Preparing for Madrid to participate in The Hybrid Art Fair EX-MÊKH had secret participant Ben Faydherbe design a folder and a booklet for visitors. The booklet will be part of a growing series of small publications which EX-MÊKH uses during fairs and other exhibitions. The printing arrived yesterday and in the weekend we will leave for Spain.
Like every year Ron van der Ende invited artists to send their favourite music or sounds they play during artistic work. These Studio Playlists are published on a site he runs, Art BBQ. I participated since 2006 (at least, that’s the oldest I can find) and it’s each time a pleasure to elaborate on the music I play during the year past.
Yesterday, art celebrated it’s 1.000.061st birthday at HOK Gallery and a number of other FLUXUS minded galleries all over the world. At HOK a new exhibition had just opened last week, but the festive make-over’s of single-sleeve’s have been naturally integrated in the present show: Long Bord Slaatje, bij Jesus Cinco and Rowan van As. I was able to take part in the anniversary project, and I chose Gilbert Becauds Toi, le musicien to elaborate on further.
On saturday December 2 Het Grote Aanschouwboek (The Big Aanschouwbook) was presented, a survey of 22 years of De Aanschouw in the Witte de Withstreet in Rotterdam. De Aanschouw is the smallest art gallery in Rotterdam and in The Netherlands if I am not mistaken. It used to be a display case on the front of a café, De Schouw, which was situated opposite the building in which De Rotterdamse Courant had it’s offices. As soon as the newspaper went to the printer it was put in the display case and the editors went to De Schouw to have a beer and to discuss the contents of the new edition.
The presentation of Het Grote Aanschouwboek took place in a well filled auditorium in TENT, you can see an account of the happening here! The book shows all the exhibitions and artists, weekly changes and the Overschilderschilderijen (overpaintpaintings) of which documentation is still available. We are happy to say that very few is missing. Edo Dijksterhuis wrote a history of De Aanschouw and collected anecdotes can be found in the back of the book. The participation of EX-MÊKH can also be found including a poster of underground member Ben Faydherbe who is responsible for the design of our publicity. An overpaint-painting of EX-MÊKH member Kees Koomen can also be found in the book. The graphic Design of bureau 75B is special for a relatively small book with no less than 1150 pages. It developed into a brickstone-account of a period of art and friendship!
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.
Mingle1 took place on 20 July 2019.
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.
Arethusa from the Muses and Metamorphoses series is moving to California. It was so nice to see this painting makes its new owner a happy person!