Maastunnel exhibit showcases Rotterdam women

Maastunnel exhibit showcases Rotterdam women

ROTTERDAM, 3 November 2023 – A unique photography exhibition showcasing Rotterdam's women starts 10 November in the Maastunnel.

Unique photo exhibition in Maastunnel spotlights Rotterdam's women

In a collaboration between Stichting Wijkcollectie and Museum Rotterdam, a unique photo exhibition will be displayed along the escalators to the historic bicycle and pedestrian tunnel under the Maas in Rotterdam, starting 10 November. Photographer Marie Cecile Thijs, in association with these organisations, will showcase nine women recognised as Echt Rotterdams Erfgoed (Real Rotterdam Heritage), each paired with an item from Museum Rotterdam's historical collection. The photos will be exhibited on both sides of the Maastunnel escalators in the coming months, with the opening ceremony led by city poet Elfie Tromp.

The city's story through its women

The exhibition celebrates the numerous women who contribute daily to Rotterdam's fabric, thereby writing the city's history. Among the hundred others, these nine women, captured by Rotterdam's own Marie Cecile Thijs, represent a bridge between past and future. On one side of the escalators, they are photographed with historical artefacts from Museum Rotterdam, while on the opposite side, their initiatives for inclusion in Echt Rotterdams Erfgoed are displayed.

A call to women

Nicole van Dijk, director and co-founder of Stichting Wijkcollectie, emphasised the historical underrepresentation of women in public discourse and cultural collections. She views this exhibition as a call to women to assert themselves and pave the way for future generations, contributing to the city's history.

Joyce's story

Featured in the exhibition is Joyce de Lima from Echt Rotterdams Erfgoed. She runs Speeltuinvereniging Jeugdveld in Zuidwijk, a welcoming playground especially for families with limited resources. Despite Zuidwijk's challenges like poverty and loneliness, Joyce's initiatives, from organising trips for the elderly to providing bread to those in need, paint a picture of community spirit and support.

Directions to the exhibition

The photo exhibition is located in the Maastunnel, accessible via the bicycle and pedestrian tunnel. The Maastunnel area is easily reachable by public transport and has ample parking facilities for those driving. It's an iconic location, combining historical and modern elements of Rotterdam's urban landscape.


NN Kunstfestival: A cultural journey for well-being in Rotterdam

NN Kunstfestival: A cultural journey for well-being in Rotterdam

A focus on the transformative power of art is coming to Rotterdam museums from 28 September to 8 October. The NN Kunstfestival (NN Art Festival) aims to explore the connection between art and mental well-being, featuring special exhibitions and programmes across the city.

The impact of art on mental health

Studies from around the world have indicated that engagement with art can have a positive effect on mental health. According to these studies, a visit to a museum can reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol. The benefits can be observed as quickly as 35 minutes into a museum visit. Nationale-Nederlanden has organised the NN Kunstfestival to further investigate this link between art and mental well-being, especially in light of recent data showing an increase in mental health-related absenteeism in the Netherlands.

Accessibility and inclusivity in art appreciation

The festival aims to make art accessible to all by offering discounted museum tickets and a diverse range of programmes. Museums across the Netherlands, including those in Rotterdam, are participating in the NN Kunstfestival. 

Featured exhibitions in Rotterdam

Kunsthal Rotterdam | Ai Weiwei - In search of humanity

Kunsthal Rotterdam will host an extensive exhibition on Ai Weiwei, the renowned Chinese artist and human rights activist. The exhibition will delve into Ai Weiwei's life, his early years in exile with his father, and his 2011 imprisonment. The artworks reflect his ongoing quest for humanity. The exhibition will be open for preview on Saturday, 30 September.

 Kunsthal Rotterdam | Ai Weiwei - In search of humanity Kunsthal Rotterdam | Ai Weiwei - In search of humanity

Nederlands Fotomuseum | Ad van Denderen & Kunst(k)uurtje

Starting 30 September, the Nederlands Fotomuseum will feature an exhibition on Ad van Denderen, showcasing his evolution as a documentary photographer from the 1960s to the present. Visitors can also join the Kunst(k)uurtje (Art Hour) with Ageeth de Waal, a medical faculty teacher at VU University, to explore the health benefits of engaging with art. The programme welcomes everyone, regardless of their level of experience or knowledge in art.

Nederlands Fotomuseum | Ad van Denderen & Kunst(k)uurtjeNederlands Fotomuseum | Ad van Denderen & Kunst(k)uurtje

How to get there

Directions to Kunsthal Rotterdam and Nederlands Fotomuseum

Both museums are conveniently located in the Museum Park area, easily accessible by public transport or by car. The area is known for its cultural vibrancy and beautiful park settings.


BRUTUS Space in Rotterdam presents Santiago Sierra's "Pilot"

BRUTUS Space in Rotterdam presents Santiago Sierra's "Pilot"

BRUTUS Space in Rotterdam is set to unveil “Pilot,” an exhibition featuring three significant works by Spanish artist Santiago Sierra. The exhibition aims to spark conversations around societal inequality, control mechanisms, and the underlying economic systems. It will be open from September 2 to November 19, 2023.

Santiago Sierra's Artistic Endeavors

Three major works by Santiago Sierra (1966) will be displayed. Known for his art that oscillates between social sculpture, performance, and political activism, Sierra aims to provoke discussions on societal issues. The exhibition is intended as a precursor to a long-term collaboration between Sierra and BRUTUS Space.

The Works on Display

The exhibition will showcase “Paintings Made by a Fire Breather”, consisting of 17 canvases created by a Mexican fire breather and stretched by a local artist. Captured on film, the canvases transcend mere records of fire damage and acquire aesthetic value, reminiscent of the minimalist art of the 1960s and 1970s.

Sierra's most recent work, “The Maelström,” will also be featured. For this piece, Sierra employed numerous Gambians to perform a series of basic movements taught by the police for arrests or frisks. Unlike Bruce Nauman's “Walking” videos, the Gambians perform these movements with their hands behind their heads or backs, often facing a wall or in a kneeling position.

Controversial Undertones

Sierra's art has regularly been deemed controversial. His third work to be displayed, “245m3 (part I and II),” involved filling a former synagogue in Pulheim, Germany, with car exhaust fumes. Visitors could walk through the space wearing gas masks, evoking industrial and institutional death. The work also alludes to the Holocaust gas chambers, adding layers of meaning and interpretation.

About Santiago Sierra

Sierra is known for performances that employ unskilled workers to perform seemingly pointless tasks. By labelling these activities as 'art,' Sierra changes the way we perceive them, highlighting the economic systems that enable such 'services' to be purchased.

Directions to BRUTUS Space

BRUTUS Space is located in the heart of Rotterdam, easily accessible by public transport. The area is vibrant, filled with other art galleries, cafés, and boutiques.

Knitwork in the Surf: A dive into Rotterdam's swimwear history

Knitwork in the Surf: A dive into Rotterdam's swimwear history

A unique exhibition, 'Breiwerk in de Branding' (Knitwork in the Surf), is set to launch at Huis van de Wijk 'De Hoekstee' on 18 August, showcasing a blend of historical swimsuits and hand-knitted swimwear.

Photo credit: Marijke Gips

Exhibition details

In collaboration with Welzijn op de Hoek and Museum Rotterdam, the exhibition will feature historical swimsuits and knitting patterns from Museum Rotterdam's collection. These pieces will be juxtaposed with handmade swimwear crafted by the residents and visitors of Hoek van Holland. Additionally, until 26 September, individuals can participate in the 'Het mooiste zwempak van Hoek van Holland' (The Most Beautiful Swimsuit of Hoek van Holland) contest. The exhibition will remain open until 29 September.

A glimpse into Rotterdam's heritage

The displayed historical swimwear from Museum Rotterdam's collection, both handcrafted and machine-made, offers a glimpse into Rotterdam's rich heritage. Alongside these, entries for the 'Het mooiste zwempak van Hoek van Holland' contest will be showcased. Visitors are encouraged to cast their votes, and at the exhibition's conclusion, an expert jury will announce the winner.

Rotterdam's unique swimwear exhibition: Breiwerk in de Branding. Photo credit: Marijke GipsRotterdam's unique swimwear exhibition: Breiwerk in de Branding. Photo credit: Marijke Gips

Truly Rotterdam heritage

While Hoek van Holland retains its unique village charm, it is also a district of Rotterdam and thus participates in the Truly Rotterdam Heritage initiative. The Hoek van Holland recreation area has been designated as Truly Rotterdam Heritage, a joint collection by Museum Rotterdam and the Stichting Wijkcollectie Foundation. This new heritage initiative links present-day objects with those from the past. In the museum's collection, swimsuits over a hundred years old were discovered, as well as knitting patterns for swimwear.

Crafting creativity

These discoveries inspired the 'Het mooiste zwempak van Hoek van Holland' contest, motivating locals to craft their swimsuits. The submitted works, along with the historical swimwear, have been incorporated into 'Breiwerk in de Branding'. As part of the exhibition's theme, three workshops will be organized at Huis van de Wijk 'De Hoekstee', led by artists and craftsmen from Hoek van Holland.

How to get there

Directions to the event

Huis van de Wijk 'De Hoekstee' is situated in a lively part of Rotterdam, easily accessible by public transport.

BRUTUS presents Petromelancholia: Exploring the post-oil world

BRUTUS presents Petromelancholia: Exploring the post-oil world

A profound exploration of the post-oil era, “Petromelancholia,” is set to open at Rotterdam's BRUTUS Art Space on 2nd September. The exhibition, curated by Alexander Klose, will delve into the profound implications of a life beyond oil, a concept that many have yet to fully grasp.

Exhibition overview

The exhibition, running until 19th November, will not focus on the doom and gloom often associated with climate change. Instead, it will reflect on the legacy of the oil era and the inevitable new meaning this past will take on. The exhibition will feature existing and new installations, video works, sculptures, and other pieces from artists worldwide, including Monira Al Qadiri, Yuri Ancarani, Alessandro Balteo-Yazbeck, Kevin van Braak and Ipeh Nur, Diann Bauer, Tanja Engelberts, Christoph Girardet, Rumiko Hagiwara, Aaditi Joshi, Alain Resnais, Sanaz Sohrabi, and Rachel Youn.

A cultural and mental revolution

“Petromelancholia” (Petromelancholie) acknowledges that the energy transition is more than just a switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. It signifies a departure from the petro-modernist era, which will not only mean bidding farewell to oil but also to aspects of the culture that oil made possible. This shift will bring about a cultural and mental revolution that will drastically alter our lives, thoughts, and imaginations.

BRUTUS presents Petromelancholia: Exploring the post-oil worldBRUTUS presents Petromelancholia: Exploring the post-oil world

Diverse perspectives

The exhibition will present diverse perspectives on this complex phenomenon. It will feature 30 contemporary artists from various cultural backgrounds and generations, each offering unique insights into the implications of the energy transition. The artists will explore themes such as the petrochemical corridor in the Mississippi Delta, Shell's Indonesian past, the energy transition's “clash of elements,” industrial aesthetics nostalgia around oil rigs, OPEC's utopian union of non-western oil states at its inception, and the oil industry's portrayal in film.

Location in the harbour

BRUTUS, located in the Rotterdam harbour, is the ideal venue for “Petromelancholia.” Few places will feel the impact of the energy transition more than here, making it the perfect spot for critical self-reflection, tinged with a healthy dose of melancholy and nostalgia.


BRUTUS Art Space is located at Keileweg 10-18, in the transformative creative harbour area. This former harbour complex houses various large and small industrial exhibition spaces, the BRUTUS Lab with a residency and various workspaces, and the free-to-access BRUTUS Garden sculpture garden, among other features.

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