Transnational Interstate Art Agency


Can an embassy be reimagined as a space of free cooperation and exchange?

The former US embassy in The Hague, designed by Hungarian-born architect Marcel Breuer, served as the American diplomatic mission in the Netherlands for almost sixty years since opening in 1959. The Americans moved to new premises in early 2018, and the city council has, for now, given the site to national art centre West Den Haag. At West’s invitation, Assemble will create a programme for the use of the site in 2019.

Embassies are points of contact between peoples: the word ‘embassy’ comes from ‘ambactos’, ‘the one who moves’. As the movement of people across borders becomes increasingly frequent, migration has grown into one of the great social and political issues of our time. In this context, Assemble propose to create TIAA - Transnational Interstate Art Agency - within the embassy as a space for contact between peoples based on cooperation, joint action, shared interests, and mutual help.

Until the end of March 2019, TIAA’s spaces will be collaboratively fitted out. With weekly furniture-making workshops we invite anyone who is interested in recreating this space with us to turn the grills that have been taken down from our windows into a family of furniture for the space. There will also be fabric sewing, cutting, and printing, to create curtains and soft furnishings, and occasions for mural-painting, making mobiles, and cooking and sharing meals.

TIAA extends an open invitation to self-organised groups from The Hague to work from the space. TIAA exists to provide room, visibility, and the possibility of unexpected collaborations to self-organised groups, collectives, troupes, campaigns, and also to lone makers, writers or researchers, who would like to become part of the life of this space. Those who come to work here will have the opportunity to use the downstairs project space, to share their work through exhibitions, or through talks and public meals.

Sign up online for weekend workshops here

West Den Haag