”Looking at the essence of things, it is impossible to create an image.” – Anselm Kiefer
A couple of years ago Corine Aalvanger found a photograph that had been taken illegally during World War II. It shows Dutch prisoners from Kamp Erika walking through the street, in front of her house, on their way back to the camp. It opened up the history of the Besthmenerberg in Ommen: for almost a century theosophists, prisoners, holidaymakers and refugees have come by force or by their own free will to a place that houses enormous contradictions.
It is a place both in geographical sense, as well as in time. It is a place where Krishnamurti and his followers form across the world sought for the truth. Where prisoners were stigmatized, where holidaymakers come to relax and to stop thinking and where refugees come as a halfway stop on their flight from war, poverty and misery. In this place, the one thing is being forgotten for the sake of the other.
Whether by religion, war or everyday life, we are continually challenged with the question of how to live and make our lives meaningful. Are the steps we take true to us, or are we propelled by the world around us?
Set in this place of contradictions, the Dutch village of Besthmenerberg, Don’t mention the war, is an installation, reflecting on how we deal with truth, things we want to forget, identity and our relationship with places. A personal starting point results in a combination of text, found footage, pictures, video and performance trough which the cause and effect of the past and the future become manifest in the present. An activist and anthropological approach whereby Aalvanger partake within the local and refugee community and question my position as a visual artist.
As a research-based artist Vivian Bax observes, writes and performs in order to question current norms versus deviant behavior. This revolves around the paradox of scripted and authentic behavior. From an early age on she has been observing the social constructions around me. With a outsiders look, she tried to unravel the conventions that didn’t feel natural to her. As an artist this tool is still very important to Vivian Bax, although it’s now more connected to places where control or loss of control seems important. Her urge to understand behavioral mechanisms results in work with a performative character. She often uses the camera to do this, but she also researches more interdisciplinair ways of working.
Vivian Bax graduated as a bachelor of photography at Royal Academy of Arts in 2016.
Aubane Berthommé Martinez
Born and raised in the south of France in a multicultural and leftist environment, Aubane Berthommé Martinez started to study fine arts in Caen. As a young adult, she questioned her status of woman in the French society, exploring this subject in her artistic research. After her graduation in fine arts bachelor she chose to leave her country to Canada, in order to confront her practice to a more militant behaviour. After one year in Montreal she got a visual arts and media bachelor, and she wanted to discover a new artistic and cultural environment. She wanted to question and rethink the documentary and political aspect of her photographs. These reflections brought her to the Netherlands.
In her current work, Daleen Bloemers uses the absurdity of our idea on the manufacturability of the body in a subtle and poetic way. She collects analogue and digital images of bodies from the most diverse sources: from historical paintings, private photographs or random portraits of strangers. She combines them into lifesize collages of neutral, unrecognizable bodies that no longer seem to have any identity and try to give themselves an attitude in the space.
Bloemers uses (semi)- transparent materials such as latex, resin, sheets and (plexi)- glass to create spatial photographic sculptures. Multilayered images arise in which the fragility and instability of our seemingly certain reality is questioned.
Daleen Bloemers graduated as a bachelor of photography from AKV St. Joost in 2016. She lives and works in Rotterdam.
Daan Muller develops sculptural fictions - collections of objects which resist easy classifications of use and purpose. Through formal explorations in ceramic and steel he makes tangible the tensions of life and work in a high performance society.
Recurring themes in his work are concentration, duration and the tension between purpose and purposelessness, function and non-function. Using various media; film, photography, sculpture, sound and conversation, he explores ways to defy, use or emphasize aspects of our current society that are related to the pressure to perform.
Daan Muller graduated as a bachelor of photography at HKU in 2014.
From a young age the seductive side of advertisements fascinated Nuijen. In her young twenties she worked in advertising and in 2007 went back to school to study photography and the power of images. Graduating as a conceptual documentary photographer in 2011 at the Royal Academy of Art, Nuijen’s starting point has always been reality. At the Master Institute she researches the false perception we have of reality and the strategies we apply to conform reality to our desires.
“I’m a sucker for images, they seduce me every day. I’m curious how this happens and what effect it has on our identity. Through my works I zoom-in on our image culture and research the mechanisms of hyper reality: an amplified version of reality that pre-programed our perception of the real world through existing images.”
In 2010 Nuijen won the Harvest Photography Award for “The Best Young Photographer”. Since 2013 she holds a teaching position at the photography department of the Royal Academy of Art.
Eric Patel is interested in the ways art can offer a different perception of colonialism. In his research, Patel uses a variety of media to examine how systems of knowledge built by colonialism afford the persistence of structural racism. According to Fanon, one of the first things the colonized learns is to stay in its place. There is a violence in this lesson that largely remains invisible. To shed light on it, Patel considers the effect of events and practices in anthropology which situate the savage and the civilized.
Marko grew up between many places, speaking two languages, keeping the traditions of two religions and receiving an international education. He has lived long-term in three countries and nomadically across more than ninety. He does not entirely belong to any group and is an outsider to some degree no matter where he goes. His home is composed of countless environments, feelings and people around the world. This is at the core of his perspective. As a result, he has always related strongly to other multi-nationals, migrants, nomads and people of mixed origins. His current current work deals with national identity and belonging in the context of regions that have seen their borders redrawn in recent decades. These include the former Yugoslavia, USSR, Cyprus and Ireland among others. By traveling to these areas as well as meeting people with connections to them elsewhere, he has compiled a collection of audio-visual content that speaks to the complexity of national identity and the nation state itself. Taking the role of digital storyteller he has organized this into an interactive web documentary entitled Defining Nationhood, on display at nationhood.world. His other work can be found at peck.fi.
As an art-based social researcher, close observation, action and reaction is his process. He uses it to attempt creative utopias and to propose social and political resistances against the hegemony of a culturally homogenized society that limits the individual experience.
The special relationship between Art and time has defined Álvaro artistic search and practice, He has always been looking for alternative ways to experience and represent time. Combining different techniques (text, animation, performance, video and photography) Álvaro try to create situations and events in which the tension between individual perception of time and the imposed social and political time, question the hegemonic temporary regime of modern societies.
“Every attempt to play with time is a temporal resistance and a metaphor of political resistance.”
Rik Schutte’s interdisciplinary practice pivots on the concepts of incompetence and uncertainty. His works derive from an urge to deliberately embrace irrationality, like staring into the sun or running through a forest while being blindfolded. According to Schutte we live in a time where there is no clear meaning to life. His work is an attempt to rely on doubt. His video performances thus focus on a physical experience of incompetence, while his approach towards photography is led by the medium's unreliability.
Rik Schutte graduated as a bachelor of photography at Willem de Kooning Academy, Rotterdam in 2014.
Rik Schutte - Attempt to look at the sun (720p)
My work is a continuously evolving process, using photography and film, Where the search is more important than the answer. Originally stemming from of a loss, I use a poetic and often metaphorical visual language to look at the world on a universal human level and find poetic meaning in the world around us. Accepting our short presence here on earth, in which we are just a small part of everything that has been and will be.