Other than in the recent past, when moving was an exceptional experience and journeys were finite, today more people move for temporary periods of time and in multiple directions, driven by curiosity, material need or practical necessity. This creates a new complex geography where people with different perspectives, values and modernities repeatedly criss-cross each other. In such a context, other forms of collectivity and ways of relating to space emerge, which require and shape new combinations of geographic distance and intimacy, physical proximity and knowledge and familiarity.
Considering these observations, Contemporary Passages – via an exhibition, a public discussion and a film screening – explores the relationships between subjects and places, physical sites and community dynamics that occur while we live and move between multiple spaces, time zones and cultural contexts.

In a great variety of formats and approaches, the artists in the exhibition use intimate actions, poetic imagination and storytelling as strategies to deal with the complexity of reality in a constructive manner. Extended networks and the plurality of time and space are used as opportunities to challenge and propose new ways of being and to produce meanings in a creative and imaginative atmosphere.

Marjolijn Dijkman (NL), Theatrum Orbis Terrarum
Theatrum Orbis Terrarum is a collection of photographs taken by the artist during her travels all over the world. Intended partly as research material to develop site-specific works and partly as a personal investigation, a selection of this archive will be publically shown for the first time as work in its own right, in the form of a slide-projection and posters. While confirming Dijkman’s interest in the nature of public space, this work also attempts to map connections and similarities among different places in the world. The artist takes inspiration from Ortelius’ Theatrum Orbis Terrarum (Theatre of the world), which is considered the first atlas in the modern sense. But other than Ortelius, Dijkman categorises the images according to personal criteria instead of objective and fixed categories. Those categories are subject to shifts and expansion, influenced by new explorations and encounters.

Merel van ‘t Hullenaar (NL) & Niels Vis (NL), Simultaan
In their collaborative works, the artists question the structure of time and space through large site-specific installations. For Contemporary Passages, Van ‘t Hullenaar & Vis present Simultaan, a physical and functional transformation of the exhibition space that creates a new way to simultaneously experience different levels of the exhibition space. By adding new, specific architectural elements, the artists create a compelling experience of the moment of ‘now’, and underline the social/cultural nature of the definition of space and time. ‘Time is not absolute but an agreement we work with,’ they explain, ‘and it’s up to the spectator to find his own reality of where and when.’

Lu Cafausu, a project by Luigi Negro, Emilio Fantin, Giancarlo Norese, Cesare Pietroiusti, and Francesca Grilli (all from Italy), with A Study for Enduring Midnight
Lu Cafausu is the title of a recent collaborative project by Luigi Negro, Emilio Fantin, Giancarlo Norese and Cesare Pietroiusti. An old coffeehouse, located in a small town in the south of Italy, has become the inspiration for stories, performances and actions made by the four artists in Lecce and New York. Invited to ‘transport’ Lu Cafausu to TENT’s exhibition space, the artists have developed a new chapter of Lu Cafausu story via a video, a performance and a display of objects focused on the figure of the chiangimuert’ (a paid mourner). Moreover, particularly on this occasion, the artists have extended their invitation to Francesca Grilli, who will contribute with A Study for Enduring Midnight, a recent video focusing on this unique element of the Southern Italian culture. This project reflects on the idea of place (or loss of a place) to belong to and comments on the extended social, cultural and information networks as potential to create new meaning. Local and global dimensions mingle, bringing up questions of transitions and encounters among different dimensions and people. Luigi Negro calls Lu Cafausu ‘a place where aesthetic contradictions meet the meaning (or the lack of meaning) of our time.’

See programme for more information on Contemporary Passage’s public events.

TENT Young Curator
The TENT Young Curator Programme offers young curators the opportunity to get acquainted with the Rotterdam art world. This year’s Young Curator is Angela Serino (IT) who participated in the Curatorial Programme of the Appel, Amsterdam.