Otto Berchem / Ola Vasiljeva 17/10/09 – 21/11/09

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Otto Berchem – What is seen and what is not seen

“It’s fascinating to think that all around us there’s an invisible world we can’t even see.”  
Jack Handey

Otto Berchem’s work explores how we live and how we communicate our lives with one another. This interest in our social codes, and how we negotiate them, has lead to work that is often created in the public space or in the non-art context. Often these works draw attention to overlooked, unnoticed, and unarticulated systems and social behaviors.

For his third solo exhibition with Ellen de Bruijne Projects, Berchem will present several projects, all connected by subtle interventions used to expose what is seen and what is not seen.

These projects include Temporary Person Passing Through, a project that employed a now defunct hieroglyphic symbols used to map the city; You Am I Am You, a project commissioned by ArtAids, where Berchem produced a special collar for Thai street dogs; and Sanctuary, an ongoing project about a young kidnapping victim.

In recent years Otto Berchem’s work featured in EV+A, Limerick (2006), it was exhibited in Centre d’Art, Biel; Bregenzer Kunstverein, Bregenz and in S.M.A.K., Gent. In 2008 he participated in the 4th Triennale of Centemporary Art, Friedrichshafen and in the exhibition More to Love, in Bangkok and Chiang Mai.


Ola Vasiljeva – Alchimie du Verbe

My turn now. The story of one of my insanities.
For a long time I boasted that I was master of all possible landscapes and I thought the great figures of modern painting and poetry were laughable.
What I liked were: absurd paintings, pictures over doorways, stage sets, carnival backdrops, billboards, bright-colored prints; old-fashioned literature, church Latin, erotic books full of misspellings, the kind of novels our grandmothers read, fairy tales, little children’s books, old operas, silly old songs, the nave rhythms of country rimes.
I dreamed of Crusades, voyages of discovery that nobody had heard of, republics without histories, religious wars stamped out, revolutions in morals, movements of races and continents: I used to believe in every kind of magic.

I invented colors for the vowels! – A black, E white, I red, O blue, U green. – I made rules for the form and movement of every consonant, and I boasted of inventing, with rhythms from within me, a kind of poetry that all the senses, sooner or later, would recognize. And I alone would be its translator.
I began it as an investigation. I turned silences and nights into words. What was unutterable, I wrote down. I made the whirling world stand still.

Ola Vasiljeva (Latvia 1981) lives and works in Amsterdam. She is one of the founders of the Ocean Academy of Arts and the publisher of the OAOA magazine. Her work was recently on display at the Beyond Eden Art Fair in Los Angeles, on, and at the Portland Institute For Contemporary Art. Currently Vasiljeva is a resident artist at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten.

Dolores curator: Joris Lindhout

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