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Notes (Amsterdam)

Ivana Müller

The concept of Notes is inspired by the 19th century practice of ‘marginalia’, which cultivated a gesture of “personalizing” a book before offering it to a friend or a lover by writing personal notes in the margin.

In Notes this gesture of love or friendship becomes a poetic practice in which 5 selected readers annotate a same copy of a book that they chose together. One after the other and in a set order, sharing this body of literature/knowledge/theory as a matrix and a space for all sorts of reflections and associations, they create an archive of a long process of collective reading and writing. During the 3 months in which the book travels from hand to hand, annotators create a hybrid manuscript grafted on the original book.

The reflections noted on the margin, go beyond the book itself. They question the ideas of reading, of sharing a certain common, of anticipating the “other”, and of creating new possible narratives and associations with the book as a starting point. 

The book to be shared and annotated is always chosen collectively by the 5 readers from a pool of many suggested and possible books, and often after a long series of discussions. Once the book is annotated it continues its life as a book, outside of official institutions, travelling further from reader to reader, each reader choosing the following one, giving her/him the book by hand.

The book’s journey lasts for the next 10 years, crossing many hands and taking unpredictable paths driven by chance, trust and gestures of friendship. A log of all readers is kept as part of an archive, slowly tracing the cartographies of the  emerging reading community.

The first version of the project Notes was developed by Ivana Müller in collaboration with Paula Caspar, Ant Hampton, Bojana Kunst, Paz Rojo, Jonas Rutgeerts and David Weber Krebs and was realized in autumn/ spring 2016/2017 after the invitation of Theater Freiburg and Museum für Neue Kunst Freiburg, Germany, in the frame of the festival Heritage Depot.

Afterwards further versions of Notes have been developed in other places in Europe (Bassano del Grappa, Rome, Terni, Prato etc.) and are now starting to form a small traveling library of annotated books.

For Notes-Amsterdam Ivana Müller will propose a workshop based on idea of collective writing on the 6th of December. A presentation of the project and a discussion through which the collective choice of the annotated book will be held during a talk on the 7th of December.

More info on

7 December 2017


Ivana Müller is a choreographer, artist and author of texts.

Through her choreographic and theatre works, performances, installations, text works, video-lectures, audio pieces, guided tours and web-works she re-thinks the politics of spectacle and spectacular, re-visits the place of imaginary and imagination, questions the notion of « participation », investigates the idea of value and its representation, and keeps on getting inspired by the relationship between performer and spectator.

Although she creates through various forms, theatre remains the principle context in which she develops and presents her work. Her pieces – amongst others How Heavy Are My Thoughts (2003),  While We Were Holding It Together (2006), Playing Ensemble Again And Again (2008),  60 Minutes of Opportunism (2010), Partituur (2011), In Common (2012), We Are Still Watching (2012), Positions (2013), Edges (2016)  – have been produced and presented in some of the major theatre festivals and venues in Europe, USA and Asia over the last 15 years. 

In her practice she has collaborated with artists and theoreticians such as Bojana Kunst, David Weber Krebs, Andrea Bozic, Jonas Rutgeerts, Jefta van Dinther, Bill Aitchison, Paz Rojo, Sarah van Lamsweerde, Christine de Smedt and many others. 

Next to her artistic practice, Ivana Müller curates artistic and discursive encounters and teaches as a guest lecturer/professor. 

Ivana Müller was born in Zagreb and grew up in Croatia and in Amsterdam. She lives in Paris and works internationally.

Official website:

Project developed by:
Ivana Müller

In collaboration with:
Paula Caspar, Ant Hampton, Bojana Kunst, Paz Rojo, Jonas Rutgeerts and David Weber Krebs