Rijswijk is a bit of a backwater within the urban area of The Hague. It has a museum and an art gallery both mainly serving local cultural needs. The Museum of Rijswijk preserves the heritage of the old village and the modern municipality. So, for somebody who is not interested in Rijswijk, the place may not be very interesting. But the Museum does boast a biennial per year, one for paper as an artistic medium and the other year one for textile. This year it’s textiles again.
For a small museum it must be quite an effort to organize this every year. Funds to attract great international names must be lacking, but that doesn’t mean the quality of the artists on show is less. Moreover, composing the exhibition and placing the different objects is something the Museum is very good at. The works are shown with a care and precision that is near perfection.
In a place like Rijswijk choices are limited. What do you want with an annual exhibition like this within the margins of available money and the needs of a provincial town? The first idea will be to bring the “world” to a Rijswijk audience with works of art from all over the world, and the second will be to attract visitors from outside Rijswijk.
I don’t know how it is organized exactly, but it is clear the artists are given a stake in the undertaking in that their work is also for sale. On the one hand that makes the biennial a bit ambiguous, on the other hand it clearly shows what it takes to organize something like this, in a place with only few possibilities for showing art and with having big neighbour The Hague just round the corner with so many galleries and museums.
As for the works on show: there are a few that definitely stick at least to my mind. There are the works by Ruben Marroquin from the United States, not just colourful but also very expressive, the extravagance full of references by Chiachio & Giannone from Argentina, the introvert tapestries of Ane Henriksen from Denmark and the strange and slightly surrealist scenes by Ida-Lovisa Rudolfsson from Sweden.
(Click on the pictures to enlarge)