Positions #4 - Gluklya, Naeem Mohaiemen and Sandi Hilal & Alessandro Petti

Photo by Marcel de Buck
Photo by Marcel de Buck
Photo by Marcel de Buck
Photo by Marcel de Buck
Gluklya, Clothes for Demonstation against false election of Vladimir Putin 2011-2015. Installation overview ‘All the World’s Futures,’ 56th Venice Biennale, 2015
Naeem Mohaiemen, Last Man in Dhaka Central
Naeem Mohaiemen, Two Meetings and a Funeral, 2017
DAAR, Common Assembly, Nottingham Contemporary 2012
Sandi Hilal and Alessandro Petti, Photo Carlo Favero 2015
Sandi Hilal and Alessandro Petti, The Concrete Tent, Abu Dhabi New York University 2017

Positions #4 Gluklya, Naeem Mohaiemen and Sandi Hilal & Alessandro Petti

01/12/2018 - 28/04/2019
Curators: Charles Esche, Diana Franssen
four artists in dialogue

For Positions #4 we have invited four artists; Gluklya (Natalia Pershina-Jakimanskaya), Naeem Mohaiemen and the duo Sandi Hilal & Alessandro Petti. These artists share a link to art as activism, and all use art as a basis to talk about the pressures produced by the burdens of history, injustice and political change.

They tell stories about particular parts of the world with film, drawings, architecture, the archive, texts, education and fashion. Together, they sketch out a picture of the continuous human presence in an uncertain world and how new solutions and possibilities are emerging. Whether exploring the legacy of the Non-Aligned Movement, or looking at the current situation of refugees in Amsterdam or Bethlehem, the artists seek to turn historical failures and contemporary strife into learning situations from which a viewer can find new inspiration.

Gluklya, Naeem Mohaiemen, Sandi Hilal and Alessandro Petti teach us about the human capacity to keep their head up during difficult times. 


Gluklya’s (Natalia Pershina-Jakimanskaya) practice contests power structures in public urban space. Her work process is playful and her studio often turns into a meeting place where people work together on conceptualizing clothes and making other useable artistic items. In 2017, Gluklya’s studio was positioned in the former Bijlmerbajes prison, a unique location where she initiated the Utopian Unemployment Union (UUU), a platform for long-term collaborations with refugees, asylum seekers, students, art practitioners, scholars and other people. Under the umbrella of the ‘UUU’ and in collaboration with TAAK and her collaborators, Gluklya developed the Carnival of the Oppressed Feelings – a protest performance in Amsterdam. This performance is now turned into an exhibition and on 3 March, a new addition to the Eindhoven Carnival will be made by Gluklya, with the support of Huiskamer Eindhoven and wonderful participants from different parts of the world.

Naeem Mohaiemen

Artist and historian Naeem Mohaiemen shows three works, including Two Meetings and a Funeral (2017), commissioned by documenta 14. Last Man in Dhaka Central (The Young Man Was, Part III) (2015) is a film about Peter Custers, a Dutch academic who becomes witness to a turbulent socialist period in Bangladesh in the 1970s. United Red Army (The Young Man Was, Part I) (2011) centers on the hijacking of a plane by Japanese radicals. All three films are inquiries into ‘global history’ and build on the unrealised possibilities of the past to question the present. They are fascinating and sometimes confronting images for a public accustomed to the comforts of political certainty, and they resonate with current European discussions about colonial history, postcolonial disappointment, and political futures.

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Sandi Hilal and Alessandro Petti

Sandi Hilal and Alessandro Petti combine their critical theoretical research with an architectural, artistic and pedagogical practice in service of justice and equality. They bridge architecture and art, examine the social, economic and political consequence of exile and displacement, and delve into public and private impermanent spaces. Positions #4 focusses on their work in Palestine over the past years particularly on the refugee camps and the illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank. In 2012, Hilal and Petti founded Campus in Camps as an experimental educational programme hosted in Dheisheh refugee camp in Bethlehem using collective discussions and courses to transform the notions of ‘space’ and ‘agency’ into practical, community-driven interventions. Recently they have been tracing the connections between people in the camp and the towns and villages from which they were displaced since 1948. The exhibition also features Tree School, a project developed with communities in Palestine and the North East of Braziland with Grupo Contrafilé: places where people gather for communal learning and production of knowledge grounded in lived experience and connected to communities.

This exhibition was originally organised by the art gallery at NYU Abu Dhabi (2018), and curated by Salwa Mikdadi and Bana Kattan.


Positions is a series of solo exhibitions set in dialogue with one another in the ten galleries of the Van Abbemuseum's old building. Each artist presents a significant body of work over more than one room, though the rooms are not evenly divided between each participant. The individual components of Positions are usually produced in collaboration with other international museums and art organisations. Positions is a platform to explore and introduce the most compelling contemporary visual, object-based and immaterial art approaches to our local and international publics.



Showing schedule of Naeem Mohaiemen's work

Two Meetings and a Funeral, 2017

In the exhibition - duration: 90 minutes: 11.00, 12.00, 14.00, 15.30.

On the first Thursday evening of the month the museum is open until 21.00, there will be screenings of the film at 17.00 and 18.30.


United Red Army (The Young Man Was, Part I), 2011

In the exhibition - duration: 75 minutes: 12.00, 13.15, 14.30, 15.45.

On the first Thursday evening of the month the museum is open until 21.00, there will be screenings of the film at 17.00 and 18.15.


Last Man in Dhaka Central (The Young Man Was, Part III), 2015

At the auditorium - speelduur: 82 minuten: 11.00, 12.30, 14.00, 15.30. When the Auditorium is rented out, the film will not be shown.


Press release 19.11.2019

Positions #4 consists of :


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