What happens when ideas rooted in text and textile techniques intersect with a military fortress in search of peaceful futures?

A collaboration between Kunstfort bij Vijfhuizen and the TXT department of the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam.  

The works will be on show inside and around the fort from Saturday 13 May until Monday 29 May 2023.

Address: Fort­wachter 1, 2141 EE Vijfhuizen

Participating students: Lian Bi, Nanna-Lucie Bregendahl-Axilgård, Rosa van Burik, Julia De Martino, Lou Elie dit Cosaque, Emma van Herk, Hanna IJsselstein Mulder, Adèle Josse, Anna Klas, Freja Kristiansen, Sojin Lee, Chichy Obi, Carl-Johan Paulsen, Aimée Phillips, Sterre Pomper, Sophie Refsgaard, Audrey Ristawati, Olivia de Ruiter, Kristina Schädler, Hannah Smith, Dariya Trubina, Caro de Valk, Luis Weber, Marie-Sophie Willfort, Ondine Williams, Jule Wolfs and Nikola Woudstra.

As part of the collaboration between Kunstfort bij Vijfhuizen and TXT, the textile department of the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam, the three years of TXT students will take over the Kunstfort and present their ideas during a public programme on Saturday May 13th, starting at 13:00h. On that same afternoon at the Kunstfort, Alaa Abu Asad, artist researcher and Fellow at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie’s lectorate, will give a lecture entitled: “In the absence of the invasive: Can we finally look at the Japanese Knotweed as a green future companion?” Also, the Department of Graphic Design and Public Rietveld & Projects will present a publication highlighting the collaboration, the research process and outcomes. See below for the detailed programme schedule. The students’ works will be on show up to (Pentacost) Monday May 29th.

Some works revolve around the history of the Kunstfort and connections to colonial times. For example, the architecture of the fort is explored, as well as its connection to obsolete mud shelters, queerness and piracy. Also, students have examined the Indonesian Wayang kulit form of puppetry and cabaret art and its relationship to leisure and entertainment during wartime; as well as alternative and multiple identities from a ‘military’ perspective. Collective cooking sessions with local edible plants will serve as a way for colonial histories to unfold while taking a political stand.

Other students dove into the various human and non-human communities and ecologies around Kunstfort, using local flora to create collective gatherings, dried plants for sculptural pieces and dug up soil and pumped up water as elements for making fluid refuge and grounding rituals. The students will also examine the agricultural landscape surrounding Kunstfort, as well as noise pollution and how this impacts the environment.

Again other students focused on textile techniques and writing as tools for storytelling and change. Join them for a boat ride around the fort, have conversations while weaving and knotting willow branches or shave old garments in communal workshops. Also pay attention to nooks and crannies in the building waiting to be filled up with fictional stories and new realities.


Programme 13.05.2023

13:00h - 16:00h: ongoing programme – possibility to explore the students' workshops, performances and interactions in and around the fort.

16:00h - 17:00h: introduction by Kunstfort’s director Rabiaâ Benlahbib and lecture by Alaa Abu Asad -- TXT fellow at LASP: Lectoraat Art & Spatial Praxis, Gerrit Rietveld Academie.

17:00h - 17:15h: closing performance by student.


At the TXT department, the relationship between materiality and the written word is examined from various perspectives. Theory, philosophy, reading and (creative) writing play an important role in mapping the historical, aesthetic, social, political and material value of textiles. This can result in new materials, autonomous work or socially committed statements in the form of an essay, lecture, publication, performance or intervention in public space.

Through this collaboration, Kunstfort bij Vijfhuizen and TXT enable students to create and show work outside the academy and be informed and inspired by the ecology, heritage and people on and around the fort, and the questions and issues that these raise.

Campaign by Özgür Deniz Koldaş, Rietveld Academie graphic design student