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: email@example.com Update April 8 2020: In the mean time the exhibition has closed!
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!
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!
Since two weeks I have a canvas in my studio which was given to me by Daan den Houter. It is part of his project Het overschilderschilderij in which he asks artists time after time to make a painting on the same canvas each time. It now contains one hundred an forty paintings and Daan asked me to paint the one hundred and forty first over it. I painted it white over the previous painting which was done by Mai van Oers. I will start this afternoon to paint over it!
Uitnodiging Donderdag 9 januari 2020. Voor de presentatie van het 141e schilderij op ‘Het Overschilderschilderij’ geschilderd door Kees Koomen. U bent van harte welkom bij de opening om 21.00 uur in Galerie de Aanschouw, (Witte de Withstraat 80b, Rotterdam). Het werk zal daar zichtbaar zijn t/m donderdag 16 januari.
‘Het Overschilderschilderij’ (olieverf, 50cm x 60 cm, 2002-heden) Kunstenaar Daan den Houter nodigt sinds 24 mei 2002 kunstschilders uit om op hetzelfde canvas een olieverfschilderij te maken. Elk schilderij wordt 1 week getoond in de kleinste galerie van Rotterdam: De Aanschouw (Witte de Withstraat 80b, Rotterdam). Daarna gaat het canvas naar een volgende schilder voor een nieuwe laag. In 2012 werd dit werk genomineerd voor de Koninklijke Nederlandse schildersprijs. In 2014 hing het ter ere van de 100ste laag, in een solo presentatie in museum Boijmans van Beuningen. Meer werk van Daan den Houter is hier te zien.
Following the performances on December 7th EX-MÊKH would install the exhibition PROBE on December 8. Installing the exhibition was presented as a performance in itself after which the opening would take place. My work, Sensitory Selfportrait was prepared in the studio, so all I had to do was to communicate with my colleagues about the location, which appeared to deliver little discussion. After three hours the exhibition looked like it needed nothing more, so it would stay in the Haus der Statistik the whole month of December.
For the Selfportrait I teared black painted paper to imagine my senses: Sight, Hearing, Taste, Smell, Feeling. I glued seasalt to it and wrote down on the paper what they were and what it does to the creative process.
I put two little canvasses on the ears on which I wrote words made out of plastic strap: I bended the straps into words and taped it together with narrow yellow tape: Haste, Anger, Inertia, Negligence, Unfocused (A collection of sentiments to avoid) en Ambition, Recognition, Perfection, Fear, Awareness (A collection of attitudes to dose)