Eva Olthof (Nijmegen, 1983) is a Dutch visual artist based in Glasgow, Scotland. Between 2011 and 2022 she was based in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. She graduated from the Dutch Art Institute in Arnhem, The Netherlands. She worked as an artist in residence at Künstlerhaus Bethanien Berlin, CRAC Valparaíso, Chile and at Cemeti Art House in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. She worked as a tutor and symposia organisor at The Willem de Kooning Academy, Rotterdam. The last five years her work focusses on public and self-organised libraries. For more information have a look at publiclibraryof.net

Artist statement

Within my projects I often take institutions such as the library, the parliament building, a volcano observatory and the archive as a starting point for long-running socially engaged projects. I'm interested in how people relate to these institutions; how these places are used and appropriated on a daily basis, the specific history of places like these and the political moment in which they came into being; the unwritten rules that exist in such places, the stories that seep out of these places and how these stories offer new perspectives on current issues. Institutions take in physical space but they often occupy a mental place within our thinking as well. An archive is more than a collection of documents and only when something happens to it - such as the collapse of the Cologne archive in 2009 - you see which other 'spaces' a place like an archive occupies. Within my projects I attempt to take a close look at such places and the tactics of its users, often in collaboration with its users, in order to shed a light on the human dimension attached. In this way, in collaboration, we can bring forth the lived experience and marginalized knowledge present in those places and reclaim them from a bottom up position.

Production image, build-up Return to Rightfull Owner, Van Abbemuseum library Eindhoven, 2016

Production image, Valparaíso, Chile, 2013

Collecting memories for Archive Resonance in Cologne, 2013