The Thinker by Auguste Rodin is an iconic misunderstanding. Since its creation in 1881, it has been said that the sculpture expresses the activity of thinking, while it merely expresses the pose of thinking. Once you realize, the Thinker is an empty form on which anyone may project his or her thoughts. This has led to a range of ideas - and clichés - about man who reflects on his existence.
Curator Kris Dittel writes: What practices bring us closer to understanding the potential of art to represent different notions of value in the contemporary? How can we counter the certain apathy of the contemporary to engage with positions that resist this mood and present us with challenging perspectives on value? The project attempts to locate artistic and institutional practices that offer viewpoints beyond the strategy of blending-in and conforming to the rules.
At De Appel, Arnoud Holleman invites actors, curators and museum directors to read his text. The title "Immovably Centred" derives from the motto that Rainer Maria Rilke used for his biography about Auguste Rodin: 'The hero is he who is immovably centred'. Rilke puts Rodin on a pedestal as a superhuman genius, Arnoud Holleman stages a contemporary artist who, still, identifies with this kind of artistry.
It's either filthy thoughts or intellectual blah-blah, and nothing in between. Look closer. More closer. Look at me! You hear me?! If there's any reason for me to be ashamed, it's you. The only reason I'm standing in front of the town hall is because I happened to have been 'created' by a world-famous sculptor: Rodin, the genius of deep emotions and existential gestures. Yeah right. The way I'm standing here, Rodin is the only person who's never once laid a finger on me.
It’s fascinating to see how the myth of Rodin permits such a transformation in image-building, the reason being that myths are inconstant in nature, to the point of mendacity. Immortality doesn’t exist, after all, but myths are legitimate as a faith construct. Art is faith packaged as craft.
De Balzac van Auguste Rodin staat vanaf 1 februari in Het Oog in het van Abbemuseum, als special guest in een installatie van Arnoud Holleman. In deze tijdelijke opstelling draait het beeld langzaam rond. Bezoekers kunnen het beeld van alle kanten bekijken en de 19e eeuwse schrijver kijkt ondertussen rond, naar onze tijd. Via een online radiozender ? Radio Balzac ? worden meningen, discussies en andere inzichten over het beeld verzameld en uitgezonden.
When Zijlstra speaks, you hear the positive, neoliberal pep talk of Rutte, but also the anti-elitist, anti-globalist, populist talk of Wilders. Not only is radical change required, the existing structure must – as an end in itself – be torn down. In other words, creation and destruction go hand in hand and from Zijlstra’s mouth that sounds astonishingly unisono.