Large numbers of migrants are risking their lives in order to enter Europe. We see images of small boats afloat at sea, men in helmets and a deluge of drowned refugees. We hear about illegal settlements, desperate families and ruthless smugglers. The journeys of these refugees stand in stark contrast to the free movement of inhabitants of the European Union. While the world seems within arm’s reach to Europeans because of the euro, the open borders and the cheap airline tickets, the continent is becoming a closed fortress from the outside. Discussions revolve around migration, social inequality and the moving of feet that has always been part and parcel of these issues.

The exhibition The Measure of our Traveling Feet focuses on the social and cultural significance of migration. What does the world beyond the border have to offer? In which ways does travel change the past and alter identities? Paulien Oltheten has documented her journey on current and historical routes from eastern and central Europe to the west. Shilpa Gupta immerses us in the confusion that is typical of arrival in an unfamiliar environment, while Mounira Al Solh intimately captures migrants’ stories.

The exhibition title derives from a poem by the Irish poet W.B. Yeats (1865-1939) about the changing rhythm of life in modern England during the Industrial Revolution. How does the flow of refugees accelerate today’s pace, and how does it relate to the routes we ourselves traverse?

Participating artists: Francis Alÿs, Anca Benera & Arnold Estefan, Tudor Bratu, Mircea Cantor, Juliana Cerqueira Leite, Shilpa Gupta, Roza El-Hassan, Paulien Oltheten, Wouter Osterholt & Ingrid Hapke, Société Réaliste, Mounira Al Solh, Zsófia Szemző and World Service Authority®.

The exhibition is curated by Laura Mudde and Claire van Els.

Société Réaliste, Superimposition of political frontiers at the turn of each century from year 0 to year 2000 on the European Peninsula and its surroundings


David Gallup of The World Service Authority interviewed curator Laura Mudde

Press Release The Measure of our Traveling Feet – September 2016

For more information, interviews and images, please contact Immy Willekens – Marketing & Communications Marres, or +31 (0)43 327 02 07

Thanks To

Marres, House for Contemporary Culture, receives ongoing support from the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, the Limburg provincial authority and the Maastricht municipal authority.

This exhibition is financially supported by The Art of Impact and Prins Bernhard Cultuur Fonds.

The work of Mounira Al Sohl is supported by the Mondriaan Fund. The work of Tudor Bratu is made possible thanks to Mondriaan Fund and mister A.A. van der Helm. And the work of Anca Benera & Arnold Estefan and Tudor Bratu is supported by the Romanian Cultural Institute in Brussels.

The work of Wouter Osterholt and Ingrid Hapke is made possible by Stichting Jezuïetenberg, FlexForm, Paleopixels, BeamSystems and Sjors Bindels.

Special thanks to ACAX, Agency for Contemporay Art Exchange in Budapest, Hungary