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After two months of forced closure, public life is slowly restarting. While Het Nieuwe Instituut has developed alternative formats and remained open online, it's now possible to open physically again  and so develop more hybrid programming in the near future. Our perspective will continue to be nurtured by the need for different voices, both socially and ecologically. It is our assignment, and we also feel it is a necessity, to supply inspiration and perspectives while providing creative commissions for designers, theorists and makers. After all, since its foundation the institute has linked the role and importance of design to precisely those social issues, which are once again proving their urgency.

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During the week of 6 to 11 July 2020, Het Nieuwe Instituut is celebrating the opening of two exhibitions, Atelier Nelly & Theo van Doesburg and Gijs Bakker & K. Schippers: Basics, with a series of events. Poet K. Schippers introduces the festivities at the beginning of the week by reciting a poem, recorded in the garden of Huis Sonneveld. Monday 6 July 2020, from 7pm

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The Unusual in the Everyday: Two New Exhibitions, One Opening Week

During the week of 6 to 11 July 2020, Het Nieuwe Instituut is celebrating the opening of two exhibitions with a series of online events. Atelier Nelly and Theo van Doesburg and Gijs Bakker & K. Schippers: Basics can then be visited from 11 July at the institute and Sonneveld House respectively.

Dutch poet K. Schippers opens the online festivities with a poetry reading. He also talks to designer Gijs Bakker and fellow poet Dean Bowen about their shared fascination for the unusual in the everyday. In addition, there’s a new online edition of the digital treasure hunt to find the locations of the holiday photos in the archives of Abraham and Hermine Elzas. This public research project should lead to more insights into the interests of the pair, who played an important role in the life of Theo and Nelly van Doesburg.

Theatre maker and writer Neske Beks examines the Black storylines in the history of the Van Doesburg’s house in Meudon, and DJ Thelonius will respond to these with a set devoted to jazz pianist Thelonious Monk, who belonged to the circle of Nelly van Doesburg’s friends. Also during the opening week, poet Dean Bowen and goldsmith Nastasia Gendreau will host a workshop during which they, and participants, will move between writing poems and designing and making jewellery. Meanwhile Machiel Spaan and Rozalie Hirs discuss the architectural sound installation they developed during their joint stay in the Van Doesburg’s house.

Poetry and Jewellery Design Workshop

Create jewellery and poetry as you explore the relationship between the two in this combined workshop by goldsmith Nastasia Gendreau and poet Dean Bowen. During the workshop, you’ll dive into the stories behind the materials. What are the materials saying? Where do their stories meet your own? And how to translate all of this into a poem or a piece of jewellery?

Atelier Nelly and Theo van Doesburg

An alternative look at the work of Nelly and Theo van Doesburg, made possible in part by the recent restoration and digitisation of the Van Doesburg architecture archive. The exhibition views Nelly as a key figure in the development of the reputation of Theo Van Doesburg and De Stijl. Their most distinctive project plays a central role in the exhibition: the studio house in Meudon, a suburb of Paris.

Disclosing Architecture

Under the title Disclosing Architecture, a six-year programme was launched in 2019 to improve the visibility and accessibility of the National Collection for Architecture and Urban Planning, made possible by a one-off investment from the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW). In addition to projects in the field of restoration, conservation and digitisation, research projects will also be initiated in the coming years together with the Research and Programme departments and the Jaap Bakema Study Centre.

Gijs Bakker & K. Schippers: Basics

For the exhibition in Sonneveld House, Gijs Bakker and K. Schippers select combinations of their jewellery and poems from their extensive oeuvres.

Nelly & Peggy Guggenheim

A series of online articles called Nelly &... appears with the exhibition, providing more insight into the life of Nelly, her artistic network and her fundamental role in the promulgation and perception of Theo van Doesburg’s work. When she first met Peggy Guggenheim, Nelly talked a lot about her husband Theo and his work. Peggy was only moderately interested: “I was not in the least impressed and thought she was funny. I allowed her little by little to force her way into my life.” In Atelier Nelly and Theo van Doesburg, Nelly emerges as a personality able to connect the most diverse circles and networks.

Interventions at Sonneveld House

The exhibition Basics is part of the series Interventions in which designers and artists respond to Sonneveld House or give a new interpretation of the term ‘museum house’. For example, artist Santiago Borja installed an observatory on the roof of Sonneveld House in 2016, reflecting the spiritual thinking which helped to form the ideology of the Nieuwe Bouwen movement and so Sonneveld House itself.

Commissioning in the Time of Covid-19

Every week, Het Nieuwe Instituut invites a designer to make a cover for the online magazine in response to the question: What’s occupying you now? This week's cover is by Joop Schoën: "The work focusses on the amounts of pop culture we consume in time of pandemic as a form of escapism. Short-time pleasures like videogames, junk food, and other quick fixes are generally seen as a waste of time. But during a period of quarantine and self-isolation, these forms of escapism can give a sense of freedom and accomplishment. I believe Johan Huizinga’s “Homo Ludens” theory is now more relevant than ever."