Photo: Tomas Mutsaers, 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 one produces more ties.
The supporting structure they proposed - A ‘Dialogical Bearing Wall’ - 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 course of the months and activated by the art mediators.
As part of the process, a temporary Office of Arte Útil is publicly available 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 is a commission from Zuid. Boijmans Van Beuningen as part of the fellowship in collaboration with Rotterdam Arts and Science Lab - RASL