Encountering Absence

Date: 08/05/2023

Time: 20:30- 22:30

Location: Arti et Amicitiae

H401 warmly invites you to join the opening of Encountering Absence, a multimedia and multilingual exhibition serving as the second edition of the SPEME Research Exhibition Series ‘Objects & Stories’ in the frame of our project SPEME – Spaces of Memory and Trauma.

Encountering Absence combines objects of traumatic pasts with personal stories and artistic expressions in order to shed light on the experiences of those who are haunted by the absence of people disappeared, homelands lost, or histories too painful to pass on. With this exhibition, we seek to create a space that allows the viewer to encounter such intimate traumas in spaces of daily life—huddled around a cafe table in the oldest Dutch artists’ association, Arti et Amicitiae, or as guests in the lived-in historical H401 house. The stories and expressions of those who live in the shadows cast by the presence of absence provide insight to the many ways that traumatic heritage can transcend spatio-temporal and cultural boundaries. This form of remembering—dislocated from space and time—reveals how traumatic heritage can be transformed in the present, even as the events themselves recede further into the annals of history.

The opening of Encountering Abscence will be held on 8 May 2023 at Arti et Amicitiae.

The event will start at 20:30 with a welcoming speech by Arti and the exhibition curators. It will be followed by the screening of the short movie Solitude/Refugeedom directed by Emeritus Professor and artist Mieke Bal. After the screening, please join us for a few drinks.

Address of the location: Rokin 112, 1012 LB Amsterdam.


We look forward to welcoming you all.