Be(com)ing Dutch

2008

Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven (NL), 2008
Installation with murals and work on paper
8m x 6m x 4.50m
Photography: Peter Cox

Glow, 2007

133 x 95cm
acrylic, ink, spray-paint and linocut on paper

photo credit: Peter Cox

On Black I, 2007

85cm x 70cm
acrylic, ink and linocut on paper

photo credit: Peter Cox

On Black II, 2007

120cm x 100cm
acrylic, ink, spray-paint and linocut on paper

photo credit: Peter Cox

Porcelain, 2008

190 x 120cm
acrylic, ink, spray-paint and linocut on paper

photo credit: Peter Cox

Continents and Blood, 2008

190 x 120cm
ink, spray-paint and linocut on paper

photo credit: Peter Cox

The Way to Paradise, 2008

220 x 140cm
ink, spray-paint and linocut on paper

photo credit: Peter Cox

Description

For the exhibition Be(com)ing Dutch I installed the work Casino Exotique in a new configuration.

The walls of the space were painted in a dark olive-brown colour with a painted yellow banner going around at 2.50m height. On to this banner, I painted replica’s of 5 intuitively chosen paintings from the Van Abbe collection (Schwitters, de Smet, Alechinsky, Poliakoff, Sluijters).

Three works on paper were hung onto three free-standing grey blocks. In these works, which combine ornament and text, the viewer can decipher text-quotes from various books: The Buddha of Suburbia by Hanif Kureishi, Saman by Ayu Utami and The Way to Paradise by Mario Vargass Llosa. Three framed works on paper were hung on the dark-olive green wall.

In these works ornaments, shapes and objects seem to move to the front of the picture through a strangely filtered light, making references to classical Dutch still life painting.

By bringing together original works, murals and replicas from paintings from the museum collection, I wanted to create a visual and associative ‘parcours’ where various historical lines intertwine and cross: The history (and determined value) of certain paintings, the heritage of modernism, western colonialism and the representation of ‘the exotic’ in art history and literature. Through the act of ‘copying’ original paintings – “becoming” a Flemish Primitivist, or an expressionist – I wanted to open up questions around the idea of value, authenticity and the artist’s original signature and through this, touch on the trouble-spot of what a ‘national identity’ – the topic of the show- could mean today.

Catalogue (PDF)