PERFORMANCE: Act 1 & Act 2, Michiel Huijben

Book Tickets

Location: Auditorium, Kunstinstituut Melly

In 2020, we commissioned visual artist Michiel Huijben to conduct research into our building's design, in its place within the construction of Dutch national identity and institutions in the late 19th Century. For its part, our building was designed by municipal architect C.B. van der Tak. It was constructed in the 1870s as a female-only civic school. On this evening, audiences are welcome to enjoy Act One of a two-part performance that activiates Huijben's research and installation.

Act One departs from the specificities of the building’s exterior. Beginning with ornamental sculptures 3D-scanned from the institution’s façade, the story builds to pan outward into the surrounding city via other examples of nineteenth century architecture in Rotterdam. These ornaments could be considered characters, sculptures, or simply extras in the debate around a national architectural style. These pieces are handled by Huijben at different moments in a live performance that locates the 50 Witte de Withstraat amid Dutch national histories and their life in the present city-scape.

Act Two is formulated around a speculative interior floor plan depicting the original uses of the building. Here, through archival photographs and reinterpretations of spatial configurations and architectural plans, the story elaborates on the airy spaces, natural light, and occupancy standards of educational architecture at the turn of the twentieth century. The artist’s live performance takes the form of a lecture; a video of which will be presented here thereafter.



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PERFORMANCE: Act 1 & Act 2, Michiel Huijben
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