Soundwaves, Dick Raaijmakers and Sonologie; GEM, The Hague

Dick Raaijmakers

Dick Raaijmakers (1930-2013) was a great pioneer in electronic acoustics, in its technique but also as a composer.

Dick Raaijmakers

Dick Raaijmakers

In fact he was such a multifaceted and inventive figure that looking at his heritage all descriptions of him seem to fall short.

Dick Raaijmakers

Dick Raaijmakers

Presently GEM honours him by showing his Ideophone III of 1971, and works by younger artists, who, in one way or another, have followed in his footsteps.

Dick Raaijmakers

Dick Raaijmakers

Of the other works Yota Morimoto’s (1981) look the most akin to Raaijmakers’ Ideophone in their sculptural qualities.

Dick Raaijmakers

Dick Raaijmakers

One could call them, with some modernist aplomb, sculptures of sound, with the notion that creating sound waves not just generates sounds and vibrations but also forms with an aesthetics dictated by technology.

Babara Ellison, Dick Raaijmakers

In Barbara Ellison’s (1973) work Phantasmas Materialis the whole idea of sculpture is meant to be turned into the imagination of the visitor who can listen and see (inward or outward) from the comfort of a lounge chair.

Bram Vreven

Bram Vreven

The extremely soft and silent work by Bram Vreven (1973) just shows vibrations in an almost classicist white way.

Matthias König

Matthias König

Matthias König

Matthias König

Matthias König

Matthias König

Matthias König

In his great installation Das ist die Tradition: Du füllst das Glas und trinkst es leer (That is the tradition: you fill the glass and drink it empty) Matthias König (1987) refers to German carnival traditions, their deep rooted pre-Christian  popular customs and exuberance, mixed with present day sound and colour systems.

Matthias König

Matthias König

Matthias König

Matthias König

Matthias König

Matthias König

Video and sound (from his own composition) are whirling through each other, constantly reshaping the symbols of tradition.

Yota Morimoto

The whole exhibition, as such, is maybe the first one that really successfully fits into GEM’s new space, bringing together such diverse works as Vreven’s unobtrusive object and König’s spectacular installation and balancing the whole with Morimoto’s and Raaijmakers’ works.

Yota Morimoto

However it also makes you wonder if a far bigger exhibition in the Gemeentemuseum wouldn’t have been more appropriate, as many other artists are working in the field of sonology, and who need a much bigger audience than the visitors of GEM, which now seems to be a kind of bonus for visiting the Fotomuseum (Museum for Photography).

Yota Morimoto

Give sound more space; it is worth it!

[Click on the pictures to enlarge]

© Villa Next Door 2018

Content of all photographs courtesy to all artists, the estate of Dick Raaijmakers and GEM, Den Haag

Bertus Pieters

off senses / future senses, Gemak, The Hague


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.


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
Gemak 31 Peter de Cupere

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

Gemak 32 Peter de Cupere

Gemak 33 Peter de Cupere

More about smell by De Cupere. His instruments

Gemak 34 Peter de Cupere

Gemak 35 Peter de Cupere

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
Gemak 41 Petra van der Schoot

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

Gemak 44 Petra van der Schoot

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

Gemak 45 Petra van der Schoot

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

Gemak 46 Yota Morimoto
Gemak 47 Yota Morimoto
Gemak 48 Yota Morimoto
Gemak 49 Yota Morimoto

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

Gemak 50 Yota Morimoto
Gemak 51 Yota Morimoto

Gemak 52 Yota Morimoto

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

Gemak 56 Lustlab

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

Gemak 59 Objective Exhibitions

Gemak 60 Objective Exhibitions

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

Gemak 64 Cybil Scott

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

Gemak 65 Sissel Marie Tonn
Gemak 66 Sissel Marie Tonn
Gemak 67 Sissel Marie Tonn
Gemak 68 Sissel Marie Tonn

Artistic Research Student Sissel Marie Tonn made an

Gemak 69 Sissel Marie Tonn

Gemak 70 Sissel Marie Tonn(picture darkened)

installation about communication in combination with absence.

Gemak 71 Goethe Farbenlehre
Gemak 72 Goethe Farbenlehre

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

Gemak 73 Philipp Otto Runge
Gemak 74 Philipp Otto Runge

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

Gemak 75

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

Gemak 76 Cybil Scott

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

Gemak 77

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

Gemak 78

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

Gemak 79 Petra van der Schoot

(Click on the pictures to enlarge.)

Bertus Pieters