From March 1 to the end of May the Dutch collective Deltaworkers will host a diverse group of artists, each with a specific specialization. Deltaworkers is an international multi-disciplinary residency program, run by artist/curator Joris Lindhout and curator Maaike Gouwenberg. Since their first visit to New Orleans in 2010, these curators have been working on establishing a cultural exchange program between the North American South and Europe. Therefore Deltaworkers builds on existing connections between The Netherlands and New Orleans, and forms new connections with local institutions, the surrounding region, and other European counties.
In the fall of 2010 Gouwenberg and Lindhout made a three-month road trip through the southern states of the US. The specific aim of this trip was to investigate notions surrounding the Southern Gothic literary genre, on which they were writing a book and creating an exhibition. Their fascination with the southern states sparked our ideas for Deltaworkers, a platform through which they can share their intrigue for this part of the world.
The name Deltaworkers is taken from the two cities they are based in: Rotterdam (NL) and New Orleans, which are both located in a river delta.
This year the residency in New Orleans will host four artists, each coming from a different artistic background:
Alma Mathijsen was born in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. She earned her Bachelors Degree in Image & Language at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie and Creative Writing at Pratt Institute in New York. She is the author of six plays, a collection of short stories and three novels. Her first novel Everything is Carmen was published by The Busy Bee in 2011, followed by The Great Good Things. Her latest novel Forget the Girls has been critically acclaimed, and is nominated for the BNG BANK Literary Prize. Mathijsen writes essays on feminism, representation, and grief for NRC Handelsblad – a prestigious Dutch newspaper. Her work has also appeared in Vice US and Vice UK.
Io Cooman (BE)
Io Cooman is a photographer and photo-editor for newspapers such as De Volkskrant (NL) and De Tijd (BE) with a strong interest in visual anthropology, colonial history and the impact of images in media. Her photoseries Io Cooman’s Collection of Human Beings Inhabiting the Southwestern Parts Of The Low Countries (2013) explores the propagandistic imagery made in Belgian Congo during the colonial era of Leopold II. In her work she balances theory and photography. The main focus lies on herself as a photographer and on the power and responsibility that comes along with making and distributing images. When in New Orleans she will continue her research for a way to incorporate reflexivity, a strong theoretical base and participation in photography. A medium that is, after all, a rather classic tool to tell a story.
George Korsmit studied monumental design and painting at the School for Art & Design St.Joost (1972-1977) in Breda, The Netherlands and has been working as an artist since 1980. His work consists of paintings, sculptures, wall and floor paintings, films and installations, often based on a system of ritualized coincidence and since 2010 often in collaboration with others. Together with Saskia Janssen, in 2005 he established The Rainbow Soulclub, an art studio in an Amsterdam shelter for the homeless and long-term drug users. Since then, they have run a weekly program in the studio, often together with their art students.
Saskia Janssen mixes a variety of media in her socially engaged site-specific works. Often to make situations or groups of people visible that are invisible at first. Over the past years she has collaborated with a.o. sailors, nightclub singers, hard drug users, Buddhists, psychiatric hospital patients and inmates. The outcomes of these collaborations have taken the form of installations, recorded albums, drawings, performances and printed publications. She graduated from the Royal Academy of Fine Art in The Hague and was a resident at the Rijksakademie, Amsterdam (’96-’97) and at I.S.C.P., NewYork (2015).