Blessing and Transgressing: A Live Institute (2012–2017)

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Arriving at the conclusion of Defne Ayas’s directorship of Witte de With, Blessing and Transgressing: A Live Institute is a richly illustrated publication encapsulating the driving ideas and processes behind the choices made over the last six years, along with ruminations on the topics and challenges faced with the institution’s programs and collaborations.

The book is a mortal attempt to grasp the spirit of Witte de With, where debates on urgent topics circulated, unfolded; hit a nerve and found their rightful home.


—Year Published


Author & Editor
Defne Ayas

Contributions Artists
Eric Baudelaire, AA Bronson, Bik Van der Pol, Heman Chong, Douglas Coupland, Rana Hamadeh, Goshka Macuga, Ahmet Ögüt, Michael Portnoy, Alexandre Singh, Wendelien van Oldenborgh

Curators & other interlocutors
Lucy Cotter, Amira Gad, Natasha Ginwala & Vivian Ziherl, Natasha Hoare, Adam Kleinman, Yoeri Meessen, Markus Miessen, Davide Quadrio, Domeniek Ruyters, Samuel Saelemakers, Kees Weeda

Associate Editor
Maria-Louiza Ouranou

Editorial Assistant & Copy Editor
Tyler Considine

Goda Budvytyte ̇

Wendy van Slagmaat-Bos, Maria-Louiza Ouranou

Cover image
Camille Henrot, The Beaver Moon, 24 September – 25 October 2015, in In Light Of 25 Years. Photo: Cassander Eeftinck Schattenkerk.

This book contains photographs by Kristien Daem, Cassander Eeftinck Schattenkerk, Bob Goedewaagen, Sara Hamadeh, Carina Hesper, Aad Hoogendoorn, Sofie Knijff, Moses Leo, Atilio Maranzano, Sanne Peper, Joachim Schulz

Every effort has been made to respect copyrights while remaining true to the spirit of this publication. Please contact the publisher if you nevertheless feel that there has been an error or infringement of copyright.

UNICUM | Giannoten Printed Media, Tilburg

Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam, the Netherlands


All rights reserved. © the editor, the writers, and Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam, 2018

Special Acknowledgments
Remty Elenga, Rosa Mulder, Matthias Nothnagel

This publication is in part supported by SAHA Association

Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art is supported by the city of Rotterdam (DKC) and the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW).