Residency Unlimited

(Hope)stalgic materialities and wishful horizons

On view: May 17 – 19 & May 24 – 26 | 11am – 5pm

Opening: Saturday May 18, 2024 | 11am – 5pm (RSVP below)

Location: RU House at Colonels Row, Building #404B on Governors Island (map)

Details on how to get to Governors Island here | Click here to see the exhibition on Governors Island’s website

In the RU House on Governors Island, Residency Unlimited opens a group exhibition (Hope)stalgic materialities and wishful horizons, presenting the works of six international artists who spent the last few months nurturing their artistic practices in New York City. They are: Mihael Klanjčić (Croatia), Anna Nemes (Hungary), Ivie Ada Onaiwu (Switzerland), Siahne Rogers (Australia), Ai Sugiura (Japan), and Beyza Dilem Topdal (Turkey). This exhibition is curated by Eglė Ambrasaitė.

Scholarly works on nostalgia notice that the term should be addressed in a more nuanced way and proposes to embrace it as an affective reservoir (Odak, 2024)*. In this group exhibition, the featured artists reassess nostalgia as “an important […] aspect of the radical imagination” (Bonnett, 2010:1)* and embody it as a source of artistic and socio-political perspective for a (wishful) future. Hence, (hope)stalgia here is grasped as “a mode of temporality, a cognitive and affective relation to time and a way to approach the relationships among historicity, presentism, and futurity” (Weeks 2011:186)*. For example, deep diving into poetics of wishful thinking according to critical affect theory, Siahne Rogers introduces us to their video work and new body of canvases that offer playful speculations on the process of making and coming-to-reality of our dreams. In a similar manner, by playing with the understanding of what is place-ness and what it means to be and to belong, in her photographic collage, Ai Sugiura, showcases a fantasy memoryscape, based on observing everyday locationalities of New York City’s sidewalks inscribed with various different titles and symbols. Correspondingly, Mihael Klanjčić works with the re-imagining of daily life objects’ time-scapes and in his sculptural installation, addresses the (hope)stalgic materiality of one of New York city’s iconic symbols. In her current artistic practice, Anna Nemes gently builds around the drag community in Brooklyn and through her new video, sculptural and canvas pieces aims to expand the boundaries of drag through the lenses of post-humanist thought. Similarly, Beyza Dilem Topdal embraces post-humanist theories to study both past, present and future of non-human Turkish marine life entanglements. With the help of AI technologies, her immersive works portray a speculative ethnography for world-building futuristic more-than-human kinships. Finally, Ivie Ada Onaiwu presents three large-scale textile-carpet-paintings offering us to see the carpets both as carriers of history and as a hopeful horizon for the possibility of feeling-at-home, being-safe-and-soft, and belonging.

*Bonnett, Alastair. 2010. Left in the Past: Radicalism and the Politics of Nostalgia. New York: Continuum.
*Odak, Petar. 2024. Forthcoming.
*Weeks, Kathi. 2020. The Problem with Work: Feminism, Marxism, Antiwork Politics, and Postwork Imaginaries. Durham: Duke University Press.

Graphic design by Ivie Ada Onaiwu


Eglė Ambrasaitė is located in a spot reserved for interdisciplinary art: she is both an artist, a curator and a PhD Candidate in Comparative Gender Studies (CEU), based in Žeimiai (Lithuania) and Berlin (Germany). Eglė is the director of “Aikas Žado Association” and the curator of Aikas Žado Laboratory, a collectively-run, non-profit interdisciplinary art institution based in Žeimiai Manor House, Lithuania. At the moment, her main artistic and curatorial practices circulate around the themes of love, toxicity, bodies/embodiments and healing. Her theoretic interests encapsulate gender, biopolitics, affect theories, critical disability studies and dark ecology.

Mihael Klanjčić is a Croatian artist and the winner of the 2023 Radoslav Putar award. Mihael is interested in the relationships between materials themselves, materials and everyday objects, and the possibilities that arise from these relationships. By combining materials, intervening on objects, and collaging them, he creates abstract situations at first glance. In the end, he is interested in the possible presence of a certain event or space in the form itself.

Anna Nemes is a Hungarian visual artist and winner of the 2023 ACAX award, who in her works, discovers the fragility and possibilities of human existence and seeks the philosophical sense of beauty in the curious. Through her artistic practice, she explores the relationship between art and philosophy in the light of abjection. Nemes is primarily a painter, but in addition to her painting practice she also works as a director, filmmaker and an artistic researcher.

Ivie Ada Onaiwu is an artist from Bern, Switzerland. Inspired by the concept of feeling at home and its expression through textiles, she designs and produces unique hand-tufted tapestries. She aims to use her designs as a means of conveying important messages and promoting social change. Onaiwu is also an established graphic designer and is part of the FLINTA* only music-, booking- and event-label Forcefield Records, where she is responsible for the visual appearance. Onaiwu has illustrated a children’s book titled Wenn ich anders bin als du, bist du anders als ich (When I’m Different from You, You’re Different from Me) alongside activist Mohamed Wa Baile.

Siahne Rogers is a practicing artist from Boorloo Perth, Western Australia with a background in sculpture, installation and performance. Often driven by a desire to encourage openness and play, their practice is defined by a vocabulary around sculpture, performance and video, moving between mediums to assist in creating socially-engaged works, gestural objects and interactive installations. From pie-throwing machines to public acts of foolery, Rogers’ broad approach to creating allows them to explore the slippery relationship between humor, tragedy and meaning-making found throughout narratives on lived experience and social contexts of everyday life. Rogers has participated in the 2023 Sculpture by the Sea where she was awarded as the recipient of the Helen Lempriere Scholarship Fund for her public art piece EVERYTHING MUST GO!.

Ai Sugiura is a multidisciplinary artist based in Tokyo, Japan, who focuses on the trivial objects of everyday life and rethinks their meaning and function. Sugiura’s artistic practice is driven by her interest in material and space, inside/outside, memory, and the transition between the ordinary and extraordinary. She observes the process of change in objects and people, and their relationship with each other in everyday life. Sugiura’s work often takes the form of sculpture and installation, and in recent years she has been incorporating photography into her three-dimensional production. A representation of this transition can be seen in her project “Plants Outside the Door,” which began in 2013 that examines the plants that line the entrances of people’s doors.

Beyza Dilem Topdal is an artist and researcher based in Istanbul, Turkey, working with interdisciplinary methodologies. Interested in theories of cyborg, ecofeminism, biophilosophy, and new materialism, her practice aims to deconstruct and reconstruct local to global narratives by following the natureculture encounters. Topdal continues her academic research as a Ph.D. candidate in Design, Technology, and Society program at Özyeğin University, currently working on human and more-than-human marine entanglements of Bosphorus with ethnographic methods. She also works as exhibitor relations manager for a newly launched art fair, Noise Media Art, Istanbul.


This program is supported by the Trust for Mutual Understanding, Canton of Berne Office of Culture / Cultural Promotion, Helen Lempriere Scholarship (Managed by Perpetual and awarded with Sculpture by The Sea), Agency For Cultural Affairs, Government of Japan and Piksel New Media Guest Artist Program. 



This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.


RU is grateful for the partnership with Governors Island Arts.

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