The Basis for a Song [2005]

analogue silde installation with soundtrack 
subtitles projected separately
24 min.

Milford Kendall (aka Scep)
Romeo K. Gambier (aka Mixmaster Fader)
Winston Belliot
Gio Doemoeng
Herman Helle
Geeske Kanters
Delano Miles
Viola van Oostrom
Sophia Prinz
Carlijn Stevens

Marit Shalem

Waterfront Studios, Rotterdam

filmed on location
Waterfront Studios, Rotterdam

comissioned by
Ruth Noack and Roger Buergel for ‘Be What You Want But Stay Where You Are’, as part of ‘Die Regierung’ at Witte de With, Rotterdam

The Basis for a Song concentrates on political mechanisms of tolerance and rapid integration – as observed, for example, in the Netherlands. These are mechanisms that allow conflictual relationships to be avoided and take energy away from common forms of resistance or even civic responsibility. The ‘song’ appears through stories, which link the present to a significant period in the recent history of Rotterdam: the late ’70s and early ’80s, when rebellious squatting and a punk movement developed a visible form of living differently, which was tolerated and soon even integrated into official policy. Throughout the ’70s a significant number of immigrants arrived in Rotterdam and a ‘city renewal’ project reshaped large parts of the inner city; today, the occupation of space is more economically driven and therefore much more pervasive. One of the present-day local modes of music production is hip hop, which has a DIY approach and works with free associative patterns. Two voices from the Rotterdam hip hop scene, Milford Kendall and Romeo K. Gambier (aka Mixmaster Fader), helped develop and perform the script – both are of Surinamese descent and their own story takes place quietly between the outspoken issues.


Installation view of As Occasions, solo presentation at Tent. Rotterdam, 2008. Photograph by Bob Goedewaagen

Installation view of Cinema Olanda: Platform, Witte de With Rotterdam, 2017. Photography by Kristien Daem

Installation view of Hinter den Vierten Wand, Generali Foundation, Vienna, 2010

Installation view of tono lengua boca, solo presentation at CA2M, Madrid, 2019