Elian Somers

December, 2022

Publication of the longread The Streets Are our Brushes, The Squares our Palettes, a conversation between the artists Ine Lamers and Elian Somers, and Anke Bangma, director of TENT, Rotterdam. The longread is published on TENT Online, The Dialogue Room, and can be read on: www.tentrotterdam.nl

September 3 - October 15, 2022

Duo exhibition The Streets Are our Brushes, the Squares our Palettes, by Ine Lamers and Elian Somers at Pennings Foundation, Eindhoven (NL).
Visual artists Ine Lamers and Elian Somers have independently researched past and present utopias and their roles in political and ideological discourse and in global powerplays. From this shared interest they‘ve developed a joint exhibition The Streets Are our Brushes, the Squares our Palettes. A combination of photographic and cinematic images, cartographic drawings and audio works, installed in the monumental gallery space of Pennings Foundation invites the viewer to become part of a search for an unreachable ideal city.
The landscape plays a prominent role in the entire exhibition; it appears alternately as a magical landscape, as a utopian landscape, a revolutionary landscape, or as a layered, toxic landscape. For more info see: www.penningsfoundation.com

October 15, 2022

Conversation and roundtable discussion at the exhibition The Streets Are our Brushes, the Squares our Palettes at Pennings Foundation, Eindhoven. With contributions by the artists Ine Lamers, Elian Somers and Marjolijn Boterenbrood, and curator, researcher and writer Masha Domracheva.

October, 2022

Publication of the project California City in the magazine MONU #35 Unfinished Urbanism. California City is an investigation into an unfinished city holding itself between a sociologist’s ideological dream on community theory and the same sociologist’s intentional construction of a real estate bubble. For more info see: www.monu-magazine.com

July, 2021

Lucy Art Residency Talks Program, Kavala (GR), with contributions by Assaf Hinden, Milo Keller, Marten Lange, Stephanie Moshammer, Elian Somers and Grzegorz Stefanski. Lucy Art Residency is a residency program for visual artists working with photography, founded by Nikolas Ventourakis and Maria Mitzali.

March, 2021

Participation in programs Crime as Part of a Global Network and Citizens of the Anthropocene of the postgraduate course Dirty Old Town, Act Now!, at the Independent School for the City, Rotterdam, as the initial research for the new project The City of Other (working title).

July, 2019

Research trip for the new project A Stone from the Moon - Capital City.
A Stone from the Moon - Capital City is about the interplay between architecture and urban planning, ideologies and geopolitics, and investigates a city of the future in the heart of Eurasia. The project A Stone from the Moon - Capital City is generously supported by the Mondriaan Fund, Amsterdam.

March 26, 2019

Lecture The Other Landscape at Stichting ZAP (Zwols Architectuur Podium)/Stadkamer, Zwolle.
The Other Landscape is a lecture about the utopian urban landscape, the landscape of architecture, urbanism and ideologies. By means of photography, text, maps and archival material, Elian Somers leads the audience through a series of utopian landscapes - among others the modernist, socialist and neoliberal urban landscape. Within these urban landscapes various perspectives on truth, reality and history intermingle. For more info see: www.stichtingzap.nl

November 22, 2018

Salon World of Noon #3 - On Urbanism and the Cultural Cold War, with contributions by the artist and filmmaker Lene Berg, ZK/U (Center for Art and Urbanistics) - Olesia Vitiuk, Elian Somers and Carola Hein, professor and head of the History of Architecture and Urban Planning Chair at Delft University of Technology. The salon is organised by Air Berlin Alexanderplatz (Susanne Kriemann, Aleksander Komarav and Beatrijs Dikker), in collaboration with Elian Somers, and takes place at the Berlinische Galerie. The salon focuses on the Cold War battle of ideologies by means of cultural production; particularly urban planning and architecture. For more info see:
Invitation - World of Noon #3 (pdf) and ABA (Air Berlin Alexanderplatz)

September 23, 2017

Presentation of the new book One and Another State of Yellow at Unseen Book Market, Amsterdam.
The work One and Another State of Yellow (2013–2017) by Elian Somers studies the interplay between urban planning, ideologies and psychological warfare around two landscapes of ‘war’ in the United States of America: El Paso on the United States-Mexico border and Washington DC, its capital city. El Paso is an American double city with Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. In 2010 Juárez was listed as the deadliest city in the world. At the same time El Paso was listed as the safest city of the United States. Washington DC can be seen as the US overall war and control apparatus.
Both the landscapes of El Paso and Washington DC are in the grasp of all kind of plans, systems and thought experiments which give various perspectives on reality – both from the field of architecture and urban planning, as from the field of strategic planning. For more info see: www.fw-books.nl

August 26, 2017

Salon The Guide, the Author and the Scientist, Disclosed #8, Het Wilde Weten, Rotterdam, with contributions by Ine Lamers, Elian Somers and guest Raymond van den Boogaard.
The program is the first outcome of an ongoing conversation between Ine Lamers and Elian Somers about the Russian landscape and the way ideologies and architectures write and rewrite its history. Both artists have undertaken long-term projects in Russia over the last few years and recently started new projects in, or around, the Russian Federation. Their practices share a common approach: As the Russian landscape evokes wonderment and speculations on its reality, history and truth, Somers and Lamers examine the nature of the natural landscape and the multiple realities within the appearing reality. Questions that have come up in their meetings will form the starting points for a salon evening and accompanying presentations.
For more info see: www.hetwildeweten.nl

February 28, 2016

The work One and Another State of Yellow - From the Monument is presented as an artist contribution at Open! Platform for Art, Culture & the Public Domain. In close collaboration with Stroom Den Haag, Open! started the research theme Culture of Control, which critically discusses how the primacy of control and security has further developed in recent years. Culture of Control contains contributions by Michael Seemann, Marc Schuilenburg & Rik Peeters, Clare Birchall and Elian Somers.
The work can be viewed at: www.onlineopen.org

April 22 - July 10, 2016

Exhibition Utopian Dreams at TENT, Rotterdam, with works by Wim Gijzen, John Körmeling, Claes Oldenburg, Rem Koolhaas-OMA, Utopia, Atelier Van Lieshout; Elfie Tromp, Elian Somers, Richard Hutten, Han Hoogerbrugge, Cookies. The exhibition is curated by Reyn van der Lugt in collaboration with Mariette Dölle and Marjolein van de Ven. For more info see: www.tentrotterdam.nl

June 01, 2016

Discussion event Rotterdam and the River, TENT, Rotterdam.
Rotterdam is one of the world's largest harbour cities; the Maas is the engine upon which the city runs. However, the 'harbour' is now many kilometres away from the city and the river divides Rotterdam into two unequal parts. Now that Rotterdam plans to build two new bridges, the question of how the city relates to the river is again of interest. On Wednesday 1 June at 20:00, the artists John Körmeling and Elian Somers and the artists collective Utopia discuss with moderator Christine de Baan the magic of the Maas. The evening takes place as part of the Utopian Dreams group exhibition, curated by Reyn van der Lugt, which features artists' extraordinary plans and dreams for Rotterdam. For more info see: www.tentrotterdam.nl

August 26 - October 2, 2016

Exhibition The (In)constancy of Space - Struggle for Identity, Arti et Amicitae, Amsterdam. The exhibition is a group multimedia exhibition which includes works by eminent Dutch and Croatian Contemporary visual artists dealing with the concept of man made space and its (in)constancy, not only in physical sense but also on sociological, symbolical, psychological and ideological level. The exhibition includes works of the artists Anke Van den Berg, Robbie Cornelissen, Tanja Deman, Darko Fritz, Antonio Grgic, Igor Grubic, Zachary Formwalt, Zeljko Kipke, Zlatko Kopljar, Margareta Lekic, Ferenc Molnar, Zoltan Novak, Neli Ruzic, Sara Rajaei, Sandro Setola, Rik Smits, Elian Somers, Marjan Teeuwen, Rob Voerman, Danijel Zezelj, and is curated by Neva Lukic. For more info see: www.arti.nl

September - December 2015

Working period at Air Berlin Alexanderplatz (ABA), Berlin. ABA is a residency program based in the centre of Berlin. ABA hosts international artists, designers, curators, architects and critical writers. Residents work on specific projects related to the city of Berlin with a focus on research-based practice. The residency is generously supported by the Mondriaan Fund, Amsterdam. To find out more see www.airberlinalexanderplatz.de