Rotterdam Dialogues: The Artists


Each day has an overarching theme, which is then subdivided into more precise topics and questions provoking debate:

Thursday – Expectations looks not only at the personal expectations of individual artists, but also at those of audiences and of other agents involved in the artistic practice.

Friday – Positions focuses on day to day artistic choices, often unintentional, also strategies for entering and maintaining networks and the importance of building a reputation.

Saturday – Contexts explores the general conditions and ideas underlying the profession, the particular influences that shape an individual oeuvre, and the increasingly global framework of art production, discourse and distribution.


The three-part program of Rotterdam Dialogues will culminate in a three-part book, co-edited by the symposia organizers, together with Monika Szewczyk, head of publications at Witte de With. The book serves as an extra site of recollection and further reflection on the proceedings of the three conferences, taking up the conversational form of the symposia. Also the fruits of the symposium workshops will be presented in three special sections of the book. The publication is expected in the Autumn of 2009.


On Sunday April 19, from 2 – 5 p.m. a masterclass will be given for young artists and postgraduate students by Ulrike Ottinger. Ulrike Ottinger has been a unique and provocative voice in German cinema and art since her debut in the early 70s. Over the past 40 years, she has directed over 20 films, including feature-length fictions and experimental documentaries. She has also worked as a theatre director and ethnographer: her photographs have been exhibited in numerous venues and she has published several books.


From Wednesday 15 to Saturday 18 April, Vancouver-based artist Judy Radul will give a hands-on workshop on ‘ the artist’s talk’, taking the symposium program as a point of departure for studying this phenomenon in depth. As the belief that artists can fully comprehend and describe the meaning of their own work is thoroughly critiqued, what does it mean for artists to talk about their work? Judy Radul’s practice involves the consideration of the forms and conditions of video, language and performance, live actions and audio. Her critical writing has been widely published.
This is a closed workshop, with selected participants. Co-ordinated by Belinda Hak.

Extra events

Friday April 17, 11:00 – 11:15 a.m.
Critical Run
organized by Thierry Geoffroy
Starting location Witte de With front door. (TBC)

Saturday April 18, from 10:00 p.m. to midnight

Final Act

A performative happening, as suitable ending for the symposium, in which the talks and discussions are compensated with live performances, presentations and film screenings by and in the presence of the invited speakers. Location: Witte de With. Final program to be announced.
Final Act is hosted by Club Attent.

Rotterdam Dialogues: Critics, Curators, Artists is conceived by Zoë Gray, Nicolaus Schafhausen and Ariadne Urlus. The Artists is co-organized with Tanja Elstgeest and Miriam Kathrein.


Rotterdam Dialogues: Critics, Curators, Artists is generously supported by the Mondriaan Foundation, VSBfonds and SNS REAAL Fonds.

De Groene Amsterdammer is our mediapartner


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