We invite you to different art worlds


2 October 2020  6:00 pm

The artist’s novel as a new medium in the visual arts?

David Maroto
Witte de Withstraat 50

Why do we like it?
Maroto ventures the argument that it is possible to see the artist’s novel as a new medium in the visual arts. Maroto’s selected reading list includes references for the theory of a literary artistic practice, such as Roland Barthes, as well as a survey of recent novels by artists.

Reserve a spot via the ticket link.

More about the speaker:
David Maroto is a Spanish visual artist based in The Netherlands. This special edition of BOOKS marks the launch of his new publication ‘The Artist’s Novel: The Novel as a Medium in the Visual Arts’, recently released with Mousse Publishing.

Free Ticket
9 October 2020  6:00 pm

A dive into her favourite books.

Karima Boudou
Witte de Withstraat 50

Why do we like it?
Karima Boudou (b. 1987) is an art historian and curator. Trained in Art History and Philosophy. She will share the titles that have shaped Boudou’s own research and practice. Together these will reflect on the connection of our own historic times with the revolutionary and pan-Africanist era of the 1960s.

Please reserve a ticket via the link.

More about the speaker?
In this BOOKS program, Boudou opens up her research into the remarkable life and archive of Mehdi Ben Barka (1920-1965). A politician and pan-Africanist, Ben Barka was also deeply engaged with literary and cultural life. Ben Barka is known as a major figure of the Moroccan independence movement as well as a key instigator of the renowned 1966 Tricontinental Conference in Havana.

Free Ticket
16 October 2020  7:00 pm

Artificial intelligence, technology and power.

Trevor Paglen
Online via Zoom

Why do we like it?
Paglen’s KEYNOTE lecture Machine Visions discusses the rising significance of artificial intelligence and machine vision, as well as the relationships between technology and power. The Keynote is followed by a Q&A moderated by Witte de With Director Sofía Hernández Chong Cuy.

Sign up via our ticket page and receive a zoom link one day before the event.

More about the speaker:
Trevor Paglen is an artist, researcher, and writer celebrated by Guardian journalist Sean O’Hagan as ‘one of the most conceptually adventurous political artists working today’. His work spans topics such as state surveillance, data politics, experimental geography, investigative journalism, image-making, sculpture, writing, and engineering. Among his chief concerns are learning how to see the historical moment we live in and developing the means to imagine alternative futures.

Free Ticket

Plan a visit

Opening hours

We are open on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 1.30 pm to 6.00 pm. On Friday we are also open during the Art evening from 6 till 9 pm


Wheelchairs and Walkers
MELLY is well accessible with wheelchairs, mobility scooters, and walkers.

Service dogs
MELLY allows service dogs fitted with a suitable harness


Witte de Withstraat 50
3012 BR, Rotterdam
the Netherlands

By public transport
From Rotterdam Central Station:
Tram 20 direction Lombardijen, stop Museumpark.
Tram 7 direction Willemsplein/Nesserdijk, stop Museumpark.
Metro lines A/B/C, stop Eendrachtsplein, or Metro line D and E, stop Beurs.

By car
Click here for personalized directions.

Parking in the city center of Rotterdam requires payment with a debit card. You may park at the Westblaak parking on Hartmansstraat 24 where it is possible to pay with a bank card.

By foot
The walk from the Rotterdam Central Station takes about 17 minutes. Click here for personalized directions.

What to expect at Melly?

Melly is a meeting point where conversation about contemporary art and culture is stimulated. Expect a range of events here, from artist’s talks to scholarly lectures, from art performances to music and spoken-word recitals, and from writing workshops to reading groups.

At Melly, coffee and books are available for purchase. We have locally brewed coffee and publications selected by CBK, titles by Witte de With Publishers, and curated selections.

The space is fitted with furniture by Manuel Raeder and a colorful graphic environment designed by Enchilada. The graphic shapes on the floor indicate and promote 1,5m social distancing measures.

This is our ongoing program series:


Our new KEYNOTE conference series introduces major voices in the art field and ways of ‘sense-making’ in society.


Performances at the intersection of education and entertainment, where expertise is shared through talks and conversation, art and music, artist relations and neighborhood connections.


Events and meetings to experience contemporary culture. We create context to engage audiences. We welcome the public and program makers to join in.

Would you like to organize an event at Melly? Contact us!


In an intimate setting, guests and audiences share and discuss the books that have shaped their lives and thought. Their titles expand Melly’s curated bookshelves.

Who is Melly?


Melly is part of the institution formerly known as Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art. (A new name for the institution will come into effect on 27 January 2021. Read about this here.) The space and its program serve as an experimental breeding ground for contemporary art and culture, as well as for the institution. Its aim is to provide an opportunity to interest people in art in an accessible way. Its core value is collective learning.


The ground floor of the institution is lined with vast windows that face Witte de Withstraat. The façade was renovated as such in 2014 to “open up” the institution to the public. Additional efforts have been recently carried out to this end. To further this end, in 2018, the institutions white-cube, the ground-floor gallery was turned into a multi-purpose space, where both art displays and cultural events are presented. The space also functions as a bookshop, classroom, and a weekend café. In an effort to grant easier access to the institution’s activities sited there, admission to this space and its events is free.

These adaptions—which have included art and furniture commissions—were developed in tandem with a work/study collective learning program designed for Rotterdam youth. When the participants were tasked with proposing a new identity for the space they pitched to name their ground-floor gallery MELLY. The name comes from Melly Shum Hates Her Job, an artwork by artist Ken Lum in the form of a billboard portraying a smiling woman of Asian descent. Commissioned in 1990 by Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, this artwork was inspired by immigrants, a workforce that faces numerous challenges but that labors to create better opportunities for future generations. The youngsters considered Rotterdam as being made by the likes of Melly Shum, hence becoming an icon of this city.


Gerda Brust

Rachel Carey

Paul van Gennip

Rosa de Graaf

Sofía Hernández Chong Cuy


Jessy Koeiman

Angelique Kool

line kramer

Jeroen Lavèn

Docus van der Made

Emmelie Mijs

Erwin Nederhoff

Sarah van Overeem-van der Tholen

Wendy van Slagmaat-Bos

Heba Soliman

Erik Visser

Vivian Ziherl