Five people with different backgrounds (visual arts, fashion, architecture and anthropology) ran a ‘boutique’ together. It was a shop with no clothes on offer, a paradoxical space where words, objects and people came together.

Ceci est un magasin de vêtements was a project by Sara ten Westenend, Maaike Gottschal, Miriam Rohde, Annelies Kuypers and Isabelle Makay that used the contradictory setup of a boutique without clothes as a site of research. The ‘shop’ offered them a space in fluctuation where text, objects (clothes) and people could meet. The aim of their residency was to get an insight into practical aspects and natural phenomena of dealing with objects or material as processes. The moment the title of the project – Ceci set un magasin de vêtements – was placed on the door of the shop, the setup started playing on the expectations of the passing audience/shoppers. Having no actual clothes in the shop separated the ‘boutique’ from any literal purpose, making room for experiments and opening up a territory where nothing was what it seemed.

The residency venue was organised by nadine between 2010 and 2012. The residents explored specific artistic research in direct contact with an audience of passers-by in a small four-meter square location with large glass windows. The location and setup of the residencies played on concerns such as micro-economics, consumerism, and trade. The shop floor provided an artistic territory in the midst of a shopping area where the artists were given a space to directly interact with an audience and play with the definition of ‘shop.’