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Ghita Skali & Susan Kooi

BACKGROUND EVENING

Tulpengulden

:

07/07/2023
19:00

On the evening of Friday 7 July, artist Susan Kooi hosted Ghita Skali’s Background Evening. We had tulip bites and drinks and got to know Ghita’s practice from a different point of view.

In Ghita Skali’s exhibition visitors could delve into a world of butt cleaners, bias, power relations and stereotypes. For this exhibition’s Background Evening, artist Susan Kooi hosted a night of all things tulip! Including bites and drinks, and even a currency exchange service based on them.

Did you know that tulip bulbs functioned as a currency in 1637? One could buy a canal house in Amsterdam with just one tulip bulb, during the so-called ‘tulipmania’: the first economic bubble. Their function as a currency, with its value just as unreliable as crypto currency today, was short-lived. Its value changed completely again in the Dutch Famine of 1945, when people ate old dry tulip bulbs. The bulbs went from currency to emergency food. Tulip bulbs are thus both a symbol for the unjust wealth the Netherlands gathered from colonialism, and of the poverty caused by WW2. (text by Susan Kooi)

From March to April 2023, Susan created an exhibition together with Masatoshi Noguchi at PuntWG in Amsterdam. For the exhibition, the artists produced a limited amount of ceramic coins called ‘Tulpengulden’, which could be used to purchase food and drinks with.

For our Background Evening, Susan hosted a spin-off of her exhibition. With her bank, Susan offered our visitors a currency exchange service, so they could buy their own ‘Tulpengulden’. These could be used to get tulip bitterballen and a tulip cocktail with at our bar. The exchange rate fluctuated throughout the event, so visitors had to keep an eye on the display screen to know when was the best moment to exchange their currency.

Info

About Ghita Skali:

Ghita Skali is an artist based in Amsterdam. She studied in France, first at Villa Arson, Nice then at the post-graduate program of the Fine Arts School in Lyon. She was a De Ateliers (Amsterdam) participant between 2018 and 2020.

Skali uses odd news, rumours and propaganda to disrupt institutional power structures such as the western contemporary art world, state oppression and government politics. Her work often ends up as a strong critique with outcomes that penetrate channels that go beyond the exhibition space taking the form of informal trade of goods, legal documents, and things you take home for a warm night tea.

She notably exhibited her work recently at Kunsthal extra City (Antwerp), Palais de Tokyo (Paris) and at the Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam).

About Susan Kooi:

Susan Kooi (Leeuwarden NL, 1988) graduated in fine arts from the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in 2012, with an exchange in visual arts at Emily Carr University for Art and Design in Vancouver. In her installations Kooi combines the tactile objects she produces in ceramics, textile and plastics with their specific narratives in video, text and performance. The starting point of her work is to find stories related to the location where she works. Looking for topics that interest her – prehistoric architecture, scientific discoveries, unidentified objects, legendary characters, from a specific region – and incorporate them in new work. She is interested in the dual role of objects, as a physical object and as a container for meaning. How we can experience both sides of an object and what role our imagination plays in this.

Kooi exhibited solo at Galleri CC in Malmö, Sorbus gallery in Helsinki, showroom MAMA in Rotterdam, Apice for Artists in Amsterdam and Spring in California, and has been part of duo- and group shows in Yotsuya Unconfirmed Studio in Tokyo, HAUNT in Yogyakarta and Atelier Chiffonnier in Dijon. Kooi was in artist in residencies in Portugal, Italy, Finland and Japan. In 2014 she received the young talent stipend, in 2018 the proven talent stipend and recently the basic stipend from the Mondriaan Fund. Next to her individual practice Kooi is part of the collective Samet Yilmaz, who have exhibited in Lodos Contemporáneo in Mexico-City, konsthall in Stockholm and Trampoline Gallery in Antwerp, and music duo echo+seashell, who performed at the Banff Centre in Canada, Kiasma Museum in Helsinki and Paradiso in Amsterdam. Since 2022, Kooi is a board member at artspace W139 in Amsterdam.

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