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alex blum, Diane Mahín, Kris Adem, Sjaid Foncé

GARDENING is a one-week creative incubator in which four dance/mime/performance artists are given the opportunity to simmer and grow new ideas alongside each other. They are given a studio space while being actively coached by professionals in the field. GARDENING is about planting new seeds, making, meeting, feeding, growing, sharing and cross pollinating each other’s worlds.

GARDENING #4 kicks off on Monday June 24th and ends with four public sharings on Saturday 29th. Participating artists are alex blum, Diane Mahín, Kris Adem and Sjaid Foncé. Read below for more information about the makers and the themes they will focus on during GARDENING.

Important info

GARDENING starts with two showings at BAU and continues at Veem House where we will enjoy a bowl of soup + bread before we watch the last two showings.

Please be aware that this event starts at 17h00 at BAU (Entrepotdok 4, 1018 AD Amsterdam) and ends at around 20h00 at Veem House (Van Diemenstraat 408-410, 1013 CR Amsterdam).

We advise you to come on bike, as public transport between the two locations takes some time.

GARDENING is a GREENHOUSE project, produced by Nicole Beutler Projects and Veem House for Performance.

29 June 2024

16:00 — 21:00
€ 7.50

About alex blum

alex blum is a trans* choreographer, political educator, and somatic activist based between Copenhagen and Amsterdam, where they graduated from the School for New Dance Development. In her artistic work, alex looks for sensuous detours from identity politics by means of touch, voice, and listening in rehearsals with critical friends, lovers, and strangers. By questioning who is given a voice, enfranchised, witnessed, cared for, and commemorated, alex explores the (im)possibility of trans* embodiment and the refusal of genocide.

<<< witnessing notes >>>

“At this moment in time, I am in a long-durational witnessing situation of Israel’s genocide in Gaza. It began from a plea, circulated on social media, to keep a detailed, private, paper document of my impressions and testimonies rather than relying on social media to archive my experience of witnessing genocide.

GARDENING is not a moment to disclose these <<< witnessing notes >>> but to continue my rehearsals of consensual witnessing, a practice deeply enmeshed in a trans* politics of seeing and being seen. I derive the meaning of ‘consent’ from its etymological roots in Latin ‘con’ + ‘sentire’, meaning “with feeling.” Witnessing with feeling. Without comparison but by means of analogy, I will continue The Work of the Witness of the systematic violence towards trans* and gender non-conforming globally and Israel’s ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people. I invite witnesses to sit with me during this week’s GARDENING.”

About Diane Mahín

Diane Mahín (1993) is a Dutch-Iranian sociologist and performance maker. Through her performative worlds, she searches for a confrontation with the materiality of the human body and the socialization these bodies underwent. Using sound and physicality, Diane scrutinizes the human body as a material object in order to dissect social constructions, as she wishes to grasp their absurdity and humor. Dissociation, emptiness, and death are recurring themes in her work. After her studies at Goldsmiths, University of London and Maastricht Institute of Performative Arts, Diane is currently exploring operatic principles within her practice at Sandberg Institute. Alongside her individual practice, she makes performances with her brother Manuel Groothuysen under the name FADAT.

‘’During Gardening I would like to experiment with a grunting, growling, and screaming voice. Grunting interests me because of the instant darkness the voice opens. I would like to stretch this darkness and while I am bathing in it, flirt with humor. I am curious how such an extreme vocal effect can meet a physical character. Which parts and movement qualities within my body will this voice unlock and harmonize with? Which parts within my body will feel totally dissociated from this vocal quality and how can I play with that fact? Ultimately I have the feeling grunting will provide an experimental ground to challenge socialization based on gender, and to shake up the constructs I carry inside me.’’

About Kris Adem

Kris Adem (1997) graduated with a BA in Contemporary Dance from Fontys (NL) in 2020. Adem embodies the essence of a Cypriot explorer, his artistic path shaped by the complexities of his homeland’s narrative. His land’s inherent identity crisis took Adem on a journey that reflects a deep-rooted quest for authenticity, self-discovery and collective liberation through multidisciplinary art forms. Adem’s artistic evolution is a rebellious response to the stifling constraints imposed by societal hierarchies and authoritarian structures. In a dance landscape often clouded by conformity, he creates emergency exists for us from the so-called reality around us by shaping them into surreal landscapes. Though he is a surrealist, his activism for mental health, climate crisis and our right to dream often appears in his creations. He finds his inspiration between the inner turmoil and external voices creating fractures into the profound beauty of the human experience. 

‘’In the Gardening residency, my focus lies on delving into the intricate challenges faced by choreographers and creators within today’s artistic/economical landscape. As a choreographer and maker, I find myself pondering the unique predicament inherent to our craft. While painters have canvases and musicians possess instruments as their mediums of creation, choreographers are tasked with harnessing the human form itself as their primary tool. This distinction presents a formidable barrier, often overshadowed by financial constraints. 

Unlike other artists who can readily access their tools, choreographers are confronted with the reality that their medium requires not only human bodies but also the resources to sustain them throughout the creative process. This prompts a critical inquiry: How can we, as choreographers, navigate the creation and presentation of our work in the absence of substantial financial backing? This question serves as the cornerstone of my artistic research during the residency, as I seek to unearth innovative approaches and sustainable methodologies that empower choreographers to realise their creative visions regardless of financial limitations. Through this exploration, I aim to not only illuminate the challenges inherent in our craft but also to foster a community-driven dialogue aimed at redefining the role of resources in the choreographic process, ultimately paving the way for a more inclusive and accessible landscape for creators of all backgrounds.’’


About Sjaid Foncé

Sjaid Foncé (b. 1990, Curaçao) is an interdisciplinary performance artist who graduated from the Mime department at the Amsterdam School of the Arts in 2023. His work is physical, poetic, and visually celebratory.

He explores the transformative potential of the body, viewing it as a site for liberation. Departing from individual or collective identity, he expresses various forms of devotion to transcend our physical realities and open them to reinterpretation.

Sjaid experiments with masks, costumes, and elements of African diasporic influences to challenge and question ideas surrounding race, gender, and social justice, utilizing them as tools to reclaim agency.

He poses questions regarding the role of collective imagination in shaping social identities and norms. During GARDENING, he desires to create a space where he can invite people to imagine new ways of inhabiting the earth.


GREENHOUSE is a development network initiated by BAU Platform for Dance and PerformanceBoogaerdt/VanderSchootKeren Levi | NeverLikeNicole Beutler Projects and Veem House for PerformanceThe network aims a healthy ecosystem for dance, performance and mime in Amsterdam, so that artists stemming from these disciplines can flourish.

Within GREENHOUSE, we share connections, facilities, ideas and expertise. We claim time and space for research, experimentation and encounters. Together, we provide the support needed for artists to germinate, grow, brew and flourish at every stage of their artistic development. Over the next four years, we will initiate and produce new work, offer residencies and internships, and organise workshops, lectures, summer courses and festivals.