JONAS STAAL – Monument for the Chased-Off Citizens of Rotterdam

two-chanel video installation, 9’11”; 1′ 34”, loop

In the Monument for the Chased-Off Citizen of Rotterdam Jonas Staal is preoccupied with the possible directions of the development proposals to erect a monument to Rotterdam’s migrant workers in the Afrikaanderwijk settlement, which has been populated by migrant workers from Turkey, Morocco and South Eastern Europe from the early seventies. The proposal by Zenik Baran, Rotterdam’s Labour party councillor, in his debate with the leaders of the Leefbar party, right-wing populists, (un)expectedly turned into the Monument for the Chased-Off Citizens of Rotterdam: a white, heterosexual, Protestant, Dutch family of three – (ex)posing the homophobic and neo-colonial logic of the dominant ideology in this port city.

Jonas Staal (1981, NL) has studied monumental art in Enschede NL and Boston USA. His work includes interventions in public space, exhibitions, lectures and publications, which emphatically relate to political subjects and developments. From a Beuysian perspective he interprets democracy – democratism – as a Gesamtkunstwerk. His essay Post-propaganda (Fonds BKVB, 2009) and publication Power?… To Which People?! (Jap Sam Books, 2010) provides the theoretical basis for this line of work. Staal has realized projects for exhibitions in many respected international institutions and manifestations, including the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, the David Roberts Art Foundation in London and the 7th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art. He regularly publishes in magazines, such as Metropolis M and Manifesta Journal. Staal lives and works in Rotterdam, NL.