Street Vendors: Medellín, Tirana, Johannesburg, Yogyakarta
A four channel video installation

Street Vendors: Medellín, Tirana, Johannesburg, Yogyakarta (2018) is a video installation featuring four films about street vendors in four cities on four continents. The rhythm of the films follow the rhythm of an elapsing day. The vendors are being observed by artist Su Tomesen in their daily trials and tribulations. The entrepreneurs prove to be resourceful in their claim of the sidewalks and, while improvising, they manage to generate their income. Tomesen portrays them while revealing the beauty of unintentional compositions, colors, forms and repetitive qualities. By this, the four films remind of installation art and performance.

The installation shows the wondrous world of the urban micro economy and resourcefulness in the public domain without any voice-over, dialogue or explanation. The four films from Medellín (the episode Calle), Tirana (Rruga), Johannesburg (Street) and Yogyakarta (Jalan) are presented next to each other as a four-channel video installation with one 5.1 surround soundtrack, but can be viewed separately as a single screen film with stereo sound as well. Each film lasts half an hour and all films start at the crack of dawn and end at approximately the same time of the day.

Artist and filmmaker Su Tomesen is based in Amsterdam and in Yogyakarta. Her work consists of videos, photography and installations. In the past years she has had solo exhibitions at Erasmus Huis in Jakarta, Casa Tres Patios in Medellín and the Polar room in W139 in Amsterdam. Since 2017 her work is structurally supported for four years by Mondriaan Fund, thanks to their Stipend for Established Artists. Read her Artist Statement.

Street Vendors: Medellín, Tirana, Johannesburg, Yogyakarta has been made possible by generous support of Mondriaan Fonds, Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst, Tijl Fonds, Nederlands Filmfonds, Stichting Stokroos.


World premiere during a solo exhibition at the 38th edition of the Netherlands Film Festival in Utrecht, Netherlands. Ten hours a day the installation has been exhibited at the venue JK24. September 28 until October 4;
Part of art fair at a former jail, BIG ART Bajes in Amsterdam, Netherlands, curated by Anne van der Zwaag. The installation was exhibited for eight hours a day and had thousands of visitors. October 11 till 14;
Indonesian premiere during a solo exhibition at Ruang MES 56 in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. The work was exhibited for a month in the two gallery rooms with a North-South (Tirana-Johannesburg) and West-East (medellín-Yogyakarta) logic. The exhibition at MES 56 was part of Festival Film Dokumenter 2018. December 12 until January 12, 2019.

–  Italian premiere as single screen installation at NOT SO FAR marathon of Fondazione per l’Architettura, part of the Biennale Democrazia in Turin, Italy. March 30;
–  Exhibition at a former shop in Utrechtsestraat, a satellite location of Museum IJsselstein in IJsselstein, Netherlands. Opening June 8, until July 14. The installation was part of the summer exhibition Vrijplaats, curated by Imke Ruigrok.
Colombian premiere during a solo exhibition, curated by Alejandro Vasquez at Paul Bardwell Gallery at Colombo Americano in Medellín, Colombia. The installation was exhibited in the spacious white cube gallery of 20 x 7 meters. The Mondriaan Fund International Presentations grant supported Tomesen’s travel and stay. August 6 until August 22;
Exhibition at Kunstlijn 2019 at the former bowling alley of Sociëteit Vereeniging in Haarlem, Netherlands. November 1 until 3;
– Part of group exhibition Arte al Centro 2019, curated by Juan Sandoval at Cittadellarte / Fondazione Pistoletto in Biella, Italy. Opening October 13. The Mondriaan Fund International Presentations grant supported Tomesen’s travel and stay. The exhibition was planned untilMay 31, 2020 but had to close in February due to Covid-19.

Part of group exhibition City Life, curated by Manon Braat at De Kerk / Museum Arnhem in Arnhem, Netherlands. Opening 8 February 2020 – closed during lockdown – reopened until 23 August;
Part of the online exhibition of Dutch Design Week 2020. October 17 till 25.

– Amsterdam solo exhibition, curated by Berith Danse at Plein Theater in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Opening July 13. Daily 12 – 8 PM until July 30.
Part of group exhibition Street View, curated by Bart van den Boom in public space in Maastricht, Netherlands. Opening October 2. Daily 8 – 11 PM until October 31.

– South African premiere during solo exhibition at Bag Factory, Artists’ Studios in Johannesburg, South Africa in April. The show is part of a series of exhibitions celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Bag Factory. The Mondriaan Fund International Presentations grant will support Tomesen’s travel and stay.

Su Tomesen, October 2021