22th September at 15.30

Universiteti Polis

Dutch artist Su Tomesen focuses on urban informal economies and traces of human interventions in the public domain. In her work she focuses on diffuse boundaries between waste and usable materials, the private and public domain and between poverty and wealth. Her work connects with this diffuseness: it approaches the resourcefulness of street traders - often born out of survival - not as a problematic injustice, but looks at the phenomenon with open-mindedness and has an eye for talent, poetry and beauty. This ingenuity, unseen in over-regulated western Europe, is the setting for all Tomesen’s films and photographs.


In 2015 she realized the film ‘Jalan’, the first film of a series of four films about everyday design and resourcefulness  in urban public space. ‘Jalan’ is set in the streets of Jogjakarta, Indonesia. During her residency at TICA, the Tirana Institute of Contemporary Art, she worked on the 2nd part: ‘Rruga’. The artist-in-residecne is generously supported by Mondriaan Fonds. Film portraits of the cities Medellín and Johannesburg, focusing on the same theme, will follow in the upcoming years.


In the film ‘Jalan’ and ‘Rruga’ street vendors improvise, claim sidewalks and recycle materials to generate an income. Low-fi stalls are presented in remarkable ways. The rhythm of the films follows the rhythm of a fictional day, without explanation or dialogue. Unintentional compositions, colours, forms and repetitive qualities in public space approximate an installation or performance art. The repetition found in situations and activities that occur every single day, regardless of the weather are like a scripted reality; as if time stands still and repeats itself endlessly in different variations.


Su Tomesen (1970, the Netherlands) is based in Amsterdam and Jogjakarta.

More information: www.sutomesen.nl

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