Blog gallery visits part 2
By Christine Schering
My gallery tour started at gallery Ron Mandos. When entering the gallery I see the impressive installations of Nika Neelova. Mobiles are hanging from the ceiling in white, silver and black which you can walk through. They remind me of the mobiles from Alexander Calder. The gallery assistant tells me it is the arrested movement of a fan. Walking further there are the remains of a wall which looks like the wall has been burned down and only the construction is left. Another impressive work is from the Fragments Shored Against Ruins. An installation which is draped over a beam in the ceiling. The way it is hanging makes it reminiscent of elegantly draped cloth, however you know it is a black heavy structure that looks like a carbonized fishtail floor. It is as if Neelova went to a desolated burnt house and used the leftovers to construct her work.
In gallery Fons Welters you enter through the door from Joep van Lieshout into a feminine world. At first it looks like a sweet fairytale world, with broidery, knitting and bright colours. However when taking a closer look you see that the jewellery is made from glass blown penises or breasts. There is something ominous about the work. As if Lily van der Stokker and Maria Roosen want to say: you want feminine? Here you have it. Challenging you to take a closer look not only at the work itself, but also to the clichés around femininity.
My next stop is at gallery Tegenboschvanvreden. They are showing the work of Emma van der Put. You enter a dark room with videos projected onto the wall. At first I see something that looks like a blurred image, but than the sculptures become visible and I realize that it is the water from a fountain that makes the image blur. The videos are all looped and it takes a while with each of them before you recognize what it is that has been filmed. People being sitting in a carriage bumping from left to right, are actually sitting in a rollercoaster. The dark camera makes the eyes look expressionless and is similar to the gaze from the sculpture. Emma van der Put uses scenes from carnival or tourism which are familiar to us and films them from unusual angles and close-ups which have an alienating effect on the viewer.
Watching the videos makes me think of the notion of spectacle from Guy Debord and that everything around us has to be a special experience and entertain us in some way.
At Jeanine Hofland the exhibition seems to be made around three objects: a yellow staircase, a blue van and a leather jacket. The props return in the video or in the paintings. Feiko Beckers discusses the limitations of language and says that we should not blame the language but the task that is given to us. If you have to perform the task the means should be changed which in the example Beckers gives us would have absurd consequences.
Julien Beneyton shows a series of paintings in which the same man is portrayed in different occupations. What returns is the blue van of which a scale model is realized. The paintings offer you a sneak peak in the life of Beneyton’s friend. The work of Steven Jouwersma contains a video and installation around a leather jacket with fringes. The video is a fragmented documentation of his project in Surinam. The installation reeds as a puzzle, it gives you clues but you have to closely watch the video to fit the pieces together and understand what is going on. The videoshows fragments of Jouwersma getting familiar with the local music scene. The project realizes a musical performance with Jouwersma and the locals in the end. The image the locals had from Jouwersma are put into colourful drawings. It is interesting to see how (his) identity becomes constructed from the drawings.
The next door neighbour Boetzelaer Nispen is having a solo exhibition with Peter Lamb. The work seems to blur the distinctions between photography and painting. Constantly I am questioning myself is this spot or form painted or is it an image of a painting? Lamb is playing with your perception of the work. The quote from Greenberg above the press release is playing with the Greenbergian notions about the qualities of painting and not messing up the media. What Lamb is doing is exactly against the rules from Greenberg, however it is reminiscent of the abstract expressionists.
My next stop is at Gallery Onrust. They are displaying new and older masterpieces from different artists. Except for that each work is special in its own right, there is no red line in the exhibition. Most of the work is abstract, but each artist has another approach towards painting. Especially striking is the work of Han Schuil, which is made from aluminium but is playing with your knowledge of the material. At some points the work looks shiny but at another it looks mat and soft. It is tricking your perception.
I finished my gallery tour at Galerie van Gelder. The exhibition reads like a travel blog. Against the mat window slides are displayed documenting the journey. On a pedestal, what later appears to be a fridge, stands a projector which is only showing one slide not moving on to the next. The footsteps of François Dey are casted in the floor next to the visitors footsteps. They become traces of what has happened in the past. In the exhibition the ephemeral and immaterial of live is elevated and made as important as the objects it contains.