Gagarin, Slominski and Beuys; West gallery, The Hague

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

West gallery has temporarily turned into a reading room, or rather three reading rooms.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

You could easily spend the whole afternoon in the gallery discovering and being inspired without being hindered by strange noises.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

If i were you, i’d do so.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

(Grün) Die Geige, die Geige ((Green) The Fiddle, the Fiddle) by Andreas Slominski (1959) challenges or defies (it depends on your own reaction) the reader/viewer to use his/her imagination to find unknown/unexpected visions.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The main front room gives the floor to all editions of the biannual magazine Gagarin, the Artists in their own Words.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Initiated by Wilfried Huet  just after the turn of the century, it publishes texts by living artists only, without interference of curators, art historians, critics, interviewers or superfluous introductions.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I must say it is difficult to decide where to start.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The best thing to do is just to leaf through some of the magazines at random and stop at a point where you think you found something interesting, strange or intriguing.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

There is no irritating music to keep your mind from wandering.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Not even the silence is telling you to make your choice, pay your money and go on to the next consumption booth.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The four sketchbooks Projekt Westmensch (The Westman Project) of the late 1950s are said to contain Beuys’ base for his main ideas about art and creativity and its functions in society.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

To some Joseph Beuys (1921 – 1986) is the Messiah, to others he is a charlatan.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

His personality has elements of both, but generally speaking, society could do with more Beuys, even today and on a local level in a town like The Hague (or any other town or city for that matter), that tries to keep up with what time seems to demand and in doing so forgets about the potential creativity of its citizens.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The present exhibition at West at least gives it a try.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

(Content of all pictures courtesy to the artists and West Den Haag)

Bertus Pieters

Judea; West Gallery (at Huguetan House), The Hague

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I visited the exhibition Judea, organised by West gallery, to write a review for Villa La Repubblica. Click here to read the full review(in Dutch).

Ceiling of the garden room, Huegetan House. Though from the same age, this decorated ceiling comes from a destroyed house in Vlissingen.

Ceiling of the garden room, Huegetan House. Though from the same age, this decorated ceiling comes from a destroyed house in Vlissingen.

As i have said already a lot on Villa La Repubblica i just leave you here with some impressions and a few remarks.

Stucco over the stair weel and in the lantern, probably from Mme Huguetan's times.

Stucco over the stair well and in the lantern, probably from Mme Huguetan’s times.

The show is staged in Huegetan House, Lange Voorhout, originally built in the 18th century by English King/ Dutch Stadtholder William III’s own designer Daniel Marot for banker’s daughter Adriana Huguetan, whose family became rich from investments in the Dutch East Indies.

Lung Neaw in a rococo room.

Lung Neaw in a rococo room.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

That seems to be the right backdrop for an exhibition curated by Thai artist Arin Rungjang and featuring works by other Southeast Asian artists. Rirkrit Tiravanija’s (Thailand) monumental movie Lung Neaw visits his neighbours is exhibited, showing a former rice farmer in Thailand living a life full of gentleness and friendliness.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Pratchaya Phinthong’s (Thailand) movie Rehearsal No.3 is extremely short and shows caged birds in the context of the Buddhist release life custom.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Rungjang’s Bones, books, artificial lights and fireflies is a multidisciplinary work and, together with his Judea, the centre piece of the show.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The movie part digs into memory and history, to the memories of Rungjang’s grandmother, the military dictatorship in Thailand, the Second World War and to Siam (as Thailand was formerly known) in the 19th and 17th centuries.

Judea 16 Arin Rungjang

Judea 17 Arin Rungjang

Judea 18 Arin Rungjang

The movie is accompanied by a video loop with colour lights and fire flies.

Judea 19 Lee Kit

There are two loops by Lee Kit (from Hong Kong), one showing the legs of somebody vacuum cleaning (in Huguetan House with a stylish backdrop).

Judea 20 Nguyen Trinh Thit

Judea 21 Nguyen Trinh Thit

Judea 22 Nguyen Trinh Thit

Judea 23 Nguyen Trinh Thit

Judea 24 Nguyen Trinh Thit

Another impressive movie, that counterbalances Rungjang’s own work, as Tiravanija’s film does, is Letters from Panduranga by Nguyen Trinh Thi (from Vietnam).

Judea 25 Nguyen Trinh Thit

Judea 26 Nguyen Trinh Thit

Judea 27 Nguyen Trinh Thit

Judea 28 Nguyen Trinh Thit

The film is about the demise of the once powerful Cham people and culture in Viëtnam and about culture and power in general.

Judea 29 Arin Rungjang

In the Garden room are the material parts of Rungjang’s Bones, books, etc. There are some relics of his grandmother’s funeral,

Judea 30 Arin Rungjang

two fireflies,

Judea 31 Arin Rungjang

a Japanese translation of a book about Siam by a 17th century Dutch East India Company’s administrator,

[Remarkable and accurate story of the coups, that happened now last in the year 1688 in Siam. Containing the suffered defamation in, and the expulsion of the French from that Realm. From the Handwriting of the Supreme Commander of the French over there, translated into Dutch by A.v.H. In Leiden, by Frederik Haaring, 1692.]

[Remarkable and accurate story of the coups, that happened recently in the year 1688 in Siam. Containing the suffered defamation in, and the expulsion of the French from that Realm. From the Handwriting of the Supreme Commander of the French over there, translated into Dutch by A.v.H. In Leiden, by Frederik Haaring, 1692.]

pages from a late 17th century Dutch book with the administrator’s Dutch text as well as a story about Phaulkon, a Greek adviser or contriver at the Siamese court and a description of the coup in Siam and the expulsion of the French in 1688,

Judea 33 Arin Rungjang

as well as some reproductions of a 17th century painting by Johannes Vingboons representing Ayutthaya, the then capital of Siam. The name Ayutthaya was corrupted in Dutch to Judea, hence the name of the exhibition.

Judea 34 Maria Taniguchi

Judea 35 Maria Taniguchi

Judea 36 Maria Taniguchi

Judea 37 Maria Taniguchi

Judea 38 Maria Taniguchi

To stress the fragmentation of remembrance, thinking, watching and human activity, a short untitled movie about a jeepney by Maria Taniguchi (from the Phillipines) is on show,

Judea 39 Lee Kit

as is the other loop by Lee Kit, a double channelled one showing a hand replacing pieces of beans on the right channel and a slightly wrinkled and stained piece of cloth on the left channel. Even our smallest daily activities leave traces.

Judea 40

Do take your time to see this wonderful show, as it is quite unique being a many-sided narrative by Southeast Asian artists in a Dutch 18th (and 19th/20th ) century interior. There are comfortable seats everywhere and it’s worth spending the whole afternoon there (it’s your summer break anyway!). All works have a relaxed pace. Hint to West: serve coffee or tea to your visitors. It is always good to sip some postcolonial drinks under the circumstances.

Judea 41

[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

 

Bertus Pieters

Face to Face; West gallery, The Hague

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

In the exhibition Face to Face West shows four works about body communication, or rather facial communication.

Bjørn Melhus

In Bjørn Melhus’ video Out Of The Blue a lecture is given about growing up in the beginning of the age of mass communication and entertainment by television. Your teacher has a sack over his head. Does mass communication make the individual faceless? How acceptable is visual communication without a representative face?

Face to face 03 Stefan Panhans

In Stefan Panhans’ video Sorry look-alikes of famous people from the entertainment industry rub shoulders in a crowded train.

Face to face 04 Stefan Panhans

Facial expressions are fixed to individual characters and don’t really change.

Face to face 05 Stefan Panhans

Although there is hardly any space for body language there is a body language of sorts in spite of the fact that none of the passengers is looking at one another.

Face to face 06 Meg Stuart

Meg Stuart’s video The Only Possible City shows a person trying to suppress her weeping.

Face to face 07 Meg Stuart

The expressions are directly recognisable as an expression of sorrow and loss, the pain of life and the will to go on with life in spite of that pain.

Face to face 08 Christoph Girardet, Matthias Müller

Christoph Girardet’s and Matthias Müller’s double slide series Everything Not Said combines short sentences from psychiatric questionnaires with pictures of people with bandaged faces from movies, which is

Face to face 09 Christoph Girardet, Matthias Müller

probably one of the most inclusive of the works on show, the bandages being the expression of the faces combined with these very intimate questions about inner well being or inner pain. As such it is a well composed and, in a way, very moving show. Go and take your time to see it for yourself, it’s very much worth it!

Face to face 10 Christoph Girardet, Matthias Müller
[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

Bertus Pieters

Distributors, West Gallery, The Hague

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I visited the exhibition Distributors at West Gallery to write a review for Villa La Repubblica. Read the full review here (in Dutch). The exhibition was made by artist Remco Torenbosch with works by six artists of very different generations but all were/are busy with the distribution of/in their works in an alternative way.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

There is Charlotte Posenenske’s iconic Revolving Vane of 1967/68 in combination with

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

sounds by Hannah Weinberger of 2015 and

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

a diagram Spectrum of Meanings of the Term Police by K.P. Brehmer from 1978.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

In the big front gallery Brehmer’s works are

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

combined with textiles from the Seth Siegelaub Collection. These are

Distributors 14 Seth Siegelaub Collection
Distributors 15 Seth Siegelaub Collection
Distributors 16 Seth Siegelaub Collection
Distributors 17 Seth Siegelaub Collection
Distributors 18 Seth Siegelaub Collection
Distributors 19 Seth Siegelaub Collection

textiles from far away (France to Peru) and long ago (12th to 19th century).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Next to the office Fred Lonidier’s video Confessions of the Peace Corps of 1974 can be seen and

Distributors 21 Wendelien van Oldenborgh
Distributors 22 Wendelien van Oldenborgh

in the back gallery Wendelien van Oldenborgh’s La Javanaise of 2013 can be seen. All these artists have thought of how to distribute the information or artistic content they want to share and made distribution part of their aesthetic ventures.

Distributors 23 Wendelien van Oldenborgh
[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

Bertus Pieters

Patrick Bernatchez: Lost in Time. West gallery, The Hague

Patrick Bernatchez 01

At West gallery there are four movies on show by Patrick Bernatchez at the moment. I saw parts of three of them. It is difficult to make a choice, but you have to, as seeing all of them would take you more than two hours, which in itself might be a good idea if you want to have a Bernatchez movie afternoon. Bernatchez has a preoccupation with time and connected to that: space, viewing angle, rhythm and narrative. It results in some fascinating works.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Patrick Bernatchez 03
Patrick Bernatchez 04
Patrick Bernatchez 05
Patrick Bernatchez 06
Patrick Bernatchez 07
Patrick Bernatchez 08

Like Piano Orbital.01 in which Guillaume Lekeu’s piano sonata is taken as a starting point. Things, including the music, are literally taken upside down and into orbit. The music seems to become timeless and the concert hall space becomes unlimited.

Patrick Bernatchez 09
Patrick Bernatchez 10
Patrick Bernatchez 11
Patrick Bernatchez 12
Patrick Bernatchez 13
Patrick Bernatchez 14
Patrick Bernatchez 15
Patrick Bernatchez 16
Patrick Bernatchez 17
Patrick Bernatchez 18

Monumental Lost in Time brings in the idea of a narrative that may refer to any other mythical, legendary, historic, future or real narrative in any time and in any space. Literally on top of that snow seems to cover up everything, including any remembrances of the past, present or future.

Patrick Bernatchez 19
Patrick Bernatchez 20
Patrick Bernatchez 21

As for Trilogie Chrysalides, i only saw a short excerpt of it, so go and see it for yourself!

Patrick Bernatchez 22
[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

Bertus Pieters

Split, Konrad Smolenki at West gallery, The Hague

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

At the moment in the exhibition Split at West gallery, Konrad Smolenski shows three installations, each accompanied by audio-works by others. It all works out quite impressively.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This is Fly, with cattle skulls and a horse skull and speakers in their eye sockets,

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

which still make some noise but visually the conversation has congealed.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Mattin’s sound-work Tinnitus adds quite a nasty sound to the installation, so

Konrad Smolenski 10

continuing to the next work is just as well.

Konrad Smolenski 11

The installation Judge is exhibited in a darkened room. Its material structure is more or less

Konrad Smolenski 12

lost in the dark, but its influence can’t be missed in the room, reinforced as it is by the voice

Konrad Smolenski 13

of a dead pilot represented by the trance medium Jack Sutton.

Konrad Smolenski 14
Konrad Smolenski 15

Smolenki’s three works all look dumb or voiceless and, logically thinking, they are. But

Konrad Smolenski 16
Konrad Smolenski 17

the skulls make some noise of their own, the Judge seems to get a voice from the tape by Sutton and

Konrad Smolenski 18
Konrad Smolenski 19

the work The End of Radio, consisting of microphones, also makes noise itself. The microphones

Konrad Smolenski 20

all reach out to one point, in this case to an audio-work by Gregory Whitehead.

Konrad Smolenski 21

In fact the combinations with the sound-works make new installations. That also makes the idea of a split quite redundant.

Konrad Smolenski 22
(Click on the pictures to enlarge)

Bertus Pieters

New Territory; Kasper Sonne at West gallery, The Hague

W 01 Kasper Sonne
I visited Kasper Sonne’s exhibition New Territory shortly after its opening at Gallery West.

W 02 Kasper Sonne

But as West’s own professional photographer happened to make pictures at that moment,

W 03 Kasper Sonne
W 04

W 05 Kasper Sonne

it wasn’t a good idea to make pictures myself.

W 06 Kasper Sonne
W 07 Kasper Sonne

W 08 Kasper Sonne

So i had a short look around and

W 09
W 10 Kasper Sonne

W 11 Kasper Sonne

promised to return later.

W 12 Kasper Sonne

As it happened, circumstances made it quite some time later.

W 13 Kasper Sonne

But happily it was just as interesting as it promised to be when visiting the first time.

W 14 Kasper Sonne

The exhibition tries to show, or to make happen the new territory of the mind that evolves when opposites meet and defy each other’s logic.

W 15 Kasper Sonne

The stones you see, are lava stones, coming from the depths of Mother Earth, but they are painted with spray paint.

W 16 Kasper Sonne

The two big white canvasses in the front room of the gallery, two artificial constructs, ready to be interpreted as something cultural and artistic, were burnt; one of the basic natural ways of destruction.

W 17 Kasper Sonne

W 18 Kasper Sonne

Something comparable was made to happen with two blue paintings and acid. Strictly speaking these works are neither art nor something natural.

W 19 Kasper Sonne

But showing them in a “clean” way in this gallery forces the visitor to a new mindset, or a New Territory.

W 20 Kasper Sonne

Where two different logics are combined,

W 21

the absurd is never far away

W 22 Kasper Sonne

That was already clear in the video with the carpet cleaner, in fact a loop taken from a commercial, and the noise, which doesn’t come from the cleaner.

W 23 Kasper Sonne
W 24 Kasper Sonne
W 25 Kasper Sonne
W 26 Kasper Sonne

W 27 Kasper Sonne

But in the side room Sonne shows three video’s, two of them with texts only.

W 28 Kasper Sonne
W 29 Kasper Sonne
W 30 Kasper Sonne

It’s Hegel’s dialectics.

W 31 Kasper Sonne

But if art turns into philosophy, it is an absurd philosophy.

W 32 Kasper Sonne

While in the middle video a perfect sphere falls and breaks into splinters.

W 33 Vincent Ganivet

Hidden behind a veil is something very different:

W 34 Vincent Ganivet

a work by Vincent Ganivet.

W 35 Vincnt Ganivet

He made a sculpture for the Grandeur exhibition at the Lange Voorhout and took the opportunity to make a small work for West.

W 36 Vincnt Ganivet

No glue or mortar were used in making this charming little sculpture.

W 37 Kasper Sonne

But back to Sonne.

W 38 Kasper Sonne

The stones are in all rooms of the gallery and together they are one work (Vulcan).

W 39 Kasper Sonne

As such these stones are probably visually his strongest work. Parts of the inner Earth, usually haphazardly strewn about the earth, they are now

W 40 Kasper Sonne

carefully arranged in a clean gallery, in a way that they direct your movements in the rooms and determine the way you are looking at the things around you.

W 41 Kasper Sonne

It’s New Territory.

W 42 Vincent Ganivet
(Click on the pictures to enlarge)

Bertus Pieters