Archive for October, 2013

Pick Up This Book – A New Publication by ADA Rotterdam

October 29, 2013

Pick Up This Book, ADA Rotterdam's new publication

With Pick up this book we (ADA) seeked to address questions that emerged in the periphery of our collective practice, but became a pivotal interest, concerning hospitality and the documentation of our often ephemeral research based projects. The publication includes work by two thinkers who have provided us with ideas, which profoundly shaped our thinking and formed a continuous presence during our working period in Berlin: the text Hostipitality by Jacques Derrida and Unbounded, Limit’s Possibilities, a lecture by Irit Rogoff, of which a transcription is included. Focusing on a breakfast discussion we organised as ADA in Berlin, we set ourselves the task of writing from memory what happened on that day, resulting in six completely different reports, meandering between facts, associative sidetracks and interesting notions that had come up during the event. These texts are complemented by the writer and artist Maria Barnas, whom we asked to be present at the breakfast and write her response to the event. The book is presented in the exhibition space at Kunstverein Göttingen and is activated by means of instructional sentences mounted onto the walls, which, drawing on the content of the book, spatially frame it. Pick up this book is designed by Dongyoung Lee.


(m)other voices: workshop

October 20, 2013


Sunday 6 October 2013, 3pm – 6pm

Location: Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art

On Sunday October 6, Deirdre M. Donoghue (artist, Rotterdam) invited Arahmaiani (artist, Indonesia) to conduct a closed workshop session at Witte de With as the second installment of her long-term research project (m)other voices: the maternal as an attitude, maternal thinking and the production of time and knowledge. The aim of the project is to reflect on the maternal figure as a thinker and a producer of knowledge, rather than as a subject of representation and as a domestic figure inseparable from human emotions. It was launched in Copenhagen together with Witte de With, the artists collective Oda Projesi (TR) and Astrid Noack’s Ateliers (DK) in the summer of 2013 and will continue throughout the Fall at Witte de With and in Rotterdam.

By considering the maternal as an attitude towards our being-in-the-world, and as a practice held together by an ethos of ultimate hospitality towards ‘the other’, (m)other voices explore relations between maternal work and -experience, -thinking and -time and the production of knowledge within arts and beyond. The project brings together scholars, writers, artists, curators and historians from various corners of the world and takes place through specifically framed human encounters, exchanges and contributions between people from various disciplines and backgrounds. On October 6, Donoghue is joined by Indonesian artist Arahmaiani as her companion, fellow traveler and guide to the East. During the afternoon she will screen the documentary ‘The Great Mother’, by Rosemary Rawcliffe, which tells the story of Gyalyum Chemo, the mother of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. The participants will then discuss the notions of maternity and compassion as attitudes towardsbeing-in-the-world, and the relations between hospitality, maternity and the figure of the Other.

To inaugurate the workshop, the following series of questions and texts was sent to the participants:

– In what ways can the maternal be considered as an attitude?
– How does ones maternal practice shape, influence and inform ones methodologies and modes of production?
– Is it possible to identify such a thing as maternal ethos, how might it manifest and how might it be articulated in relation to ethics and politics?
– Is there such a thing as maternal time and how could it be understood in relation to other notions of time and being?
-How does the gift of giving birth differ from the gift of giving time to the other?
– Can this difference activate a new relation towards (thinking about) time and being?
– What represents ‘mother’ to you?
– Is there a misunderstanding, a disconnection between the mother as an archetype and contemporary representations and appropriations of the mother?

The accompanying short texts by Lisa Guenther refer to Derrida, Levinas and Arendt, each dealing with the notions of the gift, hospitality, violence, reciprocity, otherness, ethics, care and economics of exchange in his or her own way. Gunther approaches these writers and the above notions with a Western, feminist critique.

Vita Activa: Labour, Work, Action, Lisa Guenther, The Gift of The Other: Levinas and the Politics of Reproduction, State University of New York, Press, Albany, 2006.
Derrida and The Gift of The Impossible, Lisa Guenther, The Gift of The Other: Levinas and the Politics of Reproduction, State University of New York, Press, Albany, 2006.
Cixous and The Gift of The Feminine, Lisa Guenther, The Gift of The Other: Levinas and the Politics of Reproduction, State University of New York, Press, Albany, 2006.
The Ethics and Politics of Maternity, Lisa Guenther, The Gift of The Other: Levinas and the Politics of Reproduction, State University of New York, Press, Albany, 2006.
Lisa Guenther, in HYPATIA vol. 21, no. 1 (Winter 2006).

Invited participants include: Anke Bangma, Lucy Cotter, Karin de Jong, Vanessa Lamounier de Assis, Liesbeth Levy, Riek Sijbring, Iva Supic Jankovic, Susana Pedrosa, Barbara Philipp, Ewoud van Rijn, Jack Segbars, Renée Turner, Louwrien Weijers, Kerstin Winkin, and Weronika Zielinska.

(m)other voices will gradually open to the public through a reading groups starting on October 22 at 7pm at Witte de With. For more information, to sign-up for the research and reading groups or to receive the (m)other voices reader, please contact