End-of-winter break

Villa Next Door takes a break of some two weeks. So, see you back soon! For Dutch readers: Villa La Repubblica also takes a break, but do click here and read what you haven’t read yet!

Bertus Pieters

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Façades of The Hague #85

Antitank wall built by the German occupiers during the Second World War, Oude Waalsdorperweg.

The dunes around The Hague, as well as the city itself, has many relics and landmarks left by the Germans.

Bunker Widerstandsnest 302a
Bunker Widerstandsnest 302a

To the Germans The Hague was important politically, symbolically (as the traditional residence of the Dutch royal family, government and parliament) and militarily as part of the Atlantic Wall.

The antitank wall on these pictures functioned as a divide between a military training ground and Waalsdorper Vlakte (Waalsdorp Plain), where political prisoners were executed.

Today it runs from Oude Waalsdorperweg (Old Waalsdorp Road) to the northwest, with a bunker still known under its German name Widerstandsnest 302a in the middle.

The wall itself, as approached from Oude Waalsdorperweg, today indicates the line between a military shooting range and a small public park for people to walk their dogs (which seems to be the general destination for many public areas)..

The military still have a strong presence in the area.

Entrance sign 2017
New entrance sign 2019

Although the military serve the Dutch state, their presence, as revealed by fences, barbed wire and prohibition signs, creates an awkward atmosphere of power and secrecy in public space, as anywhere in the world.

Widerstandsnest 302a itself can only be seen from a distance from Oude Waalsdorperweg.

© Villa Next Door 2019

All pictures were taken in March 2017, except for pictures 8,9,36 and 38-41which were taken in March 2019 (these are the more sunny pictures)

 

Bertus Pieters

 

Façades of The Hague from #72 onwards: https://villanextdoor2.wordpress.com/category/facades-of-the-hague/

Façades of The Hague #1 – 71: https://villanextdoor.wordpress.com/category/facades-of-the-hague/

Harold de Bree, SSIXS; HOK Gallery, The Hague

Harold de Bree (1966) presently shows some works on copper at HOK gallery, The Hague’s smallest commercial gallery.

As usual there is a military link to De Bree’s work.

In the background you’ll hear short wave radio codes spoken and other sinister radio noises which are clearly not meant to be understood by a nosy listener.

That is probably also the best way to appreciate these copper works: copper as a conductive metal on which codes are splashed and painted, even engraved, on which the changing light also brings a kind of sinister visible noises.

Codes disguised as neat abstract paintings.

But i must admit i like the paintings apart from all that.

© Villa Next Door 2019

Content of all photographs courtesy to Harold de Bree and HOK Gallery, Den Haag

Bertus Pieters

Katrein Breukers & Lily Lanfermeijer, I Laughed “To Hell With Them” I Said; Billytown, The Hague

In Billytown’s Kitchen Katrein Breukers and Lily Lanfermeijer have created a crime scene.

Reminiscences of what might have happened are there, but to reassure you, there are no traces of bloodshed.

The scene is based on amongst others detective stories and the Cluedo detective game.

Some aspects may refer to earlier events, but you may as well find yourself in your own detective story.

And, as said before, there is nothing to worry about.

© Villa Next Door 2019

Contents of all photographs courtesy to the artists and Billytown, Den Haag

Bertus Pieters

Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, There is only one art … L-if-E; Billytown, The Hague

Genesis Breyer P-Orridge (1950) seems to be a bit of a blind spot in modern and postmodern art history.

Genesis P-Orridge is generally seen as one of the founders of Industrial music with his bands Throbbing Gristle and Psychic TV.

Already by the end of the 1960s he founded the artist’s collective COUM Transmissions.

Genesis P-Orridge has been active ever since, preferably in co-operation with likeminded people, to seek the extremes of existence and indeed of aesthetics in music, art and design.

Billytown has given Grauzone a platform to organise a retrospective exhibition about Genesis P-Orridge’s work.

Art historically long overdue though the exhibition might be, the relatively peaceful white cube-like presentation which isolates every individual work from its context may not fully confront the visitor with the overwhelming impact of the aesthetics of the work and life of the artist and his many collective projects.

© Villa Next Door 2019

Contents of all photographs courtesy to Genesis Bereyer P-Orridge, Grauzone and to Billytown, Den Haag

Bertus Pieters

Façades of The Hague #84

Façade of Praktijkschool De Poort (Practice School ‘The Gate’), 2de Sweelinckstraat corner Lübeckstraat.

The school was built in 2014 with classrooms for practice on the ground floor and for theory on the second floor.

Built in a late modernist style the edifice is not really a highlight of present day architecture, but despite its eclecticism it looks quite friendly, it even shows some elegance and it is well situated in the neighbourhood.

© Villa Next Door 2019

All pictures were taken in March 2017

Bertus Pieters

 

Façades of The Hague from #72 onwards: https://villanextdoor2.wordpress.com/category/facades-of-the-hague/

Façades of The Hague #1 – 71: https://villanextdoor.wordpress.com/category/facades-of-the-hague/

Manfred Schneider, Helio Trope Sleep; Livingstone Gallery, The Hague

Livingstone Gallery has a modest but interesting presentation of an installation and mainly text works by Manfred Schneider (1959).

The phrases in the text works seem to be a hotchpotch of disconnected profundities and ironic remarks, splinters of the human condition.

(IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT WE MAKE OURSELVES PRETTY)

Of two bigger paintings one has phrases in the first-person singular and the other in the third-person singular, commenting artists’ life.

(LOVE IS COLDER THAN DEATH)

Modest as the exhibition is, the idea of language and its meaning and feeling expands from the purely visual language of the installation, along the paintings to a video in which jokes about artists are told in two different ways.

© Villa Next Door 2019

Contents of all photographs courtesy to Manfred Schneider and to Livingstone Gallery, Den Haag

Bertus Pieters