zaterdag 19 juni 2021

Rhomboid Reflex

 

Rombouts Wederzijds / mutually reciprocal


Finally coming across a work which speaks to me – after a long stretch of disappointments and the notion that somewhere there is no progress to be had, and old mistakes are constantly being refurbished to look like new ones... well perhaps it does sort of fit this bill, but in a sympathetic manner:

A mutually reciprocal reading of Multatuli in an anatomical circus – not quite has haphazardous as the encounter of an umbrella and a sewing machine, but as 'azartous' as one might conceive: reading the word-pairs connected by 'and' in simultaneously opposite fashion, across from each other as in a chess tournament, crucible theatre of operations – in this case called 'cirque anatomique' from the time the Ghent bourgeoisie spoke French... but very fitting. The readers being a young actress Coltette Goossens born in Belgium on the frontier of the twentieth century to the twenty first, and her opposite reader Bob Latuheru, born on Ambon when it was still a Dutch colony, just before the difficult attempts to create a free South Molukken Republic... and ending up a refugee... In this choice the entire history of the Dutch colonial era, the east India Company, the spice trade, the colonial wars and horrible attitudes prevalent in Europe concerning the well being of the indigenous peoples of the far flung lands they occupied – succinctly illustrated by Multatuli's (semi Latin pseudonym of the writer Eduard Dowes Dekker) “Max Havelaar” still one of the most read and translated book in Dutch letters....

 




 








So in this quiet and concentrated performance, lasting a few hours, with visitors coming and going – albeit quietly – there is also a high concentration of political and cultural import not apparent on the surface – iceberg style considerations needed to fathom the length and breadth of this quiet gesture... For the audience the word-sets read could be followed by a projection on the wall behind of the programme devised by Theun de Lange, longtime collaborator of Guy Rombouts and a whiz at finding technical and presentational solutions for the AZART alphabet (just have a look at the azart website) – making this in effect a quintessentially fifty-fifty work in which not only the basic premise, 'wederzijds' mutually reciprocal reading performance, but collaboration and sharing, set between theater-performance and exhibition-publication by the art-book producers 'balanseer' teetering as it were between here and there, now and then, intriguing and amazing...

 



 

 

 

 

For the exhibition space Guy Rombouts chose some déjà-vu classics always glad to run into: 'belemmering' as wel as unseen trouvailles and curiosities, mind twister-rebusses and rhomboid reflections... a refreshing dip into the mental synaptics of a wayward typesetter!



zaterdag 1 mei 2021

 

Mayday


Well, I have not added anything to this blog for quite some time because I thought I would wait until I might have something positive to say – reserving the grumpy dissatisfaction about the running of the city for the Dutch-language version, in which you can follow my increasing frustration and anger in your own time.. but by now it's May and I should say something... and as there is nothin positive to say, will have to complain as I do on all the other platforms:

 

 

idiotic renovations in times of climate crisis


Antwerp was a red bastion when I first arrived... it was a quaint but agreeable haven for all sorts of colorful birds, there was a great degree of tolerance, laissez-faire, slightly chaotic but entertaining mix of rare breeds; disagreement existed but it was in a boisterous café-style fashion, most of the time anyway – perhaps there was already a hard-nosed fascist coup under way, but it was not yet obvious, seemingly a minority fringe phenomenon that would peter out eventually...

That was a serious miscalculation...

Gone are the days when you could run into the mayor in a café after a moustache-club meeting, hob-nobbing with citizens, enjoying local ales among the old trees on wobbly chairs on dancing cobblestones, as if Breughel's days were not yet done – a sphere of hippiedom still lingering in the air, remnant from when Antwerp was an attractive haven for experimental everything... There was an expectation that the green movement would be part and parcel of future politics and the social aspects of of an expanding city would be dealt with in an sympathetic and inclusive manner...

But something went amiss – much like 'new labour' across the channel, the socialist movement decided they had to become more liberal, and began a rather curious metamorphosis into something that turned out to be worse than predatory capitalism – a sort of black hole in sheep's clothing, letting in all sorts of intolerant tendencies and becoming so full of itself as not to have to listen to it's electoral base anymore... the straw that broke the camels back was a pretentious and intolerant style-yuppie mayor who would not retreat from a megalomanic project to cover the city with a stinking flyover highway... (along with a whole string of mismanagement and scandal-ridden incidents that sunk the venerable movement in a quagmire of sleaze...)

So, if sleaze is the norm the voters turned elsewhere, opening the door to the the short-sighted flemish nationalism that had already been festering in the underbelly – these also mutated after a general realignment of politics in which all the major parties though they had to change their identities and lost, lost their way, lost their base, lost their credibility... even the greens who used to consider themselves a movement 'living differently' decided to get in on the game and become a political party, making all the compromises necessary to gain power... which they now share as junior partners with a deflated former social platform that calls itself 'foreskin” *and has become all but irrelevant... (*having even dropped the term socialist and stolen the name from the basic philosophy of the movement 'avanti' (vooruit) – they now have lost even the most die-hard socialist sympathisers and handcuffed themselves to a liberal coalition nobody likes...

In the meantime the flemish fascist have mutated into a saloon-party calling itself the NVA – an alliance of themselves, with the former bullies in an ostensibly separate party, but close enough to form a block against the others... These have now been the largest party in these parts for a while and have 'reorganized' the city into a showcase village...

Making away with local and provincial structures the flemish government together with the NVA mayor have torn down most of what was quaint and replaced it with a boring euro-norm attitude that caters mainly for the mindless commercialisation of culture, which in their minds is cold beer and sausage rolls, surrounded by 'flemish' masters and such... in a new designer-surrounding taken from the brochures of international bricklayer-magazines... or rather cement-mixer digest... This great renewal is of course expensive and the mussing-up of the local art historical museum is many years behind schedule and way over budget... as well as turning a perfectly agreeable park and surroundings into a Disney-style driveway for exclusive restaurant experiences... while removing works of contemporary art that might stand in the way of this new enterprise... as do the trees...

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trees for some reason have become a nuisance – for years now the city has been eagerly beavering away at cutting down stately old trees that were not sick nor dangerous because of the insatiable hunger for modern living – trees as street furniture, which you can move around with a scroll & mouseclick – videogame-style... the fact that trees are habitat and part of an ecosystem that takes hears to develop doesn't really compute... sure greenwashing trees (those little sticks left to fend for themselves in shallow cement graves) are springing up everywhere, but room for real nature is disappearing fast, even in the central city park, where instead of digging out the german bunkers left over from the war they pour even more cement into the green zone for – yes restaurants, cafés, (same in the once leafy zoo..) infrastructure etc... already they pumped the water out of the lake, and announce the cutting down of old favourite trees.... where has the time gone when the city built metal support structures for old trees that were in danger of collapsing... (back in the 80's)

Whittling away at the once apparent grandeur of the remains of the golden age, only key buildings remain as tourist attraction while the rest is replaced by excruciatingly boring off-the-shelf design architecture, usually in beige or shit-brown fake brick – like the provincial flat building they just built next to the 'Steen' – oldest remnant of the city... next up is the garden (what remains of it) of the Rubens House Museum, which has to make way for a trinket-shopping experience by renowned architects – the usual glass box.

 

the only thing trees are good for

 

While politics is debating the curbing of new construction in green zones, there has never been as much concrete pourd into these former wildernesses as today – lost chances to create more park space for the expanding city- it is easier to drive a highway though a nature reserve than a suberb, raise a tower block on fields than refurbish derelict industrial buildings... the money stupid...

The rare architectural curiosity like the harbour house, retaining the old fire station and reflecting it's maritime surroundings, was a fluke, expensive but controversial – so the rest has to be a cheap and non-committal as possible... while at the same time giving off prestige allusions...

...so much for the first of dis-may...

and have not even touched on the social... happy Mayday!


zaterdag 7 november 2020

 
Season kick-off, Covid-wise
 
 Insecurity was still very much in the air when September rolled in and it was not so clear what was going to happen to the season's openings... But  we began with a small and sympathetic show of local talents at Watermael-Boisfort, leafy suburb and pleasant, easily distanced visit to intimate, personal works: to with Carine Van Erps, whom we have been following for some time and who refuses to follow any trends but her own heart... Often in connection with nature, and often with relatively minimal interventions and gestures... Here too she added ( or rather subtracted) from what was already there... Natural forms suggesting images, enhancing theses and laying them onto a conducive/ conductive base, literally, copper coils generating a sort of static tension... Simply effective, presented in a boite-en-valise and transportable to any site... Where the context takes over no doubt, but the work stands on it's own... A great opener I found, with positive energy...
 


 Next up were Marc Rossignol and Marie Cloquet opening proceedings at A.Gentils Gallery... Entre deux was not only Marc's double-dexterous drawing/painting, aquarelle in this case, but also the two shows juxtaposed... Cloquet's finely shaded drawings of Aleppo soaps (halab) and the intricate colourful vibrancy of Marc's mesh-mesmerising mental tapestries, forcing the eye to oscillate between interpretations of space constantly, while at the same time being straightforward and methodical... Intricate like the text-decorations in the middle east, playing profusely with the images that are mot allowed to be shown but suggested... So too do we have to surmise where the next soap bubble might come from now the famous historic town is reduced to rubble...
 

 (Die badewannen von habe ich nicht gesehen) well somewhat later... Didn't manage the vernissage... But the didn't really matter... The show is a series of versions of a template from Kaldewei Badewannen, probably because it sounds exotic, but perhaps because I've ssen quite a few of things inspired by banality... Sometimes a new take can be refreshing, and the trouvaille " Kinderpncho" comes close, but does not really surpass the yuk-yuk stage and reminds one of a lazy afternoon at Fifty-Fifty... Or not even...
 

 Another careful emergence was a small group show at Factor 44 (yes the old name has surfaced again but it's no longer the place of yore) young talents with some commendable work, while Harry Heirmans presented a small archive offering in the front (red) room harking back to the "Qurantaine" space that was a precursor back in the mid nineties... A good combination of rear view forward striving...
 

 More futuristic retrospective to be had at Knokke, with Schmalzigaug at R. Van de Velde's and Jessica Lynn Lens at the Scarpoord, but will comment on these elsewhere...(nl blog) 
 
 And then of course -closer to home- the re-launch of museum operations with material from the archive I had been working on... Included in two sections: Mail Art and Monoculture...  While the small archive presentation of Mail Art pieces selected from existing collections is a pleasant browse-banter, the Monoculture show is quite a marathon, covering a very wide area of recent end fairly recent issues on domination and subjectivity when it comes to cultural interpretations, the use and misuse by the powerbrokers and the reactions that go with it all... Very wide ranging and intricate but also hard to swallow in one go... So best visited more than once perhaps... Or at least that is my own first impression... Even just the small presentation of the archive fragment I have been dealing with is subject to a doctoral investigation by a student from the ULB, and is only a small corner of the archive as a whole, and that sort of fragment is repeated numerous times... Some would say ambitious, others might find it not selective enough, with not enough highlights or detailed zoom-in instances... Hard to tell...
 



 The presentation of another dear departed friend Nicole van Goethem is a well balance overview, and a breather... Simply presented in a number of tables in a decor that could have come from one of the animated films she's famous for... Upstairs an interesting presentation of artist books from the CRAP section of the academy: a very nice selection of books by Dieter Roth, one of my heroes, again juxtaposed with a young talent Rein Dufait, and up at the top a NICC presentation of CCinq/Cvijf/CFive with a subdued but fine selection of works by Kohei Yoshiyuki, Nicholas Leroy, Shigeko Kubota and Patrick Carpentier... So, lots to see, maybe best in smaller bits, (trying is also the fact that due to Covid 19 it's gauntlet-running and time slot regulated... No cafeteria, no socializing..). Makes it more attentive and focussed, but a bit dry... Depends.. Sometimes it's not so bad to take it easy, find time, take time... In these strange times...
 

 
 Another trouvaille was a show tucked away in Oudenaerde, per chace that i got an invite during the museum relaunch... In a beautiful art-deco house ( garage of) in the Gevaertsdreef... Ellen Pil created some intreguing combinations with relatvely simple materials, but neatly presented, surreally functional... Wooden presentationpanels, paint sprayed in part, neons, repetitions and variations re-locating the view each time... So becoming part of the refurbishment of one's own attitude...  Associations which don,t quite, but then do fit, matching schemes that don't... The video of her handling a block of wood close to or on the horizon makes the point.   Well. 
 
With quite some expectations we visited Netwerk wher Laure Provoost had gathered a gaggle of friends and then combined with an associate expo in which Annick Nölle was participating... A multi-story story exhibition with rooms, nooks, crannies, basement pools and such... But somehow not quite what it could be...
 

 The effect of the Provoost show in the museum  was not replicated... Not sure why, and in the end Annick wasn't there, being less than satisfied with the result... Which we tend to agree with... More jumble than astonishment...  So that's that then...
 



 Just to mention honourably - (see also dutch blog) a show of recent paintings by Rufus Michielsen... Always a sight for sore eyes, a small but potent show off the beaten track at he Wilrijk Academy, part of a circuit of off-track interventions, of which Dennis Tyfus bonked the bongo on some poor sod's head in Merxem of all places!
 


 Was sort of geared up to become involved in various activities myself... With some amount of enthusiasm and effort... Only to be slowly shot down in stages... Restrictions rising faster than one. An keep up and resulting in yes, another lock down... Short lived season... more soon

dinsdag 11 augustus 2020

Grande Dame Palais

Trips and travel had been reduced to a minimum since early in the year - only the most essential there and back, if even - the borders were closed for quite a while - carefree jaunts into nowhere quite out of the question… That is why this little investigative trip was such a breath of fresh (well, hot) air: it had been a while since an excursion like this: Avoiding the main arteries we headed down due south form the border, already taking a wrong turn and semi-lost, which is exactly the way we like it… short stop at a quiet Cateau en Cambresis for a croissant and brioche, and on towards Paris along small departmental roads, stopping briefly at Guise - agreeing that this was well worth an extra trip in the future…














But the heat was on and after Laon we stayed on the N2, the old imperial road, being turned into a highway bit by bit… a pity since the agreeable meandering between shady trees and through sleepy villages has been replaced by stress-chasing on frying-pan asphalt framed by cement barriers and beating sunshine: rows of long-distance lorries that want to avoid paying Peage on the highways… in short, even the French countryside is going to the dogs…



















We try not to dwell on that and enter Paris through the gauntlet of the market stalls on the boul Clichy, heading for the quieter area around the Place de Ternes - for it is around those parts we need to be: I had been sent a radio fragment by a friend with an interview about the renovation of the ‘Grand Palais’ - Chis Dercon explained how he had discovered the artist now resident in the vast hall at a small gallery in the early nineties… Frank Scurti did a small show together with François Curlet in the ‘inexistent’ hole-in-the wall place in Antwerp some thirty years earlier… a surprising little flashback I decided I wanted to investigate further… I had come across Scurti in the magazines a couple of times but had not followed his career - nor of any other acquaintance of that time… Dercon was by now a bit of a star curator and the others were not doing badly, whereas I was still doing what I had been doing then: investigating possible leads to new insights… but with a strong nostalgic twist - going for the archival rather than the brand new… So it was also logical that I wanted to see the Grand Palais before it was closed for an overhaul… Personally, I tend to dislike today’s trend to have to pimp up all the old institutions, messing up their interiors at exorbitant prices, giving them ridiculous catchy new names and turning the cultural experience into a disneyland fantasy… (our local more than adequate art history museum is still a messy construction site and financial sink-hole many years after promised completion…)



 I wanted to see the Grand Palais without too much clutter before the renovations… I had never had the opportunity to see it properly - remembering an occasion where I looked up to the fantastic cupola only briefly while installing a sticky-letter sentence by Laurence Weiner during one of the Fiac’s - between stressing around… Here was an opportunity to see the garand old dame ‘in the flesh’ - and well worth it. Aside from a long string of (found) objects hanging from the central apse, the space was empty save for a scattering of ‘bureaux’ in a restricted area near the opulent staircase - giving it a theatrical feel: performance ongoing, arrested, considering… Scurti himself was not there and the activity space was quiet save for an assistent/invitee sweeping up some bits & pieces from the previous intervention… so it was a perfect moment to consider the space and what’s in it rather than being entertained by some artistic activity… Built at the tail end of the belle époque, it’s rather manneristic art nouveau elements are nonetheless prime examples of the industrial production of wrought-ironwork - Eifel tower and bridges nearby making the era apparent - one of the las remaining ‘crystal palaces’ - and upon entering a feeling of being transported back to a copper engraving of the vast hall with small figures scattered about - quite unique, and one had the feeling the visitors too were slightly speechless… the occasional muttering of someone who could not appreciate the moment: “they couldn’t think of what to do with the place and invited an artist who doesn’t know what to do with the space… (and that with taxpayers money no doubt)” - far from it -








Scurti’s minimal intervention of bits & bobs just right to give a presence to the vast space while leaving the space itself uncluttered and free for the light-show of alternating sun & clouds and vista’s that become apparent only after moving around a bit… there was a circuit of information panels for those that wanted to brush op on the palace’s history - form grand exhibition heyday to hospital and convalescence clinic during and after the great war… But it was the space ‘soi même’ that was on show… one could climb the cascading staircase for different vantage point of the hall as well as the intervention by Scruti: he had barricaded a part with apple-crate liners, making for a viewer-performer separation quite apt to the space - one could observe from different vantage points the goings-on (or lack of) and consider the clusters of activity-bureaus - one for woodwork, cutting panels, the other for wire and mesh studies, a beureau de chippotage and a collection of trinkets to be considered - centrally located a plinth-refurbishing area in which large pieces of décollage posters (bluebacks) were reformulated into “socles d’air” - cloudy-like patterns folded into cubical structures… and a table of exposition en cage - much like the Palais itself; caged art, arrested like colourful exotic birds for the amusement of the bourgeoisie - netting hung from the banisters denoted price ranges - the variability of value - seemingly a barometer of the current crisis - free entry with guided visits at around one euro - as opposed to the exorbitant prices demanded for regular exhibitions- this being a work i progress rather with oneself as protagonist… What will become of the grande old dame? Hopefully the renovations are in fact restorations and the many exquisite elements are saved: the terrazzo floors, the brass bannister-railings, even the irregularities of the stucco on the walls, now catching shadows of dust, should be retained - and use of modern materials avoided altogether… but yes, given today’s penchant to ‘modernise’ everything I fear it well become a figment of it’s former self with the more spectacular elements highlighted with difficult to replace hand-made craftsmanship thrown out… perhaps here the aspect of using recuperated material is intentional; though it is well within the vocabulary of the artist - it is still a statement perhaps to not replace but re-use…
















 Normally Paris is pretty good a retaining original elements, but one does not have to wander far to see the onslaught of the mass-produced plastic rubbish packaged in coveted trade-marketing names on the Champs d’Elysée to realise that there are more and more generations out there that have no feeling with basic materials but for whom ‘look’ is all… and longevity a four letter word… kinky lighting and repetitive beats whipping up an ‘experience’ rather than the calm and collected consideration of silence and emptiness… so in many ways this was a unique moment to view the cavernous Grande Palais in it’s own time, no piped music, lasershow or spectacular ‘event’ - just it’s timeless self, with the humble presence of the artist as conduit: reason for coming inside an empty hall ‘with nothing to see’…



 Of course we also took some time to enjoy Paris in a short touristy sort of way, and had a look around the Seine, Invalides, Tour Eifel, Arc de Triomphe and all that - of course the café crème and the croissants, the people watching from corner café at the market, the boulevards with early leaves - fall being precipitated by the extreme heat of global warming - another reminder of the fragility of it all… heading back out of the city through market stalls full of plastic wares from China, riding the waves of automobile haste back to the slightly less exasperated roads to the north, stopping this time at the wondrous mediaeval town of Laon and its cathedral perched high: by now the heat was such that one could easily mistake the moment as being in Aix-enProvenice rather than these northern climes… Phew…


woensdag 6 mei 2020

suspended suspension

been sitting on fragments for ever so long - not quite knowing what to do with them, - every time I thought, well this is a good one for the blog it got sidelined, and then of course it all got shoved due to the corona crisis and all that ( one might think that's a perfect moment to blog- being stuck at home - but nothing further from the truth... more to do than before even...)
so
by way of redressing - a potpourri of impressions perhaps...







the ongoing rock seed situation... more on that later

zondag 23 februari 2020

Yoan horizon

Fascinating exhibition though perhaps edgy event horizon is a matter of conjecture: how is it then that the written word enters it’s new age of oscillating letters projected on prepared pages rather than heavily smudged with ink on pulped trees… and where the pages turn other images of this story or another animate the landscape only just perceived, whittling away at what you thought was stable… no thoughts are scurrying all over all the time, why not literature?



by contrast the reductions of ball-point pen interventions in classic (penguin) paperbacked books: they become as abstract and variable in interpretation as the electronic counterpanes displayed on the other tables - and the hand painted graphics on standard Nepali licence plates, along with the typical shop sign saying just the opposite: words without meaning in that slightly festive curvature used to give a statement somewhat more flair…

























Textile too becomes tactile context woven in and out the meaning of the wooly phrase provided in different colours / wove and weft combinations of two strands together… communication that can keep you warm from the sharp mountain wind, for a while at least, while you consider the meaning of the statement at hand…
























Same with the narrative looking figures - purportedly involved in significant handlings that we are supposed to recognize or at least interpret - correctly is another matter - books become live things, creatures reinventing themselves / seemingly - but controlled by program (in this case at least… beams reading QR codes to calculate which page you’re on… still regognizable, as was Gutenberg’s wooden letter (later lead etc) at some point… but here we are at the threshold, that point of no return when the vision takes over and even the prototype becomes obsolete in the wink of an eye…

sweepstakes.
























all the associations still don’t make a coherent image, but relay the gist. 

Invisible white noise (until moray reveals it) 




unreadable black text (until light strikes it at a angle…) 



we must prepare our tools.

vrijdag 29 november 2019

double perfweek: Jetlag / Pipe

just off the plane for an encounter with B

JETLAG#2

Greeted by what was going to be a volcanic eruption we arrived just in time for the JetLag#2 at the buktapaktop, an encounter of Korean and Brussels-based performers... The volcano caught fire quite a wasy down the slope and had ro be carried out into the rain to avoid the toxic fumes putting an early end to the encounter... Lucky for us the two volcanists had a reserve mini-volcano at hand which they set off for a festive beginning of procedures...   



  i had the luck to be right at the window where the fist apparition from Seoul incanted a text I can not translate, but anyway it was garbled by the fact that the reader was being entwined as to were, so as to make coherent reading a difficult feat, in addition to darkness, rain, glaring light and then the puffed cloud of fine flour on window pane prepared with pictogram or symbol denoting one thing or another, probably explained by the illegible text and presented garbled as a means of communication quite foreign to us... Or so I thought... But it did make an impression even without explanatory context... 






Next was a video of a performance, in which a group of smartly dressed revellers commenced to bite each other sensuously and profusely, repeatedly and serially - no sound but one could surmise the kind of groans and squeals as if one were there oneself, feeling the pain and perhaps the delight as blood was drawn... Quite a constellation if you ask me, but the spades which were lingering in the background initiated the second part in which the group proceeded to the forest to entomb themselves up to their necks in soil, earth and perhaps immobility in order not to devour each other entirely... Who knows, latter day vegetarian vampires perhaps...





Speaking of ritual, the next offering was quintessentially easter, with a small shrine of joss-sticks commencing proceedings in which the protagonist priest donned electronic neck dress in order to manipulate his surroundings.... We the participants were give reflective discs, and one laser beam came down straight, to be joined respectively by the next and next until four enclosed a space in cardinal terms, framed strictly but then defected by mirrors and caught by ourselves, redirected to each other and creating a visual conversation of web-like inference, in some cases a beam would be deflected numerous times across the room, in other instances shared by more than one mirror, multiplying the possibilities... This all in relatively calm and speechless enjoyment of each others company.




Silent was also the bird-man who stripped down to basic shorts & shirt to slowly and deliberately mount a plinth made of slats and tape, on unsteady and undulating ground, to balance slowly upward, slightly shaky but well in control, to finally stand upon his perch, extending wings for balance, moving slowly from one observation angle to the next, to then equally slowly and deliberately retire.... This all surrounded by concentrated silence... The audience was equally involved and perhaps even strained, tense to see it through without mishap.... For once bird-man dropped his perch, it broke up in its constituent parts, making obvious how fragile it was and how amazingly proficient this quiet balancing act in fact was... 























An enigmatic video of close up skin extrusions was shown, abstract and electronically manipulated to identify certain regions on interest, to whom? To what? A strange application of facial recognition technology perhaps to identify just that question... 
 
Two dancers did a showcase intro view into a breakdance hiphopperrave suite, dressed in the obligatory jogging outfits, energetically showing their wares before launching into a more abstract and structural performance of an extremely slowed down version of a decisive move, synchronised perfectly and reversible... Like robots  but human, breaking int a sweat and conversing with the audience - reminding us to keep in touch with the human rather than being fascinated by technical prowess... 




It was a very interesting a sympathetic encounter with a certain eastern calm presiding over the whole proceeding - a restfulness we lack here in the west often...
great stuff! many thanks to our Korean visitors!



same week different venue:

Pipa/Dortrecht (part 1 of 4)


This time I made it to Dortrecht, where I had promised to participate in the first night of boredom, but couldn't get my car started and was therefor a no-show, unnoticed artist... Tho my text was read at the selected site... This time I got there but went astray thinking the venue was at the ( co-) organization Lodge 222... When in fact it was in Pictura...















On time even, with a breathless realist to greet us all, blowing his breath into black garbage bags (or bin-liners you might call them) and adding a pellet of shit to an invisible text-fragment on the wall... His eyes were watering behind goggles, his floppy hat reminiscent of a walkabout... A huff and a puff... And the urban intervention videos in the library/barspace were intriguing... Keeping the passersby from passing by but standing still to block other possible passers to pass by... Lots of south american stuff... Interesting ones, too much to recount here, this being just a subjective passer-by's account...


In the back room a dance-duo was just winding up a paint by gun number... They would react to the public that would react by squirting their pistols laden with green ink either on the dancing targets, the prepared canvasses or the suspended pages... All beginning with virginal white but now spatterd pollock-colorfield....





 In the main room a ladder protruded from a hole in the floor... Basement emmitting strange reverb-sounds while a girl diappeared down the ladder... I followed suit, coming upon an ensemble of guitares resting on their amps... Swinging along as it were... No player, no wind of funny electonics, just the presence of each others company emitting a slow sine-curve of reverb now and again, decaying before becoming feedback... Quite an achievement if you ask me... Cutting it fine just along the threshold of  distortion.... 

While in the next cavernous space a collector was arranging his collection of ... Well... Things similar, the significance of which did not really reveal itself to me, but which fascinated none the lass and had my sympathy even if only for the mere audacity to present these boxes of things neatly arranged in the basemen as a statement of no sort I could fathom... Perhaps there was still something that was going to happen, or associations that would become clear when all had been laid out... 


I would return, I said to myself when re-emerging from the hole in the floor just as someone was taking potshots of the space... I decided to do a little walkabout myself, to feed the parking meter or rather to repark the car in a less expensive area... Passing by the breathless crocodile hunter, now having produced the outlines of a word or two with the pellets I surmised to be rabbit-doo or something more exotic... (kangaroo?) The black begs were amassing too... Filled with carbon dioxic sweat and dizziness.



out in the town my instructions said that I was to turn left if a sound came from the right, so I heard sounds as they were convenient, and enjoyed the rather quaint old town with lots of boats, which is always good in my book... By the time I got back the breathless Australian had been able to spell ... the real... what precisely I don't know and couldn't ask because he was still exhaling into the bags... The place began looking like an upside-down Duchamp... 


The squirt-gun action completed it's second phase, with purple dye this time, making it more Monet and giving the shooting an air of spring, if not the right of spring, the dance being a bit relegated to the action... I would have preferred if they had forgotten about the audience even if they were taking pot-shots...









 But the evening was saved by a gaggle of girls in garish costume, swimming costume, no, bodysuit like cyclists costume, of bobsled perhaps, something competitively sporty, shiny, dynamic and synthetic... There trick girls proceeded to depose copious amounts of plastic on the floor... Household plastic we all know and have come to cherish in our lazy efficiency, throw away society... They began the laborious job of sorting out the diverse types of plastic as we do when the refuse collection is imminent, or garbage truck coming to get it... Once it had all been sorted, or just before perhaps, the girls started playing with the stuff, making at first slight rustling noises as in a dense forest but getting bolder and bolder to more percussionist tendencies to end up in a kaleidoscopic lighting throwing trash and themselves about in flashes of fancy plastic sculptural instances, ending in a heaving volcano...





Resurfacing slowly they began moving the mountain of plastic waste in a sort of pincer movement with their legs, clearing the chaos while churning up a menacing mount... Sympathetically, sensuously, but inexorably towards the increasingly alarmed audience against the wall... Endin up by delving some onlookers under the barrage of poly propylene, ethylene and trichloride combination...
Party's over, time to make away with all this junk.