Somewhere before new years eve I was asked by Dutch artist Frans van Lent to participate in his Project Mingle 2. He was to call me 15.00 h, January 1st. He asked me to answer the phone and say nothing. After one minute he would end the connection. He asked me to put the phone on loudspeaker. All this I did. He asked a number of international artists to do the same.
Yesterday the project was published as a sound-piece, You can find it here!
Other participants are:
Frits Dijcks, Den Haag (NL) Ienke Kastelein, Utrecht (NL) Manuela Macco, Biella (IT) Annie Abrahams, Vollenhove (NL) Carron Little, Glasgow (UK) Myrna van Lent, Barendrecht (NL) Selma Boskailo, Berlin (DE) Thomas Meijerman, Rotterdam (NL) Pablo Lopez Jordan, Murcia (ES) Kees Koomen, Den Haag (NL) Josh Schwebel, Berlin (DE) Deirdre Macleod, Cramond Island (UK) Martine Viale, Perpignan (FR) Jello Reumer, Maumont (FR) Paul Henning, Wierre-Effroy (FR) Geerten Ten Bosch, Dordrecht (NL) Max Wyse, Perpignan (FR) Nico Parlevliet, Dordrecht (NL) Elia Torrecilla, Vigo (ES) Susana Mendes Silva, Lisbon (PT) Leonard Passchier, Paris (FR) Jos Deuss, Dordrecht (NL) John G. Boehme, Victoria BC (CA) Hautefort, France. 1 January 2023 14:00 – 16:00 CET.
Some weeks ago I finished the gouaches for which I used the diaries I kept during the Hybrid Art Fair. The fair asked EX-MÊKH to participate so we installed our work in the hotelroom which they assigned to us. Before and during the fair I made a number of walks. I visited the ARCO art fair and some museums and other art-venues. Each day I took a part of my notes of the day to make a “shard” on my hotelroom. It is a text I wrote with charcoal on torn, white washed packing paper. They resemble the ceramic shards of pots which pre-christian cultures used around the Mediterranean. They give only small pieces of information about life in those times. I added The pieces of paper with diary-text that I wrote daily to the EX-MÊKH installation Con alma.
After the fair I decided to make a gouache for each day I was in Madrid. I would like to show the texts and the gouaches together sometimes. Like pendants of a fading memory of the days that I was there.
EX-MÊKH, Ellen Rodenberg, Maarten Schepers and Kees Koomen, participated in Platforms Project 2022. It was the tenth edition after two years of improvisation on the internet and a somewhat improvised edition in the fall of 2021. Ellen Rodenberg, Maarten Schepers and I liked the video we made for the internet edition in 2021: we built a booth with the usual measurements in the studio, and we filmed how we built an installation in the way we usually work. Platform Projects showed the video on the internet under the name Stage Arousal. Later it was shown in Paris on the front of EP7, a multidisciplinary building with 17 screens on the Avenue de France, near La Grande Bibliothèque.
This time we decided to build another booth with a different context. Not a white cube, but it had a wooden floor and walls. Moreover, we built it in the open air in the woods and the back side (the second wall) stayed open. As a result, it became a sculpture in itself. We started to work there, improvising and experimenting. Eventually it resulted in the provisional video Scenes from a Wormhole which we showed in the fair together with an installation which was made from material we had used in the video.
I decided that I wanted to make work on the basis of reinterpretation of some of my older work. The Paintings Ira la cual manda fuoco(1998) and La figura, con paura, storna (1997) came to my mind, from the project I did on the poem Donna me prega of the Italian renaissance-poet Guido Cavalcanti. Referring to the first painting I did a performance for the video in which I burned publications made about my visual work. This act shows the artistic practice of reconsidering your own work, burning older meanings and making it new. As to the second painting: I painted a self-portrait, naked with a burning match in my hand, turning away from the result of another performance I did for the video: a sheet of paper on which I breathed out, thereby spitting some chewed-on smarties on the sheet (Janus – breathing in-breathing out). The naked figure is the artist who is looking at his work before he goes to sleep. Or he thinks about his work awake in bed and goes down to the studio, in the nude as he sleeps, to see his work and to be struck by the power of what he did turning his head away in awe. It is a well-known effect, later to be surprised by what you did after having ended the day in the studio very unsure of it. The fact that the figure is naked has en extra layer, because Diogenes walked the streets of Athens naked with a lamp in his hand to look for virtue, another theme from my earlier works. With this some pictures of what EX-MÊKH showed in Athens:
To keep up a well-established Fluxus tradition, HOK commissioned their neighbourhood carpenter to make a HOK FluxBox, to be filled with contributions by their own gang of HOK artists and Fluxus people they admire. They made sure to have all the submitted pieces of art juxtaposed in the HOK FluxBox to a neat disarray of objects, cards, materials, and components. This unpremeditated assemblage has resulted in a tangible poetics and non-linear narrative as it was meant to.
Last week, HOK’s artist in residence Lula Valletta personally delivered the HOK FluxBox at the Museum FLUXUS+ in Potsdam Berlin. The HOK FluxBox, hand crafted by Bram Massaar, and filled to the brim with art works by Philip Corner, Jeff Perkins, Nico Lootsma, Dana LaMonda, Jordan Herregraven, Leonor Faber-Jonker, Counter Culture Chronicles, Ronin, Hans Köning, Weronika Trojanska, Lula Valletta, René van der Voort, Bobbi Oskam, Gaye Black, Mr. Pelham, Gavin Jay, Erwin de Hart, Harold de Bree, Kees Koomen, and our sadly missed Bob Lens, is now part of the Museum FLUXUS+ collection.
I published my Madrid Diary on this site. It was written and turned into shards during the Hybrid Art Fair 2022 for which EX-MÊKH was invited. It was a part of my contribution, next to the self-portrait in the bedroom and some of my Muse-paintings!
Back in Holland after a satisfying presentation by EX-MÊKH at the Hybrid Art Fair in Madrid life continues. In between other projects I wrote some reports about Madrid. On chmkoome’s blog I published daily reports and I wrote a report on ARCO on the Art-site for Den Haag Jegens & Tevens . I published EX-MÊKH’s exhibition at the Hybrid Art Fair on the EX-MÊKH site under exhibitions.
Reporters mentioned Con Alma in reports in on-line magazines ( Liceo Magazine for instance) and lots of pictures of our work showed on social media. The comment of this journalist surprised me later to my satisfaction!
On friday there will be a presentation of RUW-magazine at HOK-Gallery in Den Haag from 19.00 h onwards. Issues #4 and #5 will be presented and also other artworks of the contributors will be shown. The presentation will be open during the weekend. Editor in chief Hans Könings asked me to take part in issue #5 which I did by using a little performance I did in Berlin in 2015. I wrote the next text about it in my diary:
Ich grub in Berliner Boden
Im Antlitz spiegelt sich Berlin
Ich hab mich mit einer Staubmaske gesucht
Da fand ich ein Faden der zu mir führte
I will also show two paintings from my Muse-series in this show.
The gallery is situated on the Westeinde 61 in Den Haag
EX-MÊKH will participate in the Hybrid Art Fair in Madrid from Februari 24 to 27. The fair is held in a hotel in the centre of the city and participants are expected to exhibit in hotelrooms. We will present work under the name Con alma trying to give the neutral and functional hotelroom a soul, the soul of EX-MÊKH! In the mean while publicity for participants is starting as you can see on this page!
EX-MÊKH has been working on a new site and today we migrated what’s ready to the domain www.ex-mekh.nl . Every exhibiton we did from 2014 is on it and the ones from 2006 will be in the coming time. Please visit and enjoy yourselves!