Kaus Australis at Tent. RCH#17: Artists as City Makers

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Coinciding with the 35-year existence of Kaus Australis, this presentation at Tent. not only celebrates its long history of providing space for cultural exchange and artistic production in a unique setting, it also questions how, in light of the current economic real estate “boom” in Rotterdam, the city deals with the shortage of affordable working space for artists.

On show untill 26-04-2020 at Tent. Rotterdam: please see this link for more info:

Kaus Australis is currently threatened to become homeless because their building is on a terrain now needed for the expansion of a municipal storage, which in turn has to move there because of plans for a big real estate development elsewhere in the city. The city’s quest for space to build more houses affects not only Kaus Australis. Many other buildings where artists and cultural makers have had space to develop their work and contribute to a thriving creative scene in Rotterdam have already been sold or are currently being sold to project developers with the aim of transforming them into houses. Meanwhile, finding a suitable terrain to build a new studiobuilding or an affordable existing space seems an almost impossible task due to strict zoning regulations, high prices and sheer lack of suitable plots. All this raises the question as to what price the city wants to fullfill its desire to build more houses, and what it can do to facilitate and guarantee spacesĀ for cultural purposes.

The presentation in Tent. therefore looks back at how Kaus’ current building came into being in the early 1990’s. Driven by similar processes and issues we are facing today, Kaus managed to design, build and pay for their own building to create a 35 year legacy of artistic production and cultural exchange through various programmes, all self-initiated. The difference being that back then, the municipality actually helped out by providing a terrain where they could build this unique studio building.

The presentation, through various files, correspondances and photos gives full insight into this process and the broader cultural developments in the city that have led up to the current state of emergency. Kaus is happy to be able to use the RCH platform for informing but hopefully also activating the right people that can aid to our quest and take part in a larger discussion about the future of the city.

Kaus is also planning another symposium on this subject, please keep an eye on our facebook and instagram pages for news updates.