Jean Katambayi Mukendi, Attempts to Read the World (Differently); Stroom, The Hague

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In a very knowledgeable and interesting essay by Simon Delobel accompanying the present show with works by Jean Katambayi Mukendi (1974) at Stroom, the suggestion is made to call the artist’s work ‘outsider art.’

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However, that would be the easiest way to marginalise it, in spite of the status outsider art has claimed since the invention of that label in 1972.

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It should be recognised (and clearly Delobel and Stroom are doing so) that there are places in this world where daily life has to be lived, and sometimes even survived, in its extremes and where art has to be reinvented from scratch under these circumstances.

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Such a process is more ‘inside’ than ‘outside’.

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That opens possibilities to reconsider art and its functions and purposes.

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Katambayi Mukendi, born, raised, living and working in Lubumbashi – second biggest city in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and capital of the copper mining province of Upper Katanga – , started out as an electrician and a mathematician.

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His works as presented at Stroom (as part of his residency in The Hague), can be seen as thinking processes about society and the world of an artist-teacher-student.

Max de Waard

Max de Waard

He is the third artist in the series Attempts to Read the World (Differently). The others are Max de Waard (1992) and Monira Al Qadiri (1983) whose shows i missed unfortunately, but a work of each is still on show.

Monira Al Qadiri

Monira Al Qadiri

[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

© Villa Next Door 2017

Content of the pictures courtesy to the artists and Stroom Den Haag.

 

Bertus Pieters

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Graduation Show 2015 at the Royal Academy, The Hague

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In July i visited the graduation show at the Royal Academy of Arts in The Hague to write a review for the Villa La Repubblica blog. Here are some photo impressions for those who didn’t attend (or for those who did).

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When entering the building the visitor was greeted amongst others by some girl power by Danicha Leliveld. The great exhibition hall opposite the entrance

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was stuffed with works by students who apparently had to be showcased by the Academy. I can’t say I was much impressed by it, although i did like this poster by Hatice Kilinç in which internal organs set themselves free from the body of a veiled woman, who is clearly not amused.

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Jordie Rovers’ photo book is by far the best part of his presentation about art as archaeology.

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Roaming the ground floor of the old building i found myself

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in the textile and fashion department.

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The most spectacular presentation was by Olivier Jehee,

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showing the visual language of power of both trash and decadence, which i enjoyed very much.

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Up to the second floor! There i saw

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a fine photo book about the migration problems in Europe (or rather the problems we created) by Hilde De Windt. Somewhere else

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at the second floor of the old building Anne Kranenborg of the interior architecture and furniture design department showed some interesting ideas.

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The most interesting presentation of that department was by Róman Kienjet who presents small found objects in small reliquaries, giving them the value of history and mythology.

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Elsewhere on the second floor

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Elske Verdoorn reported about the cultural passions of people living in the margin in The Hague. This is the presentation of Serge, one of them.

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One of the most

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impressive presentations on the second

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floor was by Liza Pace.

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Her project Going Solo

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was especially photogenic.

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The third floor of the old building has a tower with a room which contained works by three students:

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Charlotte Ursem,

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Elise Sothys and

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Marija Angelovska. All of them

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showed interesting work, but i don’t think the combination of the three worked very well,

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the personalities overpowered each other.

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Continuing my quest on the third floor

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i ran into the interesting work of Najmeh Saghaei. Her projections tear bodies apart in search of the unknown parts of the human character.

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Also on the third floor some more painters.

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Amongst them Martin Gabriel who brings the world of

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video games back to paper, cutting, pasting and painting;

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Simon Oosterhuis who made some interesting works about the human body in

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confined but expressive colour combinations;

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Jonas Raps with some fine abstract paintings and

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Bjorn Barendse, who

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made a small painting installation, which

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worked like a decorated chapel.

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In the new part of the building (or rather the rebuilt part)

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Max de Waard presented his No Rules in Space, which

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was not photogenic at all, but

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all the more interesting (and it made some good noise).

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The installations by Mickey Yang

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seemed to deal with

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the peculiarity of the slowness of life processes, while

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the objects of Victor Breton van Groll have come to a complete standstill in his presentation.

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Romy Muijrers presented some good drawing.

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While back in the old building i couldn’t resist making some pictures of Rob van der Burg’s presentation about plants with electronically improving devices which would make their lives easier.

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Leaving the building i was enthusiastic about a lot of what i had seen, but it wasn’t the absolute top year like last year’s exhibition. A good academy easily spoils the viewer.

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(Click on the pictures to enlarge)

Bertus Pieters
Full review on Villa La Repubblica (in Dutch)