Near the place where William I of Orange (1533-1584) unwillingly left a hole in the wall and in time, Monshouwer and Van Wijk are also creating space and time but, happily, they are still actively doing so.
Monshouwer shows paintings, text drawings and a small sculpture.
The sobriety of his work is in stark contrast with the sheer inexhaustible array of objects, computer prints and installations by Van Wijk.
While Monshouwer’s abstractions reflect on the social and aesthetic implications and relics of modernism in urban housing, Van Wijk’s work drags you into the space in between the walls, inside and outside, freely narrowing or widening the gap as it pleases.
It is as if space itself re-imposes its rule over architecture and the landscape, creating a kind of architecture of the vacuum.
While Van Wijk corrupts every sense of measurement and as such invents new shapes for space, Monshouwer re-assesses the world of modern urban measurement and the abstract remnants it leaves in the mind as a remembrance of the ideals of modernism in the microcosm of the city.
Not without a tour de force these seemingly incompatible spirits are drawn together in the exhibition, challenging the viewer.
Quite successfully so, as both seem to reinforce each other’s qualities.
Although it’s wonderful to see works by both artists in Delft, it is a bit strange that they are not household names in The Hague itself.
As i have written quite extensively about this show in VLR, i leave you here just with some impressions without comments, of course with the recommendation to go and see it all for yourself. It is this show’s last week!
The invitation read: “A confrontation of a man with speeding uprise of technology and existing in the sarcastic post-postmodern world has led to the condition when one no longer finds it bearable to exist in the society overpowered by the hyper real. With the explosion of digital media one finds it hard to relate back to their own body, land, nature. A longing for not the past, but the times when mind, body and nature weren’t in mutually abusive relationships has crystalized in the very essence of this exhibition. By relating on natural materials and strong storytelling the selected artists attempt to claim back what’s theirs – the physicality of their body; the authenticity of their touch, breath, brushstroke; the utter connection to planet Earth and earthly beings.”
Come on, folks! Not again this stumbling, quasi-international language! Either write it in poetry or just say what you want.
An Indefinite Terrain was a very short running exhibition last weekend at Trixie.
The general mood was one of defiance, challenging present day society which keeps you constantly busy with its obtrusive and indeed unnecessary requirements.
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.
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, Sehsucht (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.