Calisthenics is a form of excercise in which flexibility, and muscle are trained, often performed rhythmically and with minimal equipment. Etymologically, calisthenics refers to the ancient Spartan sport by which training methods were applied in preparation for a fight. This Retrospective flirts dramatically with Antiquity and the shape of its survival inside the Western Art imagination.

The word ‘Cal-is-thene’ is a fusion of ideas; the word houses California–a reference to modern myth-making, with Athens; a reference to the archaic, or ancient as such. The title, and corresponding works are intended as a foundational myth, a place to house this fusion.

Upon the walls of an ancient Cretan palace, The Bull-leaping Fresco shows athletes leaping over bulls by grabbing onto their horns. The athletic regimes and fashions of ancient Greek myths form the basis of the artist’s collaboration. When queen Pasiphaë falls in love with a bull, she instructs the celebrity architect Daedalus–the designer of waxen wings–to make her a cowhide costume. In this costume, Pasiphaë will be able to seduce the bull. The bull plays a central role in ancient Minoan society. The affair between Pasiphaë and the bull leads to the birth of the Minotaur, an early precursor to the beast from the fairytale. It is not uncommon for such mythologies to be mixed with myths from all over the world. Within this project, the fashions, recreational activities, and communions of a mythic people will be revived through costume, role-play, and interior decoration. The show is divided into three different rooms that together comprise a decor. Each area represents a location in Calisthene; a bathhouse, and gymnasium; an open space, garden, and smaller, intimate room. The installation will show a fusion of the artists‘ works within a decor; murals, costume, and music; the opening performance will bring the space to life. During the opening, spectators will circulate from one stage to another. Mythological characters, and ancient customs will be assumed. While performers will move from one stage to another, different costumes will be worn, stages will relocate, and scores change.

The exhibition takes the form of an installation at-large, a fusion of the artist’s works. The construction of the décor, murals, costumes, and music each become constituent parts of Calisthene.

Participating artists:

In his work, FAYSAL MROUEH creates science-fictional settings that evoke pathological, sexual experiences. Mroueh’s work gives off a biological sense, laying emphasis on the forced pull of desire. Forced feelings in narrow corridors, dank yellow, or dark pink walls that can feel claustrophobic. Such corridors can lead to or house chatrooms, role-playing games, and intergalactic dialogues. In that sense, the expression of identity is a theater of role-play by which desire and fear are spatialized and embodied.

Charlott Weise’s practice is based in painting as a form of writing. Her work strongly refers to the inner world in interplay with relationships, image, obsessions; female characters are thematised and find themselves in odd or symbolic, staged situations. She is exploring stories and clichés of women in history, contemporary culture and on holiday. Her paintings underlie a dark energy, evocation of female archetypes, finding themselves in banal as well as stylized controversies.

Daniel Vorthuys is a poet based in Amsterdam. His work explores the heritage of the western classical tradition through its stories of metamorphosis, transforming this tradition into a mythology of alien and unstable subject-hood. His writing is geared towards performance and video introducing elements of music and costume.

The exhibition is supported by:

Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst
Arti et Amicitiae
Stichting Stokroos
M.A.O.C. Gravin van Bylandt Stichting
Fonds Kwadraat
Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds
Stichting WTMW
and other funds / foundations that wish to remain anonymous


01. 06. 2019 t/m 23. 06. 2019
(09. 06. 2019 closed due to Pentecost)


23. 06. 2019 (Sunday)
4 o’clock


Faysal Mroueh
Daniel Vorthuys
Charlott Weise


Mikel Orphée
Faysal Mroueh
Daniel Vorthuys
Charlott Weise

Overall program information:

Opening hours:

Tuesday—Sunday from 12 to 18 o’clock.
Entrance: € 3,00

Address and contact details:

Arti et Amicitiae
Rokin 112
1012 LB Amsterdam
tel: 020-6245134

Image(s) website:

Immaterialsss / Ana Gzirishvili
Charlott Weise
Franzi Mueller Schmidt


Favorit Pro Regular

Graphic design:

Studio Orphée

Thank you:

Polina Reznychenko (couturier)
Anna Riley-Shepard (choreography)
Christopher Mahon (actor)
Alison Yip (mural assistant)
Vanessa Disler (mural assistant)
Joshua Voorthuis
Rosie Voorthuis
Elisabeth Mesnier (make-up artist)
Ana Gzirishvili (animator/designer)
Dan Walwin (camera)
DINAMO (typeface)
Camille Niessen (code)
Gijsje Heemskerk
Hans Kuiper
PJ Bruyniks
Morgan Courtois (perfume)
Bea McMahon
Maciej Beczek (actor)
Rita Correia (actress)
Maria Pisiou (choreography)
Sarah Jonker (actress)
Eva Kijlstra (actress)
Benjamin Francis van der Burg (actor)
Jip Lemmens (translator)
Anthony Nestel (camera)
Franzi Mueller Schmidt (photography)
Gunnar Gunnsteinsson (sound)
Jacob Dwyer
Semna Segal
and others yet to be announced