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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 7 and 8 November. In addition, the project will launch with a live-streamed programme during Thursday Night Live! on 5 November, 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. The accompanying installation Set Stage Screen: Realities of Postproduction is on view at Het Nieuwe Instituut until 15 November 2020. 

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 7 Nov, 10:00-13:00 and Sun 8 Nov, 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.


Safiq Nasution

Work to be announced
Sat 7 and Sun 8 Nov, 15:00-21:00

Safiq Nasution was born and raised in Rotterdam, and has directed videos for hip hop artists, festivals, and full blown parties. He currently operates under the moniker 303 visuals.

How Are You? and Vacuum

Natalia Papaeva
Oostkop, Het Nieuwe Instituut
Sat 7 and Sun 8 Nov, 11:00-18:00

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
Galerie De Kromme Elleboog
Sat 7 and Sun 8 Nov, 11:00-18:00

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
Parking lot Duivenvoordestraat
Sat 7 and Sun 8 Nov, 17:00-20:00

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
Locations will be announced soon. 


Free event, reservation required

ticket information

This programme is made possible in part by the City of Rotterdam. With thanks to CVO, Galerie De Kromme Elleboog, Pathé Schouwburgplein and Poing-Arcade.

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