Part 2: The Ribbon-Cutting Approach


Exhibition Opening: 19:00 – 23:00
Live Performance: 21:30

New works in Part 2: The Ribbon-Cutting Approach include five new charcoal studies by Shahin Afrassiabi, depicting the British painter Francis Bacon’s portrait based on a photograph taken by Francis Goodman in 1971. The drawings expand on the tradition of tronie painting, a genre that started in the 16th century in the Low countries. The tronie (16th/17th century Dutch for “face”) was akin to a character study, and artists used it to play with exaggerated facial expressions, stock characters and lighting. Simultaneously a tronie could be an allegory of transience, youth, or old age, or a representation of human—or even societal—qualities or faults. The image of Bacon is infused with qualities, that in Afrassiabi’s drawings are more revealing of the very projections that are collectively attributed to him. They are not portraits of Bacon but of the mechanics of artificiality.

Shahin Afrassiabi TLT II Part 2 DSC0251 Shahin Afrassiabi TLT II Part 2 DSC0251
Shahin Afrassiabi, Studies for Francis Bacon, 2023, 5 charcoal drawings. Photo: Lotte Stekelenburg

Earlier this year we sent out a letter co-authored by Mathew Kneebone and Maziar Afrassiabi to art spaces operating at different scales in the Netherlands inviting them to share our precarious connection to California’s energy grid. Now that the first responses have come in from three other Rotterdam art spaces, our curiosity is growing. Who else will accept this proposition and how will their operating structure—size, artistic agenda, financial dependencies—influence their response? Documentation of this correspondence will be on view.

Mathew Kneebone, Archive of Institutional Correspondence, 2023, folders with correspondence between Rib and other art spaces. Photo: Lotte Stekelenburg

In touch with our long-term thinking about how art spaces respond to one another with many connected and entangled parts, Rib is restaging and hosting works from twelve other art spaces, including an entire exhibition from Laurenz titled On your side of things. An email invitation in our inbox from Laurenz (founded in 2020 by Monika Georgieva & Aaron Amar Bhamra) evoked an eerily familiar feeling as we recognized how we have been facing the same constraints, precarities and freedoms. Expanding upon our hosting role, Rib will exhibit works and materials from Treignac Projet (Treignac), 5OU6ÎLES (Lyon), Winona, Établissement d’en face and SB34 (Brussels), Playbill and Marwan (Amsterdam), DE PLAYER (Rotterdam), Enterprise Projects (Athens), Switch Hook (Chicago), Significant Other (Vienna), and Laurenz (Vienna).

Like Rib, which is housed in a former Butcher shop, each space is influenced by and responsive to its environment and history. Hosting works from other spaces is a prelude to a larger project to be curated by Maziar Afrassiabi in 2025 in the new location of Art Rotterdam in South Ahoy, where not-for profit spaces will take center stage. Beginning in September 2023, Rib will publish interviews with selected spaces on Art Rotterdam and Rib’s website, in preparation for the exhibition in 2025.


5OU6ÎLES: For several years Camille Laurelli has been collecting Mega Drive game covers produced illegally between Russia, China, and the Baltic States in the 1990s. These covers, with their unlikely design and non-hierarchical mix of Western cultural references, are the product of the globalisation of cultural trafficking. The exhibition Smokkelen/Contrebande in 5OU6ÎLES features a selection of pirated covers on the theme of war—between soft and hard power.

5 OU6 ÎLES TLT II Part 2 DSC0171 5 OU6 ÎLES TLT II Part 2 DSC0171
Left (attached to the column): Switch-Hook Projects, Could Vienna hear a whisper in Chicago, witness a light flicker?, 2023. Right: Camille Laurelli, Mega Drive game covers, produced illegally between Russia, China, and the Baltic States in the 1990s. Pirated covers on the theme of war, 2023. Photo: Lotte Stekelenburg

Enterprise Projects contributed an A3 poster showing an excerpt from EP Journal, an online journal. Presented at Rib is an excerpt from Evita Tsokanta’s text “A declaration of common sense”, with a graphic by Bend. Visitors can scan the QR code displayed to access the text online.

Etablissement d’en Face
contributed an owl sculpture made of styrofoam by the artist Steinar Haga Kristensen. In 2013, Kristensen had the first exhibition in the old Etablissement d’en Face space, from which they had to move out last year.

As a contribution to Rib, Laurenz have sent four installation shots with captions from the show at Laurenz, showing all the spaces that contributed.

Laurenz TLT II Part 2 DSC0287 Laurenz TLT II Part 2 DSC0287
Laurenz, On your side of things, 2023, installation views, 40.28 m2. Photo: Lotte Stekelenburg
Laurenz TLT II Part 2 DSC0280 Laurenz TLT II Part 2 DSC0280
Laurenz, untitled (flowers), 2023, various dimensions, a gift from Laurenz to Rib. Photo: Lotte Stekelenburg

In 2019, Marwan was invited to contribute to a publication that Dieuwertje Hehewerth was working on (which you can find in the package). As part of their contribution, together with the text you see in the book, they offer a business card which they call ‘Hotline for advice’ and which can be taken home by visitors.

Marwan TLT II Part 2 DSC0371 Marwan TLT II Part 2 DSC0371
Left: Dieuwertje Hehewerth, Salticidae Icius, book, 190 pages, 13 × 19 cm, 2019. Right: Marwan, Hotline for advice, free cards. Photo: Lotte Stekelenburg
Playbill, Performance documentation, a printed playbill and an instruction piece scored by Mieko Shiomi, archival materials from _Playbill: Act IV: Mieko Shiomi_ (9 March 2023). Photo: Lotte Stekelenburg

Playbill present archival materials from _Playbill: Act IV: Mieko Shiomi_, which took place on 9 March 2023 and include performance documentation, a printed playbill and an instruction piece scored by Shiomi and produced as an edition in collaboration with Maud Vervenne for the occasion.

DE PLAYER was founded as a nightclub for performing arts. It broadcast the Players Nachtclub TV twice a week in 2003/2004 after buying airtime on a local Rotterdam TV channel. It no longer exists in its original form.

De Player TLT II Part 2 DSC0273 De Player TLT II Part 2 DSC0273
DE PLAYER, Nachtclub TV, 2003/2004, never shown since. Photo: Lotte Stekelenburg

Simon Asencio from SB34 presents The Ballades en jargon, eleven poems written by 15th century poet Françoys Villon in the secret tongue of the Coquillard·es, a posse of French rogues. These ballads repurpose medieval language to narrate social underworlds in code. They invite for reflection on the possibility of otherness and estrangement within a ’same’ language. Since 2022, Simon Asencio has been developing different forms of studying and re-writing these ballads. The score for Ballad III is an attempt to unlock their meaning.

Jan Amann Kratochvil and Laura Maria Oriana Amann, who ran Significant Other (which no longer exists, they decided to stop in 2020), were also a married couple. When they stopped running the space in Vienna, they also got divorced. As they are still very close and have a brilliant sense of humour, they sent their divorce papers as a contribution to the show.

At Rib, you will find a paper work by Luca Klauba and Zola Rollins, who run Switch-Hook Projects. They first addressed this poetic letter to Laurenz.

Treignac project TLT II Part 2 DSC0342 Treignac project TLT II Part 2 DSC0342
Liz Murray, Sam Basu, David Thorpe, Leonard Coignac, Wreckage Roll Play, 2023, video, 8:59 min. Photo: Lotte Stekelenburg
DE PLAYER, Nachtclub TV, 2003/2004 in front of graphite rubbing of Winona, Rue Van Meyel 49, 1080 Brussels. Photo: Lotte Stekelenburg

Treignac Projet presents the video Wreckage Roll Play, made by Liz Murray, Sam Basu, David Thorpe, Leonard Coignac at Treignac projet in June 2023. The clip is inspired by the documentary Underground about the Weather Underground by Emile De Antonio 1976 which was filmed through veils and mirrors so you could not identify anyone. It resonates with many things in Rib’s program, but particularly for us questions of strategic withdrawal and ‘the work of mourning’.

For one very intense year Charlie Usher and Henry Andersen ran Winona, a project-space on the ground floor in a small, beautifully tiled room in Brussels’ Quartier Maritime. The contract was only ever precarious and now the whole building is being turned into a chic apartment block and part of it is being demolished. These rubbings of the walls are a 1:1 render of the room that Charlie and Henry made the day they were moving out when they decided to archive the architecture of the first location. The two rolls now at Rib represent two of Winona’s walls, with the door in between.

5OU6ÎLES (Lyon) is a contemporary art center of one square meter, 15 cm deep, located on the first floor of the Tomé café, and visible 24 hours a day from rue Romarin. It floats slightly above ground level and its program follows the rhythm of the seasons. It is part of a network of Showcase Galleries initiated by the Czech group bj (Josef Bolf, Jan Mancuska, Jan Serych, Tomas Vanek) in the late 1990s. 5OU6ÎLES follows its initial goal which is to share works in a place not identified with art worlds—street corners, stairwells, and bus shelters. 5OU6ÎLES is led by Éléonore Pano-Zavaroni and Fabien Renneteau (Idoine) with the support of Marianne and Sylvain (Tomé), and the complicity of Système Sensible.

Shahin Afrassiabi was born in Tehran. He studied art at Goldsmiths University in London. He works in Andalucia, Spain. Selected solo exhibitions include Paintings 2016–2018 at Soy Capitán, Berlin (2018); Radical Substance at Soy Capitán, Berlin (2015); Theory of Life at MOT International, London (2012); Subject to Form at Limoncello Gallery, London (2010). Afrassiabi’s work was part of several group shows, such as Been Caught Stealing at Kunsthalle Exnergasse, Vienna (2014), Showcase Preview at South London Gallery, London (2004); Transmission Gallery, Glasgow (2002); Early One Morning, Whitechapel Gallery, London (2002) and ICA, London (2000).

From 2003 till 2021 DE PLAYER (Rotterdam) was a polymorhpic production platform in Rotterdam, which has been putting together programs on the cutting edge of performance art, experimental music and the visual arts. Since the advent of the club, their program has been presented to the public in a happening-style setting, comparable to the Dadaist salons—lots of activity and tumult, drinking and socialising, whilst all along there was an innovative, substantive program on offer. The ambiance was not that of a concert hall (black box) nor that of the gallery (white cube) but what we could term a ‘grey dome’; a twilight zone. From 2021 it changed into a physical magazine titled DE_LAYER.

Enterprise Projects (Athens) is an Athens-based project by Danai Giannoglou and Vasilis Papageorgiou. “Created out of our need to express and share our point of view concerning the contemporary artistic creation, this venture aims at experimenting and conversing; experimenting with the curatorial proposal, artistic creation, self-organized function, and conversing with the artistic scene, the Athenian audience and the place itself, which houses the project.” As a structure Enterprise Projects has been functioning independently and periodically since September 2015 in Ampelokipoi, Athens.

Etablissement d’en face (Brussels) aims to present artistic practices to an international audience by offering conditions of professional production to a wide spectrum of contemporary artists. Founded in 1991 by the artists Alec De Busschère, Delphine Bedel, Christophe Draeger and Patrick Everaert, it was originally located in the Rue d’Artois and moved to the Rue Antoine Dansaert in 2002. Over the years it has been programmed by various individuals. Currently Olivier Foulon, Steinar Haga Kristensen, Jean-Paul Jacquet, Zin Taylor, Margaux Schwarz, Harald Thys, Michael Van den Abeele, Margot Vanheusden, Peter Wächtler and Etienne Wynants operate Etablissement d’en face.

Peter Fengler is an artist performer and organizer interested in sound. In particular, the experience of sound, its visual power and artistic, political and social implications. From there he builds an oeuvre of contexts (imaginary or otherwise) that lead to performances, concerts, lectures, objects, installations, publications. He is interested in subversiveness, experimentation, and the margins. He performs and exhibits in international contexts, such as: National Gallery of Victoria Melbourne, Cafe OTO London, KASK Ghent, MUHKA Antwerp, Kunstinstituut Melly (formerly known as Witte de With), CCA, SMBA Amsterdam and Onomatopee Eindhoven. He gives guest lectures in academic settings and curates programs for various institutions. He co-founded DE PLAYER, a polymorph platform for image sound and performance, which has now been relaunched as DE_LAYER. Here the focus is on publications by artists who use sound as an artistic medium. It also occasionally includes small live presentations.

Olivier Goethals studied Architecture and Urban Development. He is working as architect and artist. In his wide practice he researches the connection between space and consciousness. Goethals made spatial interventions and artistic installations for venues, such as Het Nieuwe Instituut, Rotterdam; Z33, Hasselt; Extra City, Antwerp; Be-Part, Waregem; SMAK, Ghent; and Palais De Tokyo, Paris. Previously he worked as a freelance senior architect for De Vylder Vinck Taillieu (2008–16). Since 2010, he is teaching at the KULeuven Architecture Department. He was a guest critic at RU Ghent faculty of Architecture, LUCA School of Arts Experimental Studio and ETH Zurich faculty of Architecture. Goethals is in charge of the design and implementation of all spatial interventions for the art collective 019.

Mathew Kneebone’s practice is founded on research into uncertainties surrounding technology, often combining different histories, myths, and folklore. His work touches upon various media including drawing, electronics, writing, sound, and performance to reconfigure or re-contextualize certain technologies, exploring an ambivalent blend of past and present. His work has recently been exhibited at Kunstverein, Amsterdam; 019, Ghent; Extra City, Antwerp; and Cloaca Projects, San Francisco. His writing has been published in Trigger Magazine, OASE Journal for Architecture, The Bulletins of The Serving Library, Another World, Umwelten, among others. He has given talks and workshops at Minnesota Street Project, San Francisco; V2_ Lab for Unstable Media, Rotterdam; Central Saint Martins, London; Sandberg Instituut, Amsterdam; San Serriffe, Amsterdam; Sitterwerk, St. Gallen; EKA Gallery, Tallinn; UEL, London. Kneebone teaches at California College of The Arts, San Francisco, where he is thesis writing supervisor.

Laurenz (Vienna): “The projects we (Aaron Amar Bhamra & Monika Georgieva), realize under Laurenz are often concerned with expanding the classical understanding of exhibition making and look for inspiration in different disciplines. Hosting and working with the existing conditions, often thematizing them and allowing them to take the main role rather than just being a context, is an important part of our collective practice and the way we communicate with artists and cultural practitioners. Through Laurenz, we aim to offer local and international contemporary artists and cultural practitioners a platform for expression and exploration. By focusing on a more discourse-based collective work, we seek to create new and nurture existing relationships within the cultural field.”

Marwan (Amsterdam) is an artist-run project space in the center of Amsterdam, initiated and programmed by Tirza Kater and Tim Mathijsen, who started this practice in their studio. Currently, Marwan is operating autonomously under the generous wings of AKINCI at Fokke Simonszstraat 12.

Annaïk Lou Pitteloud lives and works between Bern and Brussels. Her work makes use of different media to direct the viewer’s attention to the invisible components of image-construction, the museum space and the creative process itself. Pitteloud’s pared-down vocabulary raises critical questions to do with social issues, while challenging the art world’s mechanisms and its codes of perception, transmission and presentation. Her work has been presented amongst others in: Musée cantonal des Beaux-Arts Lausanne, CH; Kunstmuseum St. Gallen, CH; Museo cantonale d’Arte Lugano, CH; Kunsthalle Bern, CH; Kunstinstituut Melly (formerly known as Witte de With), NL; Riga Biennial, LV; Moscow Biennale, RU; Shanghai Biennale CN.

Playbill (Amsterdam) is an event series curated by Martha Jager and Isabelle Sully at Torpedo Theater, Amsterdam. Torpedo Theater is a long-running, small-scale, thirty-seat theatre in the heart of Amsterdam’s city centre. Originally founded by Het Parool, the Dutch national newspaper, the theatre has been committed to the spoken, written and performed word from the beginning. Drawing a connection to the theatre’s history with print media, Playbill is an event-based project invested in the presentation of experimental language and text-based artistic works on the (small) stage.

SB34 (Brussels) is a Brussels-based non-profit organization providing qualitative and affordable artistic production studios, workshops and equipment. They also manage two exhibition spaces in which local, international artists and art workers are invited to connect and collaborate to enhance the long term means of production, visibility and sustainability.

Significant Other (Vienna) “is/was mediating between art and architecture, former west and former east (currently centre), same as between laura and jen. it offers/ed a multifunctional projecting screen for inter-disciplinary, trans-geographic as well as critical inter-institutional dialog from its tiny and genuinely weird space on burggasse 24 (a space which josef daberning, our first exhibiting artist, pointedly described as ‘ugly as fuck’).”

Switch-Hook projects (Chicago) is a collaborative curatorial effort between Luca Klauba and Zola Rollins. Artists may become friends of switch hook through submission, curation, incident, accident and via phone call. Luca Klauba and Zola Rollins may act as curators, gallerists, exhibiting artists, friends, writers, and collectors.

Treignac Projet (Treignac): “We are an orbit of informal, temporary groups whose institutional materials are available through a matrix of sharing, hosting & careful commitment. Situated in the Limousin region of France, established in 2007 by Sam Basu and Liz Murray.”

Winona (Brussels): For one very intense year Charlie Usher and Henry Andersen ran a project-space on the ground floor in a small, beautifully tiled room in Brussels’ Quartier Maritime. The contract was only ever precarious and now the whole building is being turned into a chic apartment block and part of it is being demolished.