The Greek Site Dreamideamachine asked international participants of Platforms Project NET 2020 some questions about the fair. I was brought in contact with Efi Michalarou to answer the questions on behalf of EX-MÊKH. The interview was published on the site yesterday:
How do you feel participating in an online Art Fair like Platforms Project 2020? A new experience that emerged through the needs of Covid 19 World Pandemic fighting. What are the new challenges and what do you expect from this participation?
Kees Koomen (EX-MÊKH): The online Art Fair came about because of the crisis and had to be put together in a short period of time. EX-MÊKH had planned a project with participation of the public, but now that there is no public to participate with directly we changed our plan. Within a week we decided to comment on the situation in a video, making use of our practice in the Malieveld Project in Den Haag. We planned an exhibition in a public space, the Malieveld in Den Haag, with performances and installations. About it we would make a video and send that to Artemis as our tribute to the fair. The result is a Buster Keaton – like video in which artists try to set up an exhibition which seems to fail, but somehow it shows the experience of trial and error artists and curators know from their practice. We found the challenge in the required improvisation and in the idea of showing a direct reaction on the situation of artists in the world right now in the medium that somehow solves a lot of problems these days . Working with online exhibitions is new to us and we are looking forward to the moment the fair is online. We expect the fair to have a lot of attention, as always, and we also expect more visibility than in the normal fair. All participants will activate their network so attention will be global. I am curieus about the views on the fair in general and on our booth in particular. Personally I am also participating in three other online artprojects and I expect the artworld to move increasingly in this direction as other elements in society will do. The chance to be part of a big on-line project like this is of course great. I hope there will be a lot of reactions from the public in general. We already benefited from our participation at Platforms project by doïng projects with other platforms and maybe we can make new acquaintances to work with and arouse interest with curators and galleries
In the mean time we are in the middle of the Corona-crisis and most cultural activities have been cancelled. For me personally it was a great disappointment Platforms Project 2020 is not happening in Athens this year but the director, Artemis Potamianou, and the board decided to organize it all on the internet. EX-MÊKH was going to do a participation project but now that our booth is goïng to be shown in digital 3D simulation we decided to make a video about trial and error. We went to the Malieveld and shot a video with performances. More news soon, but for now some material to chew on:
Last week my solo-exhibition at Ruimtevaart finished during the beginning of the Corona crisis. You can see a post on the exhibition on my blog. I already had a lot of visitors but the exhibition can still be visited. You can send me a personal message or an e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Update April 8 2020: In the mean time the exhibition has closed!
I have been making an artblog since 2004. Initially it started as a digital diary but eventually my personal preoccupations about art I find inspiring and art I admire got the upper hand. I started the blog at XS4all, a Dutch provider which had been important and innovative from the start of internet in the Netherlands. They hosted an experimental blogservice that I have been using for eight years after which they stopped. After I downloaded the archive of this blog I restarted chmkoome’s blog on WordPress but I couldn’t get it done to migrate the archive to this blog. It had to be done by hand, day by day. Now that the Coronavirus stops cultural life and the Conservatory where I work is only active online ànd anticipating on my retirement I think I will try and work on it on regular base. I will both post the oldest posts forward and the latest XS4all-posts backwarts, somewhere in the middle everything will be available sometime.
Here is one of my first posts:
15 juli 2004
Vandaag kreeg ik van mijn zwager een DVD met daarop een videotape die we in 1986 voor het oudjaarsfeest gemaakt hebben samen met een vriend van me. Daarop een samenraapsel van alles waarmee we tot dan toe bezig waren geweest: eigen filmpjes, goede kunstenaars, muziek, San Francisco andermans films etc. Ik was een en ander vergeten, maar een aantal van mijn eigen sentimenten herkende ik feilloos. Persoonlijke geschiedenis en tijdsdocument in een!
Today Hoogtij will take place in Den Haag. This is an evening tour along the independant exhibitionspaces and galleries in the city which happens every three months. A flyer with a map and exhibiting artists is issued each time. For the present edition (#60: an anniversary edition) and further publicity pictures are used of my performance Tsss- k-Boom that I did in Berlin in december last year together with percussionist Yorgos Dimitriades. Hoogtij starts at Ruimtevaart today, the venue where my solo-exhibition Facial Reflections is still goïng on!
At the occasion of her leave from HEDEN in Den Haag Lia Bender was given the opportunity to curate an exhibition with works from the collection of HEDEN. In it she shows three old artworks of mine that I didn’t see for 20 years or more. I thought they were sold but here they are, still for hire!
Ron van der Ende, a sculptor from Rotterdam, asked artist friends and colleagues for a Studio Playlist as he has done now for more than fifteen years. He publishes them on his Art BBQ-website. You can find mine under the link:
During Art Rotterdam 2020 Hectobar 4.0 took place in TENT, Rotterdam. This is a swap or buy fair for artists and collectors. It works a bit like Fitax used to do. I showed sketches for three pre-Trump portraits that I made in 2016 in the USA, in the period Obama was still president and Trump tried to take his place. I had a fine score with the works of Annique Weve, Niels Post and Jeroen Jongeleen changing their works for mine!