Dear visitors,

You might be wondering what has been happening in the Superhost project and what can be seen in the space currently. Here we give you a summer update.

I have developed some new tools, drawings and instructions for using the space. The prints of Katja Mater have been taken down, but small references to their presence remain. The space itself has been used for work and study meetings by myself with guests/collaborators as well as by museum staff. I have also invited new guests, whose works call into question existing modes of production and access in the institutional domain of art.

You can now view in the space a film by Simnikiwe Buhlungu, My Dear Kite (You Can But You Can’t) – Late Yawnings. Recorded during the pandemic, the work attempts to make sense of the socio-cultural consequences that arise during times of confusion and uncertainty, as well as the artist’s bodily and geographic [dis]placement from Johannesburg, South Africa, having recently moved to The Netherlands. The work raises questions about what it means to be a creative practitioner, to stay productive and the (in)ability to respond artistically.

Karen Vantvelt – (s)he – has added an intervention in response to the blue modular gate that I installed between the two spaces on the 6th floor. With wat dragen we hier binnen? (what are we carrying/wearing in here?) Vantvelt searches for ways to communicate complex and difficult experiences and feelings within shame and shyness. The collaboration stems from conversations we’ve been having about what it means to position oneself and one’s practice at the threshold of art (educational) institutions, in continuous negotiation with the existing institutional practices.

The artist RA Walden presents a new language: ẍây ithřa. The project was initiated in response to the restrictive nature of the English language. Formulated over a period of months in close collaboration with the linguist Margaret Ransdell Green, ẍây ithřa consists of a 300+ word lexicon, complete with morphosyntax, phonology, and an ever-growing set of idioms. Drawing on the rich histories of queering lexicon, from argots and cants, to anti-languages and the use of constructed language within Sci-Fi and speculative fiction, Walden seeks to bring fluidity, ease and ‘access intimacy’ to those in sick, disabled and trans bodies.  As part of Superhost, RA Walden made a workshop in the form of a podcast explaining the principles of the language ẍây ithřa, which can be accessed in the space and online.

With the artist, designer and publisher Yin Yin Wong, I have begun collaborating on a methodology to open up the ongoing research, the different processes and conversations that currently take place. This will lead to a production process or structure for the publishing of different voices and kinds of texts, throughout the second part of the year.

Here a little bit more information about the artists:

Simnikiwe Buhlungu is an artist from Johannesburg, South Africa. With a keen interest in how knowledge is produced, by whom and how it is disseminated, Buhlungu locates both socio-historical and everyday phenomena by navigating these questions and their inexhaustible potential answers. Through this process, she maps points of cognisance, i.e. How do we come to know?.

moves ? or ? holds a contradiction in presence and the unseen , in the absence of a body of a life in between . in the softness of standing up and the strength of laying down ; touching a (under)ground on one foot left behind . (s)he is and (s)he isn’t . hanging around with and without . a shoe ? a piece of a pant turned into a  bra  hanging on a branch wondering ( around ) . clothes close to what has been left behind ? ( —does (s)he make a sound ? )

RA Walden’s techniques span text, sculpture, printed matter, performance and video, all of which is undertaken with a socially engaged and research-led working methodology. Walden’s works question contemporary Western society’s relationship with care, tenderness and fragility in relation to our bodies, our communities and our failing ecosystems.

Yin Yin Wong is an artist, designer and researcher. They deal with questions surrounding ownership, agency, circulation and dissemination of visual culture in relation to the public space and public sphere.  Interested in graphic design’s potential to be distributed widely, Wong challenges models that operate on modes of exclusion within the arts and the distribution of (visual) culture.

We wish you a good summer!

Falke Pisano & M HKA / Superhost team