What's a Gastarbeider?
Gastarbeider is a social status, a swear word and a state of mind. In Dutch it means "foreign worker".
Gastarbeider is traditionally someone who temporary moves to another country for economic reasons. In the Netherlands, foreigners who entered the country in 1960s and 70s to work in the heavy industry are called gastarbeiders.
Nowadays, a lot of artists looking for inspiration, money or success, move to other countries. Many of them come to Holland, attracted by its international scene and broad government support of arts. Some of them have been around for ages, others just pass by; some become international superstars and some stay in underground forever, known only to a small circle of their friends.
In a universe called “Dutch culture”, unknown objects are flying in and out from all possible directions, at all possible speeds. To stay on the orbit, they sometimes have to reinvent themselves completely. While theorists talk of art as a global place, creative “gastarbeiders” struggle to live and work professionally in this particular country. This invisible struggle unfolds on many levels: personal, cultural, social, political, and economic.
Participants of the Gastarbeider series were all creative people from 7 different countries, living and working in the Netherlands. Gastarbeider Dating explored the tension field between their desires and dreams, and the situation they currently find themselves in. It brings together different communities, with their hopes, problems and expectations.