Miguel Peres dos Santos
‘‘‘Normen en waarde’’’
Café Berkhout, Stadhouderskade 77 (hoek Ferdinand Bolstraat), Amsterdam
12 May 2012 4pm till late


Miguel Peres dos Santos’ work explores the interrelations between the capitalist and colonial aspects of the Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie (VOC), the Dutch East India Company and the ways in which this history extends into the present. The early 17th century VOC headquarters and weaponry storage, called the “East-India House” is located on the Kloveniersburgwal, in the middle of Amsterdam. Currently, the building houses the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Amsterdam, with programmes in fields such as communication, political and social sciences and cultural anthropology. The title of the work is taken from recent political rhetoric on Dutch morality and identity. In a country where colonialism has not been a subject of public debate, Normen en waarde investigates the connections between histories, narratives and geographies, underscoring the cultural residues of early colonial and capitalist power in Western culture and its place within the current Dutch socio-political landscape. For Normen en waarde, Miguel films the students at the former “East India House” in their daily lives. Through post-production he then inserts subtitles that refer to slavery, stock markets, exploitation, neo-imperialism, racism and xenophobia, creating a humorous, distorted and alienating space for reflection. As the work will be projected towards the streets of Amsterdam, multiple realities are connected and discussed. 

Image: Miguel Peres dos Santos, Normen en waarde, 2012 (installation views, film stills)


Audio-visual installations, video and performance form the core of Miguel’s practice. His interest lies in philosophy, politics and art. Recently his research and work has focused on postcolonial discourse.

Miguel Peres dos Santos (1976, Portugal) lives and works in The Hague. He is a student at the Master Artistic Research in The Hague, a collaboration between Royal Academy of Art and the Royal Conservatoire. Recent exhibitions and projects include: Screen Festival, Oslo Film House, Oslo, Norway (2012); Video Screening Take 5, Centro de Artes de Sines, Sines, Portugal (2012); State of the Arts Zwolle, Stedelijk Museum Zwolle, Zwolle, The Netherlands (2011) and Herning International short film festival, Herning, Denmark (2010).