FOAF 2018: Sybren Renema - Lift Off, Land Ahoy!

7 Apr 2018 – 12 May 2018

Regular hours

12:00 – 16:00
12:00 – 19:00
12:00 – 19:00
12:00 – 19:00
12:00 – 19:00

Cost of entry



mazowieckie, Poland


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Sybren Renema’s interest lies in all forms of human knowledge-production, with a particular liking for art, history, geographical exploration and the natural sciences.


Exhibition in the frame of Friend of a Friend 2018
LETO hosts Dürst Britt & Mayhew (The Hague)
7 – 8.04 (Saturday, Sunday): 12PM – 7PM

Sybren Renema’s interest lies in all forms of human knowledge-production, with a particular liking for art, history, geographical exploration and the natural sciences. His work is often concerned with narratives of exploration and the sublime landscape, in which he focuses on the validity of Romantic clichés in the 21st century. He is active as an artist, writer and musician and his practice manifests itself in the form of videos, collages, neon-installations, digital prints and sculptures.

His latest videowork Discovery follows a piece of wood from the deck of British polar explorer Robert Falcon Scott's (1868-1912) first polar vessel, the Discovery, as it floats through the stratosphere. For this video Renema collaborated with SendIntoSpace, a company that specialises in commercial flights with stratospheric weather balloons. Point of launch was Dundee, where the restored Discovery can be visited. After having reached a height of 32 kilometers, the wooden relic and camera landed back in the North of England and were recovered using GPS. The continuity between polar travel and space flight, which Renema highlights with this work, is a phenomenon that has often been commented upon. Besides this, the work reflects on the general human tendency to escapism.

The neon sculpture accompanying the video quotes Robert Falcon Scott. Great God! This is an awful place are the words he wrote in his diary as he reached the South Pole and found it to have already been visited by a Norwegian expedition under Roald Amundsen. In 2017 both video and neon were shown at the Antarctic Pavilion as part of the Venice Biennial.

At LETO a series of collages showing images of snowy mountains now form an extra layer in this Antarctic storyline. Taken from old editions of National Geographic magazine, inhospitable areas turn into hallucinatory beauty.

After receiving his BFA from the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague Sybren Renema (1988) became the youngest MFA student to ever enroll at the Glasgow School of Art. He recently concluded residencies at Land Art Mongolia and the EKWC in Oisterwijk. Recent solo exhibitions include The Harvest of Leisure at Cydonia, Dallas, The Milk of Paradise at Dürst Britt & Mayhew and Pleasures of a Grave Desire at CCA Glasgow. Recent group exhibitions include Nightfall at Musée Rath in Geneva, Switzerland and Palinsestri at Palazzo Andrea Dori in Genoa, Italy. Renema’s work has been discussed in Artforum and various other international publications. His work is held in private and public collections, including the Fries Museum in Leeuwarden, the AMC Collection and the In4Art collection.


”Friend of a Friend” (FOAF) project sees eight important and thriving Warsaw contemporary art galleries sharing their exhibition spaces with international guests. A dialogue with galleries from the Czech Republic, France, Germany, United States, Switzerland and Great Britain lies at the foundation of group shows featuring Polish and international artists.

The idea of “FOAF” refers to London’s “Condo” initiative held since 2016. Based on the principle of friendly collaboration (and not competition, often associated with the art market), the event not only succeeds in establishing an innovative platform to present contemporary art, but also an exchange model that provides an alternative to art fairs. By bringing this model to Warsaw, “FOAF” offers the local audience the possibility to view works created by international artists (often unexhibited in Poland so far) and compare their achievements with works by their Polish colleagues. In turn, foreign guests (gallerists, artists, as well as collectors, curators and journalists) are given an opportunity to discover the Warsaw art scene.

BWA Warszawa h/ Antoine Levi (Paris), Hunt Kastner (Prague)
Foksal Gallery Foundation h/ ChertLüdde (Berlin), Jan Kaps (Cologne)
LETO h/ Dürst Britt & Mayhew (The Hague)
Piktogram h/ Future (Berlin/Mexico City), Lomex (NYC), SVIT (Prague)
Dawid Radziszewski h/ Lucas Hirsch (Düsseldorf)
Raster h/ Bernhard (Zürich), Ermes-Ermes (Vienna)
Stereo h/ Crèvecœur (Paris), Reserve Ames (LA)
Wschód h/ Neue Alte Brücke (Frankfurt), Union Pacific (London)

Founders: Stereo, Wschód
Organiser: Adam Mickiewicz Institute
Partner: Culture Department of the City of Warsaw
Media Partner: Frieze Magazine

Exhibiting artists

Sybren Renema


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