Bernice Nauta, Ach ja & Kolja Gollub, The V-Machine; Billytown, The Hague

Billytown had to leave its last fine space in the industrial Binckhorst area and now they just opened a new gallery in the Laakkwartier area.


“ALWAYS KEEP DOOR LOCKED PLEASE!” (for Dutch learners: find the mistakes in the spelling)

Though the Billytown artists often have a monumental look on space, they are aware of the idea that even the most monumental things are ephemeral, as the artists are allowed to occupy the new location for only one year.

That means they are presently busy transforming into a gallery this monumental school, built in times of the Wall Street Crash.


In the mean time Bilytown opened its first exhibition as the show must go on.

Like in the last premises, there is  a main exhibition and a smaller one in the kitchen, except that the Billytown Kitchen gallery has for the moment moved to the stairwell.

In the case of Kolja Gollub’s (1990) presentation that seems to be a very good solution.

His works conflate different modernist assumptions, which are usually conveniently seen as opposite and as such they fit very well into the once modernist style of the architecture.

They seem to be made for the stairwell and the classroom.

To be complete Gollub also shows his alternative money, the T-Taler, both in coins and in a kind of anonymous banknotes.

Bernice Nauta (1991) has her first solo exhibition called Ach ja, which is difficult to translate into English.

It can be an expression of sentiment, of remembering, of a moment of seeing an obvious solution to a problem or of ending a topic and returning to the order of the day.

It is quite an ambivalent expression.

Nauta’s works are more or less relics from the stories of her protagonists.

By working from the points of view of these personalities, Nauta feels free to keep a kind of personal distance from the works she makes, whether they are paintings, drawings, sculptures, video’s or music.

In Ach ja Nauta leads you into the world of Skia, a shadow personality with a three-point hood.

The different classrooms can be seen as different chapters of Skia’s adventures and the life story is ending in the video Skia, the shadow trickster, episode I.

The classrooms seem to give the right environment for the story to delve into.

In fact Billytown (or in this case Bernice Nauta) always seems to make you feel that the gallery space was specially made for the show, or vice versa.

[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

© Villa Next Door 2017

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


Bertus Pieters

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