Paoletta Holst

Hendrik Freerk Tillema demonstrating how to pour Hygeia mineral water, Collection Tillema, 1924-32
What Bungalows Can Tell (video work, 00:11:33), at 900mdpl: Hantu-Hantu Seribu Percakapan, Indonesia, 2019
Europe Starts Here (installation and performance), at Jan van Eyck open studios, 2017

Working as an artist, architectural researcher and writer based in Brussels, Holst’s practice operates at the intersection of different disciplines to investigate the social, historical and political dimension of architecture and the urban environment. She is interested in the influence of formal spatial/political power structures on our living environment, and in the informal counter-strategies people create to deal with them. Her work is based on artistic/architectural research, adopting different media, such as writing, mapping, photography and film, which translate into presentation methods that use forms of scenography and performance lecture to activate and contextualize exhibited images and objects.

In 2016/2017 Holst was a Jan van Eyck participant, and since 2018 she has been working with different people and in different formations on projects around the colonial history of the Netherlands in Indonesia. In 2019 she participated in the 900mdpl biennale in Kaliurang, Indonesia. Together with Paolo Patelli she currently works on an archival research project rethinking the ‘logic’ of the Tillema Collections, collaborating with Research Center for Material Culture, the Eye Filmmuseum, and the Institute for Sound and Vision.

Holst publishes regularly in magazines and on online platforms. Some of her recent texts can be found on: and

With Rob Ritzen she founded That Might Be Right, an artistic and socially engaged organization dedicated to researching, developing and supporting alternatives to the present. Since 2017 Holst is teaching history and theory of architecture and urbanism at the Rotterdam Academy of Architecture and since 2018, she is working as an editor for the online platform Archined.

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