Archive for the 'News' Category

Announcing ‘The Open Office For Words’ theme for the month of March 2009.

February 26, 2009
March’s theme at the Open Office for Words is Representation.



Edward Clydesdale Thomson’s talk: A Leopard, Some Monkeys, Numerous Butterflies, Dozens of Peacocks and a Sublime Vista, looks at the politics of representation by observing how different technologies of display affect our modes of looking and thus our visual experience/s. Together with Jonathan Crary’s notions about modes of attention and Foucault’s ideas on technologies of  power, he brings us on a journey through the Rotterdam Zoo via three different modes of spectatorships; spectacular vision / social vision / fully immersive vision, as they are shaped for us by the surrounding architecture. 

Ruth Legg’s talk: The Look of Science looks at how images are used to display meaning and knowledge in different contexts, particularly within science. Her focus is on examining the ways in which an image, object or set of words is made to represent a range of ideas, system of beliefs or produce a collective mood. She will be presenting a work in progress, which addresses the way in which science, through-out history has used imagery to present difficult ideas.

Priscila Fernandes’ work: The Ultimate Explanatory Representation of the Self (video performance realized exclusively for this talk) is the documentation of an absurd effort to find an ultimate representation for the notion of identity. The character in the video, in a didactic exercise of incongruous references from the Enlightenment individual to the postmodern subject, explains the imagining of multiple personalities (or shared personalities) as reflective of a sense of the fragmented representation of identity in contemporary society.

For more information and to reserve contact:





Imaginary Cinema – The Politics of Representation

February 5, 2009

“Imaginary Cinema” -a panel discussion and artists presentations.

Sunday, February the 15th. 15.00-18.00, Witte De With Straat 63, Rotterdam (Formerly the Fotomuseum)

A Round-table discussion about the politics of representation with Deirdre M. Donoghue, Edward Clydesdale-Thomson, Ruth Legg and Sjoerd Westbroek.

An afternoon of discursive pleasures: Edward Clydesdale-Thomson invited four artists for  a round -table discussion on the politics of representation. A collection of edited audio described film scenes will be screened.

Audio description for the cinema is a way to allow a blind or visually impaired public to follow, and hopefully enjoy, the experience of going to the cinema. Unlike the more common audio description found on DVD’s and increasingly on television broadcasting, audio description for the cinema encourages accessibility in a public arena rather than the home. Audio description lays down an additional soundtrack over the original film, which uses verbal description as a substitute to the visual image. The method in which each film is described varies greatly depending on the film in question. Within the discussion audio description will be covered both in this existing form and explored in its inherent potentials.

Three artists have been asked to give a statement in the form of a presentation of their work. A show-reel of edited sections of audio described film will then be screened. After which the discussion will be opened up to the public, as the panel discuss their differing attitudes and focus on an attempt to formulate a statement verbalising the position and potential of audio description within the politics of representation.

The artists on the panel are: Sjoerd Westbroek, whose practice focuses on the language of drawing, in an elastic manor he examines the mediums great paradox; that the moment something is depicted, that thing disappears behind the opaque surface of the drawing. Ruth Legg, whose multifaceted practice is an exploration of the potential that lies in exhaustion, her works with lucid irony both defy and defend the banality of their material. Deirdre Donoghue, whose films explore the nature of memory, as an act that unfolds within social encounter, illustrating its ambiguity and instability, simultaneously being created and recalled.

Due to the natural size constraints of a round table places are limited. To book a seat or for more information please write to



More info:



February Open Office For Words

February 2, 2009

February '09 / Open Office


February’s Open Office for Words took place on the 1st of February at ADA, Area for Debate and Art, Rotterdam.

Speakers included: Alexis Blake, Marjolijn Dijkman, Deirdre M. Donoghue, and Sjoerd Westbroek.

The following reader has been compiled from the texts and artworks that were present.

The Office served Passion Cake, French Chocolate Cake and Blueberry/Cinnamon muffins.

A selection of Coffee, Rooibos and Chinese Jasmine tea was poured.



-Notes on Gesture in Means Without End: Notes on Politics, Giorgio Agamben, University of Chicago Press, 2000.

-The Politics of Small Gestures, Mika Hannula, Art-ist publications, Istanbul 2006.

-Gesture and Thought, David Mc Neill, University of Chicago, 2006.

-Two Gestures While Waiting for a Third, Victor J.Vitanza, (

-Chrilogia: Or The Natural Language of The Hand, John Bulwer, London, Thomas Harper 1644.

-Inventory / Talk to The Hand, in Cabinet issue 26., Brial Dillon.

-Becoming Besides Ourselves: The Alphabet, Ghosts and Distributed Human Being, Rotman, Lenoir, Duke University Press, 2008.

Practical Illustrations of Rhetorical Gesture and Action, Henri Siddons, Printed for Sherwood, Neely and Jones, London, 1822.

-Gesture Sequences in The Practice of Everyday Life-Volume 2. Certeau, Giard, Mayol, Univerisity of Minnesota, 1998.

-Social Choreography; Ideology as Performance in Dance and Everyday Movement, Andrew Hewitt, 2005.

-Yvonne Rainer, The Mind is a Muscle, Catherine Wood, Afterall Books, 2007.

-Theory of The Street, Paulien Oltheten, NAI Publishers,

Gesture and Speech Production, De Ruijter, University of Nijmegen, 1999.

Gesture and The Nature of Language, Armstrong, cambridge University Press, 1995.

-Gesture in Medieval Drama and Art, (ed.) Clifford Davidson, Medieval Institute Publication, 2005.

-Gesture:Visible Action as Utterance, Kendon, Cambridge University Press, 2004.

PhD Dissertation:

– Gestus in The Theatres of Brecht and Beckett, Barry Batorsky, The Graduate Centre of The City University of New York, 1987.


Gesture, John Benjamin’s Publishing Company,Amsterdam, NL.

Art Books:

-Theatrum Orbis Terrarum / Gestures, Marjolijn Dijkman, Jan Van Eyck Academie and Peacock Visual Arts.

-Survival Of An Idea, Özlem Altin, 2008.

Art Works:

-Monster, Ruth Legg, (video work 9’33”).

February '09 / Open Office February '09 / Open Office February '09 / Open Office

January Open Office For Words

January 19, 2009



January’s Open Office for Words took place on the 18th of January at ADA, Area for Debate and Art, Rotterdam.

The following reader has been compiled from the texts and artworks that were present.

The Office served fresh blueberry and rasberry muffins, carrot&courgette cake, with a honey and cream cheese topping.

A selection of Earl Grey, Jasmine, Fenkel&Liquorice and Rooibos tea was poured.



-Acts of Memory, Cultural Recall in the Present, (ed.) Mieke Bal, Jonathan Crewe and Leo Spitzer, University Press of New England, 1999.

Matter and Memory, Henri Bergson, Dover Publications, 2004.

-Oblivion, Marc Augé, University of Minnesota Press, 2004.

-Camera Lucida, Roland Barthes, Vintage Classics, 2000.

-Prosthetic Culture; Photography, Memory and Identity, Celia Lury, Routledge, 1998.

-Walter Benjamin Archive; Images, Texts, Signs, Translated by Esther Leslie, ed. Marx, Schwartz, Schwartz, Wizisla. Verso, London, NY, 2007.

-Landschap en Herinnering, Simon Schama, Atlas, 2007.

-Experience, Memory, Re-enactment, Piet Zwart Institute/ Revolver Archiv für Aktuelle Kunst, 2005.

-Resonant Bodies Voices Memories, ed. Bangma, Donoghue, Issa, Zdjelar, Piet Zwart Institute /Vice Versa Verlag, 2008.

-Photography, Siegfried Kracauer in The Mass Ornament;Weimar Essays, Translated, edited and with an introduction by Thomas Y. Levin, Suhrkamp Verlag 1995.


Austerlitz, W.G. Sebald, The Modern Library NY, 2001

-Funes, The Memorius, Jorge Luis Borges (

-Op Zoek Naar de Verloren Tijd; De Kant Van Zwan, Marcel Proust, Translated by Cornips, Veenis-Pieters, Lijsen. De Bezijge Bij, Amsterdam, 2002.


Memory, Myth, Photography: A Photographic Exhibition by Sarah Edge, Context Galleries, 2005.

Of Time and Place, Walker Evans and William Christenberry, Amon Carter Museum together with the Friends of Photography, Ansel Adams Centre, 1991.

Het Eeuwige Moment/ The Eternal Moment: A Photographiv View of Cultural Preservation by Wijnanda Deroo, Mirjam de Zeeuw and Wout Berger.

-Tatorte, Joel Sternfeld, Schirmer / Mosel, Munchen-Paris-London, 1996.

-The Site And The Memory; Landscape As Contemporary Experience. Charta, Milano, 1996. (Il Luogo e la memoria)

-Christian Boltanski, Phaidon, 2004.

-Imaginery Homecoming, Jorma Puranen, Pohjoinen, 1999.


Deep Storage: Collecting, Storing and Archiving in Art, ed. Schafer, Winzen, Prestel; Munich, New York 1998.

Archive Fever: Uses of the Document in Contemporary Art, Okwui Enwezor, Gardners Books 2008.

Art books:

Human Camera, Lindsay Seers, 2007.

Art works:

Funeral, Maja Bekan, 2005.

-Rehearsing Memory, Deirdre M. Donoghue, 2007.


Funeral, Maja Bekan, 2005.


December 11, 2008




13 January, 19.30

Resonant Bodies, Memories, Voices

Book launch and screening programme


“Resonant Bodies, Memories, Voices” orbits around the subjects of memory, voice and the body – more specifically around instances where our habitual abilities to sense, remember, and speak are somehow disrupted or suspended. Such shifts and ruptures may occur through experiences such as living under an oppressive regime, migration, trying to make oneself understood in a foreign language, or through physical inhibitions like aphasia or stuttering. It is exactly at moments when we struggle with memory, when language fails us or our voice breaks, when our bodies are affected by inhibitions or prohibitions, that it becomes pertinent what values we attach to memory, voice and the body, and what roles they have in shaping our subjectivity and our status as subjects.

It has become common to understand memory, voice and even bodily knowledge and sensations as something we not simply have, but something we do. But when the ability to remember, feel or speak gets disrupted, even this sense that we are engaged in doing – in interacting with and acting in the world – becomes a question. What happens to our sense of self and our relation to others when we try to relate to places where we are not, to a voice that does not seem to be our own, or to a body that we don’t seem to be in control of?

The publication “Resonant Bodies, Memories, Voices” is edited by Anke Bangma, Deirdre M. Donoghue, Lina Issa and Katarina Zdjelar, and contains texts and artist’s contributions by Ernst van Alphen, Özlem Altin, Steven Connor, Mladen Dolar, Deirdre M. Donoghue, Jeroen Fabius, Brigitte Felderer, Gunndís Yr Finnbogadóttir, Lina Issa, Suely Rolnik, Imogen Stidworthy, Jalal Toufic, and Katarina Zdjelar. Design by Johanna Bilak. 

A special screening programme accompanies the launch of this publication, with films and audio works by amongst others Samuel Beckett, Lina Issa & Fanni Futterknecht, Alvin Lucier, Anri Sala, Imogen Stidworthy, Katarina Zdjelar, and Artur Zmijewksi.

Location: Piet Zwart Institute  |  Mauritsstraat 36  |  3012 GC  Rotterdam



December 5, 2008

The Open Office for Words is a cross-disciplinary thematic reference library that comes into being for a few hours every month. Its premise is to function as a momentary culmination and dissemination of (written) knowledge, made possible by the collective act of sharing ones texts whether part of a literary or theoretical tradition. The hopeful wish and intention of The Open Office For Words is to facilitate the pooling together of resources in a friendly, semi-intimate space and to create a situation that can allow for chance meetings and conversations between people across different disciplines interested in similar subjects, as well as quiet reading.   

How it works: Through a mail-out, you will be informed about the next thematic topic. You can then search through your own resources and see whether you have something to contribute. The users of The Office are then invited and welcomed to bring in reading material, such as books, journals, research papers and images related to the months thematic topic. It is also possible to contribute artworks, documentaries and interviews on a dvd-format. Note: the connections between source materials and topics can be loose as well as explicit, however they should not be purely associative.

Inform The Office in advance about any possible material that you may have and wish to contribute. Then bring it with you. You can also mail in text suggestions.

Participants can not lend the material out, but rather use The Open Office as a reading room in order to be inspired, informed and introduced to how ideas and related topics are dealt and covered within various fields, such as literature, cultural theory, philosophy and the arts. Where certain key texts are not present, a readinglist will be (collectively) put together.

There will be a photocopier in The Office, which the users can avail off for the making of max.5 free photocopies each and only of the source material available at The Office.

After the closing hour of the library, the participants will take their personal books etc. back. Every temporary donation will be carefully noted down by The Office, so that each contributor will have their materials well taken care of and safely returned after the two hours.

The Office serves herbal tea and homemade cakes.

Opening Hours:

The Office will be open every first Sunday of the month for two hours between 13.00-15.00, starting on the 11th of December 2008.

Address:            ADA, Area for Debate and Art.

                                Room 207.

                                Houtlaan 21, Rotterdam.                            

Contact:              Deirdre M. Donoghue

                                 The Open Office for Words


                                 Tel: 06-53323708

Tea at ADA, 11.01.2009

December 5, 2008

ADA, Area for Debate and Art will have it’s official opening on the 11th of January 2009.

The opening event masquerades itself as a tea-party, emulating the 17th century Salon tradition, where the upper classes gathered together for conversation and readings about philosophy, literature and art. Besides tea and conversation, the opening includes a filmscreening and other activities, which will be announced closer to the date.

For more information visit:


December 5, 2008

Upcoming: December 2009

Acts of Memory is a joint exhibition of works by Deirdre M. Donoghue and Gunndis Yr Finbogadottir. The exhibition will be on view at the Poriginal Gallery, Pori, Finland. (28.11. – 22.12.2009.)

The exhibition ‘Acts of Memory’ explores the agency of memory production in relation to the construction of identity and the creation of autobiographical narratives. Referring to both imaginary and actual spaces and the passage of time, the works in this exhibition investigate the production, consumption and affects of memory. Bringing these works together under the common title of ‘Acts of Memory’, is an attempt by the artists to create a reflective space to further explore how we as subjects produce and are produced by memory, endlessly constructing our subject-hood, environment and histories through acts of recall and narration, whether individual or collective, purely personal or indeed cultural.

Central to the work of both artists is the idea of memory practices being an important alternative to the criteria of historiographical practice in narrating history, whether personal or collective. Whilst historiography favors radical continuity, and tries to regulate through economic criteria, the criteria of memory practice is immanently free from that. This gives memory practices their potential as an empowering and transformative practice and makes it an invaluable alternative to historiographical models of narrating.