Creating Homes: OPENING

Exhibition: Free event
Art & expo - Thu 15 June 2023
WORM Rotterdam
Start → 17:00
End → 22:30

Squish invites you to an unconventinal exhibition with queer reading café and extanded programmes from 15th of June till 24th of June.

From June 15th, the doors of the exhibition Creating Homes will be open for you, offering an intimate space to enjoy artworks and local zines presenting and questioning how to make or belong to alternative and chosen families, sharing queer perspectives on intimate affinities. Our programme is full of surprises, cuteness, and various activities such as workshops, performances, movies, dance, and beauty care. Bring your loved ones, humans and non-humans, for a coffee, a haircut, a reading moment, or a sun bath in our mini garden.
Exchange a picture with you, a kid’s drawing, or anything to put on our family wall for tea or coffee.
Let’s redefine family together as people who love and trust you, the ones who are a part of your life and have a positive impact on you, the ones who make you grow, think, and feel safe, but also the ones you enjoy fighting with and fighting for.

Programme: OPENING event
16:00-21:00 exhibition opening w Madeline Swainhart, Sirah Artist, Grazia Gallo, Jessie Tam, graphic designer by Geo Baracan
16:00 Door Open
17:00-19:00 Workshop by Creative Womxn Rotterdam
19:00-20:30 cooking workshop by Anna Schlooz
20:45-21:00 Giant Meditation by Judy Young

Exhibition description
Remember when you were a kid, building homes with anything you could find, making huts with blankets and chairs, and being protected from the outside world? Then imagine being back in such an intimate and safe space, with an uncanny yet warm twist. Now you have a blurry idea of the exhibition built by Grazia Gallo, Jessie Tam, Sirah Artist, and Madeline Swainhart. These four artists organically merged their installations—a hair salon, trash babies, befriending geese, and alternative nuclear family representations—to bring you with love and tenderness into claiming space and enjoying queered chosen families.

About the makers
Madeline Swainhart:
Biography: Madeline Swainhart is a USA born (1997) visual artist and writer. Currently based in The Hague, Netherlands. Madeline explores representations of queer families through self
portraiture, moving image, and installation. Their most recent publication Nuking the Nuclear Family can be found in bookstores throughout the Netherlands and New York City. Madeline’s work utilizes the combination of text, image, sound, and textiles to examine the act of nurturing and its role within gender and the home.

Statement: For young Maddie, who had so much care to give but couldn’t see any caring characters who looked like them.
You are my muse.

Sirah Artist:
Biography: I am Sirah Haris (He/They) an illustrator based in Rotterdam (NL) and Luxemburg. I am queer, Bosnian-Montenegrin, and was born and raised in Luxembourg.
Statement: Currently, I am exploring the medium of poetry comics as a way to express aspects of my experience as a human, but specifically as a queer Balkan diaspora kid that is trying their best to navigate through this confusing web of identities. The theme of identity and the struggles of fitting in spans across my illustrations, zines, and sculptures.

Grazia Gallo:
Biography: Grazia Gallo was born in the south of Italy in 1991. She grew up in one of the largest prefabricated building complexes in the city of Salerno. She has been raised by a working-class family that is still paying the consequences for the Italian politicians’ failures to deliver on their promises. For this reason, at the age of nineteen, she migrated to the Netherlands, hoping to find a better and brighter future.
Her practice focuses on collecting and assembling mostly abandoned objects and materials, transforming them into new sculpture-installations.
She is interested in the idea behind Home " a space of negotiation between the multiple subjects who inhabit it, therefore called to find new constant equilibriums in existing as individuals and coexisting as a collective".

Jessie Tam:
Biography: Jessie graduated from Frank Mohr Institute in 2021 and received a BA in Fine Art from CUHK in 2018. She is an interdisciplinary artist and co-founder of Struggling Art Space. By cutting herself into many many little parts, she is somewhere here, somewhere there. If working a part-time job is to make space for things to come, she learns how not to let funding applications steal her creative time. Jessie moved on to know what she wanted to attain, but she kept a place for her creative practice, so as to give place to unwanted objects, unspoken experiences, and small whispers.

Artist statement: Jessie listens to the unheard voice of unwanted materials and works with inanimate objects or beings in search of relationships that do not live out in a conventional social pattern. Her work is a game of intimacy, wherein everything is carefree, humorous, child-like, low-brow, easy-to-make, and not meant to last. She hopes to deal with all kinds of power relations that lie not only in social and political systems but also in intimate and personal relationships.

**Creative Womxn Rotterdam: ** In this workshop we invite you to first get inspired on the topic of community, family, and belonging; you can settle into our chill out zone and listen to interviews between friends and family on the topic of belonging – in these intimate conversations we explored what belonging means in our lives. CWR is a group focused on creating community, in this way, it is a form of chosen family itself and so we asked the members of our community to share their tips on creating community/belonging or coping with a lack of it. Participants can peruse the mini-exhibition featuring these insights alongside photography from CWR meetups before joining the zine workshop.

With the help of CWR hosts, participants are invited to create their own zine. Aided by the facilitators, participants can use the materials provided to create their own mini-publication on this theme.

About Squish
Squish is a queer and feminist cultural platform supporting culture-makers belonging to gender and sexual minorities. Through the use of multidisciplinary events, mainly exhibitions and movie nights, the organisation questions identity politics by applying an intersectional approach. Therefore, attempting to redefine and question contemporary proletariat, the organisation shares perspectives from queer folks, working class makers, non-Dutch and non-white people, and gender minorities, emphasising self-representation. Combining research-based and nonacademic approaches, the organisation mixes entertainment, arts, and community support.
Director: Aubane Berthommé Martinez
Production assistant + music programmer: Georgie Hazelgove
Resident graphic designer: Geo Barcan
Graphic design assistant: Yassin Niemandsdochter