Poetic evening by Mirelle van Tulder Being Part European

Artist Mirelle van Tulder will host a poetic evening at Foam Editions. Being Part European is about the concept of divided origins and the displacement of cultural objects in a European context. During the night, the audience is invited to actively participate. Prior to the performance, Mirelle van Tulder will talk to Wonu Veys, curator Oceanie of the National Museum of World Cultures.

Being Part European

When the library of the KIT (Royal Tropical Institute) in Amsterdam closed in 2013, Mirelle was able to pick up many catalogues and magazines that were about to be thrown away. These became source material for her work. In one of the magazines, she found a poem titled Being Part European written in 1974 by Fijian poet Sam Simpson.

The poem has been translated into a series of panels in which Mirelle replaces the categorizing captions of photographs and objects with sentences from the poem. By giving voice to the objects and people depicted in the photos, she questions the traditional use of captions. What stories do these objects whisper to each other, about the gutters of the compositions and through the walls of the shelves?

Mirelle's practice delves into the colonial archive, seeing its complexity not only as an incredibly extensive collection of objects and documents but also using the archive as a way to understand her personal history and identity. The artist brings together the use of the archived material and its historical position, defined by disruption, with its poetic performativity as an incentive to point out the historical record of the many colonized areas in the south of the world.

Criterion, from the series Being Part European © Mirelle van Tulder.

Prints available at Foam Editions

Two riso prints by Mirelle van Tulder are also available at Foam Editions. Shop online or come and see the works on the top floor of the museum in Amsterdam.

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Being Part European © Mirelle van Tulder.

Foam is supported by de VriendenLoterij, Foam Members, De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek, the VandenEnde Foundation and the City of Amsterdam.

Collage of archived work. Black and white

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Poetic evening by Mirelle van Tulder Being Part European