Khalid Amakran, Barby Asante & Gian Givanni, Ivan Barbosa, Marcel van den Berg, Roxette Capriles, Failed Architecture, Afaina de Jong & Innavisions, Ilja Karilampi & Kareem Lotfy, Charlie Koolhaas, Lotic, Ladj Ly, Nicole Martens, Neals Niat, Stacii Samidin, Michael Schoner, Navin Thakoer, VHILS & Kalaf, Yue Wu

Rotterdam is known as the Dutch capital of hip-hop, where architecture, urban arts, and urban culture are deeply intertwined with the city’s DNA. Old neighbourhoods and new pompous architecture alternate with each other, functioning as a catalyst for contemporary art, performance, and music culture. BLUEPRINT tapped into this condition by highlighting and questioning urban appropriation and notions of the city and its architecture. The project focused on questions around ‘architecture and identity’ and ‘the urban appropriation of street culture’, drawing connections between the urban cultures of Rotterdam and cities such as London, Paris, Lisbon, and Lluanda.

Appropriating TENT
Architect Afaina de Jong and designer Innavisions, together with Metro54, appropriated the physical exhibition space by intervening in TENT’s architecture. Their colourful, geometric settings formed a backdrop and stage for the work of artists who use codes, such as ‘realness’, and the visual language of hip-hop to create work that resonates both with street culture and contemporary art.

Taking distance from the cliché of the white cube, BLUEPRINT transformed TENT into an experimental playground and meeting point, where installations, sound works, music videos, live performances, interviews, discussions, and takeovers could interweave, thus extending the vitality of a culture in constant motion within the walls of the institute.

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Poly-vocal Public Programme
Parallel to the exhibition ran an ongoing, multi-vocal public programme of gatherings, a film screening, a symposium, and a pop-up video installation, organised in close collaboration with HipHopHuis, BIRD, Studio Narrative, and AFARAI. Urban appropriation, socio-cultural issues, architecture, and ownership in the city were critically questioned and reinterpreted in dialogue with visitors, guest speakers, artists, musicians, dancers, and architects.

Metro54 x Cultural Appropriation
Metro54 is a platform for young artists, performers, and other creators who explore the boundaries of their disciplines, paying specific attention to talents who take inspiration from the world’s metropolitan melting pots. BLUEPRINT was part of their two-year focus on cultural appropriation. Artistic director of Metro54 is Amal Alhaag.

TENT x Metro54
The connection to the city of Rotterdam makes it essential for TENT to ask: what can this place in the centre of Rotterdam be? Who can share in a sense of ownership in this place? What forms of art and culture are at home here? TENT therefore welcomed the takeover that BLUEPRINT initiated – and the issues of ownership and appropriation that Metro54 raised – as a way to look at contemporary urban culture and to further stretch its own frameworks.

BLUEPRINT was part of Rotterdam Architecture Month and supported by Stimuleringsfonds Creatieve Industrie and Rotterdam Festivals.