Gentle Dust
Leaving the Museum of Modern Art
Thursday September 7th 2017
Sunday October 29th 2017
Showroom MAMA
With contributions by: 
Pelumi Adejumo, Jasper Albinus, Susu Amina, Tirza Balk, Alina Jabbari, Rianna Jade Parker, Yakari Gabriel, Abdel-Rahman Hassan, Natasja Jacobs, Natalia Sorzano, Hudda Khaireh, Isaac Kariuki, Thato Magano, Imani Robinson, MAMA’s Artistic New Talents; original music by Sami El-Enany and a new video installation by Dorine van Meel
Curated by: 
Initiated by Dorine van Meel and co-curated with Rianna Jade Parker
Opening on 7 September, Gentle Dust is a collective project initiated by Dorine van Meel and co-curated with Rianna Jade Parker, in which artists, activists, and writers imagine what art could be beyond the supposedly neutral white walls of the museum of modern art. Gentle Dust sets out by recognising that such institutions have determined for too long what ‘art’ is and argues that their claims to social critique mean little if they do not actively break down the power structures that underpin their existence.
In a new video installation by Dutch artist Dorine van Meel, computer generated images of abandoned gallery spaces and museums drift by. While digital dust settles on emptied-out vitrines and stacks of wrapped paintings, a sound environment designed by Sami El Enany forms the backdrop to a number of texts that are written and spoken by the participating artists. In these contributions, the artists and activists foreground their own stories, perspectives, and lived experiences, specifically within the political context of the Netherlands. Their texts explore the ways in which colonial-era relationships of power and violence continue to be at work in the present, through mechanisms of exclusion and institutionalised racism, and address the impact of islamophobia and xenophobia on their lives. The video installation itself is understood as a platform that gives space to a growing number of voices, languages, stories, and histories.

The exhibition also includes a ‘reference space’ that contains key texts and imagery compiled by independent artist-curator and writer Rianna Jade Parker, co-founder of The Lonely Londoners and Thick/er Black Lines. For MAMA, the reference space is the start of a growing library that will focus on inclusivity and informal communities.

Gentle Dust is developed as a series of events. Earlier editions took place on 25 August 2016 at Jupiter Woods, London, and on 29 October 2016 at ROOM Gallery & Projects, Johannesburg. The third and final edition takes place at Showroom MAMA. The project takes place over a longer period to enable new strategies for connecting artists and project spaces – across national borders – through thinking and doing. The outcomes of the editions are collated into a new single-channel video that will be shown at the 10th Berlin Biennale in 2018.


7 September, 19:00 – 21:00
Opening and Performance-event
On the evening of 7 September, Susu Amina, Tirza Balk, Yakari Gabriel, Abdel-Rahman Hassan, Alina Jabbari and Dorine van Meel each present their new contributions. The performance begins at 20:00 prompt, and the public is kindly requested to stay for the whole duration of the presentation. Registration recommended via events@showroommama.nl