A bundle of silences (1871)

    in collaboration with
  • IISH, NL

With the support of the Rijksakademie and the International Institute of Social History (IISH), 'A bundle of silences (1871)' is a project led by alumni Milena Bonilla (RA 09/10) and Ana María Gómez López (RA 17/18), in commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Paris Commune. Between March 18 and May 28, 2021, artifacts, sounds, and artworks related to the history of the Paris Commune will be activated online via These will serve as the basis for transhistorical associations that reconfigure the effects of the Paris Commune in the present, as well as its overlooked precedents and its ongoing aftermath.

‘A bundle of silences (1871)’ follows up on two previous projects carried out at the Rijksakademie in collaboration with the International Institute of Social History: ‘Begeerte heeft ons aangeraakt’ (Desire has touched us again), a site-specific installation around Dutch poet Henriette Roland Holst’s translation of L’Internationale, and ‘November Alarm’, an exhibition and choral performance observing the 100th anniversary of the 1918 Red Week protests in Amsterdam in front of the Kavallerie Kazerne, the current location of the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten.

About the artists

  • Milena Bonilla’s research-based practice is currently invested in epistemological colonialism and the different ways it affects organisms, language and social structures. By identifying patterns, gaps and silences within specific historical narratives, the artist draws tensions between predetermined political templates and uses of cognition. These conceptual and perceptual exercises are woven across the manifold manifestations of her work. Recent venues where her work has been shown include: A Tale of a Tub, Rotterdam; Museo d’arte Contemporanea MACRO, Rome; Kadist, Paris and San Francisco; Framer Framed, Amsterdam; The Mistake Room, Los Angeles; The Jewish Museum, New York; Claustro de San Agustín, Bogotá; M HKA, Antwerp; Temporary Gallery, Cologne and Konsthall C, Stockholm, among others. She has developed archive-based work with the help of the Muséum national d’Historie naturelle, Volkenkunde Museum, Tropenmuseum, Musée du quai Branly, the International Institute of Social History, and the conservation department of the Nationalpark Bayerischer Wald.

  • Ana María Gómez López is an interdisciplinary artist, researcher and educator. First-hand research with primary source materials are a cornerstone of her scholarly and creative pursuits, particularly in history of the life sciences. She has developed archival and artistic projects with the Beinecke Rare Books and Manuscripts Library, Osler Library for the History of Medicine, and the Max Planck Institute for History of Science, as well as in collaboration with institutions such as the Geiseltalmuseum, the Borrisiak Paleontological Institute, the Leiden Astronomical Observatory, and Natura Artis Magistra. Her work has been exhibited at Rencontres Internationales Paris/Berlin, the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, the Fonds d’art contemporain Genève, the Universiteitsmuseum Utrecht, and the Rijksmuseum Boerhaave, among others. In addition to the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten, her residencies and fellowships include the Cité International des Arts, the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, and the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences. Ana María is currently a fellow at the Vossius Center for the History of Humanities and Sciences, University of Amsterdam and a resident artist for the “Mutations” theme group at Akademie Schloss Solitude.


Projects & Collaborations

The Rijksakademie initiates projects and collaborates with other institutions in the Netherlands as well as globally.