Nina bell F. House Museum introduces to the public the life and spirit of Nina bell F., a figure conceived by the team at Casco Art Institute in 2016 in grappling with the questions of collective authorship and the possibility (necessity, even) of an institutional body being transformed into a collective. These questions were raised while the Casco team and artist Annette Krauss together have been engaging with the long-term Site for Unlearning (Art Organisation) project that takes on the process of unlearning oppressive institutional habits for a more commoning practice.
The name Nina bell F. stems from the shared admiration by the 2016 team for the artistic, black, feminist, and political engagements of Nina Simone, bell hooks, and Silvia Federici and embodies the practices of many artists, other practitioners and organizations around the world, as found through yet beyond the archives of Casco Art Institute.
Herstory of the Museum
The idea of Nina bell F. House Museum was conceived in December 2021 during one of the regular Casco Art Institute’s team meetings after the collective discussion on how to sustain archiving practices, the emphasis brought on by Staci Bu Shea, then curator at Casco.
The first shape and public introduction of the House Museum was made in the context of the Singapore Biennale 2022, Natasha (16 October 2022–19 March 2023), for which Binna Choi was co-artistic director. For this occasion, Ying Que took the lead on the realization with support from Anisah Aidid, production manager of the Singapore Biennale and other team members, including Donghwan Kam, Nuraini Juliastuti, Seo Kyung Kim, and Sophia Park. The three-day public workshop was organized as part of the presentation in Singapore and joined by G (wares not warehouses, Singapore), Rifki Akbar Pratama (KUNCI Study Forum & Collective, Yogyakarta), and Sam Yi Yao Chao (Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong). Other contributors included Berny Tan, Jason Wee (Grey Project, Singapore), Jennifer Teo (POST-MUSEUM, Singapore), Seewon Hyun (Audio Visual Pavilion, Seoul), and Tropical Tap Water (a band consisting of Daniel Aguilar Ruvalcaba, Diana Cantarey, Julian Togar Abraham, and Simnikiwe Buhlungu).
Subsequently, Nina bell F. House Museum was introduced in the Netherlands in the context of the large-scale, multi-day conference and exhibition Refuge – fleeing, flowing, leaking organized by Rietveld Academy in collaboration with the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam (March 22–25 2023). At the invitation of Jorinde Seydel, the program, entitled bricks to build homes for careful archives, was curated by Ying Que and Marianna Takou. With contributions by Jeftha Pattikawa with Ais Leuhery (Lost Bands, Wijkraad Vaassen Berkenoord2), Lois Hutubessy (Het Nieuwe Instituut), and Malou Sumah (Archief Maluku), Leana Boven, Nuraini Juliastuti, Sites of Memory, and Tony Markus Sacharias (multidisciplinary artist), the afternoon was dedicated to thinking about archiving practices in relation to social movements and uncovering stories that have remained buried or silenced in institutionalized collections.