All Art Is Political. Exit Gemak, The Hague

Renë Vullings

René Vullings

 

POTL, Hans Demoed & Geert de Rooij

POTL, Hans Demoed & Geert de Rooij

 

POTL, Hans Demoed & Geert de Rooij

POTL, Hans Demoed & Geert de Rooij

 

Dana LaMonda

Dana LaMonda

 

 Jean van Wijk

Jean van Wijk

On Friday December 4th Gemak/Vrije Academie closed its doors as a result of rigorous cuts by the municipality of The Hague in financing the institution. Herewith a good and spacious platform to show present day art in dialogue with the neighbourhood, the city town and indeed the rest of the world, is closed down. On the last day of its existence Gemak organized amongst others a one day exhibition in which more than forty artists took part. It was a great and heart warming show for the closing institution and for the many people who attended. The next day I visited Gemak to make some pictures of the day after for this posting. For a full article in Dutch about the closure of Gemak i refer you to Villa La Repubblica (click here). In the mean time, enjoy the pictures.

Yvo van der Vat

Yvo van der Vat

 

Ehsan Behmanesh & Arefeh Riahi

Ehsan Behmanesh & Arefeh Riahi

 

Petra van der Schoot

Petra van der Schoot

 

Claudie de Cleen

Claudie de Cleen

 

Willem Spekenbrink

Willem Speekenbrink

 

Zeger Reyers

Zeger Reyers

Gemak Exit 12 Overview

Joncquil

Joncquil

 

Pim Voorneman

Pim Voorneman

 

André Kruysen

André Kruysen

Gemak Exit 16 Overview

Wouter Willebrands

Wouter Willebrands

 

Pendar Nabipour

Pendar Nabipour

 

Sylvain Mazas

Sylvain Mazas

Gemak Exit 20 Overview
Gemak Exit 21 Overview
Gemak Exit 22 Overview

Laura van Eeden

Laura van Eeden

 

Marjolijn van der Meij

Marjolijn van der Meij

 

Marjolijn van der Meij

Marjolijn van der Meij

 

Zeger Reyers

Zeger Reyers

Gemak Exit 27 Overview

Paul Bruininckx

Paul Bruininckx

 

Nicole Donkers

Nicole Donkers

 

Nicole Donkers

Nicole Donkers

 

Philip Schuette

Philip Schuette

Gemak Exit 31 Overview

Euf Lindeboom

Harold de Bree

 

Ingrid Mol

Ingrid Mol

Gemak Exit 35 Ingrid Mol

Mark de Weijer

Mark de Weijer

[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

Bertus Pieters

Locus, Upcoming Iranian Artists Abroad, at Gemak/Vrije Academie, The Hague

Locus 01

Some time ago i visited the exhibition Locus, Upcoming Iranian Artists Abroad at Vrije Academie/Gemak to write an article about it. The article being published on Villa La Repubblica, it’s time to show some more impressions. It starts with

Locus 02
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a poetic touch by Farhad Fozouni (1979) using both Latin and Persian script and

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even integrating illustrations as part of the poem, or vice versa. Another possibility

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for a starter is to watch a documentary by Hamed Yousefi (1981) about modern and present day visual culture in Iran,

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amongst others about Reza Abedini (1967), who designed the poster for this exhibition.

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Celia Eslamieh Shomal (1981),

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having become part of both Dutch and Iranian culture,

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puts a face on that hybridity, using the colour orange.

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Pendar Nabipour (1985) mystifies remembrances of Iranian design of the 1980’s.

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Nabipour is also co-curator of the exhibition (compliments!).

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Amir Tirandaz (1984) has moved his studio to Gemak for the time of the exhibition. Around the time

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of my visit there wasn’t much activity, but that’s some time ago already. So, go and check!

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Ehsan Behmanesh (1979)

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left this suitcase,

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trying to find its way in two cities.

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Arefeh Riahi (1979) makes writing in both scripts corporeal by

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writing simultaneously with both hands.

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Ehsan Fardjadniya (1983) has built a dome referring to

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architecture which puts the weight of power on

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our shoulders and full of monitors showing the power of the media, while

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you hear him reading a letter to his mother, making

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the whole thing almost heart breaking.

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Another heart breaker (well, in a positive sense, that is) is

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Mehregan Kazemi’s (1985) photo and text installation about

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the loss of innocence and becoming part of a humiliated and humiliating community. For

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Siamak Anvari’s (1981) installation you have to take off your shoes. His is

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partly a sound installation. The santur

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(the musical instrument) is broken by the change of climate, but will sound by itself now and then. In another

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room you can see still more documentaries by Yousefi. Take

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your time, it’s interesting.

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And don’t forget to sign up for Joubin Zargarbashi’s (1976) endearing and sympathetic Omnigaze project!

All together this is another fine museum-like presentation by Gemak. Take your time and see that the world is bigger than your little town.

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(Click on the pictures to enlarge)

Bertus Pieters

Click here for the full article and some more pictures on Villa La Repubblica (in Dutch)

Gevallen kamers (Fallen Rooms) by Petra van der Schoot at off senses/future senses, Gemak, The Hague

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During the exhibition off senses / future senses at Gemak (which

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i visited some time ago) Petra van der Schoot has

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been working on her installation Gevallen kamers (Fallen Rooms). She made

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a kind of diary on the wall. The project isn’t

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finished yet, but in fact it can’t be finished as that

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would obscure the process which is part of the installation.

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So she stopped working on it. It has become a work

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which produces different meanings, covering objects which still can be

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recognised but have lost their functions, bound together in a kind

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of web which makes them dependant on each other. As

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such the web creates a new environment where some of

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the objects don’t just have lost their function but also

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their weight. The late summer sun, or early autumnal sun

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if you wish, provides the whole with some extra dimension.

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In the process she also wrapped up a man which

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completes the idea of a spider’s web. But i’m happy

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to report to you that the man is free again.

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(Click on the pictures to enlarge)

Bertus Pieters

Fragments of a Personality by Lenny Waasdorp; Gemak, The Hague

Lenny Waasdorp 01

In Gemakstore photographer Lenny Waasdorp has a small exhibition.

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It’s called Fragments of a personality.

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She took her own face as a starting point and made different variations.

Lenny Waasdorp 04

The result is an astonishing number (sixty nine to be exact) of characters.

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At the same time she was clearly also looking for different visions of femininity, or what makes a portrait feminine.

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There are only few portraits where the gender is more or less ambivalent or may be even masculine.

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She also had the faces analysed by a so-called face reader, with some funny results.

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Lenny Waasdorp 10
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The two pictures from the series Saturday Night show even more fragmentation. Both scenes seem to be disintegrating.

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They make for an interesting exhibition. And for people (like me) who follow Waasdorp on Facebook, it’s a good chance to see these pictures in a reasonable print version.

Lenny Waasdorp 13

(Click on the pictures to enlarge)

Bertus Pieters

off senses / future senses, Gemak, The Hague

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Off senses/future senses is an exhibition about the senses (would you guess it?) in Gemak/Vrije Academie. So apart from sight, it’s about smelling, hearing and feeling.

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It starts with the extremely blown up and detailed photos by Mattie van der Worm. Indeed

Gemak 28 Mattie van der Worm

it’s tempting to scratch them or to sniff for the smell of them.

Gemak 29 Peter de Cupere
Gemak 30 Peter de Cupere
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Peter de Cupere is trying to find his way by smell.

Gemak 32 Peter de Cupere

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More about smell by De Cupere. His instruments

Gemak 34 Peter de Cupere

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have the alienating aesthetics of African masks in a museum.

Gemak 36 Derek Jarman
Gemak 37 Derek Jarman
There is a homage to Derek Jarman, although this isn´t his promised and enigmatic Blue. Jarman made Blue when he was almost blind. But well, that´s the story, which would be movingly appropriate to this exhibition.

Gemak 38 Petra van der Schoot
Gemak 39 Petra van der Schoot
Gemak 40 Petra van der Schoot
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Petra van der Schoot was busy with an ongoing project Gevallen kamers (Fallen rooms)

Gemak 42 Petra van der Schoot
Gemak 43 Petra van der Schoot

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where all textile is going through her hands, so everything is covered with feeling.
And apart

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from that she shows this intriguing contraption, with a moving eye.

Gemak 46 Yota Morimoto
Gemak 47 Yota Morimoto
Gemak 48 Yota Morimoto
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Yota Morimoto (who did the opening performance) shows two installations where sound is influencing vision.

Gemak 50 Yota Morimoto
Gemak 51 Yota Morimoto

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In Infrasonic Study #2 a deep bass sound influences the material attached to the amplifiers. A kind of photography through sound, or rather soundography.

Gemak 53 Lustlab
The Hyperlocator is an installation by LUSTlab which gathered quite some interest already at the opening. Projected balls with reflected street views react to the movements of the visitors standing close to the screen. And what’s more,

Gemak 55 Lustlab

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it also starts making noice. So you can influence it, but it will also influence you…..

Gemak 57 Objective Exhibitions
Gemak 58 Objective Exhibitions

Objectif Exhibitions let you concentrate on some short soundtracks while you sit in a chair and the sound is concentrated on your head

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and makes you aware of how sound is entering your brain and really becoming sound to you.

Gemak 61 Cybil Scott
Gemak 62 Cybil Scott

Another way of experiencing sound is Cybil Scott’s installation Chamber. The sound will interact with you looking at virtually nothing except for some vague light. It’s demonstrated here by the artist.

Gemak 63 Cybil Scott

I’d say it’s not really my cup of tea (but that’s something personal) but i’d recommend anybody to give it a try for a quarter of an hour. Aesthetically speaking

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it would be better to let somebody else do it. (blind selfie)

Gemak 65 Sissel Marie Tonn
Gemak 66 Sissel Marie Tonn
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Artistic Research Student Sissel Marie Tonn made an

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Gemak 70 Sissel Marie Tonn(picture darkened)

installation about communication in combination with absence.

Gemak 71 Goethe Farbenlehre
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As an afterthought Goehte’s colour theory is shown, while the light is shining through its pages, while

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Gemak 74 Philipp Otto Runge

Goethe’s unfortunate and romantic contemporary Philipp Otto Runge’s thoughts on the same subject can be seen.

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The whole exhibition is well composed and has a lot to offer. One wonders

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why these aspects of today’s art are not shown in any museum in or around The Hague. But,

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on the other hand, institutions like Gemak couldn’t take credit for it then, and that would make the city a lot poorer. So

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the message is loud and clear: Go And Experience This!!

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(Click on the pictures to enlarge.)

Bertus Pieters

Un sentiment de comme si; Gemak/Vrije Academie, The Hague

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A lousy, rainy day in The Hague. A good time to see the present show at Gemak, Un sentiment de comme si. It‘s this week only as it is linked to the graduation show at the Royal Academy of Art (KABK), which will be opened on Friday July 11th.

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It’s made by students of the Master Artistic Research. That may sound horrible, but it is quite interesting.

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You are being watched… (actually, i was wearing green trousers).

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Artistic research usually means that the thinking is part of the art and that the result, whether visible or not, is only part of that.

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And usually it also means language plays an important role. For instance in this work by Quenton Miller you hear a woman’s voice speaking while at the same time you can read subtitles. But in the subtitles words are changed subtly or less subtly.

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In another act of clarification-by-mystification Hannah Dawn Henderson, as an anglophone, tries to speak Dutch, while the video shows subtitles in English.

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While at the time i was there taking pictures, she did a performance of Cecilia Bengtsson. (By the way, it’s peculiar i always feel these days that either i’m part of the performance or i’m not. These feelings are exchangeable).

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Annabel Kanaar strikes a more lyrical note with work about death and parting, while

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Sarah Pape García’s impressive project Exercise for Weightlessness occupies a large part of both the Gemak and of your own thinking.

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Sharelly Emanuelson shows her intriguing movie Doh Mix Meh Up, quoting E. Glissant: “(…) We all (people from the Caribbean – BP) feel it, we express it in all kinds of hidden and twisted ways, or we fiercely deny it.” Alas, it was too dark to make a proper picture.

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And back to language with Julia Reist, whose project is carried out with booklets, monitors, performance etc.

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The graduates found inspiration from the works of other artists like Abonnenc, Robert Ashley, Beckett and Dora Garcia, which are exhibited as well.

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And if your are reading YOU AND I HAVE BECOME WE, just turn around and see, if it’s raining, how the bikes reflect in the wet pavement, not

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because it’s important, but because it’s there.

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Click on the pictures to enlarge

Bertus Pieters