The upcoming residents within the European project AFAR are artists Liesbeth Bik and Jos Van der Pol (NL). Since 1995, they have been working together as Bik Van der Pol. They live and work in Rotterdam, Netherlands ( Through their practice Bik Van der Pol aim to articulate and understand how art can produce a public sphere and space for speculation and imagination. This includes forms of mediation through which publicness is not only defined but also created. Their work follows from research of how to activate situations to create a platform for exchange and experience of different knowledges. Bik Van der Pol’s mode of working consists of setting up the conditions for encounter, where they develop a process of working that allows for continuous reconfigurations of places, histories, and publics. Their practice is site-specific and collaborative, with dialogue as a mode of transfer; a “passing through”, understood in its etymological meaning of “a speech across or between two or more people, out of which may emerge new understandings”. In fact, they consider the element of “passing through” as vital. It is temporal and implies action and the development of new forms of discourse. Their practice is both instigator and result of this method. They have exhibited their work at numerous venues, as well as participated in biennials such as Gwangju, Istanbul, Jakarta, and Sao Paulo Biennale. Recent and current projects include Paad Bienal 2024 Abi Dabhi (UAE), a research residency project at School of Casablanca (2021–23), Casablanca (Marocco), a project in collaboration with Volt, Bergen (Norway), Take Part (2018–20), at SFMOMA and Public Libraries, San Francisco (USA), and Far Too Many Stories To Fit Into So Small A Box, Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art, Warsaw (Poland) (2019-20). Bik Van der Pol were co-initiators of artist-run space Duende existing from 1984-2013, where they organised many activities such as artist in residence programs, talks, screenings and exhibition projects, they were course directors of The School of Missing Studies – a temporary masters programme at Sandberg Institute, Amsterdam (2013–15), and they are advisors at the Jan van Eyck Academie in Maastricht. Liesbeth is a core-tutor at Piet Zwart Institute (Rotterdam), and a member, and currently chair, of the Akademie van Kunsten/Academy of Arts, that is part of the Dutch Royal Academy of Science (KNAW).


April – May 
Zagreb, Croatia

As part of the residency, Bik Van der Pol will familiarize themselves with the local art scene through visits to studios and exhibitions and will create a new artistic work related to the main themes of the project: ecology, sustainability, heritage, and textile arts. This work will be exhibited at the final exhibitions in Zagreb, Vienna, and Bucharest. In addition to the artistic work, they will also give a lecture at the Putolovac Gallery on May 7th at 7:30 PM, followed by a discussion with Leila Topić, the curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Zagreb (AFAR Talk).

Artists for Artists Residency Network (AFAR) is an EU co-funded project and residency program, aiming to improve the mobility of contemporary visual artists and curators in Romania, Germany, Croatia, and Austria. The project is led by the Romanian Association for Contemporary Art (ARAC) with its three consortium partners – Goethe Institute Network, Croatian Association of Fine Artists, and Künstlerhaus Vienna.

The AFAR Network project is co-funded by the European Union: ”Views and opionions expressed are however those of the autohor(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsable for them.”