Far-off Nearby: April 7 – May 19

Image: Marisca Voskamp van Noord, Today I’ll stay home (2019), film still

Far-off Nearby

Artists: Aimée Zito Lema & Elisa van Joolen, Sarah van Lamsweerde & Esther Mugambi, Marisca Voskamp van Noord, Judith Westerveld and Marjet Zwaans
Curator: Mariana Lanari

Opening: Sunday April 7th, 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Exhibition: April 7th – May 19th
24H North: April 13th 12 p.m. – 21 p.m.

Finissage and book launch: May 19th

We will launch the publication Far-off Nearby. On translocality in the arts. on Sunday the 19th of May. Curator Mariana Lanari will do a Q&A with philisopher and writer Maarten Doorman, who wrote the essay, and with visual artists Aimée Zito Lema & Elisa van Joolen, Sarah van Lamsweerde & Esther Mugambi, Marisca Voskamp van Noord, Judith Westerveld and Marjet Zwaans. Sarah van Lamsweerde and Esther Mugambi will do their last performance. You are more than welcome to join  from 3 untill 6 pm! 

What is happening behind door number 8 in Floradorp? What is the healing power of yarrow? What is the connection between the vastness of the Zaanse Schans, the burning of Christmas trees on New Year’s Eve in Amsterdam North, and the desert in Egypt? Is it “I am lost”, “I am missing” or “I have lost”? What is the memory of an item of clothing?

In 2017 New Dakota started the long-term research project Far-off Nearby. Sarah van Lamsweerde & Esther Mugambi, Aimée Zito Lema & Elisa van Joolen, Marisca Voskamp van Noord, Judith Westerveld and Marjet Zwaans have been developing concepts in the past two years with which they chart the translocal and its meaning. They created work that portrays Amsterdam North in unexpected ways, in the form of an activity, an intervention or a temporary work of art. The effects vary from workshops in community centers with residents who name sore spots in the public space, to research into the part “someone’s mother tongue” plays. Great involvement in social issues and an inquisitive and committed state of mind characterize the participating artists. During the exhibition the connections with Amsterdam North are constantly (re)activated; with bike rides along the various partners, performances, and language schools that temporarily move their classrooms to the exhibition space. 

Commissioned by Nieuw Dakota, Maarten Doorman wrote the essay Far-off and Nearby. On Translocality in the Arts. The essay is part of the publication that will accompany the exhibition. The publication will be presented on May 19th in the presence of the author and the artists.
Maarten Doorman describes translocality in the arts as follows: 

Translocality is no longer localised within traditional cultural contexts of policy making or standard subsidy structures; it is indeed no longer understood as something regional, provincial, municipal, national or urban. While the artist initiatives from the 1980s and 1990s, with their activities in squatted or run-down industrial buildings, also often already practiced art as firmly anchored in neighbourhoods, communities or other areas, current translocal initiatives further distinguish themselves from these by focussing less on the autonomy of groups of artists.

In their approach, the ‘local’ is in the physical and social connection to a specific environment – to the natural or urban surroundings (such as rivers, parks, harbours or industrial sites, residential areas) on the one hand and its people on the other. The people who have lived there forever or those who have recently come to live there, the people who work there or those who used to work there, the history of the place. In short, the connection to its landscape and to its community. Translocality here, however, is a node of activities; it is not a centre and it does not refer to a centre anywhere, and neither does it refer to nationality. This is one of the reasons why the local character of translocal art spaces is no longer seen as marginal or pathetic, like the metropolitan connotation of the word ‘provincial’ still at times pejoratively suggests, not even peripheral. The translocal has successfully emancipated the local, it has subverted the idea of a prominent centre – or a number of all-mighty centres towering over the periphery.

The translocal is global, and it operates in our entirely mediatised world without the homogenisation we see in clothing (ripped jeans), food (the hamburger), or the iPhone. In a global context, the translocal is aware of a worldwide mobility, which is visible in mass migration, and the diversity that comes with it. This diversity is a starting point, a source of inspiration and material for the translocal in the arts. In the translocal approach the many-voiced colonial past, local history, and the stories of new migrants from all over the world serve as wonderful points of departure for artists. 

Read more 

Participating artists

Aimée Zito Lema and Elisa van Joolen

Aimée Zito Lema and Elisa van Joolen, Pulp (2019), work in progress

Judith Westerveld

Judith Westerveld, Someone’s Mothertongue (2019), work in progress

Marisca Voskamp-Van Noord

Marisca Voskamp-Van Noord, Today I’ll stay home, (2019), film still

Marjet Zwaans

Marjet Zwaans,  No title (2019), work in progres

Sarah van Lamsweerde and Esther Mugambi

Sarah van Lamsweerde and Esther Mugambi, Georgic Gardens (2019).
Sarah van Lamsweerde and Esther Mugambi organized several performative sessions with inhabitants of Amsterdam North. Collectively, the pointed out locations where something painful has happened – both individual and collective accidents.
© Anouk de Kruijff

Exhibition curator Mariana Lanari

Far-off Nearby is kindly supported by: