James Turrell, Celestial Vault; The Hague (permanent)

One may ponder what archaeologists will think about Celestial Vault (1996) by James Turrell (1943) if they dig it up in let’s say 3018.

Will they think we were a religious bunch, worshipping something represented by the stone in the centre of the work?

Well, let’s leave that to these future diggers.

I visited this great work of public art just South of The Hague near Kijkduin Beach, today as it was one of the last hot summer days.

I also wanted to write a short article about its architectural qualities in Villa La Repubblica, which I did. Click here to read the article (in Duch).

Click here to read more about Celestial Vault in English at Stroom’s website.

There were more people like me, who probably thought this was a good day to pay the place a visit.

Amongst others people who walked their dogs. (Let people enjoy this place as much as they can, but why should they bring their dogs?).

I also visited the panorama point where there is a Turrell seat as well, where you can look at the sky.

Today there was some heavy machinery around to cut the branches, as it’s alright to have some nature around, but it should know its place.

Shouldn’t it?

[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

© Villa Next Door 2018

Bertus Pieters


De Gruyter & Andeweg; Stroom, The Hague

Juliaan Andeweg

Conceptualist artists use materials to refer to ideas.

Juliaan Andeweg

Juliaan Andeweg

Voebe de Gruyter

However Voebe de Gruyter (1960) and Juliaan Andeweg (1986) don’t use materials just to refer to ideas, their materials can also be part of the ideas, or they can be seen as crystallisations of the ideas.

Juliaan Andeweg

Juliaan Andeweg

Voebe de Gruyter

Voebe de Gruyter

Their installations are not just sums of thoughts, they are the material proof of them.

Voebe de Gruyter

Voebe de Gruyter

Voebe de Gruyter

Moreover they give you a sense of what is in between life and thought.

Juliaan Andeweg

Juliaan Andeweg

Juliaan Andeweg

Juliaan Andeweg

De Gruyter’s works look basic, she may use text, drawing, painting, objects, not for their beauty or colour, but for the stream of consciousness they create.

Voebe de Gruyter

Voebe de Gruyter

Voebe de Gruyter

Andeweg makes units of colours, directions, culture, movement and even sound and smell, to give a sense of completeness.

Voebe de Gruyter

Juliaan Andeweg

Juliaan Andeweg

Juliaan Andeweg

The communication between the two artists in this show is best in Stroom’s main room, but the presentations are best in the gallery’s basement.

Juliaan Andeweg

Juliaan Andeweg

Juliaan Andeweg

Stroom’s main space is an exceptionally difficult one and can only be controlled by radical means, which is difficult for one artist, but even more so for two artists.

Juliaan Andeweg

[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

© Villa Next Door 2017

Content of all pictures courtesy to Voebe de Gruyter, Juliaan Andeweg and Stroom, Den Haag..

Bertus Pieters

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





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.’




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.





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.




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





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




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.





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

Folkert de Jong, The Player and Dutch Mechanisms, The Hague


The Hague has two sculptures in public space by Folkert de Jong. I visited both to write a review about them for Villa La Repubblica. Click here to read the review (in Dutch).



The first one is called The Player and was commissioned for a square where people can sit and children can play.

Folkert de Jong 04

Folkert de Jong 05

It was placed in 2014.

Folkert de Jong 06

Folkert de Jong 07

De Jong based The Player on a court jester,

Folkert de Jong 08

Folkert de Jong 09

the one who could ridicule everything and everybody including the highest in power,

Folkert de Jong 10

Folkert de Jong 11

but who was also tolerated and protected by the highest in power.

Folkert de Jong 12

Folkert de Jong 13

That gives The Player a more or less ambiguous character.

Folkert de Jong 14

Though it has lost much of its original colour in two years time, it is still a powerful image.

Folkert de Jong 15

Folkert de Jong 16

Folkert de Jong 17

The other work was placed only this month in the town centre and is called Dutch Mechanisms.

Folkert de Jong 18

Folkert de Jong 19

Folkert de Jong 20

He based the sculpture on the bloodthirsty and orgiastic murder of Dutch statesman Johan de Witt and his brother by an Orangist mob in 1672, linking the murder to present day populism and abuse of power.

Folkert de Jong 21

Folkert de Jong 22

Folkert de Jong 23

He used a 3D copy of a tongue and of a finger of the brothers, still preserved at The Hague Historical Museum.

Folkert de Jong 24

Folkert de Jong 25

Folkert de Jong 26

Dutch Mechanisms is part of the public Sculpture gallery in the town centre.

Folkert de Jong 27

Folkert de Jong 28

Folkert de Jong 29

[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

Contents of the pictures courtesy Folkert de Jong


Bertus Pieters

Remembered Always….; Stroom, Town Hall, The Hague

ONTV 01 Fernando Sánchez Castillo

Titled Remembered Always… Stroom has organized a modest exhibition in The Hague town hall to show models of two newly designed monuments.

ONTV 02 Thom Puckey
ONTV 03 Thom Puckey

There is a model of Thom Puckey’s new monument for Dutch 19th century liberal prime minister Johan Rudolph Thorbecke (1798-1872) who implemented the modern Dutch constitution.

ONTV 04 Ingrid Mol

ONTV 05 Ingrid Mol

The second design is for a monument by Ingrid Mol for Princess Juliana (1909-2004) who was queen of the Netherlands from 1948 to 1980.

ONTV 06 Mari Andriessen

Stroom took the opportunity to pay attention to the function of monuments in The Hague, either to remember important figures in Dutch history – like this model of Mari Andriessen’s (1897-1979) statue of Johannes Voet, a 17th century lawyer –

ONTV 07 Jaroslawa Dankowa

or to remember decisive moments in history – like this monument for the victims of the Japanese occupation of the former Dutch East Indies, by Jaroslawa Dankowa (1925-1999) –.

ONTV 08 Jonas Staal

When it became known recently that 16 Jewish families were deported from Maastrichtsestraat (Maastricht street) in The Hague, during the German occupation, artist Jonas Staal came with an alternative name as a monument for the street: Deportatie van zestien Joodse families straat (Deportation of Sixteen Jewish Families Street). This new name is not officially in use, but some people living there do use the new name.

ONTV 09 Fernando Sánchez Castillo
ONTV 10 Fernando Sánchez Castillo

ONTV 12 Fernando Sánchez Castillo

Most interesting is however Fernando Sánchez Castillo’s installation called Made in China, which represents the so called Tank Man, after the Chinese student who defied the Chinese army all on his own in 1989.

ONTV 14 Fernando Sánchez Castillo
ONTV 13 Fernando Sánchez Castillo

ONTV 11 Fernando Sánchez Castillo

The marble statue as well as the plastic models (of which you can obtain one if you add your comments on democracy and human rights) are all made in China, and the Tank Man Prize, to be awarded annually, is also part of the concept. Personally i cherish my little stubborn Tank Man!

ONTV 15 Fernando Sánchez Castillo
[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

Bertus Pieters

Marius Lut at Stroom, The Hague

Marius Lut 01

Marius Lut 02

In Stroom’s sympathetic Ondertussen (In the mean time) series Marius Lut shows three works that will be part of an artist’s book, called Form no Form/The Black Series

Marius Lut 03

due to be published. Abstraction and minimalisation or reduction of shape
and redefining its structure and outlook are Lut’s trade. Black, dimness, gloss,

Marius Lut 04

reflection, etc are all part of the game. It makes these particular works very difficult to photograph. But altogether it also shows that you have to see art in real. There

Marius Lut 05

is very little time left to do so (only this weekend) as I was very late visiting this exhibition. Do take a look, if you can. It made me all the more eager to see the book.

Marius Lut 06
[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

Bertus Pieters

Show More, Bruno Listopad & Nicola Knezevic at Stroom, The Hague

Bruno Listopad, Nicola Knezevic 01

Boredom can be a good source of creativity.

Bruno Listopad, Nicola Knezevic 02

To the viewer however, boredom is killing.

Bruno Listopad, Nicola Knezevic 03

Bruno Listopad’s and Nicola Knezevic’ show at Stroom pretends a lot but shows actually not much more than utter boredom.

Bruno Listopad, Nicola Knezevic 04

On the walls are moving empty spaces, sometimes with art like objects. They are the very best part of the show.

Bruno Listopad, Nicola Knezevic 05

There are also projections of YouTube movies made by amateurs. “These individuals take charge of their online representation by transforming themselves into subject-objects that either comply with or challenge established norms of behaviour,” according to Stroom.

Bruno Listopad, Nicola Knezevic 06

Well, anything and everything is worth a look in this world, but these YouTube videos take a lot of time and tell you almost nothing, like their description.

Bruno Listopad, Nicola Knezevic 07

In the basement are an unclear object and

Bruno Listopad, Nicola Knezevic 08

some unreadable stuff on the floor.

Bruno Listopad, Nicola Knezevic 09

The show is appropriately called Show More.

Bruno Listopad, Nicola Knezevic 10
[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

Bertus Pieters

Gareth Moore: A Burning Bag as a Smoke-Grey Lotus, Stroom, The Hague

Gareth Moore 01

There is a tendency these days of artists showing collections of objects, in different ways and different combinations.

Gareth Moore 02
Gareth Moore 03
Gareth Moore 04

These shows usually aim at confronting the viewer with sometimes common objects in a different context.

Gareth Moore 05
Gareth Moore 06
Gareth Moore 07

It often refers to the instability of the meanings of objects.

Gareth Moore 08
Gareth Moore 09
Gareth Moore 10

This way of showing things can be productive and interesting, but in a way one gets used to it and then just a bit more is needed to trigger the imagination.

Gareth Moore 11
Gareth Moore 12
Gareth Moore 13

When i visited Gareth Moore’s show A Burning Bag as a Smoke-Grey Lotus at Stroom, I definitely missed the sound.

Gareth Moore 14
Gareth Moore 15
Gareth Moore 16

Objects are shown with different backgrounds in a kind of henhouses.

Gareth Moore 17
Gareth Moore 18
Gareth Moore 19

The different hen houses represent different stages of the day.

Gareth Moore 20
Gareth Moore 21
Gareth Moore 22

Irregularly sound performances are given, but when i visited Stroom it was dead quiet and the whole place looked like an unpopular museum on a late afternoon with strange and sometimes funny diorama’s.

Gareth Moore 23
Gareth Moore 24
Gareth Moore 25

Which was charming in a way; but i left with the feeling of having missed most of it.

Gareth Moore 26
Gareth Moore 27
Gareth Moore 28

And what about that burning bag?

Gareth Moore 29
Gareth Moore 30

And that smoke-grey lotus? .

Gareth Moore 31
(Click on the pictures to enlarge)

Bertus Pieters