Motel Spatie consists of an artist-in-residency, a project space and a zinedepo based in a former public library, part of Presikhaaf shopping mall (1965) as part of and in collaboration with the Locatie Spatie collective: a local and international network of friends. Therefore Motel Spatie provides and supports 8 individual studios, a weekly peoples kitchen SPOON, initiates an annual childrens art festival and various public and social programs throughout the year.

Motel Spatie produces contemporary visual art projects only superlocal in Presikhaaf neigbourhood Arnhem the Netherlands OR superinternational, at sites abroad. We host and support around 10 foreign artist each year in the residency in the city district Presikhaaf Arnhem, the Netherlands. The projects abroad took place with Dutch artists in Moscow, St. Petersburg (Russia), Donostia (Basque Country), Wroclaw (Poland), Pilzen (Czech Republic) and Kosice (Slovakia). All projects are in the curatorial framework of Motel Spatie.

For the projects we set up a network either in Presikhaaf or at spots abroad and support the artists with a monthly fee, production and travel expenses, housing and a studio.

Locatie Spatie was founded in 2010 as an informal artist collective with studios and a weekly people’s kitchen. The non-profit foundation Motel Spatie was founded in 2013 and, besides the contemporary art productions, the foundation now takes care of the buildings and all public programs.

Every Friday afternoon we are open for public. The zinedepo and the Project Space are open at 13:00. SPOON ‘people’s kitchen’ serves at 18:00, no reservation. Delicious dishes from all around the globe for only 5 euros.

For up to date information about presentations and events in the Project Space check our Facebook page or subscribe to our newsletter.

Motel Spatie’s Curatorial Framework
Motel Spatie uses a curatorial practice that doesn’t only pose questions or theorises, but acts. By acting, it encounters the boundaries of political and social issues and through that, these are made visible and can be stretched. It is a radical solution to bypass the muddle of regulations, laws and ownership. The basis of our self-organisation are long-term social networks founded on trust. Art becomes part of a continuing process of research into our shared experience and does not end after a project has finished.

The aim of Motel Spatie is to shape the concept of ‘Engaged Autonomy’ by inviting artists, linking these to a particular physical and / or social context and supporting them in the development of new work.

Engaged Autonomy is a concept of self-awareness about the contemporary context. It describes a responsibility to stand for one’s own actions but to invite the context to affect them. The exchanges, which occur in the form of knowledge or content, serve as questions that disturb the prevailing consensus about either the creator, or the context.

Context Spatie in The Netherlands

Projects are either superlocal or superinternational. In the Netherlands we only work in Presikhaaf. This is a typical post-war district that witnessed the engagement of architecture (as economic and political tool) for the improvement of the world by means of building design and urban planning. The idea was to build a new social order where the individual reconciles his place in the community, a place he had lost in the modern city.

Presikhaaf city district is build on a former swamp in the outskirts of the city Arnhem. A big part of this district was built with the debris from its preceding ruins, which came after the destruction of a big portion of this city during World War II .

Winkelcentrum (shopping mall) Presikhaaf, is an aggregate of flat buildings and shops. It is the oldest shopping centre (1965) in Europe based on the American idea of a shopping mall and built according to the architectural principles of CIAM. At the time of construction it was state-of-the- art and won prices during the 1971 World Exhibition in Paris. Now the mall is facing major vacancy. Presikhaaf city district faces nowadays 65.000 square meters of empty office spaces and the area gathers 15.000 inhabitants born in 112 different countries, adding a special dynamic to this district (currently under extensive restructuring).

The spaces which Motel Spatie uses, do not have a direct financial value or make profit in the short term. They are never the property of Motel Spatie, and neither is rent ever paid for them.


Founder and Director
Claudia Schouten

Project Leader Social Domain
Krista Burger

Marc van Elburg

Farahnaz Malek Zadeh

Motel Spatie Board Members
Hermelinde van Xanten
Anne-marie Bruggert
Luuk van Geffen
Masi Mohammadi

Past Board Members
Albert van der Weide

Arnhem Presikhaaf, image from a postcard (1965)