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On 12 February the intervention A Mental Image – Blavatsky Observatory by artist and architect Santiago Borja opens at Sonneveld House. Also Het Nieuwe Instituut celebrates the opening of the second season of the Temporary Fashion Museum during the New Season Night.

Artist and architect Santiago Borja (Mexico) has built an observatory on the roof of Sonneveld House dedicated to Helena Blavatsky, co-founder of the Theosophical Society. Borja’s intervention explores the influence of Western esotericism on the principles of Functionalist architecture and provides visitors to the house with a place for contemplation. A Mental Image – Blavatsky Observatory is the first in a series of three interventions in Sonneveld House curated by Erich Weiss.

New Season Night at Het Nieuwe Instituut

With the following programme Het Nieuwe Instituut celebrates the start of the second season of the Temporary Fashion Museum during the New Season Night.

New Season talkshow

A talkshow led by Flora van Gaalen & Ari Versluis about the new fashion season and new values within fashion.

Introduction: Guus Beumer
Language: Dutch
Location: Auditorium
Time: 8:00 pm

Guests talkshow:
José Teunissen and Mascha van Zijverden (Publication Fashion Data)
Joke Robaard and Camiel van Winkel (Assemblage)
Martijn van Strien and Vera de Pont (Open Source Fashion Manifesto)
Ivania Carpio (View on Fashion IV)
Jop van Bennekom (The Now S/S 16 by Penny Martin and Jop van Bennekom)

Curator tour

A tour by curator Angelique Westerhof through the Precious exhibition. 9:00 pm, Gallery 1 


The exhibition Precious, curated by Angelique Westerhof, showcases unique perfume bottles from well-known and historical fashion houses and glassmakers. It features interviews with collectors and fragrance experts on the passion for craft that underlies these special pieces. Gallery 1

Launch publication Fashion Data

The publication Fashion Data by José Teunissen and Mascha van Zijverden gives insight into the failing fashion system and provides an overview of Dutch designers who are working sustainably. The book features Rudy Guedj’s data visualisations for the Fashion Data exhibition at the Temporary Fashion Museum. Gallery 3

The Now Spring Summer collection 2016 by Penny Martin and Jop van Bennekom

Jop van Bennekom (Fantastic Man) and Penny Martin (The Gentlewoman) have selected the most iconic pieces of the Spring/Summer 2016 season for the Temporary Fashion Museum. Foyer

View On Fashion IV

Ivania Carpio pays homage to absence. Her motto is “Nothing is everything.” For Carpio, in an era when the fashion and design market is awash in brands and collections, it's inspiring to go back to a blank slate. Therefore, every part of her installation in the Temporary Fashion Museum is open to (re-) interpretation by anyone and everyone, with plenty of breathing room for new ideas. Foyer


The video installation Assemblage, Archive Intersections nr. 5, developed by Joke Robaard with Camiel van Winkel, shows the various ways in which literature, newspapers and books are used in fashion photography. Robaard’s extensive archive of images serves as the basis for a thoughtful examination of how the clothed body has been represented in the print media from 1980 to today. Study Centre

Dark Archives

Het Nieuwe Instituut asked artist Erica Scourti to contribute to the New Archive Interpretations project, in relation to the exhbition Temporary Fashion Museum. Erica Scourti utilises social-media networks as raw material, probing and testing their data-processing alogorithms to create self-portraits for a hashtagged age. Foyer

The Open-Source Fashion Manifesto

Martijn van Strien and Vera de Pont wrote a manifesto on the future of the fashion industry for the Temporary Fashion Museum. In it, they argue that the industry should focus more on sustainability and the use of new technologies. Van Strien and De Pont call on consumers to play an active part in this process. Three messages from the manifesto have been incorporated in a banner developed by the authors with the TextielLab in Tilburg. The banner is made with several types of thread that react differently to light, so that the message visible at any given moment depends on the time of day. Terrace Facade

Installation Because I am worth it

Studio Dennis Vanderbroeck has developed his first outdoor installation for Het Nieuwe Instituut. Because I Am Worth It, a Fischli and Weiss-inspired blue marble run, stands in the pond in front of Het Nieuwe Instituut. A ball sets off a chain reaction, activating an arc of light each time it falls from one storey to the next. Once the ball has reached its destination and the lights have all gone out, an assistant carries it back upstairs again. A never-ending effort is made for the sake of brief moments of attention. Pond

Installation Fashion Machine

Fashion designer Conny Groenewegen will be on site, working on the installation Fashion Machine. Gallery 3

Mural #10

The start of Mural #10 by artist Job Wouters. Foyer

Flying Architect

By Studio Plott & Roos Meerman. Gallery -1

Fashion Data

The live production of the publication Fashion Data. Publication Studio

Body Shop

Body Shop is a new installation by Rotterdam-based artist Sabrina Chou. Drawing from the fields of tailoring and butchery, the work consists of a text presented across a series of poster-sculptures. This work reflects on the body—its parts, as a part of a larger body, and as a unit of measure and movement. An accompanying publication is published by and available at Publication Studio Rotterdam. Ramp to Gallery 2


Dj's Woody & Bredt (Deep Sea Discotheque) and Sjoerd Oberman & Arif Kornweitz. 7:00 pm – 11:00 pm. Foyer

The opening of the Blavatsky Observatory and the New Season Night are part of the programme of Art Rotterdam Week. Entry is free from 7:00 to 11:00 p.m. Because of the large numbers of visitors expected, there are timed entries to the observatory. You can register via the tickets button on this page.

A Mental Image – Blavatsky Observatory has been made possible by a generous contribution from the Mondriaan Fund.

The welcoming drink is supplied by Cointreau Fizz.

Santiago Borja: A Mental Image – Blavatsky Observatory
13 February – 22 May 2016
Sonneveld House
Jongkindstraat 12, Rotterdam
Temporary Fashion Museum
Until 8 May 2016
Het Nieuwe Instituut
Museumpark 25, Rotterdam

19:00 – 23:00

Het Nieuwe Instituut
Museumpark 25. Rotterdam

Huis Sonneveld
Jongkindstraat 12, Rotterdam



Temporary Fashion Museum
Guus Beumer
Maureen Mooren

This project is part of the programme track Things and Materials and the folder Material innovation.

Fashion has quietly renewed the very idea of renewal by constantly selling the past as a future, thereby framing current reality. This contrasts sharply with the idea that renewal always stems from technological innovation.