Friday September 29 was the day RUW #6 was presented to the public. It happened during Hoogtij, the two-monthly open platforms evening in Den Haag. For the occasion HOK gallery was available and the editor decided that a large drawing was to be made by all participants in this edition of RUW. This drawing was going to be auctioned on sunday.
The presentation was a succes, many visitors came by to see the new RUW Magazine and not many magazines were left in the end. You can find an account of the opening here!
Then sunday the auction of the large drawing took place. It did not draw a lot of attention but those who came were a motivated public. After some useless attempts of the auctioneer Geert Schriever to sell the drawing as a whole details of the drawing were offered for which two ladies showed the formats with wooden angles. This worked better and the afternoon ended with a positive amount of money on the account and everybody enjoying a glass of wine.
De Aanschouw is the smallest gallery in The Netherlands. Until now it’s location is in the Witte de With straat in Rotterdam, better known for its terraces and art centres Melly and TENT. The gallery is a showcase across from where the NRC was once produced. Once the newspaper was ready for print the first newspaper to come out was shown in the showcase across the street, next to café De Schouw. The bar was famous for its clientèle amongst which artists, writers and editors of NRC. When De Aanschouw started it showed an art piece once a week. The initiators invited curators to present weekly art pieces. Daan den Houter, famous Rotterdam artist, started his project Overschilderschilderij here also. After painting a self-portrait he invited painters he knew to paint a new painting over it. Each new painter covered the preceding painting. This way the painting became a brick-like object , it has hundred forty-nine paintings covering it now. The new exhibitions of paintings and of the Overschilderschilderij always open at de wissel (the change), on Thursday night at 21.00 h.
Volunteers took care of the exhibitions and organisation of it and to get some working-capital they thought of an annual auction at the start of the season. This took place on the street in the Witte de Withstraat at the opening of the cultural season. Lately TENT invites De Aanschouw to do it in their space. Because of Corona the auction has been postponed for three years. This time it took place at the end of the season though, coinciding with the end of De Aanschouw at café De Schouw. The gallery-showcase will move to Café Ari at de Nieuwe Binnenweg in Rotterdam.
Recently I took The Stone back to France. I decided that it ought to be in its natural surroundings after having travelled in Europe for some years. I was in France building terraces in a garden with similar stones last week . Before, I imagined that instead of standing in a living room in Den Haag The Stone is better off in a natural function, centrally in a useful construction. So here it is now, overlooking a village and a river, opposite a castle which is strategically placed on a wall next to the river. Underneath you will find a brief history of the stone.
Once there was a stone. It was quietly enjoying the place where it was, in a garden in Vaucluse in France. The owners of the garden also have a garden in Den Haag and, overcome by their imagination they thought it might be a good idea to take the stone to Holland together with some other stones. They gave them a place in their Dutch garden, to put some Provençal colour into their Dutch Eden. As it happens, the artist’s studio of one of the owners looks out on the garden. Thinking about content for his Malieveld Project his eyes were caught by the sculptural qualities of the stone. So, he took it to the Malieveld and executed a short performance with it:
In september the female artist of EX-MÊKH was invited for the ‘FeMaler‘ exibition in Berlin. The two remaining male members of EX-MÊKH were invited as antagonists. The owner of the stone, collaborating in EX-MÊKH, decided to dedicate his contribution to the muse. He would make an installation which he opened with a performance using the stone again: He lay beside it and tapped on it to hear the voices of troubadours that it must have experienced, lying along the roads where these poets traveled from castle to castle in the middle ages. After hearing them sing he set up pedestals on which he put paintings of his muses.
After the opening of the exhibition The Stone stayed in Berlin all winter, in the studio of Marian Wijnvoord, a friend of ours and also a member of KRAATZ, an interesting international artists’ collective we work with sometimes. In the early spring of 2021 Platforms Project in Athens stated it was impossible to do a regular fair because of the pandemic. Instead they asked participants to make video’s and pictures, they would open a page on the site of Platforms Project for each of the participants. EX-MÊKH decided to make a video and they also invited friends to contribute to the project which was called Stage Arousal . A-Trans and Kraatz from Berlin were invited to make a video for the website of the Greek Fair. When the KRAATZ-video was sent EX-MÊKH was surprised to see the Stone as protagonist of the video. The artists participating in KRAATZ decided to do little performances with it under the name Idioliths!
In the end of June 2021 KRAATZ invited EX-MÊKH to participate in the exhibition ‘Les Idiolithes’in EP7 in Paris. It’s building has a facade with sixteen video-screens facing the Avenue de France. We were invited to show video on this wall for two weeks, alternating with KRAATZ and Sabine Bürger who was also invited. KRAATZ showed Idioliths with The Stone for their video:
In the opening weekend there was an opportunity to do performances, of which a ritual returning of The Stone from KRAATZ to EX-MÊKH was already planned. This Returning of The Stone was planned the second night and I proposed to do ‘The Weight’ again with the idea that The Stone had gained a soul, traveling from France to Den Haag, to Berlin, to Paris and back to Den Haag. All the more because it got more meaning each time and it would be a real responsibility to take care of it and maybe use it again. Thus it happened: the first evening two performances including the stone had been planned:
The second night the ritual returning of The Stone to EX-MÊKH was performed:
EX-MÊKH also performed separately. Kees Koomen did another performance with The Stone under the title Sentiers d’été, rolling it around in a circle and making works on paper about his hikes in Vaucluse where The Stone originated from.
After this weekend, The Stone was taken back to Den Haag where it was kept on a little table in the living room for one and a half year.
And this is the edition I made for l’Anniversaire de l’Art: Trace of Muse. You might remember the first appearance when I was having a beer during my residency in France in 2008. Or the search for her under water as a Malieveld-action off-site in France. During my research in the USA she also appeared in San Francisco at Montgomery. I even have a text on shard about her! These are stones taken from the Sorgue River on January 5, 2023. It is an edition of five footprints of the muse I keep encountering. The colour comes from pigment I got from Roussillon near the source of the Sorgue river:
I will participate in this with an edition of five prints of which I will show three:
Just a few more nights’ sleep and it’s Art’s birthday. HOK will be celebrating with a group exhibition! So put on a paper hat and join the fun. Just the Fluxus way.
To celebrate the 1,000,060th anniversary of art, HOK will transform into a FLUXUS gift shop for 60 minutes on Tuesday, January 17, at 8pm. Here the birthday art can be viewed, purchased, and taken home with you. With prices ranging from 6 to 60 euros. The 60-minute sound of the FLUXUS gift shop will be broadcast as noise on the “Art’s Birthday” network and will be heard from Tokyo to Vancouver.
Didn’t Yoko Ono present her little bulbs ball of air to the MOMA gift shop, for the visitors to take home something unforgettable? And what are we taking home from HOK this birthday? A genuine, unadulterated multiple by one of HOK’s ever increasing bunch of free-spirited artists and friends. That is: a signed and numbered piece of art, made in a small edition, at a friendly price. A print, a piece of ceramic, a button, a doll, a piece of fabric? Whatever the artists set their minds to. As long as it’s playful and not too serious.
You are totally invited for those 60 minutes, to share a slice of cake, fold a paper hat and stuff your bags. Bob Lens’ alarm clock concert has been silenced and with Willem de Ridder, Fluxus Northern Europe chapter has lost its chairman and mail order entrepreneur, but we are all still here to brew a party.
The multiples will remain on view and can be obtained in HOK even after the anniversary, the entire weekend of Friday 20, Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 January, in the afternoon from 1 to 5.
From September 9 untill 18, 2022 an exhibition will take place with a presentation of the Artist’s Magazine RUW! This will happen in Hilbertsraum in Berlin. Artists from Berlin and from in and around Den Haag who contributed to the magazine will show their work along with all the contributions to the recent German and Dutch editions of RUW! The opening will take place on September 9th and I will show some work, though I will not be present!
After EX-MÊKH‘s adventures at the Hybrid Art Fair in Madrid with in the background the war in Ukraine that started on the third day I decided to do a series of gouaches under the name Madrid Diaries. I didn’t finish them yet because of some unfortunate happenings, but this is a bit of a teaser:
Today we discovered a post of the Hybrid Art Fair in Madrid which will start in three weeks. It is coming near and I look forward to visiting the other fairs in the Madrid Art Week: ARCO, JUST MAD-Art Fair, Drawing Room and Art Madrid. The title of EX-MÊKH’s exhibition will be Con Alma. We take the soul of the collaboration of Ellen Rodenberg, Maarten Schepers and me into the hotel room of the Petit Palace Hotel. We change it into a mirror for our public to reflect on!
This past weekend the opening of ‘Les idiolithes’ took place in Paris. After the first performances with ‘Conversation with a Stone about Freud’s Correspondence about Stones’ executed by Forbes Morlock and ‘Sounding the Stone‘ by Yorgos Dimitriades the video’s ‘Les idiolithes’ by KRAATZ, ‘Soma(2) – Moksha ‘by Sabine Bürger and ‘Stage Arousal‘ by EX MÊKH are shown for the first time on the sixteen screens on the front of the building.
On the second day the ritual return of the stone is executed: the members of Kraatz pass the stone to the members of EX-MÊKH. After a break the performance ‘Sentiers d’été‘ is executed by Kees Koomen and after another break Ex-MÊKH’s Ellen Rodenberg gives a workshop.