Archive for February, 2012

What Belongs To The Sky?

February 15, 2012


The project What Belongs To The Sky?, has been made possible by a research and development subsidy from the Centrum Beeldende Kunsten, Rotterdam.

What Belongs To The Sky? investigates the social aspects between language and communication in a situation where the ability to speak is broken down. In order to carry out the project, I set out to focus on the very particular condition of aphasia, which is an inability to understand and/or to use language symbols as a result of a neurological impairment. As language is essential to the construction of a Self, I was curious to examine how it would be possible for a person living with aphasia to participate in the social construction of his or hers autobiographical narrative in the face of such an impairment. What I set out to do was to insert myself, together with my video and audio recording equipment, in the everyday life of an elderly couple living on an isolated, bi-lingual island of Utö (Finland), in the middle of the Baltic sea. The man of the couple, Fjalar Johansson, has Bingswangers disease, a type of dementia, and as a result suffers of aphasia. Previously a bi-lingual, charismatic and an eloquent public speaker, Fjalar’s speech has in the last few years been reduced to a very basic level, consisting of simple sentences, isolated words, and supporting bodily gestures. Now, more often than not, he is unable to finish his sentences and give form to his thoughts through words. He is unable to fluently express himself to others and in this way to participate in the social. His inability to partake in the social through language and speaking is also heightened by his poor sight and hearing. However, it is specifically his loss of language and its creative power to construct, order and mediate that has placed him in a social abyss with diminished means to navigate in the social and so to have proper agency as a human being.

The project  will result in two parallel parts; a film with a narrative structure and an audio-visual installation consisting of shorter video works.


‘Kitchen Lecture: Notes on Gesture’ in Our House in The Middle of The Street

February 14, 2012

A Publication to celebrate 10 years Kunsthuis SYB.

The house of Kunsthuis SYB in Beetsterzwaag has served as a residency for artists since 2000. The publication ‘Our House in the Middle of the Street’ (ed. Maja Bekan, Irene Kromhout) looks back with its eye on the future.

The book comprises of two parts in alternating chapters.

Space: a walk through the house in six chapters*
Each chapter has a text that thematically relates to one of the rooms of SYB. The texts vary in style and subject matter beautifully, and are as diverse as the writers themselves, while the main theme (cooperation) is addressed from different angles. Each chapter also highlights three projects.

Time: a log of ten years of development and diversity.
Ten chapters with a selection from the archives of Kunsthuis SYB. A collection of all projects, events and developments in images, texts, clippings and quotes, which not only show the development of the organization, but also gives a glimpse behind the scenes. Through listing ten years of art projects, the publication provides comprehensive insight into the evolution and diversity of the genre.

Publication date: december 23, 2011
Circulation 500, 220 pages, English and Dutch

* Content of the chapters (Space):

Chapter 1: Entrance / Hospitality
Text: ‘Letter on the occasion of ten years Kunsthuis SYB’ by Danielle Van Zuijlen (a.o. freelance curator, founder Hotel Mariakapel, board member TransArtists and 1646)
Projects: Zucht (Linda Molenaar a.o., 2000), Image is Everything (Bureau Zeezicht, 2006), Bear Man and Alice (Abner Preis a.o., 2009

Chapter 2: Gallery / Playground Structures
Text: ‘Free as in cheese: artistic confusion at the edge of openness’ by Aymeric Mansoux (a.o. artist, musician, co-founder of, main teacher Media Design Piet Zwart Institute, MPhil/PhD-student Goldsmiths College London)
Projects: Wilde Metaphysica (Jantine Wijnja a.o., 2008), De Kolonie – The Colony (students and alumni from the Sandberg Institute, 2010), Mental Mickey and the Desert of Doom (Powerplant, 2007)

Chapter 3: Kitchen / Nesting
Text: ‘Notes for “Kitchen Lecture: Notes on Gesture”‘ by Deirdre M. Donoghue (a.o. artist, writer, researcher, co-founder ADA)
Projects: Blind House (Maurice van Daalen and Giorgos Gripeos, 2005), Het huis met de arend (Ruth van Beek and Basje Boer, 2009), The Primitive Breakthrough (Emmeline de Mooij a.o., 2008)

Chapter 4: Dining room / Open House
Text: ‘The Collaborative Turn’ by Maria Lind (a.o. curator, critic, director Tensta Konsthall Stockholm, former director Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College New York, Iaspis Stockholm and Kunstverein München, curator Moderna Museet Stockholm, received Walter Hopps Award for Curatorial Achievement in 2009)
Projects: ¿Volzet? (Sabine Mooibroek, 2001), Leentjebuur (Henry J. Alles, 2003), The Expanding Pie (Dutch Art Institute, 2007)

Chapter 5: Living Room / Private/Public
Text: ‘Terminus ante quem, terminus post quem’ by Ana Nikitovic (a.o. curator Museum Contemporary Art Belgrado, member Prelom Kolektiv, participant Curatorial Programme De Appel season 2008/2009)
Projects: Last Christmas (Daan Samson, 2006), Big Fingers (Jérôme Sother and Christophe Boursault, 2008), Tristes Tropiques, Illustrations hors Texte (Laurence Aegerter and Ronald van Tienhoven, 2010)

Chapter 6: Bedroom / Social Politics
Text: ‘Refusing to live in a nice world: minimal conditions for the collective’ by Frans-Willem Korsten (a.o. professor literature and society Erasmus University, professor Literary Studies Rijksuniversiteit Leiden, former teacher Piet Zwart Institute, president committee Letteren Raad voor Cultuur)
Projects: Dyn Lân Bestiet Net (Ólafur Árni Ólafsson and Libia Pérez de Siles de Castro, 2005), Subgoed performancefestival (Serge Lammerts a.o., 2005), Waiting Room (Maja Bekan, 2008)