Art in corona times 88. Matthias Grothus & Yaïr Callender, Jam Session; Kadmium, Delft

Studio view; Yaïr Callender

As i initiated this show of works by Matthias Grothus (1982) and Yaïr Callender (1987) at Kadmium, Delft, this report is a bit different.

Matthias Grothus sketching in his studio
Yaïr Callender; studio view
Matthias Grothus; studio view
Yaïr Callender; studio view

The idea was to make a show with objects and/or installations that would cause a sense of wonder, a bit like in a Kunst und Wunderkammer, something both Grothus and Callender would be good at.

Matthias Grothus; studio view
Yaïr Callender; studio view
Matthias Grothus; studio view

We decided to leave a lot of room for improvisation.

Yaïr Callender; studio view
Matthias Grothus; studio view
Yaïr Callender’s works have arrived at the gallery

Callender has his studio in The Hague and Grothus in Zaandam, so it wouldn’t be easy for the artists to visit each other and exchange ideas.

Yaïr Callender’s works have arrived at the gallery
Yaïr Callender’s works have arrived at the gallery

That meant the actual making of the exhibition would be a kind of jam session on the day of installation at the gallery.

Yaïr Callender’s works have arrived at the gallery
First parts of Matthias Grothus’ works have arrived
Parts of Matthias Grothus’ work, waiting to be assembled

Happily the artists got on quite well together and they had a good feel for each other’s works.

Assembling Matthias Grothus’ work is like reconstructing a fossil
The artists attaching Matthias Grothus’ flying creature
… and there it flies!

Although the works were challenging, real problems didn’t happen.

Attaching a work by Yaïr Callender
Yaïr Callender adding some finishing touches

As a result I think some of the tension and the joy of making the exhibition can still be seen.

Matthias Grothus working on the flying creature’s head
The flying creature has a head!

Centre piece is of course Grothus’ flying creature, which is both strong and transparent.

Matthias Grothus fixing the head
It flies head on!

It flies like a phoenix supported by Callender’s works and accompanied by the deep, earthly humming of a sound work by Grothus.

Yaïr Callender
Yaïr Callender

Callender’s works try to let the surrounding world speak for itself.

Yaïr Callender
Yaïr Callender
Yaïr Callender

Although the show was originally planned for last spring (but had to be postponed because of Covid-19), it obviously works very well in this autumn of anxiety, where it might bring a moment of reflection to the viewer.

Yaïr Callender
Yaïr Callender
Matthias Grothus
Matthias Grothus’ sound installation

It has become a show of both deep seriousness and freaky humour.

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© Villa Next Door 2021

Contents of all photographs courtesy to Matthias Grothus, Yaïr Callender and Kadmium, Delft

Bertus Pieters

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Studio visit: Matthias Grothus

The other day i paid a visit to Matthias Grothus to write an article for Villa La Repubblica about his newest work The Last Unicorn. Click here to read the article (in Dutch).

I saw a video of the work on Facebook and was intrigued by it, so i contacted him and saw the work the next day in his (temporary) studio.

Grothus usually makes works that are moving either mechanically or by simply plugging in a power cord.

As such they often look both intriguing and understandable.

Although it has been fashionable last few decades for works of art to be ‘disturbing’, Grothus’ moving objects are in a sense comforting.

They show what the human mind is capable of without the use of obscuring digital techniques and they challenge the viewer to use his own imagination.

He stresses the need to care for human imagination and to respect the material and its potential we use.

As such mind and material are very much interlinked in his works.

He showed me his new work The Last Unicorn and we were busy making pictures and videos of it while chatting about the joys and pitfalls of art.

© Villa Next Door 2018

Content of all photographs courtesy to Matthias Grothus.

Bertus Pieters