Gagarin, Slominski and Beuys; West gallery, The Hague

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West gallery has temporarily turned into a reading room, or rather three reading rooms.

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You could easily spend the whole afternoon in the gallery discovering and being inspired without being hindered by strange noises.

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If i were you, i’d do so.

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(Grün) Die Geige, die Geige ((Green) The Fiddle, the Fiddle) by Andreas Slominski (1959) challenges or defies (it depends on your own reaction) the reader/viewer to use his/her imagination to find unknown/unexpected visions.

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The main front room gives the floor to all editions of the biannual magazine Gagarin, the Artists in their own Words.

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Initiated by Wilfried Huet  just after the turn of the century, it publishes texts by living artists only, without interference of curators, art historians, critics, interviewers or superfluous introductions.

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I must say it is difficult to decide where to start.

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The best thing to do is just to leaf through some of the magazines at random and stop at a point where you think you found something interesting, strange or intriguing.

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There is no irritating music to keep your mind from wandering.

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Not even the silence is telling you to make your choice, pay your money and go on to the next consumption booth.

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The four sketchbooks Projekt Westmensch (The Westman Project) of the late 1950s are said to contain Beuys’ base for his main ideas about art and creativity and its functions in society.

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To some Joseph Beuys (1921 – 1986) is the Messiah, to others he is a charlatan.

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His personality has elements of both, but generally speaking, society could do with more Beuys, even today and on a local level in a town like The Hague (or any other town or city for that matter), that tries to keep up with what time seems to demand and in doing so forgets about the potential creativity of its citizens.

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The present exhibition at West at least gives it a try.

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[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

(Content of all pictures courtesy to the artists and West Den Haag)

Bertus Pieters

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3 thoughts on “Gagarin, Slominski and Beuys; West gallery, The Hague

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