➨ From the scale of living bodies, to landmasses, and even on a planetary one – our world is saturated with processes and relations that are exhausting. This exhaustion is consequential; we glamorise producing but overlook the exhaustion and even fatigue that might follow it. The social and political pressure on maintaining a constant production comes at a price: perpetual work, overproduction, and as a result, consuming precarious bodies and other planetary resources.

➧ In addition to this perpetual exhaustion as a result of (over)productivity, exhaustion comes as a consequence of unjust sociopolitical and economic orders that prioritise it. It is for these reasons that ideas and practices of ‘comfort’ are crucial in imagining a different future world. We feel the need to investigate comfort in a way that goes beyond constructed and capitalist ideas; comfort is more than just the process of rejuvenation for the purpose of maintaining a certain level of productivity. Therefore, imagining other conceptions of comfort means imagining different sociopolitical orders and ways of performing in the world; it is a practice with political urgency.

➠ Both exhaustion and ‘comfort’ can be understood as states, performances, landscapes, and conditions that constantly shape our understandings of the world around us – they all influence the ways in which we inhabit, and make space in it.

➟ Within this world, ‘home’ is a locus of various dimensions of living practices. On the one hand home is a space of production of work, experiencing exhaustion and fatigue, and resting of the (tired) bodies. On the other hand home stands for ideas and forms of inhabiting the world. In short, home can be seen as a landscape where exhaustion and comfort are entangled together.

➞ The collective project Fictioning Comfort includes works that take an urgent socio-political stance by fictioning ideas and practices of ‘comfort’. This is done by way of spatial installation, body performance, historical research, science fiction, image making, resource redistribution, extending kinships, and humor.

➛ ➜ ➔ ➝ ➞ ➟ ➠ ➧ ➨ The offline part of Fictioning Comfort is on view at MAMA's Showroom until 13 September, 2020.

Fictioning Comfort

Atelier Van Lieshout is the studio founded by sculptor and visionary Joep van Lieshout. After graduating at the Rotterdam Art Academy Van Lieshout quickly rose to fame with projects that travelled between the world of easy-clean design and the non-functional area of art: sculpture and installations, buildings and furniture, utopias and dystopias.

In 1995, Van Lieshout founded his studio and has been working solely under the studio’s name ever since. The studio moniker exists in Van Lieshout’s practice as a methodology toward undermining the myth of the artistic genius. Over the past three decades, Van Lieshout has established a multidisciplinary practice that produces works on the borders between art, design, and architecture. By investigating the thin line between manufacturing art and mass-producing functional objects, he seeks to find the boundaries between fantasy and function, between fertility and destruction.

Van Lieshout dissects systems, be it society as a whole or the human body; he experiments, looks for alternatives, takes exhibitions as experiments for recycling, and has even declared an independent state in the port of Rotterdam AVL-Ville (2001)—a free state in the Rotterdam harbour, with a minimum of rules, a maximum of liberties, and the highest degree of autarky.  All of these activities are conducted within Van Lieshout’s signature style of provocation—be it political or material.

Van Lieshout combines an imaginative aesthetic and ethic with a spirit of entrepreneurship; his work has motivated movements in the fields of architecture and ecology, and has been internationally celebrated, exhibited, and published. His works share a number of recurring themes, motives, and obsessions: systems, power, autarky, life, sex, and death—each of these trace the human individual in the face of a greater whole such as his well-known work the Domestikator (2015). This sculpture caused controversy before even being placed at the Louvre in Jardin de Tuilleries, but was adopted by Centre Pompidou where it was shown during FiAC (2017).


Analisa Teachworth (b.1985 Detroit, Michigan) is a New York City-based multidisciplinary artist whose practice encompasses digital media, sculpture, installation, and performance. Focusing on methods that address the materiality and mythology of identity and displacement, Teachworth’s works tie together personal and allegorical histories. Exploring these collective liminal states links her Indigenous Hispanic ancestry to the contextualizing intersections of disembodiment, adoption, and the vivifying emptiness contained within her upbringing in the landscape of abandoned industrial Detroit, MI.

Highlighting the agency of ethics used within contemporary technologies, Teachworth uses sculpture, installation, digital and audio formats, as tools for remodeling our relationship to the artificial. Teachworth’s methods of storytelling reveal how our technological systems function as a reality machine that defines most of our psychological and physical economies, extending far beyond our inner selves. The performa- tive elements of her practice explore these technological tensions with a particular focus and critical reflection on the history of femininity and post-colonialism. Through her intuitive agenda, Teachworth envisions a new form of communication on both psychological and technological levels that seeks to reclaim and reconstruct not just her own experiences, but the narrative of our collective history itself.

Teachworth’s works have been exhibited at institutions including The Shed, New York; FRAGILE, Berlin; MoMA PS1; Hamburger Bahnhof Staatliche Museen, Berlin; Kunst-Werke Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin; and The New Museum, New York. She lives and works in New York City.


austeja platukyte is a creative researcher working in between the disciplines of material design and science, technology, and craft. her creative solutions are systematically linked to the theme of organic matter and a topic of materials transformation into other forms, introducing new social, cultural, economic, and psychological context into her creative process. in each of her projects, the artist seeks to highlight the relevance of the creative process, gain real experience in the development of new materials. austeja combines experimental research with the imagination and interpretation of existing knowledge. she explores the fundamental ecological problems, emphasizing subjective emotional involvement, and questioning the values of an anthropocentric society. departing from the aesthetic, formal, and functional definitions austeja seeks to discover alternative design methods that will resist the logic of universality, functionality, and overall beauty dictated by large-scale industry

in her practice, the past, the present, and the future are connected thru natural materials. the artist is trying to read the past, understand the properties of each material, and make a conversation between herself and the material. she seeks to rethink the relationship between humans and nature, questioning today’s scientific information, and speculate the material futures. she raises the fundamental question about how creative practices can be focused on the social, cultural, and political realms that will only remain in the geological layers of the earth, and how we can raise the discussion about today's situation to create alternative and unpredictable future scenarios? she's trying to imagine the material flows and traces we will leave behind as a species while collaborating with basic elements of nature - time and biodegradation. her biodegradable objects could be considered as independent things, changing with time, and creating their own story while transforming into new hybrid materials and coming back into different layers of the earth, which in the future could become new forms of art. in that way, the artist contribute to the never-ending world transformation processes


The Jan van Eyck Academie welcomes Giulia Bellinetti, recently appointed as Coordinator of the Nature Research department and runner of the Future Materials Lab.

Previously, she was Coordinator of the Production Department at the M HKA, the Museum of Contemporary Art of Antwerp. In this experience, she engaged with a wide range of art practices gaining a nuanced understanding of the cognitive, affective, and material configurations underlying contemporary art production. In recent years, Giulia has become increasingly interested in the ecological discourse in relation to contemporary art, institutional work and interdisciplinary forms of collaborations. She is currently conducting a PhD research project on the epistemic function of art institutions in the age of ecological crisis at the Amsterdam School of Cultural Analysis (University of Amsterdam).

The Nature Research department aims to provide guidance and develop tools and insights concerning the climate crisis, benefitting the institute, its organisation and participants, as well as the creative practices of others working in the arts. Operating as an ecosystem, it grows and builds networks within the academy and beyond. It allows for traversing to other disciplines to collaborate and exchange knowledge with other professions, such as (landscape) architects, farmers, microbiologists, anthropologists, (climate) scientists, philosophers and many other experts.

In the transition towards global sustainability, the department has developed the Future Materials Lab; inviting artists to cultivate a more holistic and sustainable practice by proposing materials that are non-toxic (both for human health and the environment), biodegradable or environmentally friendlier.