Eric Peter

May 2018

Born in 1989, Dordrecht, Netherlands is currently living and working in The Hague.


2017—now Art Praxis (MFA), Dutch Art Institute (DAI), Arnhem, The Netherlands
2009—2013 Interdisciplinary Attitudes (BFA), Royal Academy of Art, The Hague, The Netherlands
2008—2009 Photography (P), Royal Academy of Art, The Hague, The Netherlands
2007—2008 Art History (P), University of Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands

Recent Activities

Selected solo presentations:
2017 ‘Special Price for You, My Friend (De Kleine Zaal Invites)’, De Vishal, Haarlem, The Netherlands, solo
2016 ‘Ondertussen’, Stroom, The Hague, The Netherlands, solo
2016 ‘KIN*K with Eric Peter’, BLO-Ateliers, Berlin, Germany, solo
2015 ‘Conversations on the Near Future’, 98B, Manila, The Philippines, solo
2015 ‘Conversations on the Near Future’, Silingan, Davao City, The Philippines, solo
2013 ‘Young Men Dream of Their Past’, Pulchri Studio, The Hague, The Netherlands, solo

Selected group and duo presentations:
2018 ‘Assemblages of Intimacy’, A Tale of a Tub, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, group
2017 ‘Witness’, Karachi Biennale 2017, Karachi, Pakistan, group
2017 ‘Identity’, South London Shorts, London, United Kingdom, group
2017 ‘La Caja’, 3M Art Foundation, Santa Marta, Colombia, group
2017 ‘Prospects & Concepts’, Art Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, group
2016 ‘Everybody’s Perfect’, Spoutnik, Geneva, Switzerland, group
2016 ‘7e Sybren Hellinga Kunstprijs’, Kunsthuis SYB, Beetsterzwaag, The Netherlands, group
2016 ‘Eating Pebbles by the Riverside’, PIP, The Hague, The Netherlands, duo
2016 ‘BINISAYA’, SM Seaside, Cebu City, The Philippines, group
2016 ‘Conversation Piece’ 1646, The Hague, The Netherlands, duo
2016 ‘Shifting Spaces’, W139, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, group
2015 ‘Trial & Triumph’, KABK, The Hague, The Netherlands, group
2015 ‘Мутабор’, VovaTanya, Kharkiv, Ukraine, group
2015 ‘Beyond Borders (LISFE 2015)’, De Meelfabriek, Leiden, The Netherlands, group
2015 ‘Between Thinking, Seeing, Saying and Nothing’, IVS Gallery, Karachi, Pakistan, group
2014 ‘Blue’, Billytown, The Hague, The Netherlands, group
2014 ‘Festival Hongerige Wolf 2014’, Hongerige Wolf, The Netherlands, group
2014 ‘Timeless Gentle Flights’, W139, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, group
2013 ‘Vond.A’, Roodkapje, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, group
2013 ‘New Order’, Pictura, Dordrecht, The Netherlands, group
2012 ‘Een poging tot nieuwe vriendelijkheid’, GEMAK, The Hague, The Netherlands, group
2012 ‘I’ll Show You Mine if You Show Me Yours’, Minerva, Groningen, The Netherlands, group
2012 ‘Piramida’, Tirana Ekspres, Tirana, Albania, group
2011 ‘Epigonism Rules’, Nest, The Hague, The Netherlands, group

2015 Artist-in-residency with The Unifiedfield, Mindanao, The Philippines
2015 Artist-in-residency with Vasl Artists’ Collective, Karachi, Pakistan
2012 Artist-in-residency with Tirana Ekspres, Tirana, Albania

Selected publications, interviews and reviews:
2018 Eric Peter, ‘Economy as Intimacy: Poetry’, The Printer, April 2018
2018 Eric Peter, ‘Economy as Intimacy (Essay)’, The Write Launch (March Issue), 01-03-2018 [online]
2018 Sehr Jalil, ‘In Pursuit of Origin (Part 2)’, Seismopolite: Journal of Art and Politics (Issue 19) [online]
2017 Art TV Pakistan, ‘KB17: Focus Group by Eric Peter’, 06-11-2017 (tv broadcast)
2017 Marjolein van de Ven, ‘Marjolein van de Ven Invites Eric Peter’, De Vishal, 03-04-2017 [ill.] (onl)
2017 Eric Peter, ‘THE HUMAN HEART (S/S 2016 Issue)’, Newspaper Club, 01-03-2017
2017 Features, ‘Event Space Rotterdam’, Metropolis M, 12-02-2017 [ill.] (online)
2017 Mondriaan Fonds, ‘Prospects & Concepts 2017’, 08-02-2017 [ill.]
2016 Niels Post, ‘[…] en Eric Peter bij Stroom’, Trendbeheer, 17-12-2016 [ill.] (online)
2016 Vasl Artists’ Collective, ‘Catalogue 2015’, 01-09-2016 [ill.]
2016 Patty Taboada, ‘23 Independent Filipino Films You Should Watch’, Zee Lifestyle, 13-09-2016 [ill.]
2016 Hans Kuiper, ‘Shifting Spaces […]’, Inspector Casino’s Detective Show, 01-05-2016 [ill.] (online)
2016 Autor Magazine, ‘THE HUMAN HEART’, The Wanderlust Issue, 06-04-2016 [ill.]
2016 Janneke van Gelder, ‘Shifting Spaces’, Mister Motley, 27-03-2016 [ill.] (online)
2016 Marie Civikov, ‘“Ik zag het als een teken […]”’, Jegens & Tevens, 29-02-2016 [ill.] (online)
2015 Kees Koomen, ‘Trial and Triumph’, chmkoome’s blog, 18-11-2015 [ill.] (online)
2015 Bertus Pieters, ‘Glorieus falen: Trial & Triumph’, Villa La Repubblica, 15-11-2015 [ill.] (online)
2015 Platform Platvorm, ’The Second Issue’, 12-11-2015 [ill.]
2015 Sadia Salim, ‘Artists’ Work: The Ripple Effect’, Dawn, 19-04-2015 [ill.]
2015 Minerwa Tahir, ‘Expression and Explosion’, The Express Tribune, 04-04-2015 [ill.]
2014 Eric Peter, ‘Craftmanship’, 1000 Things, 06-05-2014 (online)
2014 Joke Korving, ‘Eric Peter brengt op Gronings festival […]’, Den Haag Centraal, 11-07-2014
2013 Bram Verbrugge, ‘Pictura verzet de bakens’, Algemeen Dagblad [ill.]
2013 Hinde Haest, ‘Blood, Sweat, Tears, Diploma’, Metropolis M, 29-07-2013 [ill.] (online)
2013 Kees Koomen, ‘Eindexamenexpositie’,chmkoome’s blog, 16-07-2013 [ill.] (online)
2013 Marjolein Blaauwbroek, ‘Lichting 2013’, Kunstbeeld, 13-07-2013 [ill.] (online)
2013 Bertus Pieters, ‘Binnen en boven het keurslijf’, Villa La Repubblica, 08-07-2013 [ill.] (online)
2012 Aida Tuci, ‘Piramida: Si monument i kapitalizmit të vonë shqiptar’, Gazeta Mapo, 29-02-2012

Awards and grants:
2017 SPOT Exhibition, Stroom, The Hague, grant
2016 Sybren Hellinga Prize, Kunsthuis SYB, Beetsterzwaag, award [nominee]
2016 PRO Deo, Stroom (studio visits by Arnisa Zeqo), The Hague
2015 Stipend for Emerging Artists, Mondriaan Fonds, Amsterdam, grant
2015 PRO Onderzoek, Stroom, The Hague, grant
2015 PRO Invest, Stroom, The Hague, grant
2014 Invest Program, Stroom, The Hague, grant
2013 Fine Arts Prize, Royal Academy of Art, The Hague, award [winner]

For the past year, I’ve been working on a project entitled ‘Economy as Intimacy’ which aims to rethink economics as possible intimate connections through poetry. Writing and reciting poems about (financial) exchanges and transactions, enables a certain personalization of the economic, in a time when income, wage, and debt have become increasingly elusive and contingent. If we are to overhaul the leitmotiv economics has become, we need to start transforming the way we engage with economics through our public and, most pertinently, private lives. Money, like language, is essentially one of the world’s greatest poetic agencies. Both “are nothing but symbols, conventions, flatus vocis, but they have the power of persuading human beings to act, to work, to transform physical things.” How can economy/ intimacy be a means to intimacy/economy through poetry? In Farsi, the title of the project is translated as Eghtesad Be Masabeye Samimiyyat,’ and I think that covers the intentions of the project more than the English title does.

Arriving in Iran, I found myself at a crossroad of several paths to venture into in regards to the project mentioned above: Iran’s rich poetry history’, ta’arof as a form of “affective debt,” structures of group readings, and inabilities of translation.

Persia’s poets have reached far into both the old and contemporary World. Think of the silly (as in: taken out of context) Rumi memes on Instagram for instance. Or Ibn Sina medical and scientific writings in which; he uses poetry-it, for sure, shows the importance of poetry in Persia. But something which quickly gained more weight in the development of my project in Iran, wes ta’arof. I had done research into forms of gift economics and “affective debt” before. Over the past three years, I’ve spent many months in Davao City,

The Philippines, where another type of “affective debt” exists, i.e. suki. Suki refers to some kind of affective relationship between the seller and the buyer-and is used to denounce both. A suki is the seller, giving discount, offering higher quality goods or services, extended credit terms and special treatment. Suki is also the buyer, securing the seller in their revenue by returning to her or him specifically. It is some sort of private connection, or intimate relationship, only the two of them have and no other, casual, purchasers of goods or services from that specific stall, shop, or repair place. There is an unwritten contract between the two, especially from the side of the one offering a product or service, which rests on expectations of regular returns and recommendations to family, friends or acquaintances. At this point, I must note that ta‘arof is much less about commodity exchange than suki is, but rather a broad system of cordiality and politeness, ritualised hospitality if you may. But I want to look at it more from an “economic” lens (i.e. exchange, estimating value, bartering, etc.).

In an essay, I started to weave together ta’arof, suki and another form of gift economy, xenia. In Old Greece, the concept of xenia was a gifting system to put others in debt, so one could call on a favour or repayment in times necessary.” Debt in this case is not a burden, a negative term, but should be read more as the instalment of an affective connection. Hence | coined the term “affective debt” and named the essay Affective Debt and the Depth of Words,’ referring in the title itself to poetry and exchange (i.e. of words, of actions, of commodities). The essay was printed in an edition of 75 and distributed during the open studios. The permanence of group readings in Iran was something else that drew my attention. Most of these reading structures occur within in Islamic context, say the Jalaseh, Rowzeh, Hey’at, or Khatm-e An’am. But within a non-religious framework, there are group readings of poems, mostly done by families, but also in institutional contexts: Shahnameh Khani, Hafez Khani, or Sa’adi Khani. Poetry (Toinous, poiesis) can be one potential means to rethink our systematic ignorance of affective economies. Simplistically, negating a world of digits with a world of words; words describe concepts and constructs, but also operate bodily and affectively to reach beyond linguistic understanding. The reading of poems from a paper is, to me, an intimate form of communication that is intrinsic to Economy as Intimacy. Somehow, I thought of (group and solo) recitations as being too impersonal, and therefore not fully communicating and embodying intimacy. The existing structures of group readings helped me a lot in recalibrating my own perceptions of intimate reading (aloud and silently). For the final presentation with Kooshk, I selected three poems, had them printed on lime paper, and asked (new) friends and their friends to join for a communal reading of the words. Entitled Jalasat-e Kalamat, this Jalaseh was a way for my (co-participants and myself to connect through words-to find intimacy through our poetic voices. The exchange of voices would require us all to be more careful. For instance, to speak less loud to not overrule (overstem in Dutch, lit. “overvoice”) any other reader. Or to speak slower or faster when another one’s voice requires so. Although I had selected only three poems (‘The Silvery-Scrubbed Tilapia.’ ‘Yours Sincerely and “Green Bananas’), I afterwards wished we had maybe done one or two more. The atmosphere that emerged from our sharing of words, that little world of words we created, was so bound to that moment in time, it could never be redone in the exact same way. Having mentioned how our voices had to tune in to each other, I hinted upon another road I would’ve possibly ventured into: the impossibility of poetry translation. English is the main language of my poems, though some parts are in Bisaya, Dutch, French or Urdu. I do this first of all to create a certain intimacy (even secrecy) among readers knowing those others languages. Second and more importantly, the other languages are a means to address the hierarchies (or economies) of languages. It is through this use of multiple languages and different types of spelling, that a postcolonial reality is laid barren-lin) explicitly. This of course created some difficulties for the people who joined me for this reading. Not knowing how to pronounce a word “correctly.” is essentially a form of speculating, of bartering. Because, finding the middle ground between your mother tongue and another language (one might not even know to speak), is barter. I was interested in this perspective to learn more about Farsi and the way it is constructed linguistically. One poet, with whom I met only after the open studio presentation, told me about Thām. This term refers to how the very same sentence can have multiple meanings depending on the context. Hence, poems by Hafez come with gigantic footnotes as to what each of its sentence and the totality could mean. I was pondering on how poetry in itself has such depth in regards to the symbolicalness of sentences already-imagine a language which is that in daily speak. I was reminded of an article from The New Yorker that was sent to me by a (new) friend earlier in May: ‘Poetry and Politics in Iran’ by Neima Jahromi. Jahromi writes how poetry is used in political discourse to soften the harshness of words-apart from the nationalists’ discourse. There is so much more to say and write on what I have learnt and gained, but this article had something I want to end this small essay with. Jahromi quotes Iran’s supreme leader, because he acknowledges the great power of poetry in terms of bounding and leading astray: “[…] certain people are creating poetry that deviates from a straightforward epic and revolutionary ambiance for the purpose of leading our precious youth astray and toward an unbridled culture that praises oppression, departure from humane norms, and yielding to the impulses of sexual instincts.”5 What is lost when words are wasted? Who profits when words are saved?