Witte de With’s Melanchotopia is an exhibition that invites more than forty international artists to work with different venues in the city-center of Rotterdam – places where people live and work – and to activate their potential as spaces for ideas, discourse and invention.
From large-scale interventions to very simple gestures, Melanchotopia supports a range of artistic practices that go beyond the classical approach to displaying art in public space. Working with the existing dynamics of the city, Witte de With’s intention is to bring forward the diverse layers of daily life in Rotterdam, creating a rich framework for subjective encounters. It is an exhibition about the reality of Rotterdam.
Today, Rotterdam seems to be on hold between its past and its future: filled with nostalgia for the pre-WWII city and in wait for the utopian future, which is perpetually stalled in unfinished developments and reconstructions. Projections about yesterday and tomorrow drive the image of the city, that seems to lack a present. Melanchotopia performs the present of the city through the specific practice of each artist.
Over the course of the exhibition Witte de With’s galleries will be reconfigured to become the epicenter of Melanchotopia. The projects, which spread throughout Rotterdam’s center, are brought together via a graphic mapping. Besides its new function as an information center, Witte de With will be equipped with a designed bookshop and an auditorium dedicated to a sideprogram of lectures and artist talks. Here you can buy the exhibition guide with Melanchotopia map. The comprehensive educational program provides guided tours, art encounters and a special audio tour.
Michael van den Abeele, Saâdane Afif, Harold Ancart, Danaï Anesiadou, Sven Augustijnen, Dirk Bell, Michael Beutler, Guillaume Bijl, Pierre Bismuth, Monica Bonvicini, George van Dam, Thea Djordjadze, Jean-Pascal Flavien, Olivier Foulon, Murray Gaylard, Filip Gilissen, Adam Gillam, Arnoud Holleman, Adrià Julià, Leon Kahane, Erik van Lieshout, Minouk Lim, Sarah Morris, Alex Morrison, Kate Newby, Ricardo Okaranza, Henrik Plenge Jakobsen, Nina Pohl, Tomo Savić-Gecan, Markus Schinwald, Slavs and Tatars, Mårten Spångberg, Tobias Spichtig, Nasrin Tabatabai & Babak Afrassiabi, Zin Taylor, Harald Thys & Jos De Gruyter, Octavian Trauttmansdorff, Kostis Velonis, Lidwien van de Ven, Peter Wächtler, Lawrence Weiner.
Curated by
Nicolaus Schafhausen and Anne-Claire Schmitz
Curatorial assistants: Thomas Cuckle, Amira Gad, Fabian Schoeneich and Sam Sterckx.

Witte de With – Center for Contemporary Art, SPAR Corandewal, Pathé Schouwburgplein, Weenink Bedrijfskleding, ROTTERDAM.INFO, Museum Rotterdam, Robeco, Bar Mon Cheri, Shop Erotica, Avondwinkel Alexia, Galerie VIVID, Willibrordschool, Rotterdamse centrum markt, Grotekerkplein, Beurs-World Trade Center, Stadswinkel Centrum Stadhuis, GRAND HOTEL CENTRAL, Q-Park Weena, Het Schieblock, The Manhattan Hotel, Nationale-Nederlanden, Rotterdam Centraal, Groot Handelsgebouw & Engels Grandcafé Restaurant Zalen, Rotterdamse Schouwburg, Mauritsplaats, Pauluskerk, Van Urk Piano’s & Vleugels, Jan Segeren herenmode, De Karel Doorman, Queens of Rings, Bilderberg Parkhotel, Buro Rietveld / Dutch Style Company, Stiltecentrum Erasmus MC, Hartman Binnenhuisadviseurs, De Havenloods.