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Curated by TOK (curators Anna Bitkina and Maria Veits), Get Real! is an exhibition project about housing, real estate and new forms of coexistence in shifting political realities. 

Changing patterns of urban growth and infrastructure, the financialization of real estate and increasing social division make affordable housing one of the most urgent and painful topics for megacity residents around the world. The notion of 'home' is no longer associated as much with feelings of safety and comfort, as it is largely related to the issues of one’s economic opportunities (or the lack thereof), limited social mobility, maintaining one's emotional health or seeking shelter. In the situation of war, technological catastrophe or economic collapse, homes are often abandoned, destroyed or occupied by others, while tenants or homeowners can turn into refugees in a split second. Fragility of architecture and living spaces as we see block buildings wrecked - either as a result of bombings, fires, radical gentrification processes or resettlement of large groups of people  - reminds us of vulnerability of any life and how it can by devaluated by aggressive appetites of governments and corporations. 

Based on extensive research conducted by its participants in 2019-2020 under the umbrella of TOK’s ongoing project Critical Mass, the exhibition consists of eight projects informed by the pressing and complex socio-political matters. Participating artists studied them through the lenses of urban development, enforced relocation mechanisms, contemporary and historical housing conditions in post-socialist and neoliberal contexts as well as environmental processes affecting growth and disappearance of urban constellations. In addition to analysis of the political grounds of housing conditions, presented works also stimulate one’s  political imagination and  environmental awareness by proposing new formats of coexistence and resisting the subjugating scenarios of the future imposed by the state.

About TOK

The Creative Association of Curators TOK is a female curatorial collective co-founded in 2010 by Anna Bitkina and Maria Veits in St. Petersburg as a platform for research projects at the intersection of contemporary art, social sciences, architecture and socially oriented design. Often working outside of usual art spaces, TOK infiltrates into social structures, bringing their strains and corrupt functions into the public discourse in order to revisit the roles and powers of social institutions and redraft their potential future. 

Participating artists

Merve Bedir and Alicam Inal, Elena Kolesnikova, Nina Støttrup Larsen, Lyubov Matyunina, METASITU, Roman Osminkin, Anastasia Slavina, Yuri Veerman


Het Nieuwe Instituut
Museumpark 25
3015 CB Rotterdam

Het Nieuwe Instituut
Maud Vervenne