Hamid El Kanbouhi, HIST-I-O-R-Y / L’affare del secolo; 1646, The Hague

I visited Hamid El Kanbouhi’s (1976) present show at 1646 to write a review for Villa La Repubblica. Click here to read the review (in Dutch).

I must say i have my serious doubts about Kanbouhi’s installation (dubbed a “fake installation” by himself).

As far as i’m concerned there are discrepancies between the mythology and the personal, or between the possible message and its quality.

On the other hand there is also something quaintly intriguing about it.

But anyway, i’ve written about that in the VLR article, so you’d better see it all for yourself and make up your own mind.

[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

© Villa Next Door 2018

Content of all photographs courtesy to Hamid El Kanbouhi and 1646, Den Haag

Bertus Pieters

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Sam Keogh, Orbital Debris; 1646, The Hague

Sam Keogh (1985) presently shows his sculptural, multi-video space work Orbital Debris at 1646.

Against the background of a soundtrack made by The Iduna Institute for Strategic Imitation & Delay, and a gallery turned into a plastic grotto, the whole installation seems to be a collection of everything and anything, both material and emotional, that could become orbital debris in case we are too sloppy with the planet and space, or even orbital debris within our heads.

Even in a grand cosmic context our policies, our technology, our sentiments and our rubbish seem to be the output of world capitalist negligence and waste.

However, in another way the installation is an interesting and many faced work of sculpture, including sound and space, although the videos take the forefront as far as i’m concerned.

It looks a bit like the ambitious aims for Space of the 1960s but with its optimism replaced by mystification.

There is however very little sci-fi-ish about Keogh’s presentation.

It is as if we are already living in future and have been doing so for some time.

In that way Orbital Debris almost becomes a sentimental work.

Its basic concept – to show some video’s in a weirdly restyled, darkish room and with a sound track – may however make it not really very surprising.

Well, i suggest you go there and experience it for yourself.

[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

© Villa Next Door 2018

Content of all photographs courtesy to Sam Keogh and 1646, Den Haag

Bertus Pieters

Yaïr Callender, For the vision of Abou Ben Adhem; 1646, The Hague

Yaïr Callender (1987) is an artist with a great feeling for monumentality.

As he has shown in earlier works, monumentality to him is not just a matter of size and proportions, neither is it about an object to mark a certain event or to remember a special person.

In his kind of monumentality Callender wants to communicate with the public, or, like here in 1646, a gallery space, with the audience.

What his monumentality communicates is a celebration of knowledge, the spiritual and the social, three big columns of humanity.

Although he is clearly inspired by the greater and smaller monuments of global art history, he doesn’t feel the need to impress the audience.

His eclecticism isn’t for postmodern quasi-intellectual self-referential intertextuality, it wants to speak to the mind, foster reflection, imagination and communality.

He doesn’t want you to take part, he wants it to take part in you.

Abou Ben Adhem, who appears in the title of Callender’s present installation, is a fictional figure from a poem by Leigh Hunt (1784-1859), one of the minor poets of the days of early English Romanticism.

The poem, which is quite well-known in England, tells about Abou Ben Adhem, who dreams of peace and who sees an angel in the moonlight of his room, Making it rich, and like a lily in bloom, and who declares to the angel that he is one that loves his fellow men, and, not really one who love(s) the Lord.

The angel writes in a book of gold, and reappears to Abou Ben Adhem the next night with a great wakening light.

The third protagonist in the poem is the Lord, whose messenger is the angel and who blesses Abou Ben Adhem in the end for loving his fellow men.

The poem obviously served as an inspiration to Callender as you can tell from his use of light and dark in the installation, allusions to day and night, the warmth of the light (just take a seat and feel it!), finding peace and comfort for and in life and death, and the spiritual in communication when you share a water pipe (which you can imagine Abou Ben Adhem might have done).

Callender’s monumentality is particularly warm hearted, even if you haven’t read about Abou Ben Adhem (for which it is, i’m afraid, a bit too late now).

[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

© Villa Next Door 2018

Content of all pictures courtesy to Yaïr Callender and 1646, Den Haag

Bertus Pieters

Bram De Jonghe, En dat ook (And that too); 1646, The Hague

I visited Bram De Jonghe’s present show En dat ook (And that too) at 1646 to write a review for Villa La Repubblica. Click here to read the review (in Dutch; with spoiler alert).

I leave you here with just a few details as it is much better to go and see this fine show yourself.

[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

© Villa Next Door 2017

Content of all photographs courtesy to Bran De Jonghe and 1646, Den Haag

 

Bertus Pieters

Steinar Haga Kristensen, Bruine periode – Liegen en opscheppen (Brown Period – Lying and Bragging); 1646, The Hague

Some art, in spite of being made by an obviously inspired, skilled, talented, knowledgeable and hard working artist, just doesn’t ring a bell with me.

Which is the case with Steinar Haga Kristensen’s show Bruine periode – Liegen en opscheppen (Brown Period – Lying and Bragging) presently at 1646.

It may have something to do with the somewhat dilapidated style of painting, old fashioned expressionist and a bit folk-arty, colourful but worn out and a bit empty.

But well, do take a look for yourself. If you feel inspired by these pictures, you may draw different conclusions..

[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

© Villa Next Door 2017

Content of all pictures courtesy to Steinar Haga Kristensen and 1646, Den Haag.

 

Bertus Pieters

Victor Yudaev, Victor en me; 1646, The Hague

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Last week i visited Victor Yudaev’s show Victor en me at 1646 to write a review for Villa La Repubblica. Click here to read the review (in Dutch).

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It’s a good exhibition in which Yudaev shows several works presented in a greater narrative.

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I’ve written quite extensively about it on VLR so i leave you with these pictures.

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Of course it is better to visit the show, which i warmly recommend.

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[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

© Villa Next Door 2017

Content of all pictures courtesy to Victor Yudaev and 1646, The Hague.

 

Bertus Pieters

Dunja Herzog, The Word for World is Forest; 1646, The Hague

Dunja Herzog 01 Susanne Wenger

Dunja Herzog’s presentation The Word for World is Forest at 1646 is in fact two presentations that are obviously connected but still very different.

Dunja Herzog 02 Susanne Wenger

In the front room she presents the work of Susanne Wenger (1915 – 2009) as a great source of inspiration. Wenger saved and revitalized the Yoruba sacred grove in Oshogbo, Nigeria.

Dunja Herzog 03 Susanne Wenger

New sculptures were made there by her and local craftsmen and she became a Yoruba priestess. The sacred grove is meant to be a place where de local gods can dwell and can be felt and communicated with.

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Herzog presents two of Wenger’s wonderful books, a real treasure and it’s amazing it’s actually on show there.

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Dunja Herzog 07 Susanne Wenger

There is also some video footage of the sculptures in the Osun Grove and there are some descriptions and translations of Wenger’s poetry.

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The back room contains Herzog’s own installation.

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She created her own grove of wonder with beard lichens or vines and objects that seem to be meant for communicating with another world.

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Radiating coloured lights complete the whole ambiance.

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It is difficult to see Herzog’s installation as independent from Wenger’s life work and of course that is deliberate.

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It gives a sense of integrity to the show and it lives up to it.

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[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

 

Bertus Pieters

Shelly Nadashi, Hide and seekers, 1646, The Hague

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I visited Shelly Nadashi’s show Hide and seekers at 1646 on its last day.

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So this posting is a bit late, to say the least.

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1646 06 Shelly Nadashi
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1646 08 Shelly Nadashi

To be short: it was a bit of a meditative exhibition, where you could perform your own spiritual drama in between the splattering of the fountains.

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That doesn’t mean it was all that brilliant, but with the ceramic turn we are witnessing these days, this was surely a sympathetic show.

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[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

Bertus Pieters