(Not) Lost in Translation

14 September–9 November 2019

Casco, Coffee and Communication (CCC) is back in Utrecht! Stop by this roaming coffee mobile on a street of Utrecht for a cup of coffee and conversations on art, multilingualism, matters of (mis)understanding and alternative languages in everyday life with artists Merel Zwarts and the community of De Voorkamer in Lombok. CCC’s signage is redesigned by artist Babi Badalov.

CCC was created for Casco in 2001 by artist Jeanne van Heeswijk to support direct dialogue between artists and Utrecht’s citizens. Almost 20 years later, and after use by Afrikaanderwijk Cooperative in Rotterdam in the meantime, CCC returns to Utrecht as both a portable communication tool for the exhibition program Het is of de stenen spreken (silence is a commons) at Casco Art Institute (14 September–3 November 2019) and a “learning object” in Trainings for the Not-Yet, an exhibition as a series of trainings for a future of being together otherwise, convened with a multitude of collaborators by Van Heeswijk at BAK, basis voor actuele kunst (14 September 2019-12 January 2020). 

The original idea of the mobile cart in 2001 was taken from the New York donut and coffee cart, a self-contained and portable structure for quick bites, encounters and exchanges, in order to nurture dialogue over art on the street level. It was the time before social media, touchscreen tablets, and abundant language diversity. CCC is brought back to reflect the change in modes of communication in public space and explore new possibilities through art and on art!

For the mobile’s reactivation, Casco invited its long-term collaborator and Utrecht-based artist Merel Zwarts to operate CCC throughout Casco’s exhibition program Het is of de stenen spreken (silence is a commons). Through presentations in Utrecht’s city center, Leidsche Rijn, and Lombok, CCC draws upon the project (Not) Lost in Translation, a language exchange service and mobile language library developed by Zwarts with Kimiya, Nariman, Maram, Shanaaz, Rabieah, Sheima & Sulafa and others at De Voorkamer in late 2018. With each outing, the conversation continues over coffee with exercises and words based on personal experiences of learning new languages. Casco also invited Het is of de stenen spreken (silence is a commons) artist Babi Badalov to offer new signage for the mobile cart. Badalov comes from a multilingual background and creates new words and poetry through a celebration of mistakes and misunderstanding.

True to the original intention, the mobile goes out onto the street but this time to give a deeper reflection on how we communicate today and to actively seek alternative ways to communicate with support of art and collective intelligence. When not out on the street, the mobile is parked at BAK to be further investigated as a “learning object.” Learning objects refer to Van Heeswijk’s past projects as “living repositivies of knowledges, stories, and experiences” and “tools-in-waiting for activation in difficult conversations and joyful praxis.” Through Casco, Coffee and Communication, visitors of Van Heeswijk’s exhibition Trainings for the Not-Yet can learn about this early Van Heeswijk work and new ways of celebrating a diversity of languages and communicating when you don’t have a language in common.


Saturday, 14 September, 12:00-17:00
Uitfeest, Domplein with Babi Badalov

Festive Opening of Het is of de stenen spreken (silence is a commons) at Casco Art Institute: Working for the Commons

Sunday, 15 September, 12:00-17:00
Uitfeest, Domplein

Dictionary: Multiple Meanings & Onomatopoeia: What do we gain or what gets lost when we translate?

Saturday, 12 October, 12:00-17:00
RAUM, Leidsche Rijn

Futura of Language: How and with whom do we speak? Can we deconstruct it and transform it to something new?

Friday, 8 November, 15:00-21:00
Lombok Festival as part of Le Guess Who?, Lombok

Tools: How and to whom do we listen? How do we learn?

This activity is part of:

Een koffiemobiel die vanuit Casco naar verschillende wijken in Utrecht vertrekt haar bewoners en voorbijgangers te informeren over Casco-activiteiten.

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