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Set Stage Screen reflects on how the urban environment takes centre stage through video and film. The participating artists share a personal bond with the city of Rotterdam. Here in Rotterdam Safiq grew up, Ashley became aware of sisterhood, Natalia rediscovered her mother tongue, Hannah saw Manchester, and Geo and Jay waded through the waters. 

By using several of the city's publicly accessible sites in this time of lockdown, the artists reconfigure the generic experience of video, forging a relationship with the embodied space that allows for messier, yet more enriching, viewing experiences. 

Set Stage Screen is curated by Furtado Melville and Metahaven in collaboration with Het Nieuwe Instituut.

The works will be on view in various locations in Rotterdam during the weekend of 25 and 26 September. In addition, the project will launch with a live-streamed programme during an online event on 24 September, introducing the participating artists and their work.

For the Record

Set Stage Screen: a Situated Video Channel is part of For the Record, a research project on the politics of contemporary video culture, launched in 2018 by Het Nieuwe Instituut. 

Set Stage Screen: a Situated Video Channel is one of the projects of Rotterdam for Real, a programme by Het Nieuwe Instituut that addresses the use of, the engagement with and the ownership of the urban environment. This programme is supported by the City of Rotterdam.


Hannah Dawn Henderson
Pathé Schouwburgplein
Sat 10:00-13:00, Sun 13:00-16:00

Traversing Afrikaanderwijk, a nameless figure appears to seek someone or something that resonates as familiar. Her scattered thoughts permeate the material fibre — a dense sedimentation of conflicting historical and contemporary narratives: streets named after The Netherlands' colonial legacy, a monument to migrant workers, mechanical construction drums humming to the new, soon-to-arrive neighbours alongside protest slogans scrawled along the sidewalk by existing neighbours. In a neighbourhood heavily affected by urban renewal, personal and social memory becomes intertwined — both perforated by gaps, elisions, amnesia and unrest.


Testament was commissioned by Furtado Melville for Afrikaanderwijk Coöperatie and shot in Afrikaanderwijk in 2019.


Hannah Dawn Henderson is a writer and artist currently based in The Hague.


For the screening of Testament by Hannah Dawn Henderson at Pathé Schouwburgplein, free tickets must be reserved via Pathé Schouwburgplein.

Safiq Nasution

Centrale Bibiliotheek Rotterdam
Sat and Sun 10:00-17:00

“It’s not about how or how many times you fall. But how fast you get up, to climb again”. Safiq Nasution, Randall Do Rosario and Jordan Soediono formed the video and photography collective LFWRKS. Their video Resilience, in collaboration with Khalid Amakran who wrote the text, tells a story about motivation and perseverance against the backdrop of their hometown Rotterdam. Randall Do Rosario who is a soccer player, plays the lead role. Safiq Nasution and Jordan Soedonio are responsible for the video’s cinematography. Inspired by Mathieu Kassovitz's film La Haine (1995), which follows three boys living in a Parisian suburb for 24 hours, LFWRKS brings a twist to this story with Resilience, where the words “so far, so good” take on a whole new meaning.

How Are You? and Vacuum

Natalia Papaeva
Het Nieuwe Instituut / Oostkop
Sat and Sun 10:00-17:00

The video works How are You? and Vacuum continue Natalia Papaeva’s work in performance and oral history. Vacuum is recorded in a vacant building in Poland. In it, the artist whispers buddhist mantras that are triggered by anxiety, isolations and constant pressure.

Papaeva about Vacuum: “I wanted to make a performance purely about emotions. Emotions such as  anxiety and sadness are less appreciated in society. People rush to feel better, but for me each emotion is part of a deeper process. It is a moment of self-reflection and where one can face its fears. It is as if you suddenly feel that your leg is hurting, and realize that you actually have a leg. Maybe it works the same with feelings? What does our mind and body want to tell us when we feel sad?”


Yokhor, Papaeva’s graduation film that won her the 2019 TENT Academy Award, is succeeded by a recent work: How are you?, filmed in Rotterdam. 


“When I go back home [to Buryatia, Siberia], I see that something has changed. The image I have in my mind about the constellation of our household does not match reality anymore. What is left behind is not only a space, but also the daily routine of your family. While you still share joyful news, painful moments are not spoken about. Grief is something you are left to deal with yourself.”


Natalia Papaeva is a performance/video artist based in Rotterdam. She works with verbal and nonverbal language, ritualistic repetition and rhythm. Natalia's film Vacuum was commissioned and supported by VHDG and Art Transparent.


Ashley Röttjers
De Kromme Elleboog

There is a scene in Groeipijn (“growing pains”) with an upside down bike wheel—a compelling image and metaphor for the central theme in this film. Groeipijn is an abstract translation of the journey towards womanhood as a woman of color in the Dutch context. The film explores the delicacy of family dynamics and its impact on personal growth. On a quest to break the pattern of dysfunctionality from generation to generation, the film deals with racism and self-preservation through lived experience. The cinematography—by Sami El Hassani—contributes depth and texture to the intensity of this work.


Ashley Röttjers is a visual storyteller based in Rotterdam. She mostly works with film and photography.

Out Land Out!

Geo Wyeth and Jay Tan
Het Nieuwe Instituut / Auditorium
Sat and Sun 10:00-17:00

Geo Wyeth and Jay Tan traveled through the Netherlands in August 2016 with an electric organ in the back of their van, powered by the vehicle. The video uses absurdist humor and a desire for mystery to reimagine the possibility of a contemporary folklore of the mundane. Playing with the borders between insider and outsider, the two artists (who are also in a relationship) drag something old and heavy around a landscape that never seems to arrive.


Jay Tan is an artist and teacher who makes work with the mechanics and decoration of the domestic. Geo Wyeth is an American musician, artist and educator working with the densities of histories that collect in the air. They live together in Rotterdam.

Dutch and English

Various locations in Rotterdam
Exact locations and schedule will be announced soon. 


Free event

This programme is made possible in part by the City of Rotterdam. 

Marina Otero Verzier, Director of Research, Katía Truijen, Senior Researcher and Delany Boutkan, Researcher
Koos Breen and Jeannette Slütter
Koos Breen
Tanja Busking
Shay Kreuger