Saturday, 26 November 2011


Text proposal made of nails 

'A site specific exhibit' is what you told us 8 weeks ago. So we formed groups to challenge ourselves and exchange form and content. What is the history of this location and how do we move around in it? We started a process and were cut short. No big deal. We took on the NEW grid and started again. New New New; it's New York. Concrete jungle where dreams are made of.  And 'new' is what everybody seems in need of to show. For me it became apparent that this site specific exhibit is much bigger than a location. It is a 'gut' feeling that is a stranger to me. As if all energy is way up at the ceiling and not at the ground. Nothing can be extracted from the earth here. This place is barren. And I hang between a passive aggressive state, conflicting 'wanna makes' with 'thesis writing'. The time is getting closer to the exhibit and I have found my armory. I'll bring 2 large Nanika drawings to this event. Heavy framed in wood they are kept in place by four pins, this avoids the work from touching the glass. The participation of these works can be seen as an attempt to open up my presence at the KB studio. They have an emotionally charged depiction and I hope their presence at the studio will alter the energy there. In return I hope the studio will add a layer of experiment to their finished state of being. Nanika is Japanese for 'something that is hard to describe' and thus it finds its way to my own experience at the location and could conflict, add and confront building and viewers. I'm angry and I'm happy that the first cracks appear on the concrete floor. 

Nanika 13
charcoal, marker, acrylic paint on paper
114cm x 166cm

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Press Release

The Talent Show:

Guido van der Werve - Nederlands Dans Theater 2 - Uta Eisenreich - Sina Khani - Ieke Trinks - Dennis Verbeke - Renee van Trier - Jeroen Offerman - Isabelle Schiltz - Nina Yuen

The new edition of Palais Paradiso will take place on 16 February 2012.
The theme of this year is 'The Talent Show'. It's a nod to the enormous amount of
talent these days with a program full of show and spectacle. Palais Paradiso is a series of performances, video art, installations and music.

Date: Thursday, february 16, 2012
Start: 20:30
Admission: 9.50 | Students 6.50
more information:

The spirit of the house

The Salon was a way to exhibit art which was very common in the 17th and 18th century. It was a meeting at someone's home where artists, writers, philosophers, musicians and their works and ideas were exchanged. The Salon exhibited paintings floor-to-ceiling on every available inch of space. Salon sociability quickly spread through Europe and by the 18th and 19th centuries, many large cities in Europe had salons copied on the Parisian models. This inspired artist Lisa Couwenbergh who works and lives in the same house where A. Bouten (1893-1965) and H Korevaa (1893-1983) worked to keep this tradition alive. She curated a Salon experience titled the Spirit of the house. 
Previous owners and artists
Armand Bouten and Hanny Korevaa

The combination of works in a Salon is very exciting. It can add layers of tension/friction or it can distract you to see only similarities in energy, style or theme. On entering the room my eyes get stuck on a piece made by Johanna Schweizer. I first saw her work in 2008 at Art Amsterdam and later that year she participated in a show at COBRA museum in Amstelveen. An important theme in her work is the origin of mankind which she explores through fiber art. She combines this theme from cross-genderness and cross-specieness to religious suffering and sexual rituals with folkloric, pagan and a sensual playfulness that makes her work at the same time deadly serious. Fiber art is a style of fine art which uses textiles such as fabric, yarn and natural and synthetic fibers. You recognize her work immediately.
The same house with a new Salon presentation 2011


Johanna Schweizer
Without hesitation I walk over to the two monkeys hanging on the wall, one in bright orange the other in blue. With great pleasure I read many details in this piece, it alternates my thoughts constantly. In her work she makes fun of the laws of nature and provokes different comments depending on if the viewer is male or female. It takes some time before I realize their gender and the conflict they provide with their colors. As nice as it is to zoom in on this work, all walls, corners and ceilings are filled with pieces to view so it is time to move on. 

As much darkness as light 2008
Erik Mattijssen
On the opposite wall the work of Erik Mattijssen draws my attention. It is a cardboard dark skinned human with flowers and vegetables as intestines. It hangs like a jumping jack figure but there is no cord. I become aware that this work, just like Schweizer's monkeys has a certain similarity. I feel caught in the act when I realize it might be my preference. Something that since the beginning of this final year of DOGtime I try to avoid. But surfaces again when I go through this exhibit. The use of human or animal figures, puppets and dolls have been fascinated material for so long that I don't know why I (all of a sudden) want to exterminate it. My strict thoughts have become a hinder to myself, this becomes clear now. It explains the 'passive aggressive' state of thinking that has been dominating my practice. I leave Couwenbergh's apartment with a more curious attitude and a more open point of view to start my engine again. I hope it will return a sparkle of excitement...

Monday, 14 November 2011

Folding a building

The copy will be exactly the same 2011

Sunday, 13 November 2011

To begin again at the beginning

Benedictine abbey of Sint Benedictusberg
Dom Hans van der Laan described his career as a 'quest'. Through a long life as architect and monk he devoted himself to search for the primitive origins of architecture. His church at Vaals was designed between 1956-1957 and build 1961-1968. He invented a chain of proportions that binds the largest dimension (of the church) to the smallest, the wall-thickness.  His form-bank (plastic number) consists of blocks, bars, slabs and white forms with the basic proportions: 1/1 3/4 4/7 3/7 1/3 1/4 3/16 1/17 together with the deducted proportions 6/7 2/3 1/2 3/8 2/7 3/14 1/6 1/8 these 16 proportions can create a house, a town, a world.

Unlike the Golden Section or the Modular proportional system of form by Le Corbusier the plastic number is not flat but a three-dimensional system based on a sense of small, medium and large. A complex system where one form relates to another. Van der Laan compared the form-bank to the color-spectrum. Block, bar and slab corresponds to the three primary colors and the other forms to the various nuances of color.


The atrium with the stair leading to the colonnade of the Church.

Arriving at Vaals on a sunny autumn friday has a peaceful effect on me. I stand in front of a big wooden door. The abbey is behind it. It all feels very solid, like a fort. There is a doorbell but I rather stand here for a while taking it in. Suddenly the door opens and a young blond man with a big camera around his neck steps through the door. I smile, for the image confirms that people from all over the world still come here to observe what has been build many years ago.
The keys to my room (8) 
What does it mean to inhabit a space? I will ponder that thought the coming days while I'm being greeted by a monk. He introduces himself and when I tell him my name he knows I will be a guest. He guides me through the inner courtyard, through doors and hallways that echo our footsteps. When we enter the room where I will be sleeping he shows the daily schedule and the different books for prayers. He leaves with a gentle smile addressing the fact that there will be coffee in the round tower in 15 minutes. I take the leaflet from the table and look at it. The first prayer begins at 05:00 (Metten)  and the last one will be at 20:30 (Completen). A warm meal in the afternoon together with the monks and bread in the evening with the other guests. I go for coffee and will come back later to read a bit more about the rules and regulations. 

Round tower that is used for reading, breakfast and recreation

As soon as i set foot in the round tower the symmetry strikes me. My research has begun... The other guests look at me and I sit uncomfortable at the head of the table. We have a little conversation about the duration of my visit and my motivation to be at the abby. When the church bells interrupt, everybody cleans their place and heads of to their room. They appear with little green books, so I'll bring mine to. In silence we walk to the courtyard, up the steps and into the church. I see rituals everywhere, and try to fit in. You bow before you sit, you stand when the monks come in and you bow again when the words Spiritus Sanctus or Sanctum Domini are spoken. The service is in Latin and I find it hard to keep up. My eyes wander around, without decorations this place is filled with meaning and measure that you can sense but not obviously see. 
There is an intense energy when the service is over and people remain seated. In silent contemplation. While the world outside darkens quickly I rise, bow and walk my way back to my room where I have to make my bed and drink a glass of water. I close the curtains. Find my place at the desk and start unpacking my books. There is a very comfortable silence here. For today I see there is a bread meal served with the monks at 19:30 and afterwards is the last service of the day. Written underneath 
Desk, chair and closet
is the text: we would like to have silence in the house from 20:30 until the morning. I start reading and making notes. Van der Laan sees art, not as an imitation of nature or a continuation of its process, but as our reaction to a conflict between ourselves and the natural world. Nature is the starting point of art, but it does not follow that the work of art should have a quasi-natural character. He sees art as:


It's a nice thought to keep in mind when I go to the dining room....

-to be continued-

It started with one

'Do you have more collections?' my teacher asked. 'No' I replied. But on my way home I started laughing when I realized that I have been collecting since I was a child. And while I was biking back home they came rushing back into my memory. From stamps and Disney VHS collections to Madonna singles or more recently the My Little Pony items. Collecting fascinates me and items are gathered and ordered during a specific period of time. I even collect stuff I find on the streets that maybe 'one day' be turned into art. This so called (trash art collection) is the hardest to keep in control. Sometimes I have parts of windows, chairs and lamps stored in my studio for months. Never using them. The right moment doesn't occur. On other occasions they assist me in making new connections. And I start composing, looking and shaping them into a different form. These readymade objects are stored together. See Wireless Scream from 2008 bellow. Once they've found their form they will only be used in their own specific composition.

Wireless Scream 2008

Besides the physical collection there is my nonphysical collection. The one I had almost forgotten about, the one that was stored on my extended hard drive. The collection of images of the Blessed Virgin Mary was created in 2008. In the first few weeks the picture based gallery was organized on: -date -subject and -painter. I started the collection with the intention to get more insight in the different apparition forms of this Saint. Due to the vast amount of information my research became bigger than only the visual form. I felt the need to try and understand what happened to the Blessed Virgin, which tales were favourite by artists (over time) and how do you archive a vast amount of images? Not only did I have to face several apparition forms but I also had to solve the different titles that were addressed to her. There are a total of 79 Catholic titles for Mary; the Mother of Jesus Christ. 

Virgin in prayer by Giovanni Battista 1640-1650

-Mary Queen Of Heaven
-Blessed Virgin 
-Blessed Lady
-Mother Of Grace

-Mary Mother of God

-Queen of angels

-Woman crowned with stars

-Mystical rose

-Holy Mary

I decided to stick to one title, for me she is the Blessed Virgin Mary. As my collection grew bigger I was in need for a different system. I found it fascinating to see the changes that occurred when I ordered my collection on subject rather than date. It was then that I realized that collecting had its own dynamics and regulations. Five personal preferences arose:
 1) Annunciation 2) Assumption 3) Immaculate Conception 4) Mother and Child 5) Mary in    Prayer 

Screenshot of 12 Annunciation paintings from between 1489-1576 on my hard disk

When I started to investigate her life in the ‘art world’ I discovered a number of important events. But only part of her legend can be found in the Gospels (of Matthew and of Luke), many facts of her life were written much later and her cult was established only in the late Middle Ages (300 years after the birth of Christ). In fact, even though it is not possible to establish an exact chronological point for identifying the date of Mary’s birth, the Church has always been aware that Mary appeared on the horizon of salvation history before Christ. 
It is a fact that when ‘the fullness of time’ was definitively drawing near She who was from eternity destined to be His mother already existed on earth! Who were the parents of The Blessed Virgin? The life tale of Mary starts at the marriage of Joachim and Anna, who had been barren for many years. She was born pure and stainless, beautiful and full of grace, thereby demonstrating , that She was free from the law and of sin.

Coronation of the Virgin by Diego Velazquez 1641-1644

The following episodes from the life of the BlessedVirgin are reflected in the fine arts:

1) Birth of Mary
2) Presentation of the Virgin in the temple
3) Education of the Virgin
4) Marriage of the Virgin
5) Annunciation
6) Visitation
7) Second Annunciation
8) Death of the Virgin
9) Assumption of the Virgin
10) Coronation of the Virgin

The research possibilities seemed endless with The Blessed Virgin as a subject. Going through the images and dates I noticed that there were no 'official' colors for the Blessed Virgin. 
Pictures of Our Lady of Mount Carmel have her in brown,
Our Lady of Prompt Succor has her in golden robes,
Our Lady Help of Christians and Our Lady of Guadalupe images have her in red and blue,
Our Lady of Perpetual Help images have DARK blue and red,
images of her as Our Lady of Sorrows usually have her in dark blue only,
and plenty of icons of her will have her purely in red. 

Coronation of the Shepherdess 2008
By this time I felt the collection was nearing completion but there was a missing element. My knowledge about the subject had grown. I had learned about the dynamics of archiving and applied the experience to other collections such as my own working process at the Rietveld. Where photo's and videoclips were ordered in maps and archived by year. This improved the vision on my body of work. And would come in hand later when making my portfolio. It was after I bought the Old and New Testament that I noticed a male dominance in the writings. That made me wonder about the Blessed Virgin. I started to think what it would be like if She was the one who received the commandments on mount Sinai instead of Moses. Out of curiosity I began painting. Integrating the research into 8 large (1.20m x 1.60m) mixed media works. The Coronation of the Shepherdess was on display at the DOGtime exposition in December 2008.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

The Talent Show

Ticket sale has started , order them online or buy them at the door: