For those who missed it (and for those who didn’t) here are some pictures of Expeditie Eisinga (Eisinga Expedition) in the Electriciteitsfabriek (the Power Plant).
Any work shown in this impressive industrial building has to compete with it.
So, works shown in this building – which is still waiting for the artist who is able to tackle its demanding and overwhelming character – must be monumental and must preferably move and make, if possible, some noise.
Six works by Jeroen Eisinga (1966) were indeed competing with the Carceri-like experience of the old power plant.
Little else can be said than that his last work Nightfall, which got the main stage, is indeed a masterpiece.
The video, lasting nearly an hour and screened more than life size, gives a bitterly cold impression of sheep in a snow storm at an ice hole with dead sheep.
At the same time it is a very recognisable scene of mourning and consolation.
Personally i was very much moved by it.
Four other great films were shown in the main hall of the building, two of them, Gerdinand & Corline and The Sixth Sense, from the 1990s, with less concentration on just one scene.
As a scene, Sehnsucht (Desire) showing the decay of a dead zebra, is not that original (a decomposing zebra was already shown in Peter Greenaway’s 1985 film A Zed & Two Noughts), but the setting on a black and white chequered floor, its successive sequences from three positions, and the relatively ‘slow’ movement of the film make it quite special.
Of course Eisinga’s famous bees movie Springtime was there as well.
The colour movie Soysambu was shown in a smaller room and has quite a different character.
It is more or less the ‘making of’ movie of Sehsucht and is as such the most controversial film of the six, with a bewildering mix of European and African sentiments ending with the almost ritual burning of the zebra carcass; but it is also a film about Europeans in Africa, busy with logistics, money, technique doing something while Africans are helping.
But helping what?
Still, watching the whole film, it turns from a documentary to a more moving level, just by documenting.
© Villa Next Door 2019
Contents of all the photographs courtesy to Jeroen Eisinga and the Electriciteitsfabriek, Den Haag