Opening: madskills: Self-Documenting Construction on Social Media

Opening, in English, Paul-Desmarais Theatre and Shaughnessy House, 6 June 2024, 5pm to 9pm

Join us on 6 June for the opening of madskills: Self Documenting Construction on Social Media, an exhibition curated by Hester Keijser, CCA Curator of Photography and New Media, investigating social media clips that document the construction industry, created and disseminated by those present on site.

madskills explores how social media has given contractors, operators, and tradespeople a new degree of agency over the visual dissemination of their work, which is usually hidden behind fences. By juxtaposing content related to construction work produced by social media users alongside items from the CCA collection, the exhibition investigates how these new forms of self-documentation might change how workers in the construction industry are perceived, as well as shape future discussions about their work in relation to the built environment.

At 6pm, in the loggia outside of the Octagonal gallery, Luuk Smits, Emilie Retailleau, and Francesco Garutti will introduce the exhibition. Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances, Hester Keijser will not be able to attend the event.

The gallery will open at 5pm to the public and the evening will conclude with a celebration in the Shaughnessy House from 6.15pm to 9pm.

Hester Keijser has been the CCA Curator of Photography and New Media at the CCA since 2021, where she developed a new strategy for the photography collection and led the Critical Cataloguing and Reparative Descriptions working group. With a background in philosophy and visual arts, Hester Keijser first established herself as an independent curator, author, and critic reflecting on photography in theory and contemporary practice. Prior work includes experience as an artistic director of two commercial galleries in the Middle East and as advisor and editor with international photographers and organizations. She is passionate about foregrounding underrepresented positions and advocating for fair practice codes and ethical practices in photography. She developed exhibitions for several international photography festivals and cultural institutions, and her writing has been published widely.

Luuk Smits is a visual artist based in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Trained in photography at the Royal Academy of Arts in The Hague, and as an alumnus of EKWC (European Ceramic Work Centre), Smits works primarily in photography, installation, and video. He is interested in creating works from materials that make up built environments. His working process is intuitive and evolves through research into material cycles and histories, as well as through more playful investigations of form. Over the years, he has presented his work at the Perth Centre of Photography in Perth, Australia; SIGN Projectspace, Groningen; the Jan van Eyck Academy, Maastricht; Kunsthaus NRW, Aachen; Greylight Projects, Heerlen; and BRUTUS and Art Rotterdam, Rotterdam. He has participated in artistic residencies at ZK/U (Centre of Art and Urbanistics) in Berlin, and RUCKA in Cesis, among others. His work is included in the collections of Reyn van der Lugt, the Ministry of Infrastructure, and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment in the Netherlands.

Luuk Smits’ presence at this event is made possible thanks to the financial support of the Mondrian Fund and CBK Rotterdam.

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