The heap of rubble is overgrown with brambles, but with a bit of cautious climbing I make it to the top of what was once the shed. Chunks of yellow and red brick, a section of window frame, an assortment of rooftiles, a piece of lead flashing, a moss-covered chair, a dented aluminium pan – what a loss.
Every artisthood is teeming with platitudes. Repetitive anecdotes, topoi, that give every artist biography the same setup: he or she, always alone; real talent eludes schooling; thousands shouted out, only a handful chosen. Large or small talent, they all put their lives at stake for something that wants to transcend life. Art goes before offspring, reaches beyond death.
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.
When she comes past I click away hysterically. Not even with the intention of getting her picture but I'm in the press enclosure and have to pretend that I'm a photographer. I'm so occupied with the camera and she goes by so fast that I hardly catch a glimpse of her. The print I have made is blurred. Also that night was the first time Madonna showed up with a black hairdo instead of her usual blonde, so nobody recognizes her on the photo.
I was intrigued by the fact that I had to work for hours or days or weeks on end and would still fail to come anywhere close to what the camera had seen in a split second. One night, after a long day of working with minute precision and concentration, I went out to a bar and ran into Bert.
The niche he created for himself testifies to a love-hate relationship with art, which you see reflected in the work. Art gives freedom, but it is also overcoded. In the end it’s just as effective at locking the spirit up again, with rules that can be as Kafkaesque and constraining as the excessive bureaucracy that he continually had to deal with as a landscape artist.
I've always thought of photography as something very magical and it is my belief that this is based on a genuine experience: in my early childhood there must have been no sharp distinction between a real thing and its image - in the same way that kids see themselves as inseparable from their mother until the age of three, I thought that object and image were simply two different manifestations of the same energy.
What happens is that the grit under your feet mixes with the noise in your head. And in the monotony of the constant succession of footsteps, residual thoughts escape like intestinal slugs. Initially this is unpleasant. The physical exertion is a booster, the cadence of your breathing and your footsteps become the haunted baseline under the story of your life, as you recount it to yourself at that moment.
For the last couple of years in a row, artists had been invited who felt at home in a big show environment. This had thrown up a number of lively and playful installations, but this year the budding tradition was in jeopardy: for a variety of reasons there was next to no money for art projects. The only kitty in the budget that might be called upon had been set aside for the printing of the half a million paper napkins that were to be used during the festival.
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.
Beeldconsumptie. Beeldproductie. Beelddistributie. In de afgelopen decennia zijn deze drie steeds meer met elkaar verweven geraakt. Overtreedt de hergebruikende kunstenaar de wet? Want wie is de eigenaar van beelden? De film Museum, te zien in het Frans Halsmuseum in Haarlem, biedt inzicht. Tekst en beeld Arnoud Holleman, Groene Amsterdammer 25 februari 2015 - verschenen in nr. 9
Re-Magazine's great virtue is its willingness to expose sentiments that seldom find public expression, most often relating to the apparently trivial experiences and memories that make up the larger part of existence. Alongside this editorial idiosyncrasy, it is beautifully designed and photographed, each issue adopting a form to suit its subject - Emily King, Frieze, October 2003.
In Marslaan, a row of five 1960s houses was waiting to be demolished. The new building standard in the city had been raised to four stories, so these houses no longer sufficed in that spot. The large windows that had once made the houses so modern were now boarded up. On the blank wood of the underlayment along the full length of the block was written in spray paint: Get rid of that crap!
Musee Rodin heeft haar gespletenheid tegenwoordig goed in de hand. Iedereen die er werkt is in zekere zin nog steeds in dienst van Rodin, maar er is ook voortschrijdend inzicht, gebaseerd op wat je 'museale introspectie' kunt noemen. Bij de recente, grondige herinrichting van het museum is genialiteit als oude valkuil zo veel mogelijk vermeden. In plaats daarvan wordt werkelijkheidsbesef betracht, vanuit het besef dat elk eigen gelijk slechts tijdelijk is, in afwachting van (weer) een nieuwe Rodin.