‘The Self Collector’
Ellen de Bruijne Projects is very pleased to open the gallery season with Jan Rothuizen’s solo exhibition “The Self Collector”. Rothuizen will present new works and a novel. The new works continue his attempts to create an image of himself through others. His search for his possible selves is a study of the way each of us constructs our self-image and of the stories we live by.
For this exhibition the artist worked with the technical investigation division of the Dutch Police, palm readers and a plastic surgeon.
His new novel (in Dutch) is titled In een pretpark tegenover de hemel. It tells the story of a man who returns to the city where he grew up, and where a series of incidents will confront him with loss. There is a neighbour who reconstructs his life on old maps, and a woman he doesn’t know is leaving him personal messages on his answering machine. The book will be presented at 18.30 during the opening of the exhibition. It will be on sale at the gallery. The book is 160 pages long, with black and white pictures, and is published by Artimo. It will be available in the bookstores from 3 September.
Jan Rothuizen (Amsterdam,1968) has exhibited work at the Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art in Thessalonica, Vitamin Space in Guangzhou, China, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam and the Witte de With Centre for Contemporary Art in Rotterdam, among many other venues. His first book, On a Clear Day You Can See Forever, was published in 2000 by Artimo. Rothuizen has published work in the Dutch literary magazine De Gids and writes the column ‘Portable City’ for Amsterdam Weekly.
Vexillogy, Cartography and other Stories
“And when this building is on fire, these flames can’t burn any higher. I turn sideways to the sun, and in a moment I am gone.”
Song Lyrics from World by New Order, from their 1993 album, Republic
Heman Chong is an observer, gatherer and presenter of ideas and images. With a keen interest in the processes of visual culture, he is often able to toss his works into different configurations to suit the particular conditions of each exhibition/presentation.
The seven new works in Vexillogy, Cartography and other Stories forms a unique constellation drawn from a spectrum of different series that are currently in production within Chong’s practice. By employing this structure of presentation, he is able to suggest the connections between his work and reveal a sense of his broader artistic strategies, intellectual concerns and aesthetic adventures.
Taking one work within the exhibition as an example, Sustaining the status quote of modern living (2005, from the series F(S)lags), Chong has combined different materials and modes of display. With this performative sculpture, the viewer is confronted with a sissyphian act played out by two persons trying to build a small dune on a work table with 10,000 highly glossy cards printed on both sides with a symbolic graphic of a military insignia from Singapore and a comical alteration of it. The result of this is an image that communicates a tense relationship between the objects and the actions imposing it; somehow insisting that this image is not complete until it is fully animated with the given space and time in the exhibition, and at the same time referencing the processes of construction and destruction in our everyday lives.
“Chong is intrigued by what he calls the ‘life and times of objects’, and the narratives that these involve extend from the economic processes of production and exchange into the personalised nature of everyday consumption. The display of objects as an index of identity has been a feature of a number of the artist’s works, from the table piled with food, cigarettes and office furniture in Divided Tonight (with Corinna Kniffki, 2004) to the stacks of glasses, books and chairs in The Silver Sessions (2003). Always rigorously arranged, the objects take on an allegorical dimension that the artist calls ‘cinematic’, forming a productive tension between the real and the world of imagination and play.”
Text from Russell Storer, Curator, Museum of Contemporary Art Sydney