Store and Retrieve

Before writing the markup for the museum’s website, the developer drew up a grid with boxes inside of it. Each box is a container again, for placeholder images and “Lorum Ipsum” paragraphs. Later on, they will be replaced by the actual content retrieved from the database. The grid exemplifies the mise en abyme of HO2006/1-169, a segment of the museum’s collection consisting of 168 boxed objects, stored on shelves inside the museum depot. His grid helped the developer to lay the foundation for a code that frames HO2006/1-169 in a digital display. His code becomes a distribution system that covers the space in between the database and the public.

Published by Timo Demollin for his solo exhibition Constant Continuity at PuntWG, 2017

The developer needs to decide what names to give to the boxes in his grid. This is important, as some elements in code language are more semantic than others. A <header> element for example, differs from a <div> in the way that both the browser and the developer know what the <header> might be, and where it goes on the page. A <div> can be anything. If the developer would only use non-semantic elements, the Internet would become an exclusive encounter of hypertext documents interpreted by browsers. They would only be displaying arbitrary content to the user, beyond the developer’s control. The reusable and general <div> short for division doesn’t seem like an attractive choice. A <header> mimics the top of a page, whereas a <div> is self-referential and difficult to control. It makes the <header> more likely to appear on a museum’s website than a <div>. Should the developer go with the semantic option, it would reflect the bureaucratic systems of the institution, and enhance the authorship that the museum has tried to avoid. In digital and physical realms of the museum, semantic or meaningful distribution systems became prejudiced devices that broadcast the argument that cultural objects are important enough to maintain.

The <div> on the other hand, has a voice of its own, communicating all kinds of potential meanings, going around the institution’s preferred frame. But even the <div> doesn’t leave the object untouched. Whether the developer choses the specific arrangement of the museum or an unspecified one, every distribution of HO2006/1-169 exposes it to a reckless moment that challenges its current condition: when a museum’s data is siphoned off little by little, the experience is always transformative.

Our relationships with objects are built displacement upon displacement, until the illusion of some sort of coherent trajectory rises in our minds. In the case of HO2006/1-169, the object travelled between exhibition spaces in wooden frames that divide the imagery into pragmatic segments, matching the dimensions of the truck for efficient transportation. Upon their arrival, the pieces were carefully re-edited onto the museum walls before showing them to an audience. This process of singling out and joining back together reminds of the tray in which the objects from the database are collected and delivered at the front office. The tray is part of an automated storage and retrieval system, commonly used in warehousing logistics but a relative novelty in museums. It’s easy to see why its use is appealing for museums, as it maximizes storage space and cleverly replaces the human hand. But as a consequence of reducing personal involvement, this system doesn’t raise self-critical questions, nor does it reflect on its raison d’être. Instead, it preserves the storage room as much as it fails to carry it over into the future. It’s a high-tech futuristic system, used for an ancient principle of preservation. This discord between preservation and neglect is further amplified by the very nature of the inventory itself: HO2006/1-169 is a set of woodblocks now muted objects, once turning every printed copy into a representation of the referents. In prints, the narrative is cut from the object and travels in unexpected ways, without supervision of the institution.

This confronts the developer with a difficult task. If he starts to feel like he is losing control, the museum will fear that things might disappear, which is exactly what can happen to H02006/1-169. It can withdraw from the public after boxing up on itself. Its audience will be redirected to representations, mediated by tangible and digital containers within the museum’s infrastructure.

It is in moments of temporal meaninglessness, like the developer’s grid, that the question emerges whether we should spend so much time defending the value of semantic, meaningful elements, at the cost of the non-semantic, meaningless ones. Why do we assume that title cards stick closer to the meaning of the object than inventory numbers, when all language, coded or not, is a trace of a calculated move? Every conversion from one domain into another can have a transformative effect on the narrative of an object. And if that is the case, it becomes impossible to store and retrieve without acknowledging the possibility of deception and recovery; of meaning lost and gained in every kind of transfer.

Awesome and Awful

A white man poses in front of a large-size shipwreck, dressed in shorts, polo-neck, baseball cap and camera bag. The backdrop of this image is theatrical, like a piece of set decoration that was ordered to lay in the coastline behind him. The man on Shipwreck Beach is among the few tourists who visited Angola, as visa are hard to obtain. The beach is a graveyard to dozens of wrecks, widely spread across the first few meters of the Atlantic. On his trip down old-iron-lane, the man discovered the many legends that try and justify the origins of these boats.

Published by De Fabriek Eindhoven on the residency of Ana Guedes (2017).

The man is clearly enjoying himself, despite the fact that the ships recall the recent civil war. Upon his arrival back home, he posts his unique experience on Instagram, and writes: “Awesome and awful at the same time”. But in this entanglement of mixed emotions, ‘awesome’ clearly has the upper hand.

On the side edge of one of the wrecks, ‘Karl Marx’ is written in rusty letters. The idea of a Marx washing ashore fascinated Portuguese artist Ana Guedes (1981) enough to devote her residency at De Fabriek to researching the sound of perished dreams. She developed an installation in which the acoustics of old wood invoke historical scores, as a poetical tracing of the past.

In a previous work called “Untitled records”, Guedes was also playing with the mixing console of our history books, mixing a family collection of pop music on turntables with a double arm. The dates and signatures on the records refer to their date of purchase, ranging from the 60s to the 80s in Angola, Portugal and Canada. They are references to the geographical movement of her family, as well as large-scale displacement that took place at the time.

In De Fabriek, Guedes uses rattling pieces of artificial fishing bait, to speak to the imagination with stories about fishing in Angola. The bait becomes an instrument, made up of tiny little resonance-boxes for legends to be heard. A horn can be deciphered, that reminds of the confidence that the men on board of the Marx must have had, casting off for communism. It’s one of many clues that Guedes leaves in the exhibition space, suggesting that the history of Shipwreck Beach is much more complicated than the man in in the picture gives it credit for.

Sound is probably the only way in which Guedes can approach history without altering it. Almost automatically, sound covers in-between spaces, whereas images for example are much more fixed to the scene they represent. Like a musical arrangement, this installation aims to unite remote fragments of our memory, tying personal and collective threads into a knot. This affinity with the knot is emphasized by the artist’s preference for analogue techniques. The result is an installation that resembles a room full of conversing people, in which the most venomous words have been intercepted by friendly buzz.

However, if you take on this role of the joyful spectator, it becomes all the more awkward to shamelessly enjoy the effect of the mysterious ruffles. It points me towards one of my biggest fears being a white Western woman, which is to be the man in the photograph.

An Inconspicuous Difference, : and a collection’s pocket

After Lorenzo Benedetti curates an exhibition with gerlach en koop at De Appel, the collective artist stitches together the right pocket of his jeans. It’s September 2015 when the pocket is listed as Untitled among the works in the exhibition Choses tuées, just like Lessened Space; a piece made by turning one pant leg of a pair of jeans inside out into the other one. Over the next few months a political conflict shakes De Appel’s foundations, putting Benedetti and his useless pocket out on the streets.

This review by Brenda Tempelaar was originally published in Dutch as ‘Een verschil dat je niet kunt zien, : en de broekzak van een collectie’ by de Prijs voor de Jonge Kunstkritiek (2016).

Lessened Space is also included in the comprehensive collection presentation currently on view at the Bonnefantenmuseum in Maastricht. The work is prominently featured in one of the galleries, positioned on the wooden museum floor. On the opening night, the city’s art scene passes by it, while gerlach en koop reap the rewards. Taking on the curator’s job, they have put together an exhibition with objects from the collection, works on loan and works of their own making. Lorenzo Benedetti attends the opening along the banks of the Meuse and he has my unbridled attention. Is he wearing Untitled? I don’t see him looking for a loose coin to open a wardrobe locker with, or inconspicuously declining an incoming phone call. His pocket is left untouched, which is possibly just chance.

There is an inconspicuous difference between gerlach en koop’s two pairs of jeans. Benedetti’s jeans witnessed the directorship of De Appel slipping through his fingers. Meanwhile, Lessened space could avoid the stir — covered in bubble-wrap after the show, I imagine. De Appel wrapped it back up like a fragile and costly object, while Benedetti’s closed off pocket was brutally exposed to current vagaries.

The museum hosts the both of them on the opening night, albeit one as a garment and the other as art. The exhibition title — a colon — wordlessly describes the difference between a collection and its periphery.


Lessened space is presented in conjunction with a rectangular white column whose corners have been notched. The design recalls the stereotypical pedestal and was made by William Graatsma in the 1960s. They resemble each other, the column and the jeans: parts of both went missing but our minds can still complete them with ease. For pedestal or blue jeans: our collective memory presents the both of them untainted.

Museum collections unite objects like that, but they are also susceptible to the notching of corners and the acceptance of excess. If you are as receptive to that as gerlach en koop are, you might see the banality of the things elevated to art inside the museum. It presents itself to you from a long white wall that Lily van der Stokker drew a few blue stripes on — thick and thin, vertically, horizontally and all equally straight — assessing our entire art history in a single comment, handwritten in two corners of the museum: ‘we don’t have it easy’, it says in Dutch.

Not Easy (1993) was a sketch for a mural in the office, but became an artist statement in an exhibition on the work of art as public property. A dead-end gallery of the museum provides a stage for the jeremiad that being an artist really is. Van der Stokker barely made it in.


Was Not Easy present at the Bonnefantenmuseum before gerlach en koop translated the sketch into a mural? Does art only begin to exist when someone points it out to you? : points at something all the time and then asks whether art is present, like in a work by Marcel

Broodthaers. The guest curators claim that you can picture a tank in a lump of marl lying in a showcase that was borrowed from the municipality of Saint-Gilles. The moment I lean towards the glass, I see how much the rectangular cut-out on top resembles the manhole on the roof of a tank.

Even though Tank (1967 – 1970) was ascribed to Marcel Broodthaers, a kid worked the marl until it looked like a tank. Broodthaers traded it with the kid over a photograph. gerlach en koop compare a tiny stick — inserted into the marl like a barrel — to one of Broodthaers’ photographs depicting a child who picks a stick off the pavement. Tank was placed on the green, felt-covered surface of the nineteenth-century showcase from Broodthaers’ birthplace. The showcase draws institutional attention to a piece of marl, but it also takes Broodthaers’ appropriation decades back in time.

The museum’s curator Paula van den Bosch would have overplayed her hand on this one, but does the same count for an appropriation done by a collective artist? I’d rather think of their interventions as part of an artistic practice. I think gerlach en koop’s excessive curatorship binds the collection into a loose-leaf system that your thoughts get trapped inside of, described by Van den Bosch as follows on one of the walls: ‘like a branching river, each artwork in itself is the starting point for all sorts of imaginary links’.

Loan carrousel

I thought connections in art were undeniable: they either exist or they don’t. But in the gallery all the way back in the museum, in front of Winter Landscape with a Bird Trap (1631) by Pieter Brueghel the Younger, I am introduced to an imaginary one. According to the text, the painting on view is a copy ascribed to Brueghel the Elder’s son, his workshop or his consecutives. The old-fashioned canvas appears lost in a conceptual art show. Is it an appropriation again, like Tank? In Brueghel’s days, a copy wasn’t remotely associated with the author’s crisis it presented to Broodthaers. No, this crisis is within me, I realise after reading a mind-blowing question: what would happen if all owners of approximately 127 copies were to agree to a loan carrousel so that, if you return to the museum in a year’s time, you’d be standing in front of another painting?

The carrousel is immediately activated. A bird trap is depicted in the bottom right corner of Brueghel’s icy scene. Birds are pecking through the snow in search of some thrown grain. A thick, wooden panel is alarmingly inclined above them. A child is playing close to an opening in the ice and the raves in the foreground predict that a random death is imminent. I am as unsuspecting as the birds are, but a spectator is just as likely to have a door slammed in his face.

The pant leg tucked away in Lessened space conceals a piece of De Appel, that doesn’t evaporate if the stitching is undone. The museum’s walls will be painted back to white, but it takes more to hide Van der Stokker’s complaint. Because even as a picture in your head, : continues to touch the raw nerve of a country that is — from Brueghel to Benedetti — blazing with randomness and disappointment.

gerlach en koop Bonnefantenmuseum, Maastricht April 15 – November 27 2016

Think, Stupid/Animal

Two aluminium paint canisters stand beside one another on the floor, with them a fat­ and a thin board, a plaster cast of something ­ erosionnish, and a mold that is enclosed by a blue rubber band. This is a fragment of Branches by Nina Fránková , an installation after ceramic.

Published in Dutch by P/////AKT Amsterdam (2016).

Or an installation after Internet Art. Four wooden beams, shaped into triangles, all of at least one meter in length. One of the triangular beams has its apex towards the floor with two small mint green plinths placed on its levelled upper side. Two triangles on either side, their apices pointing left and right, with two horizontal and two vertical posts and a triangle on top, pointing upwards. The posts allow for a small amount of room between the beams. The work is called Spacebar and was made by Jasper van Aarle.

Or an installation after Duchamp. Blue styrofoam in industrial beams, piled on top of one another. Six dark red angle irons, folded into one another. A blue tube, rolled up on the edge of another object. Insulators, packed in chequered plastic bags. Concrete stones, upon which a pair of narrow staves are bal anced. Baustelle, by Rosa Sijben, is a raster of readymades, but wishes to be more than a mere collect io n of objets trouvés.

Young artists like Van Aarle, Frankova and Sijben ­ recently graduated at different academies ­ with their strategically chosen objects ­ aim for a sum total that is more than its constituent parts. Their installations wish to offer a new perspective on existing image. They appeal to me because I find them well chosen, but I am curious as to why it is these objects they have chosen, not others. Why were the objects in these installations arranged so precisely? I wonder for instance, whether Spacebar would have been a better work if the plinths, the containers of space, hadn’t been painted in such a trend sensitive mint green tint? Actually, I think I shouldn’t be judging in such a manner. I use the word ‘better,’ merely to describe an imaginary scenario in which the work ­ after being adjusted ­ would comply with my own expectations of a successful work of art.


While sometimes it seems as if there exists consensus on what success is, this idea was questioned not so long ago by the art critic Sven L ütticken in his essay Other Criteria.[1] Therein, among other things, he maintains that museums suggest consensus exists on the quality of artistic practices by consistently repeating ‘collector friendly’ work to the detriment of the rest.

When Stedelijk director Beatrix Ruf proclaims that Magali Reus is an important artist and that “every important Dutch artist must get an exhibition at the Stedelijk,” this suggests that there is a certain degree of consensus about who counts as an important Dutch artist, or an important artists working in Holland, or indeed about what matters in art today. In fact, there is no such consensus. To make up for this lack, a concerted effort is made to impose a hegemonic view of art and culture through repetition. In the resulting New Normality, it will be clear to all what good art is and where it belongs.[2]

In his essay, Lütticken comments on Stedelijk Contemporaries, an exhibition program that shows mostly videos of documented performances and flexible installations belonging to promising artists. It is, as posed by Lütticken, more than unclear which criteria are being held to conflate the flexible stance assumed by young artists as artistic quality. But it is also surprising that in the program of the Stedelijk no artists are elected who openly dialecticize the value of object­-based art. Even outside of the selection of the Stedelijk, I can barely think of a handful of young artists who in their work speak out against museal politics.

But I do know many artists who work as compilers, like Van Aarle, Fránková and Sijben. When I see their work I wonder what value they bestow upon the object, and whether or not during the compilation of their work they have considered the power that institutions like the Stedelijk Museum exert over the place of the object within art. What kind of future awaits that artist keen on fumbling with the New Normality of large museal institutions? Surely such an artist must not expect any response from the institutional echelons? Moreover, it seems as if the youngest generation of artists prefers emulating museal conditions for being successful, rather than wanting to change them. The person questioning the museum falls into repetition or is considered a daydreamer, so it seems. Instead, manifold artists make curated installations, that suggest that an artist living today must be exceptionally adroit at making decisions; that this profession revolves around making relevant choices and that these choices ultimately will bring us notice. Installation Artists who do not settle for an aesthetically unified whole have few competitors, but their articulated opinions can not expect ample visibility. Those in favour of exhibiting more often, or even those wishing to sell something, can opt to drop the critical tones of a work, even if it is just for once…

A compiler who does such, distances himself from the origin of the installation as form. The medium, that won territory in the sixties and seventies, stood for the freedom of choice of the artist and reflected the importance of ideals and an unequivocal voice in society. Institutional critique, for which the installation was often used, politicized the museum and used the wheelbarrow for a critical message. But what if the critical message disappears, or is swallowed, what is left besides a few non­artistic objects in grid formation or a mould without its sculpture?

According to art critic and philosopher Boris Groys installations are not simply political if they are made with that intention, but their political dimension is determined by the way in which the artist compiles objects:

Every installation represents a particular selection process that determines which objects are included and which excluded in an installation, and in which locations inside the space of the installation they must be placed according to the overall organization of the space. The person responsible for the selection procedure is an individual artist, but every individual selection is supposed not only to exemplify a system of private judgements, preferences and attitudes, but also to be socially, culturally and politically anchored and thus to some degree ‘representative’. The installation can become the site of ideological critique precisely because it operates on the same terrain of selective thinking that ideology does.[3]

Groys’s insight develops the idea that there are all but a handful of artists, who don’t arbitrarily opt for fashionable means of working, but also give thought to why certain means can become more common than others. In this sense there is little difference between contemporary installation artists and those active fifty years ago. Art, in the sixties and seventies was more critical, but that arose as a result of a more general tendency to position oneself critically towards the world, artist or not. Choices for political involvement or distance from exactly that, appear now and then defined by the zeitgeist. So the Belgian poet Freddy de Vree described his time as:

[…] jungle of incapables, chatterboxes, fence­sitters, fence­artists, political demagogues, puritanical exhibitionists, champagne socialists, theoreticians steeped in pseudo­philosophical language who can write only about their own work. They are, each and every one of them, young artists (one Douglas Huebler, one of the first and most consequential conceptuals excepted) who perform their hit­singles for the public, reciting their pamphlets, they address the strikers and then calmly sit down to eat their salmon.[4]

The critical possibilities of the installation, that were exploited by the contemporaries of De Vree, were by many artists only considered interesting if they were accompanied by appreciation and confirmation, by which they could uphold their bourgeois lifestyle.


In that jungle of oh so critical installations Boris Groys and Freddy de Vree noticed at least one artist that was able to use the selective thought­process that is intrinsic to installations, in order to draw into doubt the relationship between ideology and art. In 1964 Marcel Broodthaers placed his only partially unpacked collection of poems in a plaster cast and stuck in it a mother­of­pearl coloured ball. Like the poetry collection he entitled his work Le Pense­Bête: Think Stupid/Animal. In the same year the opening took place of his exhibition: Moi aussi je me suis demandé si je ne pouvais pas vendre quelque chose et réussir dans la vie… I too have asked myself whether I couldn’t sell something and succeed in life.[5] A signifier of meaning whose lightness typifies the critical nature of his construction. The work of Broodthaers was according to Groys discernibly critical, without sifting into pamflettism:

Projects like those of Broodthaers or Kabakov are critical of ideology in a very explicit way because they fundamentally call into question certain procedures of systematisation and generalisation with which modern ideologies of various kinds operate. In this respect, minimal and conceptual art cooperated with the general spirit of institutional and ideological critique in the 1960s and 1970s, even though it was not explicitly utopian, rebellious or politically illustrative.[6]

As one of the few of his generation, Broodthaers delivered commentary on the forthcoming commercialization of the arts. With Le Pense­ Bête he criticized on the one hand the willingness with which artists around him, mostly minimalists and conceptual artists, chose commercial success. On the other hand his critique was directed at museums, who acquired these forms of art in order to commodify the aesthetic experience. Director of Kunstmuseum Winterthur Dieter Schwarz described the work as follows:

These books, partially still bundled together in the original wrapping paper, inserted into the base of plaster that barely covered their lower half, allowing them to be removed with ease from the assemblage object. This plaster pedestal extends from the book bundle across a wooden base serving as the support for the assemblage, to hold at its other end a plastic ball that Broodthaers had inserted into the soft material. The plaster pedestal serves many functions at once: it arrests the mobility of the books and negates their existence as objects of consumption: it establishes a relationship with older artistic practices as implied in the material of plaster itself; it denies the works relation to the tradition either, of the readymade or the surrealist ‘poetic object’. Since in these cases access to the object would not be withheld in such a manner.[7]

The small adjustment made to his poetry collection, had large consequences for the career of Broodthaers. He diverted attention with it: if first one was to open the book, now nothing but its presentation remained to be viewed. In the ensuing twelve years the public got used to this mode in which viewing typified his oeuvre. If you look at Pense­Bête you see the selective thought­processes to which Groys points: a choice between confirmation and rebuke, yes and no, between leaving something intact and calling it an artwork. But strategy aside, one can’t deny humour in the pithy display of a poem collection in plaster. With this adjustment Broodthaers made a fraudulent lurch towards a charismatic artwork, in the manner of contemporaries such as Joseph Beuys, Piero Manzoni and Lucio Fontana, and in keeping with the way in which Broodthaers perceived every artwork to rely on fraudulence. That fraudulence lies, so he claimed, enclosed in the moment in which the artist places his signature and elevates the object to artwork.[8]

But even if the adjustment of his collection was a cynical joke, the same couldn’t be said for its impact upon the artworld. The adaptation was his way of unraveling the limitations and mediations that society and politics impose on the artist. He showed how these limitations condition the production and perception of art.


It is interesting that young artist compilers are once again showing interest for Broodthaers’ villainous constructions, now that the museum itself scarcely makes an effort to be a channel for critique. Critical installations were throughout the years embraced, acquired, and encouraged, and by that very fact was its production made practically impossible. New interest in Broodthaers could mean that the impetus is there to relativize the chemistry between installations and museums.

The unraveling of institutional limitations is perhaps old­fashioned, but giving thought to the choices one makes appears timeless to me. Just the other day I read a reflection of a work of Sijben, in which the author, Arthur Steiner, posits that Sijben is interested in ‘things that change meaning through the situation in which they are found while simultaneously actively giving meaning to that situation.[9]’ He writes:

Sijben shows various objects and photos of objects in her studio, for instance, a photo of hands holding two objects. The left thing appears to be a spliced skin coloured ball packed in a plastic suspensory bag. The plastic bag leaves the impression that it once was for sale in a shop and contains a certain functionality. At closer inspection it appears impossible to know exactly what the thing was intended for. The right object appears to be of a more natural material and leaves the impression that it is hand­shaped. Here too is the first impression that it has a certain function inside the grasp of the hand in which it is presented. But it is impossible to figure out what that function is. According to Sijben this is because they are presented in a context in which they could function as more than one things.[10]

The fact that museums have adopted such adjustments of function does not have to impede an investigation into the production and perception of art. Artists can easily ­ also from a successful position ­ investigate why objects are viewed as art, while still receiving their paycheque at the end of the month.

Broodthaers does not completely reject ‘collector friendly’ practices, but does recommend that artists don’t allow commerce to be the only assumption. The comparison between Broodthaers and contemporary installation makers such as Sijben reveals the silent battle they deliver, wrestling with the entangled requirements in which their formalist abstractions are situated. But why don’t young artists simply ask these questions aloud, like Broodthaers? Why is their vision so far removed behind a form that resembles art, that it is barely capable of being unmasked? The composition is deprived of its critical function when a meaningless formula for success consisting of two or more objects is done in pure earnestness.

Much like Lütticken and many young artists in Holland, Broodthaers would have listened attentively to Beatrix Ruf, when she says that all important artists should be given an exhibition in the Stedelijk. He would have raised his hand and asked whether such a serious definition of art is possible. He would have pointed to the Styrofoam of Rosa Sijben, that ­ much like the plaster in which Broodthaers enclosed his collection ­ points at the history that is enclosed inside the material. In the case of Styrofoam the material indicates the building of models, isolation and construction; worlds that coincide much with art. He would emphasize that Styrofoam by Sijben’s composition would increase in value when exhibited, but that builders who use it to construct houses keep working for the same monthly salary. Ruf’s interest would be awakened, because if anyone knows how to convince a director of a museum it would be Broodthaers.

He would want, much like me, that the choice of young artists to allow for art­historical references in their work counts for more than a remedy against failure. That an adjustment to an object doesn’t have to mean subjugation to the museum. That would mean that not only does the right shade of green need to be sought, but also a more general argument needs to be found that is convincing. But us compilers are mere pamflettists and salmon eaters: critical about the way in which the museal environment accords value to objects, but flattered enough to accept an invitation that doesn’t allow room for a way of seeing that can transcend formalism.

P////AKT Le Pense­Bête, Object: Adaptation
(trans. Daniel Vorthuys)
1 This essay by Sven L ütticken was originally published as “Other Criteria: Wendelien van Oldenborgh, Zachary Formwalt”.
2 Sven L ütticken. (2016). Other Criteria. Availible at: h ttps://
3 Boris Groys. (2005). In: Donna De Salvo Open Systems: Rethinking Art c1970. London: Tate Publishing. p54
4 Freddy de Vree, (1979). Marcel Broodthaers. Manteau Marginaal. p71.
5 Galerie Saint Laurent, April 10­25, 1964.
6 Boris Groys. (2005). In: Donna De Salvo Open Systems: Rethinking Art c1970. London: Tate Publishing. p54.
7 Dieter Schwarz. (1988). Look! Books in plaster! On the 1st phase of the work of Marcel Broodthaers. In: Benjamin H.D. Buchloh Broodthaers writing, interviews, photographs. October. p61.
8 The signature of the creator ­ painter, poet, film director…­ seems to me the point where the system of lies begins, the system that every poet, every artist, attempts to construct in order to protect himself… though I am not sure exactly what against..’ In: Marcel Broodthaers aan het woord, Anna Hakkens ed. Ludion, Ghent/Amsterdam 1998, p 78
9 Arthur Steiner. (2016). Indecisive objects “Besluiteloze Objecten”. Tubelight magazine. 99. 10 Ibid.

The Use Case

The Use Case (2018): Black Color MDF, Styrofoam, Conference Call 05.00 minutes
Installation view: Temporary Art Centre Eindhoven. In het midden 30 aug – 2 sep 2018

“Do you see the screen? We are in the conference room where our customers are waiting. We have an interactive screen at our entrance, and this is the welcome screen: please pick up a dev-kit to learn more. So we can pick up a developer kit and I will have an information about that particular object.” (scripted phone call excerpt)

The Exhibition Tower

The Exhibition Tower Brenda Tempelaar The Exhibition Tower Brenda TempelaarSerkis, Reaction Graham Kelly All future springs Stéphanie Lagarde

The Exhibition Tower (2018)
Brenda Tempelaar With works and texts by: Stéphanie Lagarde, Graham Kelly, GVN908, Golnar Abbasi Essay: Animating The Ghost Sonata, Brenda Tempelaar Preface: Lex ter Braak Graphic design: Christophe Clarijs Photography: Romy Finke Copy editing: Daniel Vorthuys, Vincent van Velsen Printer: Cassochrome Pages: 120g Lessebo – paperback, 88p, 22 x 28 cm – otabind Language: English ISBN: 978-90-828111-0-0 Price: € 22,50 incl. 6% BTW buy

Diagrams for an Artwork with a Maximum of 18 Metres in Height (2016)

Diagrams for Artworks with a Maximum of 18 Metres in Height (2016), animation

“The tower will feature 2 mobile floors that can each split into two unequal parts, thus creating four independent platforms. Using onboard motorization the platforms will move along a rack and pinion system to align to the various existing floor levels. But even though the floors can be arranged in almost any given spatial configuration, there is only one scenario that really counts. When all floors are lowered to align with line zero, an 18 metre high void is exposed.”

One of Two Poles Intersecting (2016)

One of Two Poles Intersecting (2016), Aluminum, wood, rope

The Exhibition Tower (2016)

Serkis, reaction (2016), Graham Kelly
Absalon - Golnar Abbasi, 2016
Absalon – Golnar Abbasi, 2016

The Exhibition Tower, a maquette of Lafayette Anticipations, serves as a miniature exhibition venue for exhibitions by other artists. Every iteration is documented and presented in overview with previous installations. End of 2017, a book will be published featuring the first four installations.

Recession (2015)

20150414 Bran Model2 slice Model number 3
Recession (2015), 3D drawing
Recession (2015), MDF

Recession is a sample from the space in between Atelier Brancusi and Centre Pompidou (Place Beaubourg, Paris). Rumor has it that Atelier Brancusi will soon be demolished to make room for something with a brighter future, from the point of view of economics. The title refers to the way in which the building is recessed into the square and the financial climate that the decision will be born out of.

Endless Column (2015)

endless_column_blackEndless Column (2015) SVG (Scalable Vector Graphic), JavaScript loop

“When you see a fish, you do not think of its scales, do you? You think of its speed, its floating, flashing body seen through water. Well, I’ve tried to express just that. If I made fins and eyes and scales, I would arrest its movements and hold you by a pattern, or a shape of reality. I just want the flash of its spirit.” (Constantin Brancusi as cited in Anna Bogarts, Tine Landau, The Viewpoints Book, 2005)

The Other Figure (2014)

20170531_GNKK_Brenda_Tempelaar kopie
The Other Figure (2014-2016) Digital photograph

“The two heads raised on plinths to the height of a modestly sized viewer are identical plaster casts of a Roman copy of an earlier Hellenistic bust. The busts show the heads slightly at an angle to the body, their faces turned to reflect each other precisely. This slightly sideways glance lends a degree of animation to what would otherwise be a static mirroring.” (Germano Celant, Arte Povera: History and Stories, 1985)

The Other Figure consists of an action and a sculpture. The action emerged out of modeling a bust in Giulio Paolini’s L’Altra Figura (1984) and breaking it on the exhibition floor. The sculpture emerged out of copying the fragments of L’Altra Figura individually. Both events explore the influence of a move, on the spontaneity of an installation and the re-enactment of an impulse. 

Brenda Tempelaar

brenda @ brendatempelaar . nl