Treehouse NDSM Open Call: “TONGUES” Exhibition

Treehouse NDSM Open Call TONGUES Exhibition

Since the spring of 2022 the exhibition space of Treehouse NDSM has hosted exhibitions open to the public. Treehouse is located in an area with a history of arriving and leaving – a place where ships were built and people migrated or immigrated to and from all over the globe.

Areas where many cultures and languages come together are usually seen as spaces of friction, of in-betweenness. But those are also precisely the spaces where new interactions and ideas originate by sharing ideas through literature and art that together form new concepts of togetherness – of home.

To make use of this potential, Treehouse NDSM will organise Tongues, a group exhibition that aims to place different musings on concepts of home/homelessness, togetherness/separation and belonging/unbelonging alongside each other to form a multilingual, communal narrative of a sense of home. Each artist is encouraged to reflect upon a text in any language that is important to their sense of home and pair it with a visual artwork. Artists from all backgrounds and working in any medium are welcome to apply if their project fits the exhibition’s theme.


As moving and upholding friendships or family ties across the globe has become increasingly easy due to modern-day technologies, our sense of community has shifted, and so our sense of what ‘home’ constitutes. These global movements can create tension – feelings of homelessness or unbelonging – but at the same time they provide the opportunity to find new ways to communicate across different geographical locations, languages and cultural heritages. Communities become multicultural, multilingual and multidimensional, where differences and similarities can be taken as points of departure for new explorations of ‘home’.

Tongues encourages artists to do just that. Crossing borders not only between geographical locations or cultural groups, but also between textual and visual forms of expression. Together text and visual art can take on a symbiotic relationship, where they create new meaning filling in the gaps that the other one leaves open; a narrative that transcends boundaries of the textual/visual/spoken. By looking at texts that speak to their personal sense of home – a book that has travelled with someone, an oral text handed down through different generations, a poem that speaks to someone’s own feelings on the topic or a text that is culturally significant to someone like a folk tale – artists are asked to explore in their visual work what constitutes home to them, how they shape and reshape it and how it interacts with the self-created homes of those around them. By placing all these texts and artworks alongside each other, a multilingual and multimedia narrative will give shape to a new communal home.

Please submit your application through
 this form.

Deadline for Submissions: February 7th
Exhibition Dates: 
March 14th to April 7th, 2024


The curator of the exhibition, Ilse van Oosten, and the director of Treehouse NDSM, will select 10 artworks that bring different reflections on the topic of feelings of home or homelessness through text. The artworks will be exhibited on the 100m2-mezzanine of Treehouse NDSM’s Pavilion. There will also be space for one artist to set up a community art project based on the topic to take place before or during the exhibition. The jury will consider the relevance to the theme and the medium used, and will be especially interested in giving a voice to artists from Amsterdam Noord. An artistic fee will be given to each artist participating in the exhibition, with a separate, additional fee being available for the community art project.

Please keep in mind that Treehouse NDSM is not a traditional gallery space. Treehouse NDSM supports multi-disciplinary artists in bringing their projects to life by offering 100 individual and affordable studios for rent, as well as access to exhibition spaces and the opportunity of participating in a vibrant and collaborative artistic community. It is an artistic incubator where artists and audiences use their imagination to create their vision of the world. Ilse van Oosten is an editor for the indie-publisher HetMoet and a writer who seeks out the places where the boundaries between text and visual become blurred and how together, the two can enhance our ways of communicating and understanding societal and communal issues.


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