The Irrational State of Things

Today our unsophisticated cameras record in their own way our hastily assembled and painted world.

Vladimir Nabokov, Invitation to a Beheading


The Year of the RAT was more rowdy than Perestroika: COVID-19, climate change, USA elections and Brexit have all highlighted the Western Society's disabilities and cracks. 2020 has successfully brought all things to a halt.

A decade ago SAMA was conceived as a New Space, where experiments could be conducted and questions asked freely. SAMA was created for those that

“exist without permission. They are hated, hunted and persecuted. They live in quiet desperation amongst the filth. And yet they are capable of bringing entire civilisations to their knees. If you are dirty, insignificant and unloved then rats are the ultimate role model”,

as described by BANKSY in his book Wall and Piece.


The SAMA Team worked hard on opening spaces and securing funds to ensure that subculture has a place to express itself - the urban greens of Amsterdam Nieuw-West. The spaces turned into the Collection comprised of artworks and stories; beloved by the local residents and admired by the visitors from all over the world. This Collection is ageing and deteriorating now. It is approaching the end of its organic cycle. Thus, the SAMA team is steadily embracing our fresh preservation challenge - a Digital Archive - consisting of VR, AR and other assets, which would become freely available to all for future reference and further research.

Here the ruin is not the end of an artefact but rather the beginning of an investigation. From the forensic analysis of the physicality of fragments - revealing the relations that go into the making and unmaking of objects and commodities - to the virtual debris of philosophy, it is in its ruined form that a thing reveals its fossilised forces; and from this scattered mess we can start to assemble the connections of a new reality.

Eyal Weizman

Most of the artists who started the SAMA Collection and gave it its value, today are teachers, experts and initiators of their own museums, institutes or labs. Their work and impact are acknowledged by prestigious organisations, represented by savvy galleries and can be seen in almost every country around the globe. These artists do not need protection or spaces anymore, they seek out partners and equals in their network to continue building the new models of an ideal world. Our team has commemorated this transition in the published Collection Manifesto “Magic Dozen”, which accompanied our museum’s first research project and decentralised exhibition about street art in Amsterdam Nieuw-West endorsed by Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst, New Metropolis and DOCK.

Whilst many in Amsterdam are flocking towards giant commercial structures such as HEINEKEN, STRAAT, MOCO, WONDR and ADM Tower, SAMA is reaching up to the heights of the social bottom. What this means is that our unique value is in social programming and community impact, as it always has been. Art Impact Geuzenveld, Food4Smiles and Midzomer Mokum all exemplify the metamorphosis of SAMA’s Collection into an Urban Art Institution filled with excitement around knowledge and full of surprise learnings and unravelled skills.


To stand out of the crowd, SAMA teamed up with KNAS creatives to launch our own branded streetwear fashion line echoing the spirits of times - from an old brick of Van Eesteren to the broken down walls of stigmata, surrounding Nieuw-West.

Whilst mainstream “street artists” and other opportunistic endeavours are directing themselves at the Top Dollar, SAMA is doubling on social impact. SAMA has confidently chosen to stay true to our roots and context - the neighbourhoods of Amsterdam Nieuw-West - with an array of productions carrying from commissioned murals to self-designed exhibition and most importantly - regular social programming.


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