For decades Hans Walgenbach dutifully conserved invitations to gallery openings as he received them. With the passing of time, the many hundreds of thousands of formal requests that he amassed have shaped into a collection of tangible relics from an otherwise intangible history. After sitting on it for what seemed like an eternity, Rib and Walgenbach finally decided to recruit helping hands and dust off this archive together.
Young locally based international artists Faysal Mroueh, Isabelle Sully, and Micha Zweifel were invited to rummage unguided through Walgenbach’s archive. The long-expired invitations originally meant for Walgenbach and his contemporaries years ago are now given a second opportunity to request participation in present exhibitions and spaces. Mroueh, Sully and Zweifel attempt to (re)produce history from the remains they scavenged seemingly at random and present their own interpretations of the moment enshrined by the collection.
Walgenbach is a veritable arts institution in Rotterdam in his own right. In the past he stood in the midst of the city’s happenings and operated as the director of the Centrum Beeldende Kunst Rotterdam (CBK). Nowadays he has retreated to quiet Charlois and tends to his art bookshop where he also presents solo-exhibitions mostly by artists who he has supported in the past in his role as director of CBK. Faysal Mroueh, Isabelle Sully and Micha Zweifel are visual artists based in Rotterdam and Amsterdam.
Answering to our loan request, neighbouring second-hand shop Robin Hood facilitated the support structure for this exhibition.
Faysal Mroueh (* 1987, CY) obtained his BA from the University of Westminster in London and completed a postgraduate residency program at De Ateliers in Amsterdam. He uses installation to explore how narrative functions in three-dimensional space and the resulting potential for exploring themes through fiction.
Isabelle Sully (* 1991, AU) works as an artist, curator and writer. Her practice is primarily concerned with the relationship between culture and administration, a lens through which the art institution is seen as legislator. Originally from Melbourne, she is now living in Rotterdam as she completes her Masters in Art Praxis at the Dutch Art Institute.
Micha Zweifel (* 1987, CH) is a sculptor, writer and publisher. He graduated from the Rietveld Academie in 2010 and the Piet Zwart Institute Master of Fine Art in 2014. He is the co-director of Publication Studio Rotterdam. His work seeks parallels between the dynamics of social phenomena—such as stage fright, boredom, desire—and the production of sculpture and text.