. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Assembly Architecture + Threshold Nest
Piet Zwart, Willem de Kooning Academy, Rotterdam NL, 2021
with Shailoh Phillips and 'Alternative Working Assembly'
funding reallocated from canceled Orel Festival commission

An occupation of the fire escape of the Piet Zwart Masters of Fine Art building emerged after students were forcibly denied to hang a banner in solidarity with Palestine and the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of Jerusalem. Seven days of protesting ensued; broadcasting readings on Palestine, sharing food and drink and loitering across concerned parties of students, alumni, teachers and coordinators. And for bodies to be able to stay an architecture of comfort and resistance is needed.

Continuing the pressure and occupation from our roles as teachers and co-organizers of an assembly to generate demands to the administration, we initiated a nest at the threshold of the academies front doors— a labyrinth of willow branches that extends the hospitality of the school beyond the doors that regulate who can say what where.

Thresholds are those in-between spaces of coming and going, the place for taking coats on and off, for mingling, for checking out a space before fully committing to entering. What happens when the threshold is expanded, and becomes a dedicated space of transitory safety and encounter— a place to actually practice the curriculum we were hired to teach.

The structure is the collective result of many hands and voices, to start a conversation about how far institutional control goes. We decided together which lines to follow, negotiating the weave to make a tension capable of holding messages, banners, flags and zines— to make spaces for intimacy and rest, or for assemblies and readings.