Post / How does it feel to ...

July 26, 2023

How does it feel to receive something from a stranger?

Fellowship at Zuid. Boijmans Van Beuningen

February – July 2023

Gemma Medina and Alessandra Saviotti started from this question to investigate the relationship we all have with the economy. 

In an economy based on money transactions, the exchange is concluded after a purchase is made. Contrary to this, in a gift economy, what is exchanged are relationships: the transfer of gifts between one another creates bonds and encourages reciprocity. In this case, transactions are never over because each produces more ties.

As part of their fellowship, they proposed a supporting structure – A ‘Dialogical Bearing Wall’ – that gathers the critical exchanges, activated by the art mediators, that occur in the building through a series of questions that implies affirmative or negative answers.

Questions such as Do you think art is a real need? or Do you think time can be used as a currency? were asked over the months and activated by the art mediators during workshops.

As part of this process, a temporary Office of Arte Útil is publicly available until September 30th at the Hilleviet as a study, printing and research room where to access the Arte Útil archive –  online and offline, in relation to other initiatives in Rotterdam.

Here, Arte Útil is proposed and used as a methodology to instigate change at the institutional level.

The project was included as a case study at the Rotterdam Arts & Sciences Lab’s (RASL) SUMMERSTUDIO ‘Supporting Structures – Reimagining Ways to Wellbeing through the Arts and Sciences’ (14-24 July, 2023).