Artistic Ecologies, New compasses and tools

curated by Pablo Martinez, Emily Pethick and WHW


9 March, 8pm, CET, Denise Ferreira da Silva and Valentina Desideri: Sensing Salon

16 March, 7pm CET:   Max Jorge Hinderer Cruz: Decolonize, Democratize, Deselitize


23 March, 7pm CET: Yael Davids: One is Always a Plural: moving together over distance

Program is part of discursive series Evenings with WHW Akademija

For the Zoom links please sign up in advance to register at mail Our art talks will be hosted via Zoom and their content customized for this form of exchange.

From 2019-2022 the Rijksakademie, MACBA and WHW are developing the programme Education from Below, which explores art as a place for dialogue, collective learning and imagination. It recognises that art practices can dislocate traditional divisions between theory and practice, and build knowledge through sharing and mutual learning. Together the partners are exploring and sharing methodologies and models of art practice based on exchange.


While the possibilities for meeting physically are drastically reduced, a series of online events have been developed together. These explore tools that are being developed and experimented with by artists, thinkers and institutions in order to navigate a period of immense disruption and social change, and what kinds of artistic ecologies can be formed with these.


9 March, 8pm, CET, Sensing Salon, Denise Ferreira da Silva and Valentina Desideri


Healing, as much as art, is a transformative praxis. It is something to do and it does something: it restores. In their collaborative work, Valentina Desideri and Denise Ferreira da Silva explore healing as an art form, a praxis of sensing and making sense that includes studying, thinking, reading and restoring experiments that reach for the deepest level of our entangled existence. Ferreira da Silva and Desideri will host a Sensing Salon—a studio for the practice of healing arts—where different reading and healing tools will be shared and available for use, such as Tarots, medicinal plants, Fake Therapy cards, books, Astrology, Reiki, etc.


16 March, 7pm CET: Decolonise, Democratise, Deeliticise, Max Jorge Hinderer Cruz


Between March 2019 and June 2020 the Museo Nacional de Arte (MNA) in La Paz found itself in a process of renewal of its basic institutional guidelines. This process was based on three basic actions: "decolonise, democratise, deeliticise". But what does it mean to decolonise a museum? Does it mean burning the museum, destroying its colonial architecture, destroying its colonial works?

The experience in the Plurinational State of Bolivia is a particular one. Wanting to decolonise the Musée du Quai Branly in Paris, for example, implies starting from completely different premises from those that would be used to decolonise the Museo Nacional de Arte de La Paz. The process of decolonisation cannot make the same mistake as colonisation, which is to overthrow local habits and structures in order to impose a universal principle disregarding given preconditions. However, there are certain epistemological approaches, and certain ethical and political principles that we can propose as indispensable principles in an effort to intervene in the coloniality of the museum, an institution entirely based on a logic of 19th century Eurocentrism.

Max Jorge Hinderer Cruz will talk about his experience of directing the museum.


23 March, 7pm CET: Yael Davids, One is Always a Plural: moving together over distance
With works by: Lygia Clark, Vlatka Horvat, Sanja Iveković, Fina Miralles, Àngels Ribé, Mladen Stilinović, Cecilia Vicuña


Over the past five years, Yael Davids has trained in the Feldenkrais Method. She uses the Method as a research device for comprehending the inner-workings of structures and prevailing tendencies — bodily, institutionally, artistically. In her work, she focuses on learning conditions and duties of care, and addresses questions such as: How can we reform the prevailing trope of learning being a competitive, mentally demanding experience? How can we integrate other learning processes, beyond the common optic experience? How can the relation between student and teacher be more democratic? How can we support the practice of self-reflection and individual interpretation? How can we think differently about limitation? Yael will present a Zoom workshop, in which a somatic analysis of artworks forms the foundation for a Feldenkrais lesson. Drawing on the workshops she recently presented at the Van Abbemuseum, Yael invited each member of the curatorial team to select an artwork that, amidst the conditions of the pandemic, has acquired a personal magnetism — a charged significance.

This constellation of artistic materials presents a unified yet multifaceted ‘body', which Yael examines for commonalities, harmonies and overlaps, but also sites of tension, contrast and resistance. Through this close study of the selected artworks — as individual yet connected materials — Yael seeks to determine how to best listen to and support this ‘body’. Yael will study the works selected and will develop a corresponding Feldenkrais lesson.

The workshop invites participants to lie on the floor, in the comfort of their own home, and be guided through a series of gentle movements and bodily orientations. Each participant integrates and experiences within their own body the structural qualities of the artworks. No former familiarity with the Feldenkrais Method is needed, and the workshop is open to all levels of physical mobility. It is important that you attend with your video ON and in a well-lit space. This will help Yael to guide the lesson.


More info on the workshop: 
During the session itself, please mute yourself so as to limit background noises. Feel free to unmute yourself if you need to ask a question. You can ask a question at any time. In order to best see your movements, Yael recommends to wear lighter coloured clothing if you’re lying on a dark surface. Equipment: mat or blanket (optional), pillow (optional) comfy, warm and non-restrictive clothes.



Denise Ferreira da Silva is an academic and practicing artist. Her work addresses the ethico-political challenges of the global present. She is the author of Toward a Global Idea of Race (University of Minnesota Press, 2007), A Dívida Impagavel (Oficina da Imaginaçāo Política and Living Commons, 2019), Unpayable Debt (Stenberg/MIT Press, 2021) and co-editor (with Paula Chakravartty) of Race, Empire, and the Crisis of the Subprime (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013). Her several articles have been published in leading interdisciplinary journals, such as 4Waters-Deep Implicancy (2018), in collaboration with Arjuna Neuman; and the relational art practices Poethical Readings and Sensing Salon, in collaboration with Valentina Desideri. She has exhibited and lectured at major art venues, such as the Pompidou Center (Paris), Whitechapel Gallery (London, MASP (Sāo Paulo), Guggenheim (New York), and MoMa (New York).


Valentina Desideri is an artist whose practice consists in plotting study with others. She trained in contemporary dance at the Laban Centre in London (2003–2006), later on did her MA in Fine Arts at the Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam (2011–13) and is currently a PhD candidate at the Social Justice Institute at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver. She does Fake Therapy and Political Therapy, and is one of the co-organizes of Performing Arts Forum in France, she speculates in writing with Stefano Harney, she engages in Poethical Readings and gathers Sensing Salons with Denise Ferreira da Silva, she is part of the Oficina de Imaginação Política, she reads and writes. 


Max Jorge Hinderer Cruz is a Bolivian-German writer, curator and philosopher based in La Paz, Bolivia. From March 2019 to June 2020, he was Director of the National Museum of Art (MNA) in La Paz, where he founded the museum's Program for Decolonial Studies in Art (PED) and was responsible for generating a historical change of the institutional profile. His work at the museum has been recognized by the International Committee for Museums and Collections of Modern Art (CIMAM), being considered a reference in the international museum community for its developments in the fields of social inclusion and education. Hinderer Cruz regularly publishes essays in the Bolivian newspaper La Razón. 


Yael Davids examines the capacities in which the body operates as a documentary vessel. She studies how collective heritage and socially charged narratives become intertwined with the individual’s biography and sensibilities, surmounting to an experiencing of the concrete world that is defined by a unique finitude.

This program is presented as part of the two-year collaborative project Education from Below, conceived in collaboration with the The Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten, Amsterdam, and MACBA – Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona.

The program is supported by:
Foundation for Arts Initiatives
European Commission’s Creative Europe program
Kontakt Collection / ERSTE Foundation
Kultura Nova Foundation
Government Office for Cooperation with NGOs, Croatia
Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia
City of Zagreb