«Drop City Düsseldorf at Lierenfelder Str. 39» is a living and working environment which intends to traverse different rhythms of showing and engaging with art. Interspersed between life and work commitments and appearing on an occasional basis, the programme will set works against an accumulative backdrop of permanent installations, living and working situations and an evolving personal collection of chosen objects and artworks, each accordingly providing a different temporal experience, intensity and interaction.
The programme will stimulate conversation around concepts of hospitality and how we live today: Lierenfelder Str. 39 is a base: a place to return to, reflect and reorient - a support structure for the onward journey. Lierenfelder Str. 39 is also a home, a place for manifesting one’s relation to others through hospitality. The globalised world offers us increased opportunity through networked mobility and flexible or remote working patterns, however this situation is primarily supported through an acceptance of a precarious existence and life-work balance. Now more than ever we are aware of the distances between friends and the necessity to touch base both with those that we love and meet through the mobility afforded through artistic working. The intimate network of peers spread and dispersed across different cities, regions and countries, accumulated during prolonged and ongoing periods of transition is becoming the foundation for a new kind of artistic programming - one built more from relationships and friendships between like-minded people from localised parts of the globe rather than from a particular thematic enquiry. Lierenfelder Str. 39 will foster and galvanise these encounters by providing an intimate and meaningful space for both living and working.
The programme builds upon «Drop City, Düsseldorf at Hotel Ufer» — In 2016 a programme of artist made objects, exhibitions, installations and performances took place throughout the private/public spaces of Hotel Ufer on Gartenstrasse. Invited by hotelier René Tilgier, «Drop City, Düsseldorf at Hotel Ufer» explored the key resource for hospitality: the sharing of space. The programme brought together artists from the city and abroad and experimented with key prevalent principles around exhibition making, duration and site-specificity. Exhibitions expanded out across multiple guest-rooms, communal areas, cities and crossed national borders and included works focussing on the temporality of the hotel experience ranging from handmade plates by Katie Schwab for the daily breakfast buffet, bathrobes by Sophie Macpherson and a permanent attic suite for hotel guests by hobbypopMUSEUM.
The announcement of each event at «Drop City, Düsseldorf» will be made with a limited-run postcard depicting a different 'fantastic flower' by Matthias Lahme.
Drop City, Düsseldorf at Lierenfelder Strasse 39 is easily reachable by public transport (U75: stop Lierenfelder Btf) and has free parking.
Devised by curator and designer Sam Watson,
with Rubén Grilo, Christian Jendreiko, Luisa Ungar,
Ersi Varveri, Gijs Waterschoot, Eleanor Wright…
The Studio for Arousing Tools is a temporary autonomous and responsive platform for reflections ranging from commentary and inquiry to current spatial realities and production processes. Taking the act of the invitation as a starting point to explore a number of recent and ongoing interests around the potentiality of hospitality, production and cultural mobility within the field of exhibition making, the programme extends the invitation to both those whom I have made friendships with through previous curatorial projects and new relationships developed during the programme in Antwerp, with the intention of establishing a developmental programme of artworks and events with invited artists, curators, researchers and other cultural producers from a broad variety of cultures and fields. Using the tools of the geographer, the urban planner, the architect, or designer the programme creates new grounds for research and interaction, blurring the boundaries between artist and audience, science and politics, art and architecture. Through field observation, analysis or physical construction the artists in the programme dig into the spaces created by popular culture and contemporary society to reveal new meanings. Public or intimate, permanent or temporary, material or virtual, we are interested as much in the physical quality of space as in its social and political outcomes.
In the work of those brought together for The Studio for Arousing Tools, it becomes possible to comprehend a shared notion that in art the issue is not so much whether the alternative view is more beautiful or more interesting, or nearer to the truth, but rather about the always present possibility of a different perspective, a potential. We stick to the notion of translating research into a shared language of artistic forms, an interconnected endeavour that interlinks the aesthetic and cognitive whilst carefully avoiding falling into the pitfall of defining a practice solely as a disembodied form of knowledge production. In so doing, this allows us to reflect on the function of research within artistic practice both as a tool and as an autonomous, intellectual activity.
The strong objectives and multifaceted approaches used within each practice assembled within The Studio for Arousing Tools give each of the works and projects a very specific character, enabling the topics of Production – Space – Commoning – to be highlighted from very personal points of view.
The collaborative vocation of The Studio for Arousing Tools is grounded on the encounter as a privileged form of exchange, in which coexistence and cooperation are central factors for the definition of a common space in which various contemporary artistic cultures can meet.
The tool stands for a construction instrument, a mechanism, a means, thus the name alludes to the importance of the act of both building and re-shaping, in which doing and knowing shape one another. Paying tribute to the Bauhaus and its transdisciplinary approach, which is based on the exchange between visual and applied arts, The Studio for Arousing Tools is also a temporary space in constant construction and does not define itself through a physical location.
Forever twenti one: in the house of arousing tools
Friday 1. December, 8pm
Ersi Varveri, b. 1984 lives and works between Antwerp and Athens. She’s a graduate of Athens School of Fine Arts, obtained the In Situ Master Degree of Fine Arts from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp and a Master of Research in Art and Design from St Lucas School of Arts. Together with Gijs Waterschoot, Ersi lives and works in The Pink House, regularly hosting artists’ events and workshops in the city of Antwerp.
Her work deals with the fluid truth of life, which sometimes gives the illusion that it is just a matter of time.
The Studio for Arousing Tools has been kindly enabled with support from: