied centre stage and was presented in a national and international context with attention given to other disciplines. The artists from Cucosa, Dwight Marica, Olaf Brandt, Henri Lammers, Rivelho Marica, Erik Hombrink and Jan Brandt worked for months in one of the spaces in TENT. From mobile linkable islands, they undertook activities. Diederik Klomberg appropriated a space for himself by creating a three-dimensional ‘trompe l’oeil’ with coloured threads. Roel Meelkop and Shinichi Yanai used light and sound as a binding element. For Liam Gillick (London) the exhibition space was a podium on which a possible scenario might play out. The sculptural forms of Hendrik-Jan Hunneman referred to architectural elements, but denied any architectural function because they hung inconveniently low and appeared to be floating. On the first floor Jos Bongers (Utrecht) invited the public to literally and figuratively ‘signify’ the space with text by means of adhesive letters.

Hey, International Competition Style (19.02, 2000 – 19.03, 2000)
Guest curators Erik van Lieshout, Dierk Schmidt, and Amelie von Wulffen invited artists from Berlin, who in turn invited others in this unorthodox international exchange project (New York, Vienna, Rotterdam, London etc.). In writing or images, the participating artists (Christoph Schaeffer, Linda Bilda, Amelie von Wulffen, Daniel Knorr, Lucio Auri, Erik van Lieshout, and Jeroen Jacobs) made a stand against the advancing marketing and capital politics of companies and governments that were growing ever closer together. After an intensive realization period in which a great deal was discussed, the well-attended opening was a success, partly due to the performance by Erik van Lieshout, who sat drinking champagne in a self-made Hot Tub. Part of the exhibition was a spectacular public intervention by Daniel Knorr, who, for a few hours, provided the windmill without sails in Rotterdam-Delfshaven with new wind turbine sails.

Tante Leny Exhibits Again (08.12, 2000 – 07.01, 2001)
The celebrated comic magazine Tante Leny Presenteert (Aunt Leny Presents) was first published in 1971. New issues of ‘the smallest Dutch comic’ appeared sporadically until 1978, produced by strip cartoonists who knew each other from other magazines. The exhibition shows the history of Tante Leny and illustrates the development of the graphic artists of that time, such as Joost Swarte, Peter Pontiac, Evert Meulen, Aart Clerkx and Evert Gerardts. There was also space on paper and screen for magazines such as Zone 5300 and Furore. The work of the Rotterdam artist Han Hoogerbrugge was given a prominent place. Since 1996 he has been presenting himself as a cartoon figure in animations and cartoons that have appeared in various newspapers and on the Internet. Each animation tells an ultra-short story in which he depicts the daily madness. A jubilee edition of Tante Leny was published specially for the exhibition.

Anna, Mijn Plaats aan Tafel [Anna, My Place at the Table] (19.12, 2003 – 18.01, 2004)
Retrospective of work by Anna Verweij-Verschuure, pioneer in the field of textile art, who died young (1935-1980) and just got successful in the final years of her life. Her work is included in the collections of many Dutch museums, such as the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Frans Hals Museum, Textielmuseum Tilburg and Boijmans van Beuningen Rotterdam. The exhibition was presented on the occasion of the publication of the monograph Anna, Mijn Plaats aan Tafel, by art-historian Henriette Heezen. Almost the entire oeuvre of Anna was on display in TENT. Works by her contemporaries and young related artists were shown in two separate spaces: the contemporaries were Hans Verweij, Jan Schoonhoven, Ferdi, Marinus Boezem, Krijn Giezen, Cornelius Rogge and Harry Boom. The young textile artists: Sofie Boon, Liesbeth Touw, Esther Dercks, Afke Golsteijn and Saminta Ekeland.

Tracer (09.09, 2004 – 24.10, 2004)
Exhibition project in collaboration with Witte de With to mark the fifth anniversary of TENT, which took place in the entire building’s ground, first and second floors. Tracer consisted of many sub-exhibitions, symposia and multi-evenings with discussions, talks and video/film. Six curators were asked to give their views on art in Rotterdam: Andreas Broeckman/Stefan Riekeles (DE) took the oil reserves in the port as a metaphorical point of departure with artists Joe Cillen, Ursula Biemann and Joost Conijn among others; Ritsaert ten Cate based his selection on The Destroyed City by Zadkine and showed work by Anna, Cathrin Boer, Axel van der Kraan, Daan van Golden et al.; Annie Fletcher (IE) & Sarah Pierce (US) set up the Paraeducation Department; Thomas Michelon (FR) presented Cultural Transfers: Histories and Sharings with Bojan Sarcevic, Matti Braun and Melvin Moti; Pelin Tan (TR) invited The Buggers, Libia Perez & Olafur Olafson and Jan Konings for an analysis of the influence of the local artistic climate; Waanja (CZ) presented ‘subsidized and tolerated’ public art in Rotterdam, with Nafer, Bibo, Nicoline van Harskamp, Hieke Pars and Robin van ‘t Haar.

Wakaman (28.10, 2005 – 22.12, 2005)
Literal translation from Sranan Tongo; walking man, figurative translation; he who deliberately puts himself out of action in order to use that position to agitate against and reflect upon that which he opposes. The participating artists Michael Tedja, Remy Jungerman, Gillion Grantsaan and Dwight Marica have a deep affinity with art that is permeated by values at a high level. The metropolitan, globalised ‘Umwelt’ serves as a reference point for all artists. In confirmation of the above statement, the Wakaman artists had invited five female artists, Miek Hoekzema, Judith Heinshohn, Fabiola Veerman, Rose Manuel and Juliette Tulkens to complete the exhibition at a later time.

Electromagnetic Bodies (04.05, 2006 – 04.06, 2006)
In collaboration with V2_Institute for Unstable Media. International touring exhibition, initiated in Canada, joined by Rotterdam artists. Electromagnetic Bodies showed a wide range of artworks by sound and media artists. With the starting point of the human body as a source and conductor of electromagnetic waves, the artists asked themselves how this dynamic energy influences our sensory perception. In addition to the foreign artists (AE Lab, Jean-Pierre Aubé, Craig Baldwin, Simone Jones, Marie-Jeanne Musiol, Carsten Nicolai, Paulette Phillips, Catherine Richards, Jocelyn Robert and David Tomas), there was also work by Michiel van Bakel, Bill Spinhoven, Marheusz Herczka, Edwin van der Heide, Marnix de Nijs and Daan Roosegaarde.

Wendelien van Oldenborgh – As Occasions (12.09, 2008 – 09.11, 2008)
As Occasions was the first large retrospective of work by the Rotterdam artist Wendelien van Oldenborgh, and the first solo exhibition in TENT. In eight slide and film installations, episodes from the Dutch colonial history (Indonesia, Brazil, Suriname) were juxtaposed with stories about subcultures. This offered a wide variety of standpoints on the social reality of today. Mauritsfilm, filmed the previous summer in Recife in northeast Brazil, premiered in the exhibition. The work can be seen as an evocative reflection on the issues that Dutch society is currently wrestling with, such as national identity. The architecture of the exhibition was designed by architect Milica Topalovic. A publication accompanied the exhibition. During a busy opening, the Rotterdam brass band 010 and rapper Salah Edin performed the piece Als Ik Eens Nederlander Was (If I Could Be a Dutchman).

Mooi van Ver – Muurschilderingen in Rotterdam [Stand Well Back to Appreciate – Murals in Rotterdam] (06.11, 2007 – 10.01, 2008)
In a double exhibition marking the publication of the book Mooi van Ver- Muurschilderingen in Rotterdam by author Siebe Thissen, TENT presented the history of the mural in Rotterdam, as well as nine new works on the walls of TENT. The historical part of the exhibition showed documentary material of well-known works in the city, such as Co Westerik’s Rope Skipping Girl, the activist murals of the Chilean Brigades and almost forgotten genres such as the Townpainting of Lee, Cor Kraat and Hans Citroen among others. The presentation of the historical part was designed by Ooze in such a way that the public had to climb scaffolding to view the historical documentation. Eight artists and one collective were invited for the new murals on the walls of TENT. Jan van de Pavert and Olphaert den Otter demonstrated their profound interest in (art) history; Simon Schrikker and Bima Engels conveyed their message in an expressionistic visual style; Freija Wisman gave a commentary on group behaviour in detailed drawings of exotic animals; in their works showing desolate environments, Bas Zoontjes and Ewoud van Rijn depicted a world at a stage where it seems to have lost all its natural aspects; Lidwien van de Ven presented her introvert black-and-white photos, made in the Middle East; the collective Antistrot reflected the stream of images, impressions and enticements to which we are exposed every day.

Blurrr (09.09, 2009 – 15.11, 2009)
Autumn 2009, the Rotterdam exhibition space TENT celebrated its tenth anniversary and presented the jubilee event Blurrr, from September 9 to November 15, 2009. TENT reveals a new cultural practice in which the young artist goes beyond the borders of different disciplines and presents him/herself as homo universalis 2.0. Ever since the renaissance, artists have adopted the position of jack-of-all-trades and their work involves more fields than just that of visual art. And yet, thanks to the possibilities of the Internet, it seems that multitasking has become the most important basis for the practice of art without being noticed. Artists are simultaneously a performer, singer or designer. They work alternately in collectives, duos and groups. They share their knowledge or work on social network sites such as Facebook, Hyves or MySpace and assign the public an active role in their work. With Blurrr, TENT poses the question: What consequences does this have for their artistic practice and how will this movement continue further? And how should the exhibition space relate to artists who constantly choose a new form of presentation?

TENT in Het Gemaal op Zuid (01.01.2009 – 31.12.2012)
Het Gemaal op Zuid is the name under which Kosmopolis, TENT and the Historical Museum develop a varied art and cultural programme as of January 2009. In a certain sense, the specific urban situation of South Rotterdam is illustrative for the development of the new Dutch society.
In that respect Rotterdam is on the brink of one the biggest transformations ever: the urban and socio-economic redevelopment of virtually the entire southern part of the city. To throw in a slogan here: ‘Rotterdam South will be hip and happening’ in the coming years. A network of artist initiatives has sprouted up around Foundation B.a.d., in the sub-municipality of Charlois in just a short period of time; Gallery Hommes has successfully established itself here as well, and the Creative Factory and the Art Hotel can be found near the Maashaven metro station. Underground art platform De Player has moved to the Afrikaanderplein square. The Kijk op Zuid Foundation is developing a cultural programme for youth in the area around the Van Zetten factory, and a plan is being prepared to bring art to public spaces.
Which cultural programmes could art organisations bring to this changing residential area? The programming of ‘t Gemaal is an exploration into new ways of combining cultural heritage with current arts practice to reach new public groups. A calendar of current exhibitions and events organized by TENT in ‘t Gemaal can be found on our homepage. Please consult the archive for past projects.

Han Hoogerbrugge – La Grande Fête des Voyeurs (26.01 – 18.03.2012)
La Grande Fête des Voyeurs is the first retrospective overview of the Rotterdam artist Han Hoogerbrugge. TENT presented a selection of his interactive animations, video projections, slide series and drawings from the past fifteen years. From the pioneering phase in which Hoogerbrugge made moving animations with simple computer software, to the sophisticated computer technology withwhich he entices the public to interact in playing his games. Hoogerbrugge has developed into a prominent example of a contemporary cross-media artistic practice, in which the boundaries between the virtual and the reality, between dream and nightmare, between high and low art, do not exist. Hoogerbrugge’s drawings and animations are regularly on show at festivals, during pop concerts, in newspapers and magazines, but also in museums, exhibition spaces and galleries.

Libia Castro & Ólafur Ólafsson – Asymmetry (07.02 – 12.05.2013)
TENT presented the first comprehensive solo exhibition in the Netherlands by the Rotterdam-Berlin based artists Libia Castro & Ólafur Ólafsson. Their work can be regarded as an ongoing investigation of the way in which life, society and the individual are influenced by socio-economic and political factors. Asymmetry’ was a 10 year overview of their past installations, video works, photographs and objects, including the music videos Caregivers and Lobbyists, and the campaigns Il Tuo Paese Non Esiste (Your Country Does not Exist) and ThE riGHt tO RighT. ’ThE riGHt tO RighT’ launched during the 7th Liverpool Biennial in 2012. A monumental neon sign read alternately ThE riGHt tO RighT and ThE riGHt tO WrOnG, thus questioning the essence of the (human) right itself, its habit and rhetoric as well as its ownership and belonging. ’Right’ and ’Wrong’ blurred as if producing yet another paradigm of political behaviour, discipline and ethics. Castro and Ólafsson’s neonwork is a provocative gesture which points out paradoxes of law and freedom. The presentation was curated by Adam Budak. A three-part symposium took place to accompany the exhibition.

Anne Wenzel – The Opaque Palace (06.02 – 05.05.2014)
The Opaque Palace transformed the exhibition spaces of TENT into an installation in which the monumental sculptures of Anne Wenzel (DE, lives and works in Rotterdam) provided a coherent representation of the major themes in her work – power, destruction, heroism, history – and a new series of sculptures was introduced. From a strong sense of history and political engagement, Anne Wenzel casts new light on the role of art in the representation of power, heroism, and violence. For more than ten years, Wenzel has been developing a distinctive oeuvre of monumental ceramic sculptures and installations in which beauty competes with decay, figuration with abstraction, and power with destruction. The work is characterised through her idiosyncratic use of materials and techniques; by experimenting with extreme sizes, chemical additives, and radical distortions, she pushes the boundaries of the sculptural medium. Wenzel finds inspiration for her work in historical sources, films, literature, and in media images of natural disasters, terrorist attacks, and acts of war. Her attention to universal subjects connects her to a growing group of artists who overstep postmodern irony by daring to again engage with existential themes.

The Value of Nothing (04.09 – 16.11.2014)
The manifestation The Value of Nothing consisted of five newly commissioned projects, a group exhibition, Fieldwork Residencies, and an in-depth public program in which local and international artists reflected on our current economies and value systems. In the aftermath of the global economic crisis increasingly urgent questions arise that are related to neoliberal values seeping into almost every aspect of our lives. In addition to the known financial and economic criteria, can we articulate different ideas about the concept of value? What are other possible forms of economic exchange? And what do these alternatives mean for how value manifests itself? The Value of Nothing presented artists who contributed to the current debate on the commercialization of society, exposde the underlying mechanisms, or proposed alternative strategies. They revealed value beyond the mainstream market, such as Jeanne van Heeswijk’s project in Rotterdam’s Afrikaanderwijk district, or showed that trade in a global economy also means non-monetary cultural exchange, as in Meschac Gaba’s artistic currency exchange bureau. Others, such as Remco Torenbosch, immersed themselves in the beauty and philosophical idea behind the distribution of goods, or like Paolo Cirio, delivered concrete possibilities for dodging tax.

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