Now on view on are.na, Chapter 1: This Creaking Floor and All the Ceilings Below with Bart Lunenburg, David Bennewith, Lieke Hettinga, Kooperative für Darstellungspolitik, Christian Nyampeta, Falke Pisano & Riet Wijnen, Deborah Sielert, Siobhan Wall, and Merel Zwarts.
Chapter 2: The irresistible shade of the vine with Jumana Emil Abboud, De Draaihals, Karen Ebert, Lisa Eksteen, Rien Goené, Yvette Goené, Clair Griffioen, Ienke Kastelein, Hans van Lunteren, & Lisanne Ruim.
At the core of any commoning practice is a shared resource. Land is often considered to be the most explicit or tangible example. Across the world you can find commons – expressed in different languages – that operate on the basis of collective management, cultivation, and maintenance of land. In the practice of such commons, shared experiences and stories are key to their survival.
Common Grounds: Story / Heritage hones in on the shared experiences and stories of a particular site: the Abraham Dolehof, a hidden oasis in the Utrecht Museum Quarter where Casco has been situated since 2014. We share this site with other conscious and unconscious commoners of the Abraham Dolehof, including small businesses, artists in their studios, residential neighbors, a 165-year-old platanus tree and perhaps the ghosts from the time before we arrived. Common Grounds: Story / Heritage asks, who are these commoners of the past and present, and who will join us in this commoning practice in the future?
On Friday, 6 March, Casco and FOTODOK hosted the opening of the first chapter This Creaking Floor and All the Ceilings Below by artist Bart Lunenburg and other storytellers. Lunenburg’s site-specific multimedia works draw attention to the historical details of the building alongside Abraham Dolehof, which was once a monastery and a school. But soon after the opening, our offices and exhibition closed due to the far-reaching and unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic. Due to this turn of events, we have established a new, interactive archival practice and dissemination platform on are.na. The online interface will hold the collection of ephemera and stories that will grow over the four chapters of the exhibition. Here you will find the chapters as "channels" in which you can view and explore different media and stories contributed by artists, researchers, the neighbors, and visitors to Abraham Dolehof in Utrecht. Various audiovisual, video, and image material and their related stories can be viewed in individual "blocks" within each channel.
On 30 April we opened the second chapter of Common Grounds with The irresistible shade of the vine with an audio performance by Jumana Emil Abboud. The performance is now available to listen to on our soundcloud channel. On 5 June you can livestream a videoperformance with Kanitha Tith as the opening of the third chapter How heavy is time? and on 24 June we finish with the last chapter through a workshop and discussion with the participants in the Common Grounds exhibition program about the future of the building.
Common Grounds: Story / Heritage commits to a specific place – the area of Lange Nieuwstraat 7 – as an exemplary site for commoning to explore questions of heritage, environment, relations, resources and future to cultivate a tangible, living commons. The program unfolds over several chapters, both inside - the now closed - space and now in an adapted program.
We would also love for you to share your interest and vision in the cohabitation of this site by visiting the are.na group and contributing to the exhibition program. Check back periodically to see newly added stories. Should you want to contribute a story related to the location, be it a PDF of a book, website link, a video, an audio clip, or an image, write to Staci Bu Shea at firstname.lastname@example.org.