Stories behind more than 200 verbals and UFO’s from the Remains Of Today series.
The Law Of Large Numbers
(verbal no. 292)
Cut digits, a kodak photo envelope and a block of Styrofoam with punched digits from packaging on found 100 chansons – CD box packaging – by Charles Trenet (back) on wooden frame
This law, with variables such as experimental, weak and strong law was once penned down in 1713 by Swiss Jakob Bernoulli. A well-known concept, but what do you find when you search for its meaning:, a sample from Wikipedia….
Under a law of large numbers, in probability theory, a rule is understood as a statement about the behaviour of the mean of a row of stochastic variables If the stochastic variables have a finite variance, the central limit theorem further sharpens our understanding of the convergence of the mean by making statements about the probability distribution of the mean of the stochastic variables. Regardless of the underlying distribution of these variables, the probability distribution of this mean converges to a normal distribution.
Maybe it’s just me but I think the law of large numbers, like the text above, is so over your head that it comes at the expense of engagement with the subject.
(verbal no. 291)
Cut text spelling the word RITUAL in capitals, on a circle shaped inlay from CD sleeve by Electric groove on 6 cassette’s from way back (which is = currently experiencing a comeback), cigarette boxes from way back (which is = currently under siege) and orange tape on cardboard on a wooden frame.
Every now and then (a) God dies and disciples seek for other salvations. Mental gets physical and holy gets earthly. Faithful and faithless seek equal hold.
Back To Square One
(verbal no. 290)
Red paper strokes used as/in gift-wrapping and cut characters on white canvas on wood.
Yes, I’m a podcast enthusiast. Started with an historical podcast about the French Revolution, then dived into the live of Louis the 14th, followed by the matters of Napoleon’s heart, learned all about the Belgium Burgundies and peeked into the live of the king Leopold the 2th and his unfortunate shameful Congo endeavours. Currently starting on the Troika podcast about the Russian revolution, all to be found on KLARA. Fascinating, these lives and historical global events unfolded by great Belgium storytellers. Shivering when horrific torture methods of Ivan the Terrible are reviewed in detail, surprised by domestic stories like for instance, the love life/sex-capades of Louis the 14th or Napoleon’s sensitive and loyal heart.
I, for one, do love history. The more I learn, the more I realize that all answers about us- who we are- where we are heading- and why we do it the way we do it- are to be found in history.
We, contemporary men and women consider ourselves modern, improved and evolved. The fancy dressed Homo techniques, Homo Digitalis, Homo Communicates.
We like to think we look forward and hope to find answers in the future, but in reality everything we do and the way we are doing it is still according to the same obsolete principles of the deep past, we were always building forward on the same basic principles, being; Profit, exploitation, divide and rule, power and money, as well in capitalism as in communism. It never really worked, only for a happy few. System change is needed.
The key to -real- change lies in history.
(verbal no. 289)
An artificial grass sample and a business card ‘Anonymous for the Voiceless’ that I once found on a poster (and clippings) from the 5 X Factory (art project by Rene van Leeuwen and Jules Otto 1999), on a wooden frame.
We have nature, we own nature, but nature is everything we are not. Somewhere before and between Homo erectus and the first Sapiens, we were wild with wildlife.
After that…Once we clothed ourselves with the skin and fur of other animals, we rose above it all.
Gradually, we learned how to subject everything to our will, even members of our own species.
We learned to make things profitable and rule according to this principle, even at the expense of other systems.
In our enthusiasm, we invented internal and external plastic nature, because we liked to keep things clean and maintenance-free.
In a nutshell, not just natural, but supernatural indeed….
(verbal no. 288)
Packaging of Thai delicacy’ Kalamae Panee’ and a sugar bag of Rotterdam manufacture Suikert on a paper bag with S logo and yellow tape on a wooden frame.
It is hard to imagine that sugar was once exotically rare and luxurious. It is also hard to imagine that this sugar first seasoned the dishes of the Dutch nobles and rich, before being part of our food culture. Thanks to slavery by means of the Surinamese sugar plantations, we were able to bake humble pie.
01 July 1863, only 162 years ago Slavery was abolished in the Netherlands, the Netherlands was one of the last countries to abolish it, a bitter history.
A sour observation teaches us that this history of wealth acquired through structural exploitation, with all its consequences, is no reason for some to acknowledge, apologize or commemorate.
It leaves a bad taste when we realize that we cannot even count slavery and exploitation as a thing of the past…
(verbal no. 287)
Various caps of soft drink and beer bottles, nearby my atelier in Zwolle and acrylic in the colours, yellow, red, blue, green and grey on canvas on a wooden frame.
A disposable culture is a culture not worth preserving.
Nobody Knows, I am nobody
(verbal no. 286)
Deliberately spaced/cut text from magazines and small found plastic objects on an architectural floor plan of a flat on a wooden frame.
What is the weight of knowing? What do we choose to acknowledge and what do we choose to ignore.
Vox Populi, Vox Dei?
(verbal no. 285)
Playing cards from old incomplete card sets, H(igh) and M(ighty) letters from a plastic bag of the H&M and slips of pages from an old decayed Asterix album (no 17) – ‘The Mansions of the Gods’ on canvas on a wooden frame.
Vox populi, vox Dei Is a Latin expression, it means as much as ‘The voice of the people is the voice of God’. Behold the Latin womb from which populism has sprung. A populist steers on discontent, nurtures the underbelly and will claim that this is democracy in its purest form.
In reality, it is the axe on the roots and the termite in the stool of democracy. The voice of the people should be heard in a healthy democracy but the voice of the people has been abused, rigged, manipulated and applied vainly. Who pleases the Farmer, the lady, the lord, who is the ace, the joker? Who will be the next king or queen of the ball.
(verbal no. 284)
Film for offset printing of postcards featuring two self-portrait’s – ‘Tongue’ and ‘Verbeelding’ (Imagination), a tape measure and an ink-stained plastic bowl on raw canvas on a wooden frame.
I think, so I am. We think, so we are (still there).
(verbal no. 283)
Cut text MASTER and IT on a canvas fashion bag wrapped in a garbage bag especially for plastics (by ROVA) on a wooden frame.
Every new challenge I encounter, I try to master it. As soon as I comprehend and understand a situation, problem, task or a recreational book or film it gets so much wider, deeper, interesting or if it’s a problem, doable. Not understanding, not mastering makes helpless and confused. This is why making a manual and spiritual effort accompanied by a little sweat, tears, brain boggling and a hint of frustration at times, is so precious to me. In the end, this is where creativity is sheltered.
(verbal no. 282)
Remains of a laser print (Original print was made for installation Dedicated Follower) spelling out the word WE, painted black on a yellow cardboard background in a wooden frame.
The era of We (WE) is a period of increasing collectivity -solidarity, sense of community and group dynamics. This phenomenon is largely positive in terms of looking out for others. A certain percentage may be accompanied by an increase in peer pressure, a decrease in autonomy, control seeking and a one-sided narrative.
The Us (WE) thinking may degenerate into intolerance of collective beliefs of others. WE cannot flourish without the group but I (ME) can feel constrained in a straitjacket. All the other WE’s can silence the dissenting voice. The I, (ME) can only exist if WE provides enough space to breathe and differ.
(see also ME, verbal 271)
(verbal no. 281)
Black reading goggles without the prior broken temples resting on two pins on cut out characters that spell the word STATEMENT on foam in a wooden frame.
This is my STATEMENT.
One Trick P(h)ony
(verbal no. 280)
A cut out orange 2 and cut out characters on a black Scratch Pad on a poster of a former artist collective, the XXXXX Factory, on a wooden frame.
Much potential is wasted on the artistic battlefield. The eternal sorrow of the troubled artist is that his or her talent is not fully appreciated or understood by the general public. Whereas, once the general public embraces the created en masse it is watched with distrust. Rightly so perhaps, for where cash registers are ringing obscenely loud, a sell-out is never far away and then it’s usually the managers who profit the most.
This may be why some artists become more like businessmen and some businessmen become artists.
(verbal no. 279)
A proof (black) of my first offset printed publication Milestone (1999) and a positive cut out of a stencil in the shape of a bird (seagull) that I used for the painting Onlyness (2023) on white cardboard on a wooden frame.
Milestones, this booklet is a collection of a series of painted portraits I made of 20th century game changers and inspirators, fifteen of them, published on the dawn of the 21st century.
Almost 24 years later, I have come to realize that we had no idea of the magnitude of the changes that were yet to come. This century has only just begun, milestones enough but there are some big shoes to fill of our 20th century predecessors. Some of them shoes proved to be out dated, worn out or casted away while other shoes are already being filled in remarkable ways hither and thither.
Still, (additional) inspiration is more than welcome.
My Mickey Mouse Mind State
(verbal no. 278)
A portrait of a woman wearing a Mickey Mouse balaclava under a plastic rack from a storage bin, flanked by clipped Donald Duck pages featuring Donald and his nephews on the backside of an old Hank Williams album cover on a wooden frame.
Mickey Mouse was born in 1928, brought to life by his creator Walt Disney. What’s not to like about a cute and harmless anthropomorphic figure, an icon of cheerfulness and innocence. What does he actually represent? Is there such a thing as innocence when it comes to marketing the magical kingdom? After some research on the Internet, I found several studies and opinion pieces on Mickey Mouse and the Disneyfication of society. I found what I actually knew.
See below for a small, bite-sized summary from various opinion pieces and studies:
Disney-derived principles and values are applied on a global scale to entice and seduce. Essentially, Disneyfication is about “spicing up” products. Entertaining homo ludens (the “playing man”) has become an entire industry. Carefree fun should not be spoiled in any way – a logic that helps create spaces that are heavily focused on predictability and control. Mickey’s popularity goes hand in hand with leading a mechanically busy life in an intellectual and moral vacuum.
Does the contemporary world increasingly coincide with the characteristics of Disney theme parks?
It’s a small world after all…
That being said, I continue to have a soft spot for Mickey and his Disney family. He himself is just a fictional mouse; he can’t really help or change what people have made of him. In conclusion; is Mickey the architect or the victim of Disneyfication?
(verbal no. 277)
Cut text in black and blue, a metal sample plate and a plastic wrapper in and on a wooden frame.
Yes, there is such thing as principal trading, a term from the economic dictionary. The words principals or principles are multi use with plural significance and not that picky when it comes to what purpose they are used for. Could this be a reason that so many principles succumb when the flesh is weak and the spirit willing?
(verbal no. 276)
Red and white barrier strip found in the bushes near my studio intertwined with a strip-cut old and damaged David Bowie poster in the same pose as his Changes vol. one album, on a wooden frame.
Everything is always changing and evolving in certain directions, it never stops. When it comes to natural evolutionary changes, it’s necessary to adapt to survive, hence securing the survival of your offspring thus your species.
Lately we see a lot of changes in quick succession on which is asked to adept to or to act on. We’re on a speedway of change. Some good, some bad, most rapidly passing but simultaneously other urgent changes are reluctant and extremely hard to set in motion.
There is this saying; ‘when life gives you lemons, make lemonade’; it suggests it is best to go along with what is presented at the time.
Normally I would endorse this saying but when it comes to certain changes on the current artificially intelligent plane, I seriously doubt it. We were not provided enough time or knowledge to make a confident choice. We’re not even sure if we really wanted it… No need, it’s already there, it’s already everywhere.
Who dares to argue with progress, again, define progress?
When it comes to A.I. we are unchanged and permanently put and left in the back seat. No one asked or will ask for our permission, they just provide us what we don’t need but what we seem to want in hindsight.
If we’re to believe the Silicon Valley high (tech) priest of progress, they are not even sure we will survive the latest developments … but rest assured, they will launch it anyway. In the land of the blind, one-eyed man is king. Good luck to us.
Say Hello To Your Happiness
(verbal no. 275)
A cut-out of a DVD wrapper of the movie ‘He was a quiet man’, white and red acrylic on a recycled plastic goodie sack with a promise on a wooden frame.
To all the misfits in the world, I would say good fortune is fortunately not fixable because then misfortune, unfortunate though it may be, would be too.
Being paranoid doesn’t mean nobody is following you.
(verbal no. 274)
One Boomerang support card from way back with the quote ‘Being Paranoid doesn’t mean nobody is following you’, plus another commercial card to promote Sinner sunglasses in and on a piece of Styrofoam package on a page cut from an architect presentation in a wooden frame
No, this quote is not mine and like all other things I displayed in my so-called verbals, it’s found. In this particular case, preserved with lots of other free cards, for years. I I guess it is true spoken and funny. I guess it could be truly funny if it was not plainly true.
(verbal no. 273)
3 re-decorated toy cars that I bought from the thrift shop nearby my studio, a strip of black striped printed cardboard that came out of a (?) product wrapping, a barcode theme page from the book Stripes – ‘ Communicating with pattern’, Black and white acrylic paint and transfer figures and symbols on canvas on a wooden frame
There is much to say about modern Western life, but one thing it’s not: ZEN, despite being a desired state of being. If it could be encapsulated in one word at all, it is rather RACE. No offense, but human society is often compared to that of rats. That is because humans also reproduce rapidly, are well organized and cluster in large groups, and adapt and maintain themselves effectively in almost any situation. It seems a recipe for sustainable existence…
In a rapidly growing rat community, the rat’s most feared enemy is the rat itself. And the challenge is to ensure that the race for survival does not turn into a race to the bottom.
Looking Out For Number Two
(verbal no. 272)
NR 2 leftover transfer digit and character of a series of house numbers that I designed by commission earlier and transparent plastic reel of some kind and white acrylic on canvas.
Paradoxes of a socialist state of mind: if we all look out for number two, who takes care of number one?
Paradoxes of a liberal state of mind: are we all a number one if we just care for number one?
(verbal no. 271)
Remains of a laser print (Original print was made for artwork Dedicated Follower) spelling out the word ME, painted black on a yellow cardboard background in a wooden frame.
The age of ME is a period of increasing self-awareness – self-exaltation, self-love and identity consciousness with a capital I. Half of this phenomenon is positive with regard to esteeming oneself. Unfortunately, the other half is also frequently accompanied by an upswing in vanity, a drop in altruism and empathy and a decline in solidarity. This kind of self-delusion establish a solid foundation for populism.
ME, cannot grow up on its own and ME, can never survive on its own. It would be devoured by all the other ME’s also just looking out for themselves, whereas WE can only exist if ME is willing to be a little humble.
(verbal no. 270)
Wooden mannequin, computer keys and a newspaper page depicting a robot, plastic wrapping film and brown packing tape on a wooden frame.
Me, I am a control freak, a freak of control. And after many years of experience of being me, I have to conclude that it is not always in my favor. As annoying as it is, it is not nearly as unpleasant as being controlled by something other than yourself. As an expert by experience, I know that when things are extremely controlled, other things lose control.
Why is it that so few of us are bothered by the increasing controlling forces of the Tech industry and AI? As we naively and uncritically place our trust in their hands, they gain more and more control, and the more control they gain, the more we lose it. Total control means out of control.
In the words of the famous Cruijff; every advantage has its disadvantages, that makes sense.”
(verbal no. 269)
Catchup (verbal no. 269) an intentionally made and dried Ketchup blob and silver transfer letters on a cardboard dummy picture of a swap frame on a wooden frame.
A pile of overripe tomatoes chopped into mush, some sugar and salt added and some vinegar for a touch of acid makes a tasty sauce, quite a popular flavor in the fast food industry.
Fast food, fast lanes and the speed of life: if you can’t stomach that, your sauce will become goo.
(verbal no. 268)
Wooden (plywood) characters- the remains of a laser-cut panel for another artwork called Dedicated Follower on a paper MOMA (Museum Of Modern Art N.Y.) bag on a wooden frame.
In August 1999, my best friend and I took a trip to New York, the starting point of our greater USA experience. We really fell in love with New York and all the beautiful people we met there. We flipped the city inside out as much as we could, during an unrelenting heat wave that was slowing us down. We walked her streets and visited some of her famous landmarks. We also missed some of her famous attractions, we Miss(d) Liberty.
The MOMA was high up on our wish list. As we were rapidly melting away in a queue that never ended, we decided to skip it and alternatively visit the MOMA store, no queue there. Instead of viewing great art by great artists, we browsed through the collected works in book form. But it was not a waste, because two of the bookstore clerks offered us a night out at a New York jazz club, and that’s exactly what we did later that week. Anyway, an anti climax, this bag came from the thrift store close to home…
Looking Out For Number One
(verbal no. 267)
NR 1 cut from lifestyle book and transparent plastic reel of some kind and white acrylic on canvas.
Paradoxes of a liberal state of mind; if we all look out for number one, who looks out for number two?
Paradoxes of a socialist state of mind; if we all take care of number two, are we all a number one?
Natures Greening Soul
(verbal no. 266)
Green disposable plastic tableware – knife- fork- spoon- x 2, green and white acrylic on foam board in a wooden frame.
Greening, going green is often like this plastic tableware, very green in appearance but much less green than required.
Peace-Piece of Mind
(verbal no. 265)
Cut text on acrylic print – made by the relief bottom of a plastic food-box
There is always a piece of mind that is longing for some peace of mind.
(verbal no. 264)
Two unburned large matches on an, old – recovered during big clean up – shoebox titled hot item and white and black acrylic paint in a wooden frame.
How come your temperature is so low? Is it because you’re too cool to be hot?
(verbal no. 263)
Three found black plastic objects, cut text and Zinc white acrylic on a Tourist information map of Luzerne on cardboard in a wooden frame.
A contemporary and philosophical query frequently asked; is there an end to growth.
A Yogi would probably say no, as he or she believes in infinite spiritual growth. Trees, bushes or grass sprouts think not because they know no better than to grow infinitely closer to the sun. Many economists don’t think so, because they have been taught to think that infinite economic growth equals prosperity.
Yet… isn’t anything that grows indefinitely going to meet its own limitation and if it then continues to grow, isn’t it going to sprawl?
(verbal no. 262)
A king-size red Lego cube, huge letters cut from a promotional banner, found in bushes on roadside Rieteweg, Zwolle, white acrylic print EGO made with relief of stud on top of Lego cube, the L left out, on white foam board in a wooden frame.
There was once a cube, which looked a great deal like other cubes and aspired to join the rest. It wore its 4 small studs as a social hallmark, it communicated with all the other cubes and seemed to say; you can build on me, and collectively we will make great structures!
In a careless and unguarded moment, the cube must have lost its L. With this loss, it lost the ability to cooperate joyfully with the other cubes, and so it started its own construction single-handedly. There it stood, being quite exceptional with its studs fierce, standing upright, naked, shiny and untouched. Yet, he had nothing on top, nothing to support it, nothing alongside it. Still, It convinced itself that it had grown into a huge structure, but in fact it remained a solitary impulse.
(verbal no. 261)
Black transfer letters from way back a black paper square, white acrylic on cardboard in a wooden frame.
A labyrinth of bits and bites, zero’s and ones, megabytes and crypots, algorithms and invisible doctrines. Easy to get lost, no live guards present and the only way to get out is to get deeper in. Limitless and endless opportunities will eat you alive. No restriction and absolute freedom here actually means you’re lost. Lost in the Matrix.
(verbal no. 260)
Folded magazine page, transfer characters and remained characters of laser-cut artwork in a wooden frame
What comes up must go down, what sticks out better lay low.
A strange ambivalent wisdom that strangely enough proves to be right on many occasions.
Some Kind Of Substance
(verbal no. 259)
Dried, congealed and then broken and glued mix of pink acrylic and off white latex on white foam in a wooden frame.
Days are getting shorter, nights longer and the world colder. In a few weeks, we will celebrate the feast of light, the birth of a saint, and we will be ushering in a whole new year. These days are full of symbolism with the intention of neighbourly love but also of the most awful platitudes framed by a golden glittering world of sugary supermarket commercials, faulty music and bittersweet capitalism.
(verbal no. 258)
Torn pieces of 2 theatre posters from a poster site in Sienna, Italy, and a synthetic twig with 3 leaves found on the streets of Zwolle in a wooden frame made from remains of a painter’s easel.
“Despite sustained efforts, biodiversity is declining globally and this decline is expected to worsen with business-as-usual scenarios'”.
I quote the first lines of an update from the Secretariat of the Convention on Biodiversity. This year 2022, the UN Biodiversity Conference is taking place in Canada. It talks about the decline of millions of species. Millions?
It’s a really good thing to tackle this problem, find ways to preserve DNA from what’s gone and protect what’s left. But I wonder if it is rowing against the current and whether it will be effective?
So many crimes against biodiversity take place both legally and illegally. The reason is simple; there is too much money to be made from destroying nature and everything in it. There is a brisk trade in wildlife or parts of it, and good business in cutting down rainforests, selling its timber and its blackened soils or flushing residual waste from drug labs into creeks or forests, not to mention the depletion of our soil and livestock by intensive and even so destructive agriculture and farming and the list goes on and on.
It is still too rewarding, legal or illegal, because apparently it is all bought in a legal world, by legal consumers like you and me.
Shave Our Souls
(verbal no. 257)
A broken cheese slicer and clipped text glued on a poster of Museum Maxxi Rome with an image from exhibition What a Wonderful world 2022 by Liliana Moro, used with all respect for the original artwork and artist, on a wooden frame.
Oh lord, we grew some hair on our teeth, please shave our souls.
Not perfect but alive
(verbal no. 256)
Red ink, white acrylic and cut text on a wooden frame.
As time ticks away patiently, life goes on like it always does. Ups, downs, flows and stagnations succeed each other. Failure and successes walk hand in hand while drawing lines in the roadmap of your soul. In an attempt to grow, looking and getting better, we can only conclude that we’re not perfect, nothing is, but nevertheless we’re alive and who knows maybe even kicking.
I Don’t Do Dogma
(verbal no. 255)
Round styrofoam object, letters spelling out the words; I Don’t do dogma, and a black acrylic cross on a Vero Moda brand linen bag on cardboard in a wooden frame.
As long as there has been language, the need to communicate and the need to make and write history, there have been dogmas. Come to think of it; history was once just daily news, it only became history over time. The same goes for our contemporary news, it too will soon be a part of the past while new history is already in the making, it never ends or it ends when we stop chronicling it. But I digress.
Dogmas, in a way, I like the word in how it looks and sounds; I just don’t like what it represents. Must say, even anarchist movements can be dogmatic if given enough space and time to evolve. Eventually, everything tends to become a dogma anyway; in fact, once an idea is shared, it can easily morph or degenerate into one. Thus, I actually conclude that sooner or later there is no escape anyway. In retrospect, perhaps I am doing dogma after all?
No Fly Zone
(verbal no. 254)
Text, arrival and departure, cut from printed textile used in a prior art project called Safe Haven and dismantled parts of a fan on a white painted canvas bag that spells GezONde lONgen (healty Lungs), the pink NO’s are spared, on a wooden frame.
Somewhere in our aerial space, are fly zones and no fly zones; invisible but clear lines separate each part of it obviously. If it were yours you would probably notice the difference but I see one wide open space, I could not tell what’s mine, what’s yours.
Would birds know? I imagine them having a itinerary discussion;(one seagull to another) “So, to get there you have to take a left at the third cloud that looks like a shoe and the turn right at the cumulus on 3 o clock, avoid the rainy one, you’ll get wet, stop at the sign Welcome to France, they have a no fly zone, then continue by foot and what ever you do don’t drop anything while your still up there”
In the world of fashion a no fly zone is a zone that lacks any kind of hipness. I can imagine a no fly zone in some conversations as well.
(verbal no. 253)
A page, with the word ‘LOVE’ on it, from a second-hand book called N° 1, not my type of book to read but a good graphic design to look at, which I tore to pieces (sorry, Dyanne Beekman) and a Styrofoam square with a spared circle in the middle, used to be used as ? to keep ? for ?, no idea! I was given as a gift for my project. All this held together in a wooden frame with some glue residue on it.
LOVE is a word you just can’t HATE, although it is often used for and on anything and everything. Since this is the age of simple communication, these words communicate easily and quickly, even if it means devaluation. What does LOVE actually mean? In my opinion, it means a great understanding of the shortcomings of another, a sense of empathy and deep kinship of the soul with a certain person. If LOVE were a belief or conviction, there would be no bloodshed or war for the sake of spreading. I believe in LOVE but I see a lot of war.
(verbal no. 252)
Two used flip flops, cut flowers from wallpaper samples and one assembled cardboard grasshopper from construction kit on a shopping bag on a wooden frame
You’re gonna make your fortune by and by
But if you lose, don’t ask no questions why
The only game you know is do or die‘
This is the chorus from the song Superfly by Curtis Mayfield (1972). Super fly meaning hot, cool, fashionable, spot on, and simply awesome. Still, be that as it may, if we lose the only game we know is do or die and if you’re an insect, fly or die.
Mighty Minds 02
Postcards, two cut-up portraits, the eyes of great minds from the 19th /20th century, Sigmund Freud and Albert Einstein, under two cardboard sock holders painted black and white on a canvas primed with gesso and whitewashed with acrylic paint on a wooden frame.
If only I had half a brain like Albert Einstein or Sigmund Freud.
I would first find a cure for greed, secondly a solution for eternal economic growth, and thirdly I would sit back and relax for a while, wait for things to cool down and calm down, wait for populists to leave the political arena, wait for dictators to die, wait for influencers to find topics that are not solely about themselves, wait for the USA to depolarize, wait for imperialism to disappear, wait for birds to sing and wait for trees to grow.
A broken red mug on a acrylic print that was used earlier for another artwork ‘Bottoms’ on cardboard in a wooden frame decorated with ‘fragile’ tape.
How do you call a hard to break object that is broken anyway? A Bruised Willis?
A styrofoam package, a found orange scooter tail light, a shiny piece of paper or sticker with an eye likeness, also found, on cardboard in a wooden frame.
‘Tame birds sing of Freedom, wild birds fly,’ so spoke John Lennon.
I would prefer flying as a desirable state to be in, however desirable, it is not as uncomplicated as it may seem.
To be truly free and unchained is close to being outlawed, as in flying, falling is always near.
Mighty Minds 01
Postcards, two cut up portraits, of great 19th /20th century minds, Sigmund Freud and Albert Einstein, and a feather of a magpie on a shopping bag by Van Uffelen, who lent me his shop window, in summer 2021, to showcase the first 100 artworks of Remains Of Today in Zwolle, on a wooden frame.
A famous Dutch 20th century writer, columnist, media personality, Godfried Bomans, spoke the following famous words about the legs of celebrity Marlene Dietrich, during the Edison Awards in 1963; “If only my wife had one leg like hers”
I was not even born yet but this must have been really funny at the time. According to the title, legs are not likely the main topic of this artwork.
Although, to make some sense here and to tie the legs to the minds, I could say, If only I had half a brain like those mighty minds, carried and intensely used by, for instance, Albert Einstein and Sigmund Freud.
Maybe today their legacy seems out-dated; expiry of time does that to any concept or idea. No, their greatness is found in their ability for original thought.
Today, brains are not only so much needed but real sexy too!
One found, rather big, rubber ring, no clue what it might have been, a found black plastic item probably a rear view mirror base from a scooter and white and red acrylic paint on a linen bag by the brand Neleman wine in a wooden frame.
Gajah, is Sanskrit and Elephantus Latin for trunks. Soon they may be no more, these noble big animals whose family ties are so similar to ours. I once touched an elephant, or rather the elephant touched me. It was in Amersfoort Zoo where I gave workshops with a team for a period of time. Each week I stood in front of the same accommodations and the animals in the zoo seemed to recognize us better and better, at least I like to think so. So an intimate situation arose. One of the elephants came close to the wooden fence and stuck its trunk all the way through as a sort of salute. This way I could not only shake hands with the trunk but also stroke its mighty head, there was eye contact. Afterwards I spent the whole afternoon floating, almost a divine experience. So I understand very well why the elephant has a divine status in some cultures. Bizarre really, divine but almost exterminated.
Old jeans by the brand True Religion, dismantled and reassembled with the inside trouser pocket with original printed and manually strike trough text as centre piece and leather label on a wooden frame
The original text on the pocket states ‘there are many religions in the world but everybody wears jeans’. I find it amusing the way they choose to play with religion within their denims. I am not familiar to this brand and discovered this extra hidden remark by coincidence (inside pocket). It never became a favorite pair of jeans, and as you can see I did some home renovation work in it. I have no religion myself, but I would like to see myself a spiritual agnostic person. I simply don’t know. I’ve never been on the other side and lived to tell ( :
Hymn Of The Big Wheel
Found plastic wheel rim (by A.R.T. at the Rieteweg area, Zwolle) cut letters and in a wooden frame.
The big wheel is a metaphor that, according to one person, is about the speed of life, while another thinks it’s really about an important person, a big fish, and yet another claims it’s about things happening.
For me and the band *Massive Attack (see below), the big wheel represents the earth spinning around its axis and whatever happens, except for a meteorite strike that would completely displace the earth, it will continue to spin forever. The spinning world, I think, includes all other options. It’s quite a holistic view of life or religion even. Be that as it may, it is good food for poetry;
“The big wheel keeps on turning
On a simple line, day by day
The earth spins on its axis
One man struggle while another relaxes”
(few lines from Hymn From The Big Wheel by Massive Attack)
Pull Some String
Found miniature puppet set in frame (By A.R.T. at the Rieteweg area, Zwolle) cut letters and pulled strings on cardboard on a wooden frame.
On a good day we feel like we’ve pulled the strings that make Beethoven’s 5th symphony feel like a regular pop song. And on other days the strings pull us like all Sigmund Freud’s repressed childhood anxieties in one book.
Or like the ‘Stranger’ in Coen Brothers, Big Lebowski wisely spoke to the Dude;
“Sometimes you eat the bar, and sometimes the bar eats you”
Exploretation and Prolution
Plastic bag and paper restaurant coaster with the appearance of a nostalgic local newspaper, two fashion labels pasted with new text and cut-out letters from magazines on a wooden frame.
Exploretation, (a contraction of the words explore and exploitation) and Prolution (a contraction of the words progress and pollution) is a continuation of verbal 242, Salery (a contraction of the words sale and slavery).
The general message is roughly the same.
Exploration and progress are two magic words when it comes to the evolution of mankind. However, we can no longer deny that there is also a dark and twisted side to this coin. At this point in history, I sometimes wonder what exploration will ultimately deliver to the explored, other than the white man’s burden, education and concept of prosperity, because intended and unintended, it almost always brings the inevitable: exploitation, exhaustion and extermination alongside. The same can be said for progression. Damn, it feels so good to be in the slipstream of all that is progress and growth! But can one still speak of real progress if it can only be at the expense of others, good health or biodiversity? Lately, I am more drawn to the word consolidation. Slowing down, taking a step back, balancing the books and then ask yourself what progress would mean if it were not capitalized.
Laundry bag for delicates and two fashion labels with black ribbons, painted black and plastered with new text, in a wooden frame.
Slavefree? – Salery? – Slavery?
We like to think that slavery is something that belongs to the past. The inconvenient truth is, that it’s still very much alive these days. Slavery has taken on a different appearance. It still houses in the 3th world textile industries and sweatshops where ‘high profit by exploitation’ fast fashion and sale items are manufactured in large quantities and in poor conditions. Same story applies for the mining of the raw materials, like cobalt, for our smartphones. Most of us have smartphones and by now probably own several updates of a series of phones (In 2017- there were 3.67 billion in use worldwide) Underpaid and under aged men and children are supplying a base product for what obviously became a global basic need. Philosophical question; How can we say sorry for the past and at the same time somehow silently approve of these unjust situations.
One citrus press device from a used but defective electric press, cut text on a white foam board in a wooden frame.
There is a Dutch saying; ‘Zonder wrijving geen glans’ – ‘No brilliance without friction’ that states that everything good travels a road full of turmoil and barriers first.
I am not sure if it’s just comforting for all plodders of this world, which is most people, or that it actually holds the truth. Maybe both.
What if the barriers are too much, too high and the pressure is so overwhelming that you’re not able to function as you should. What if the barriers are out of control? What if….
I believe this is what is happening in the world of journalism. The free press used to be a group of professionals who reported on daily current affairs, monitored and verified by chief editors, held accountable by their audience, mutual consultation and information and checks and balances.
With the arrival of mass amateur journalism, false prophets, and fake news reporters from every outskirts of the digital sewers, the world of proper and clean journalism* is eroding and under siege. Everything becomes an opinion, a matter of taste or what you desire to believe in.
Maybe some journalists are challenged by this phenomenon and getting better and yes, maybe even brilliant. But there is also the possibility that the trade of journalism as a whole is endangered as it becomes increasingly more dangerous to pursue and un-glamorous.
Cut circles from a teaching recruitment brochure, a blue handle from a linen bag and the words Daily and Commando from two different advertisements on unbleached wrapping paper on a wooden frame.
24 June 2022- The US Supreme Court has voted to overturn Roe vs. Wade, a black day for women living in conservative states that welcome this archaic view on women’s rights and emancipation. Or, as newspaper The Economist puts it: “Most Americans agree, though their country presents itself as a beacon of democracy and freedom, this week it took a dangerous step towards oppression” and to quote the headline of this same article: “The Supreme Court’s rejection of Roe will hurt the poorest the most”.
A thought on this matter raises the following question;
Why is it that an unborn life is so fanatically protected from the free will, judgment and decisions of the woman who carries this future and unborn life in her own womb ergo, her own body, while as soon as the truly born, living and breathing children go to school or a club, they can be shot by any idiot who can find their way to the Wall Mart.
Conservative Republican America, pro-life? I don’t think so. Hypocrite is the word that comes to mind!
“Yes it’s fucking political
Yes it’s fucking satirical
Yes it’s fucking political
Everything’s political” *
As long as men do not carry babies in them but are equally responsible for all pregnancies, voluntary and involuntary, and coincidentally take most lives as well, they cannot have the final word on the matter as far as I am concerned.
Who’s with me?
*Yes it’s fucking political is a refrain from *Political’ by Skunk Anansi, which happens to fit the sentiment perfectly but has otherwise nothing to do with this.
Kintsugi / Embrace imperfections
A Japanese bowl with minor damage, a tiny drop of gold paint on crack on a ‘Van Beek – art supplies – bag in ultra marine blue on foam board in a wooden frame.
In my opinion perfection is boring, static and a bit fascist even. A strive at perfection is what keeps u all going. We want to do better than before, that’s called ambition, but reaching it is the end of the road. Being in a state of perfection is a state where everything kind of freezes and becomes lifeless.
There is no perfection prior to perfection and beyond perfection is simply too much. Let’s call it the Kardashian effect, though I like to add a disclaimer to Kim Kardashian’s perfection here on my behalf.
Kardashian became the perfect, but plastic idea of what we regard to be beautiful today; fake eyelashes, fake brows, fake hair, fake lips, fake bum, ripple free, expression-less, one dimensional, filtered to the max…but perfect according to many lookalikes and *Mattel.
Yes, It freaks me out.
I’d rather be like this bowl, here on display, maybe a crack here and there but overall, doable to look at, pretty functional and who knows, maybe just pleasant to be with.
The best thing about embracing your imperfections is that you can unchain yourself of the compelling thoughts how we consider others would like us to be plus what we make ourselves believe; compelling thoughts of what we should be according to our, somehow own, but ‘planted ’standards. Life is simply too short.
PS: I wrote this being a victim of eternal doubt myself, as we all are, I think. I am not perfect.
*Mattel; inventor and producer of Barbie
(verbal no. 238)
A black acrylic print of the bottoms of a breeding tray on paper in a wooden frame
What goes up must come down, a natural law. What touches the bottom can only go up, again a law of nature. I do not know how to see this on a larger scale and within the balance of things. Many things at the bottom stay at the bottom and many things at the top stay at the top. No idea what law applies here, yet it seems to be the most absolute.
(verbal no. 237)
An old green T-shirt, a print and white acrylic vertical stripes on a wooden frame.
There is much to do about nothing. Nothing as in zero, as in emptiness as in vacuum, is scientifically disputed for its ‘existence’. Can something that is nothing actually exist and if it exists, can we know about it? Can we understand the presence of nothing or absence of something?
Nothing is nothing.
Once we get into the matter of nothing-ness we are about to encounter quantum mechanics with Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, woops(!?), and deep philosophy with arguments to exclude the possibility of an absolute nothingness, woops again, or even get in touch with mythology and Buddhism for the basis of nothingness.
Science has no answer to nothing yet, isn’t that cool!
(verbal no. 236)
One cardboard wrapping of a garden hose, painted black, gesso and white acrylic on canvas on a wooden frame
A supernova is the brightest of the brightest stars. Supernova is THE dominant star that draws all the attention, and is able to light up any space instantly. She surely stands out in the midst of mediocre dim lights produced by the average stars that are just dangling about in the firmament, with no particular place to go. Nonetheless, they will laugh last, knowing that the last hour of the supernova has struck. Her brightness is a last eruption before she extinguishes. Her ‘grease lightning’ is her last deed before she implodes, shrinks to dwarf size and gains weight like never before. So there is nothing to be envious about, really.
(verbal no. 235)
One laminated A1 ‘Tango’ poster found in bushes nearby tank station Rieteweg and one black graphic squid printed on cardboard as wrapping for plant made Squid like rings from the brand Zeastar on a wooden frame.
There once was an eight legged sea creature and he had this existential question; what and who am I. He looked around and scanned his surroundings. All he observed, none of it had 8 legs as he did. Most creatures had dorsal fins and a split tail, some had hard shells and soft bodies and others were stars shaped, while he himself swam backwards was completely tailless and had a head shaped like an arrow instead. Wow, he thought, I am this different from the rest I must embody diversity. He embraced him being different and as he proved to be very limber, with all of his 8 legs, he started a water ballet school. Fish are still dancing in schools ever since.
(verbal no. 234)
4 corner pieces of cardboard, 4 chapters from Liberating Life: Woman’s revolution by Abdullah Öcalan, white acrylic paint- titanium and zinc on cardboard in a wooden frame.
27 February I attended a protest against Putin’s invasion in Amsterdam together with my Ukrainian sister-in-law, Elena. We travelled from Haarlem; she came from Wijdenes (NH). While we waited for her arrival, we were passing the time with a small protest that was going on just in front of the entrance to the Central Station. This was a very modest protest that was eclipsed by the Ukrainian protesters marching to Dam Square. This was a protest by a group of Kurdish men and women who were probably profiting from this huge influx of people. They sang Kurdish songs and handed out booklets and flyers. The small purple booklet I received was written by Abdullah Öcalan, the leader of the PKK. According to Turkey, the US and the European Union, the PKK is considered a terrorist organization. Therefore, Öcalan is imprisoned on the island of Imrali. During his imprisonment, he developed his concept of democratic confederalism; a theory of a federal and communal society outside the existing state structures, in which direct democracy; ecologism and feminism are closely connected. He published on this theory in, among others: ‘A democratic solution to the Kurdish question’ and this book: Liberating life: The women’s revolution. I have read a few passages and I am about to read more. It is a modern outlook on (Arab) patriarchy or rather, a plea for a matriarchy Perhaps it is a risky thing to say, but why was he imprisoned again?
Play, Pause, Stop.
(verbal no. 233)
Red lid of tin can, black round part of interior from a decomposed portable radio cd player found near trash-site by A.R.T. a strange transparent unidentified round and found container, leftover medicine capsules in soft yellow and blood red, two buttons – play, pause, stop, from the same music device, a empty box of Turkish delight (Torku), red and green acrylic paint on canvas on a wooden frame.
Press start to start
Press pause, to pause.
Press stop, to stop.
Welcome to temporary oblivion. Did you have a pleasant trip?
Take off your coat, and extra luggage.
Close your eyes and take a deep breath.
You just entered the pleasure dome
Press ok if you’re ok?
We have this lovely program lined up, especially made for you .
Press play if you want to play!
Step in and saviour this moment, we promise you to take you up and down, on request or as we please.
Pop on, pop in and pop out, there seems to be no end to this fantastic voyage.
Did we already mention that we have only your interest at heart?
Press pause if you want to pause.
Enjoy your so well deserved ME-time and meet your inner yogi. As we are all pressed for time it will not take long. We know your time is money. Here is your instant salvation, enjoy as long as it lasts
Press stop if you want to stop.
(verbal no. 232)
Hardened brush, on what I think is a fuel cap of a car of a certain type, with white acrylic on a foam board and of white paper on a wooden frame.
What is the essence of life? What does it all add up to? Great wise men and women before us already said that all individual life is pointless except for the one living it and if you’re lucky for friends and relatives, but even then… it is essentially meaningless.
If there was any holistic reference on the core of being it must have been something like the survival of a variety of species as a whole and the symbioses between it that keeps the machinery, we call life, running.
As special as mankind thinks she is, no creature, animal, flower or tree, except for other members of mankind itself, will miss mankind, nor our great wisdom and inventions, if we vanished. All life would flourish and multiply like always and never before but without any understanding or emotion, just passing on genes and sustain.
And if life on earth expires completely, the universe will still be the immutable same or equally changeable as she always was, as she always is.
(verbal no. 231)
A yellow Judo belt (5th Kyu) and a round red bicycle reflector that I found on the street near my studio, a black rubbery device that is probably an office relic of the technical kind, a Chinese qualification certificate from a quick Covid self-test, a red PULL arrow of which I can’t remember the origin and a yellow follow us label on a worn grey tank top with off-white latex on a wooden frame.
We are constantly being fed a never-ending stream of information, half of which is of no interest to us anyway. The bits that are of interest or would be good to know we cannot even fully appreciate for various reasons but mainly because there is too much of it.
Too many brief matters flashes by us in a relentless stream, followed by messages that lose their impact because we come across them online daily in high frequency and that, in any case, contains far too much fuzzy language in very small fonts, such as agree to terms and conditions- and yes I accept cookies- boxes on the Internet, who ever reads this? This is alternated with some nonsensical information that passes you by like a fisherman with a dragnet scraping the bottom for extra attention and labyrinths of complicated but reassuring information, which is often taken in with a strange obligatory trust in the provider of this information, because hardly anyone really understands it. In our ignorance, we reassure ourselves that they probably know best, combined with a healthy aversion to know everything about things you are not at all excited about but are condemned to if you are to keep up with modern life, the fast lane we like to call progress and, mind you, convenience.
And then, of course, there is really relevant input, waiting to reach you, to speak to you, like a ripe, low-hanging peach, ready for you to pluck. If only you had that memory space left to store it.
(verbal no. 230)
Blue disposable plastic plate and a fashion label, Episode, both found on the streets nearby atelier in Zwolle on a white paper with dense black paint strokes on cardboard in a wooden frame.
Having an episode implies that someone is suffering the effects of a sudden psychological or mental breakdown. However, when we find ourselves comfortably zapping on a sofa in search of just that one episode of Seinfeld, we are looking for an episode in a series of other episodes. But seen in a holistic perspective, then an episode is more like an era of extraordinary events..
You can get it, experience it or simply see it. Episode ultimo is serial but impossible to film, at the mercy of sudden madness, but no cure, plenty of history made but not much of a future left.
On a Mission
(verbal no. 229)
Cut text ‘We’re on a mission’ from an advertisement in the Volkskrant papers (forgot who the advertiser was) and a found branch from of a downed shrubbery at the Ceintuurbaan, Zwolle, on a blackened piece of paper that served previously as background for a leader of a video notice, on cardboard in, a black marker decorated, wooden frame.
We’re on a mission. Not sure what that mission is. Not sure what that mission is about. Not sure where I am heading. Is it even a mission?
Sense Of Urgency
(verbal no. 228)
A mushroom pushbutton, residu of office clean up at 19 het Atelier Architecten, two from the office, 2 clockhands one small one tall, residu of found clock by Ali Reza Tahoeni at the Rieteweg 10 area and acrylic paint on cardboard on a wooden frame.
Martin Luther King
(verbal no. 227)
A flyer of 3345 record store – 2nd hand record vinyl, from the Hague, the Netherlands, a facial template of my own face in 3d, printed for earlier project (Klimaat Madonna) in a plaster base with a red x on top, of a promotional bag from the theater Bellevue, on cardboard in a wooden frame.
Factor XXX x X = X Factor.
Factor HU x MAN = the Human Factor.
(verbal no. 226)
A found black plastic ring, a key and white acrylic paint on an old t-shirt on wood.
Only a few months ago we were still in lockdown, a phenomenon that was unknown to us until 15 march 2020. This lockdown debut was an intelligent one, so was told. We felt liberated when we got out the first time, hereinafter it became an in and out lockdown. We felt relieved the last time we ‘opened-up’. Some compared the lockdown with oppression and war. There was some complaint about deprivation of liberty. We could not look into the future, only back in history. Apparently it was too long ago to witness it from close range and realize how destructive war and real oppression is. January 22, beginning of the end of the last (Dutch) lockdown but a next brutal war was about to begin, close to home, with all consequences. Only less than two months ago (24-02-2022), this invasion and grotesque human tragedy made the lockdown look pale in comparison. We checked out on the lockdown and checked in at another dirty lowdown in history. It sets things in perspective. Everything sets everything else in perspective.
Je Suis Don Quichote
(verbal no. 224)
Drawing of a face, cut characters, 3 emptied cups of Surinam chutney shaped as a windmill, gesso, and acrylic on canvas on a wooden frame.
How can names once given by loving parents have so much variation in spelling? A name is a name, right? I found countless variations of the name Don, as the Spanish write it; Quijote or what the English prefer; Quixote, or as the Dutch do it; Quichot, or the Italian way Chisciotte, or how the French spell Quichote and then another double tt variant of which I can establish no direct link with any language. Don, appears to be the fixed factor, it remains invariably Don.
Could all this diversity possibly be caused by the fact that we are all somehow related with a Don Quixote. That we bear a Quijote within us, or feeling like one?
A donquichot or quixotic is one who fights a hopeless battle, one who pursues vain and impracticable goals, or even worse one who is out of touch with reality, a madman? Was Chisciotte a fool, a pazzo, an idiot? Was he an unbridled idealist, a romantic……… may he have been, was he an artist?
(verbal no. 224)
Large blue plastic S and little green U found on the Oosterlaan and Kamperpoort, Zwolle on a plastic canopy from a broken umbrella umbrella on a wooden frame.
Who are they, what are we, are they and we not all us?
Main Character Vibes
(verbal no. 223)
Colour bars and registration mark, cut text, cut male body in jeans and cut monkey head, white gesso and acrylic on canvas on a wooden frame.
Propelled by a pulsing noise in stereotype,
could not deny this main character vibe.
Look at his long black hair, animal grace in prototype,
It’s impossible to overlook, this main character vibe.
Femme fatales emerged from shadows but refused to believe the hype;
just watch this creature fair, this main character vibe.
A born star of its owned universe, most certainly not a monotype,
but homes in many this main character vibe.
Not as unique as hoped for, an invention of an outrageous archetype.
It is what it is, this main character vibe.
(verbal no. 222)
One Jumbo supermarket theme big shopper, an orange plastic spoon, a fashion tag with the name commando on it, a papercut word ‘better’ and light blue (similar as bag) acrylic paint to wipe out subtext on a wooden frame.
When my mind is working overtime without getting somewhere in particular, a soft voice from way deep whispers; better relax.
(verbal no. 221)
Two heat pads for back pain relief, four plastic items of unknown origin, two pieces of bag handles and two leather triangles that came with two Clark shoes and white acrylic on raw canvas o a wooden frame.
As far as I ever truly believed in it, I am on the verge of abandoning the concept of higher power entirely. I have this strange notion that it cannot be the supernatural that encapsulates everything. In how things are evolving right now, I see no divine interventions but rather devilish interruptions.
To refresh my and maybe a collective memory I looked up the definition of God again. Just to make sure that he or she or it is what he or she or it or we claim it to be. What did we misread?
A few divine definitions lined out:
God; the being perfect in power, wisdom, and goodness
God: he incorporeal divine Principle ruling over all as eternal Spirit: infinite Mind.
God: the creator and ruler of the universe and source of all moral authority; the Supreme Being.
It is an impressive promise of what this God is or should be.
Just look around to know that he or she or it is absent, not inspired, not around, taking a holiday, or just gave up on us.
Native Americans had and maybe still have a Totem to worship. This totem represents a supernatural object that holds strong energy’s of which one is connected too like an animal, or an ancestor.
This seems to make more sense as we are somehow united in history as we stand on the shoulders of our ancestors, with the good and the bad stuff they left us with to figure out… and where it all boils down is that in fact we really are animals.
(verbal no. 220)
One found plastic bread bag, covering and covered by a collage of magazine images on paper in a wooden frame.
Craving is when new-borns lusts for the milk in his or her mothers breast.
Craving is when a nomad desires water after wandering the desert for days.
Craving is what a nicotine addict feels when he lusts for the next cigarette.
Craving is an alcoholic’s constant longing for liquor even when he quit drinking.
Craving is a drug addict’s everlasting yearning for more sedation.
Craving is what someone with a great appetite feels when he or she is denied food.
Craving is lusting for another for sake of love
Craving is lusting for another for sake of lust
Craving is a longing for more
Craving can be constant and compelling
Craving can be a trait with nasty edges
Craving has defined the way of the world
It usually goes wrong when cravings are not fulfilled but appropriated, then the turmoil begins.
What we are made of
(verbal no. 219)
A plastic wrapping foil obviously made of 50% recycled material, and a collage of magazine images on paper in a wooden frame.
From what kind of wood are we carved? Is it a loving, caring, and intelligent wood or just the opposite? I have been observing for a while now and I just can’t figure it out. Humanity as a whole is quite a destructive force while so many individuals and groups (organized or organic) transcending far above their own needs to help others. What would the world look and be like if these people had the upper hand and why don’t they have the upper hand? At times, it feels like we place our most rotten fruit on the highest shelves instead. Everything is a choice, right? How hard can it be to make the right choice and do the right thing?
What is ethics, what is moral and what is its worst enemy?
Letter to Vladimir – письмо Владимиру
(verbal no. 217)
Portrait of Russian dictator from Volkskrant newspaper anno 26-02-2022, cut text from magazine, plastic bags etc. and zinc white acrylic on raw canvas on a wooden frame.
How are you doing now? Still having a good night’s sleep, still happy with your face in the mirror? How is the wife and kids doing, one happy family? I bet you feel quite the man these days. You silenced your people first (except for a few daredevils) and squeezed all the sound critiques out of them, then feeding them nothing but lies and fears.
Now starting a war on an innocent country? It kind of took us by surprise. It’s a vicious and cowardly act.
I am truly puzzled about what is driving you? Ever heard of transgressive behaviour, or did this discussion pass you by somehow? It was all we were talking about lately until you came along with your bold illicit invasion. In a nutshell; a few guys in certain positions felt the need to share pictures of their Johnson with female colleagues or/and harassed them otherwise. Performing acts of misplaced machismo, sounds familiar?
I hear you, very odd indeed. But nevertheless they did.
Yes, that’s true; but they were convinced that they could get away with it.
Why, you wonder? Well, I guess they felt very powerful and invulnerable; they did not count on these women to step forward. But they did, armed with nothing but integrity, dignity and nothing to lose.
Do you ever ask yourself; who in this world other than my own, paid and frightened trustees are with me on this precarious adventure? I tell you there are only a few madmen left to back you up and it’s not the best list ever; Donald Trump, Jair Bolsonaro and an insignificant sad guy from our country called Tierry Baudet. They are most certainly not the brightest of lights and really, with friends like this you don’t need enemies. If you want to write history, these men are not the ones to be associated with, for sure. You will end up the laughing stock.
Well Vlad, Tell your people, we will forgive them; we know they are really ok if it wasn’t for you. Maybe reconsider taking your Johnson out of the Ukraine and apologize while it’s still an option. I know you like to stretch it a little to compensate and make it look bigger, but we all know by now that it is in fact really small.
Peace, always look over your shoulders, and don’t get paranoid, but I know you will!
PS: Надеюсь, россияне тоже любят своих детей
(verbal no. 216)
Part of song text Real Men by Joe Jackson (1982- from the album Night & Day) printed on transparent paper, a portrait of Clint Eastwood holding a gun on a grey- blue-ish plastic wrapping on a wooden frame.
“And so it goes – go round again
But now and then we wonder who the real men are
Time to get scared – time to change plan
Don’t know how to treat a lady
Don’t know how to be a man
Time to admit – what you call defeat
cause there’s women running past you now
And you just drag your feet
Man makes a gun – man goes to war
Man can kill and man can drink
And man can take a whore
Kill all the blacks – kill all the reds
And if there’s war between the sexes
Then there’ll be no people left
And so it goes – go round again
But now and then we wonder who the real men are”
(verbal no. 215)
Remains of a t-shirt that I made and gave to my loved one, Erik, featuring his own face, for our 8 years anniversary, 3 years ago, and now all worn out, he donated it for my project, on a wooden frame. Disclaimer; The following line has nothing to do with us and Erik is custom to being part of my artworks by now.
‘My future is so shady, I have to wear brights’.
(verbal no. 214)
Cut characters on a black canvas bag of named primadonna
‘I am always open to my own opinion’; I heard this expression in a dinner dating show, First Dates, on Dutch TV. This girl, who spoke these words was eager to make a good impression but slipped up.
Without intending or realizing it she quite nailed a wide spread contemporary mind-set.
(verbal no. 213)
Round heavy metal object with hole in the middle, a black smiley piece of plastic, found on the streets of Zwolle and two metal eyelets from a flag on ripped pages from Dif magazine and Metropolis M on cardboard on a wooden frame.
Brutalism is a concept in both architecture and art. It sprouted from the Modernist movement from 1950 till 1970. It was a movement that questioned art for arts sake, and shape for sake of shape and convenience in architecture. The word Brutalism is originally drawn from the French ‘béton brut’, meaning raw concrete. Le Corbusier is a well-known Brutalist architect.
Critics believed this style to be too dominant, too totalitarian, and too impersonal and intimidating. Brutalism did not adapt itself to its surroundings, on contrary; it detonated in its surroundings. Must said, Brutalism has next to strong criticism, many fans too. Everything outspoken can count on both admiration as disapprovement. This is the way to stick out in art. As long as your work is being discussed, all eyes are on you.
It’s a different ballgame when it comes to the brutalist movement that manifests itself outside art and architecture and in communication or behaviour. Still, brutalism on a personal, professional and political level seems to pay off. It also generates much attention, and attention is what we lust for today. A matter of style, I guess. In answer to that I’d like to launch a counter movement called; Re fine-ism, who’s with me?
Science Of The Labs
(verbal no. 212)
Round silver coloured foundation of a wrapping of some kind, one cotton swab, we know so well by now, white transfer characters and white acrylic on canvas on a wooden frame
Science of the labs suddenly sprung to mind when having a conversation with friends. Laughing off the Covid misery we find ourselves in for two years now. Maybe caused by the fact that labs in general and even more since the pandemic have taken a central place in our society, as if they became the master of our human universe.
It is a corruption of the original, ‘Silence Of The Lambs 1991’, an iconic film that gave the jitters to many of us.
It has been a long time since I watched this movie. It made quite an impression back then but I hardly remember any spoken lines or quotes, other than; ‘Well, Clarice – have the lambs stopped screaming?
For this column I was searching at ‘Rotten Tomatoes’ for a nice quote from the film that would fit my variation on the title, and I found the following; “Plum Island Animal Disease Research Facility. Sounds charming.”, signed infamous Hannibal Lecter.
Not even really a quote. But in this context and some free association it seems somehow connected to my Science Of The Labs too.
(verbal no. 211)
Found plastic and cardboard parts combined in fish shape, part of (anti fibre) Guppy Bag and acrylic paint on blue linen bag on a wooden frame.
There is intelligence and there is artificial intelligence.
The artificial one, makes cool and accurate calculations, has no nagging consciousness and no sleepless nights.
Hormones, instinct and emotion control the natural intelligence . On an individual scale this is possible resulting in sleepless nights every now and then. The emphatic part of our intelligence carries the weight of made decisions, errors of passed judgement and dubious deeds. This might al well be the striking distinction between men and machine.
Once we left the jungle, we developed and refined our cultures and oil, made love, war and many children, built cities, created worldwide webs and communal networks and invented complex analogue and digital systems. Our capacity is at its peak when it comes to exploiting and exploring our resources.
We eat plastified fish and sleep like a rose.
(verbal no. 210)
Remains of a package, cloverleaf shaped and cut characters and acrylic on canvas on a wooden frame.
The king of pop, Michael Jackson once burned his hair making a commercial for Pepsi Cola. This commercial proclaimed Pepsi (bleep) cola THE choice of a new generation. I never drink cola, I even forgot this swinging commercial but I do remember this slogan (the power of marketing). We are talking 1985; I was only 15, so the next generation they were talking about then was I, actually.
As if there was only one choice for a new generation…Many next generations have followed since then.
Choice was never the problem, too much choice was.
(verbal no. 209)
One found yellow plastic traffic sign, yellow acrylic paint and the white on blue word Ultra, cut from an ancient carton laundry detergent box on a black linen bag on a wooden frame.
In the world of laundry soaps, ultra has this positive connotation. Ultra communicates here; will go deep into the fiber to fight dirt and stains. The claim is a promise that, in the world of commerce, is not always proven to be a correct and honest reflection of the truth. However fighting dirt in fibers sounds determined, effective and nice. We like to keep our looks proper and stainless. A small disclaimer; a proper and stainless exterior guarantees nothing.
So, ultra… I must say I fear this word when washing laundry is not the topic but right winged movements or a group of football hooligans are. These ultras are communicating: will stop at nothing. Will stop at nothing basically says, we will overrun, destroy or submit whoever or whatever is in our way on our path to our ideal society or outcome. This is a proclamation of a non-negotiable one-way street of extreme ideas. If everyone chose to be ultra, there would be no people left to fight with.
I often wonder; who are these people? What is their problem and how on earth do they think anything can be solved with this maniac attitude. I keep a list of prejudices against them like; angry (young- white), low self-esteemed, over- testosterone-d, little brained, single celled, over privileged, under privileged, extremely bored, under educated, under achieved, Neanderthal – men and occasional women. The list goes on
Did these (mostly) men not have any access to love before? Or is it so that whoever embraces us first gets the most loyalty? And we will follow blindly, whether it is blind love or blind hate.
Writing this feels like a thin and wobbly line. When it comes to ideals, who will hold the truth? As they are probably convinced that they hold it as much as many reasonable others hold the opposite truth.
Or to quote character Alex DeLarge from the ultra violence cult movie A Clockwork Orange; “What does God want? Does God want goodness or the choice of goodness? Is a man who chooses the bad perhaps in some ways better than a man who has the good imposed upon him? Deep and hard questions…”
(verbal no. 208)
Newspaper item about the china crisis, cut characters from magazines, newspapers and one magnetic character on a plain canvas on a wooden frame.
Once there was a band called the China Crisis. Not really my cup of green tea, but the band name popped up when I laid eyes on the article that I used for this artwork. Without this post punk, cold war, referenced band name, China crisis would just be the name of the everlasting China crisis we seem to find ourselves in.
China can’t seem to make up their mind when it comes to being a brutal capitalist system with both colonizing as innovative urges or a refined kind of oppressing communism with a suggestion of freedom.
They made the ultra pragmatic choice, to combine both. Now they have the best of both worlds. The west has no answer to this as they luckily swore democracy. Apart from unbridled neoliberalism, Western democracy shook off ideology and as result it often resembles a bucket full of dislocated frogs, all jumping in different directions.
So In these contemporary abrasive democratic ways we are always two steps behind when it comes to a certain discipline to get things done. Resulting in enormous economic growth and increasing power for China.
If you asked me, there is a bit too much Yang and too little Yin on this weighing scale and soon it will tip over. The interesting question remains; How can we balance this scale? How can we balance any scale right now, while the one thing missing in everything is balance.
Maybe it somehow starts by being critical in what to buy where and who to buy it from. Because this is largely how we approve systems to keep on rolling the way it rolls. Not just China.
Lots Of Sheep, Little Wool.
(verbal no. 207)
Cut text on an X mass gift wine wrapping on a wooden frame
A New Zealand farmer or any sheep farmer for that matter would not agree with this title, for they have lots of sheep and sub-consequently heaps of wool.
This artwork refers to a flock of proverbial sheep. There are many sayings where men are compared to sheep. Even in the bible the disciples are referred to as a flock of sheep. I wonder why but then again, why not. Sheep are friendly and do like the company of others, as we do. If one sheep is crossing the ditch, many will follow, full of trust and not bothered with any second thought.
So, moving in flocks is what we have in common with sheep. I don’t want to offend anyone but I often wonder why we, intelligent and reasoning mammals, still want to flock so much?
We once started out as hunter-gatherers, plucking berries and killing an occasional buffalo or opponent. Hunter-gatherers lived in small but quite free, autonomous and independent groups. Agriculture put an end to the independence of the hunted animals and plucked greens but killed men’s true independence too. The church, the first global institute, made them pray and obey but economy became its true religion.
Now we live in enormous groups divided in many subgroups that all live in (non) comfortable, separate bubbles, a bubble wherein each sheep is confirmative to the others. However, grosso modo, we don’t seem to see eye to eye anymore about which direction we should go as a society of individuals and which ditch to cross. The scary thing here is, many confused sheep choose to follow the loudest bleating sheep, just because he makes lots of noise.
The Sensitive Effect
(verbal no. 206)
An architect situation sketch print, a plastic wrapping for chocolates with plaster filling and a cut commercial text under and on a single use plastic bag on a wooden frame.
Feel the sensitive effect states the commercial from which this title and text is drawn from. I truly forgot to which product it supposes to be attached to but in it self it holds undeniable truth. One of the social problems we face today is that our etiquettes spiral downwards. Since the Internet we all got, democratically, a virtual stage to perform on and broadcast from. This, so was promised, would catapult us straight into a better and more equal world. Yes, the technique provided this for us, but they forgot one important thing, we will still be us.
We remained us, with all kinds of medieval tendencies. We held on to our medieval ways to express our anger by taking it to the streets with violence and pass judgement trough public humiliation. Only now it starts or takes place on a digital market square. To proclaim the word ‘sensitivity’ again, it surely goes a long way. This era could use a bit more sensitivity. In the end; In how we treat others we see our selves reflected.
The 100th Monkey,
(Monkey See Is Monkey Do.)
(verbal no. 205)
Magnetic characters and a blotting pad of Magnetype (Hama), given to me by colleague Corine Aalvanger, red and white acrylic paint on canvas on a wooden frame.
The 100th ape story finds its origin in a scientific research (in the 50ties) to ape ‘group’ behaviour and ‘learning/adapting abilities’ and a scientist Watson publication about this phenomenon (70ties) In the eighties a publisher named Keyes connected this principle to human behaviour.
The essence of the principal is as follows; there is a group of apes. This group has certain habits that are passed on through generation by generation. If these habits are challenged by a new habit, an external influence, there is always a curious monkey (read early adopter) that embraces this new habit. If this monkey is of any status within the group, some other monkeys are triggered and eager to copy his/her behaviour and act like he or she does.
The others, still a majority of more cynical, critical or conservative monkeys will wait and see. This is a tipping point. One by one they will be or feel ushered to follow this new initiative, just to be hooked on with the new leading direction of the group, to be safe. This is a conformist monkey, the one that validates.
In the end a few stubborn and soloist monkeys, of even just one monkey, monkey nr 100, still resist or questions this new situation. This loose end, this ape will be peer pressured by all other 99 monkeys. These 99 monkeys now represent the new norm and standard.
Suddenly this 100th monkey is a vital monkey. This is the monkey that tries to prevent anything from becoming too absolute and totalitarian.
This is in my opinion why we should always be on our guard not to become too conformist and docile, to any group at all. Better strive to think autonomous, and act a soloist, Make up your own mind before a loud voice over tunes your true inner voice.
A soloist can still be an idealist but one that follows and even adheres to intrinsic ideals, not people and marketing concepts.
(verbal no. 204)
One canvas fashion bag by the name Nelson, and two parts of a carton 6 pack beer carriers, zinc white paint and transfer characters on a wooden frame
Be unreasonable and I will oppose.
Give me reason and I will make an effort to understand.
One Single Thought,
(verbal no. 203)
A damaged single record, found during a walk, in the bushes at de Emma barrio, Zwolle, a black unidentified rubber ring and parts of a museum flag on a museum flag (once found) on a wooden frame.
What is the power of one single thought against the collected thoughts of many? I believe that originality is rooted in the deviant thoughts of a singleton. It can be a plus to get inspired by some other individual, if it gets you started, but the main source for any good idea to sprout is already included within you. This is called creativity, a natural gift to mankind.
According to this principle, the multitude of influencers and Internet gurus we see today, seems to not add but take creativity from us. Feeding on ideas of others to build forward on is making progress, but blindly copying ideas creates nothing but a lazy mind. Admiration can be a starting point of inspiration but only as long as you don’t subordinate yourself to the inspirator.
(verbal no. 202)
Painted black, carton board Archaeopteryx (flying dinosaur) from Dinoworld, Zwolle, found in the streets of barrio Kamperpoort, Zwolle, the text ‘O Wow’, cut from newspaper article on museum flag on a wooden frame.
I treat you to some humorous lines/a dialogue from an Outcast interlude called ‘Good day, Good sir. By André 3000 & Bentley Fonzworth-
“Good day, good sir
How do you do? Look fine
Fantastically well, I am certainly not fine by far
But you could say I’m close to spectacular
Close to spectacular? How so?
Open your eyes, spectacular’s right in front of you
Whatever you say, you’re spectacular
No, I’m fantastically well
Come on, man, make up your mind
A minute ago, you said you were fine
No, I said I’m “close to spectacular”
But I’m meetin’ fine in a minute
Close to spectacular? You said you were “fantastically well”
Exactly? Which one are you? “Close to spectacular” or “fantastically well”?
I am certainly and without a doubt fantastically well. And was close to spectacular. But I must say, good sir, you just pissed spectacular off. And don’t even mention “exactly”
From the album The Love Below –great album by the way.
(verbal no. 201)
Text from a catnip box called Smik Smak, bought more than 20 years ago and then saved until now, on a pink linen high school (Landstede) promotional bag on a wooden frame.
Are Smik and Smak two words or is it a written sound, an Onomatopoeia? It surely suggests that the cat, (that cannot read by the way) is going to enjoy this meal to the max. The name is the teaser and a promise.
I have always had cats. At its high peak I had three cats at the same time. Three cats + one small dog and one poor artist, so I was compelled to buy some cheaper cat food than I wished for them. They, Lulu, Stalos and Tico (the dog called Zipper but ate dog food) were not picky. Smik, Smak were once the kibbles of my choice and they ate it without complaining. What I did not see was any extra enthusiasm and did not hear the sound of happy smacking. No Smik, no Smak. We, the cats and I were fooled by the name on the box, have you ever…?
Now, they (the cats and the dog) are not amongst us anymore, they died of old age, not because they ate badly…. Jazz is the cat that currently lives at my residence and I can safely say that he is a food maniac. Indifferent, anything goes. Now I can afford a serious balanced cat diet, with a serious name that holds science in it…. and he actually (smik) smacks during his meal. To be honest he smacks at any meal.
Magnum (100 +100 = 200),
Black plastic circle shaped object (unidentified found object U.F.O.). No clue what purpose it might have served earlier, found at the Veemarkt, Zwolle, a paper cut word Magnum and figures, two times 100 from a Ilford photo box on a plastic bag on a wooden frame.
The word magnum fathers many things. The first magnum I encountered was a Thomas Magnum in the eighties series Magnum P.I. This Magnum embodies a cheerful detective with tight shorts, that he made look good and a rather big mustachio that he could get away with. The next Magnum that came my way was a revolutionary Ice bar; a nutty chocolate drenched fat bastard ice cream that equals no other ice cream before it, rather a pack of butter. Absolute sweet ice-cream heaven, if the many calories were not in the game. Let not forget the 44 Magnum, a lethal household attribute in classic gangsters and western movies, and probably a hit on the dark web, magnums to die (be)for(e). But the magnum I want to be associated with right now is the opus, the magnum opus, since I hit the 200 artworks with this one. I will not claim it’s a masterpiece along the lines of historical masterpieces before this, but in its own right, within its own set of rules and boundaries, it is surely my opus, for the time being
Wash Me Clean,
Plastic laundry bag took from hotel room at Schloßhotel Kurfürstliches Amtshaus, Daun Eifel, Germany, just in between two Corona waves, and a red, yellow dot cut from a napkin painted over with acrylic paint on a wooden frame.
Many titles and stories I wrote, for the Remains Of Today project, are generously based on things that inspire me throughout life on a daily basis, both nice and corrupted things. Music is one of the artistic lifelines of my existence. The title of this artwork, Wash Me Clean, is borrowed from K.D. Lang’s eponymous song. This song comes from an album called Ingénue (meaning to be honest). The wonderful songs Save Me, and Constant Craving, from the same album, are next to Wash Me Clean titles that are open for multiple interpretations. The three titles summed up are almost of biblical proportions.
“(Oh Lord) Can we be saved from this constant craving that haunts us day and night, please wash me clean, Amen” or something along those lines
Clean washing itself can be a dirty thing to do when money is in the game, otherwise I guess it’s purifying. Depending on the soap.
Cut text from various magazines and newspapers and white acrylic on remain of Gippy anti fibre washing bag on a wooden bag.
Lack of Content crawls
around in glass tank unable
To explian a thing
Later that night
Hermit crabs broadcasting lies
Into their empty shells
Cool and Collected,
A collage of white self adhesive address labels, parts of car-number plate-holders, few unidentified plastic objects and the word collected from a used anti fibre Gippy-bag and black acrylic paint on a fabric ‘Real’ shopping bag on a wooden frame.
Being cool and collected is a desired state of being, meaning, being in total control and remaining your stoical appearance at the same time. A famous example of a cool and collected guy is Bond, James Bond, even if stirred he is not shaken. While James Bond is a scripted persona, with scripted adventures, in real life, in tricky and precarious situations cool easily becomes agitated and overwhelmed and the collected, a collective that just might fall apart….
Cut carton wrapping of ceramic cups, an off white transfer paper for adhesive labels on a pink white dotted textile market shopper on a wooden frame.
In the way the small communicating artworks of Remains Of Today emerge, it is impossible to have a clear note in advance of what the story about it in hindsight could be. As I write this, at this moment I am still searching for significance this artwork could have.
Yet, I have a sense of direction, the image I created here made me think of the blackening of text in documents that are presented as transparent insights to third parties.
Recently, or currently we have this political affair in the Netherlands called the Surcharges affair, Toeslagen affair in Dutch. Long story short, the injured parties in the affair asked for transparency in case of their own archived filed profiles at the Dutch tax administration but what they got instead were documents that were predominantly blacked thus not readable. How should anxious receivers of these files respond to this obvious piece of non-information, containing collected intelligence, concerning themselves, openly and transparently secret, in their face? To me it appears a brutal act of disregard.
Fashion bag ‘Reality’ found at a thrift store bag container in Zwolle and blackboard paint on a wooden frame.
Reality is what we crave but fiction is what we present.
The sad mammal that combs,
Used comb and white acrylic stripe on used umbrella fabric on a wooden frame.
A toothless comb is a defect tool and a toothless predator is a sad mammal.
There was once a Peruvian poet called César Vallejo who wrote a poetic analysis of mammals and combs.
And it goes like this;
“Considering coldly, impartially, that man is sad, coughs and nevertheless takes pleasure in his reddened chest; that the only thing he does is to compose himself with days; that he is a gloomy mammal and combs his hair”……….
This, of course, is everything but a scientific approach on what it means to be human. Nevertheless I think he somehow nailed it with this humorous perspective.
Yellow plastic bag by the brand Forever 21 and a, died of natural causes, bumblebee on a wooden frame.
This yellow bag was handed to me (by fellow artist Corine Aalvanger) for my project. It is, as you can see, a bright yellow bag with the black brand name printed on. This is a bag like so many bags if it wasn’t for the sub line; John 3:16. John 3:16 links to the evangelic of John in the New Testament.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
A commercial fashion brand openly linking to the bible, is remarkable!
As an inherently non-religious person, I understand that this message on the bag can be read as the ’true’ colours of this fashion brand. They make money on fashion but it’s approved by a higher power, how cool is that.
Or it is meant to recognize them as part of God’s flock. You know, you are doing the spiritual right thing by buying your clothes here! See it as a divine intervention for your wardrobe. Blessed as you are with your new shoes.
Or, it just appeals to your desire to live for eternity or to be forever 21, bearing a cross forever.
I checked but Jesus died when he was 30 something not 21, he wore, next to his cross, nothing more than a shabby loincloth and a crown of thorns. I think it’s safe to say that he was, even in those days, of all things, not a regular fashion adept.
Still, it is very interesting how market forces always make us believe in things, any things at all.
Metal house number plate (in my possession since my thirties), 4 screws, a feather, white and black acrylic paint on a worn grey male t-shirt on a wooden frame.
I take you back to my first number in this series representing an angel, 147. That particular number turned out to be deep, spiritual wise.
Number 30, claims to be a number like any other number, nevertheless, important. According to the angel guidelines I consulted on the internet, our heavenly 30 is a message that tries to get our attention- asking if we are following our intuition and divine guidance to take appropriate action… Comforting to know, the angels are still by my side. Inevitable success and achievements await in the future but I must show gratitude for any rewards and be open to well deserved blessings, love and support from my angel(s) followed by much more uplifting advice. These angels have your best interests at heart
But these are not the only 30 facts I could find. 30 has a very earthly connotation as well
Some 30- facts in order of appearance; In Bingo, they call 30, ‘Dirty Gertie, blind 30’. You probably have to play Bingo to know what is at steak here. There is a mathematical reference to a polygon with 30 sides called a triacontagon. I think you have to be a mathematician to grasp the importance of that factoid. In the movie back to the future…Marty Mc Fly travelled 30 years back in time…
Last but not least, be aware when 30 enters your dreams, it means that something or someone lacks truth.
As you can read for yourself, It is a, non-consistent, miscellaneous of meanings, I would advise you to pick a meaning that suits you best.
Found plastic leaves on Green Frame Bag on a wooden frame
As there is white washing for dirty money there is greenwashing to present off-green, grey or brown business greener or green-ish. By green-ish I mean flavoured with the idea that it’s a good deal for man, environment, earth and what not, while it’s not. The best example of greenwashing I can think of, close to home, are the ‘green’ Go sharing scooters you see everywhere these days. The scooters are undeniably green, colour-wise. There were zero scooters before, and even if that was not by choice, it was so much greener than this incomprehensible ‘green’ choice. Now we are left with a multitude of scooters, all feeding from the same shortage of electric energy, using a surplus of commodities to be built and leaving materials to waste after. Somehow, this logic has passed me by.
(where the wild things are)
Cut and re-ordered promotional poster from ‘Nederlands foto museum’, collected at de Uitmarkt 2019 Amsterdam. Original photo by Sebastião Salgado, Bhoost candy wrapping and gaffer tape with white transfer characters on a wooden frame.
Although we alienated us quite a bit from ‘where the wild things are’, deep down we still long to be one of the wild things. In our zodiac signs, our internal animal is revealed, for most. Not for me, my sign is Virgo so not much is roaring at the surface, maybe an occasional meow.
As films about nature are getting more real, up-close and exciting, outdoor nature itself is getting more silent and empty.
I am not a hunter but I like the game , I like to play games but I am not a gamer. There is no winning this game. Game over.
Each System Needs Believers,
Cut characters on residual fabric from the Dokkum flag factory on a wooden frame.
I once saw a movie based on a real story, called Midnight Express. In a nutshell; the main character called Billy Hayes, played by Brad Davis smuggles drugs and ends up in a hellish and corrupted Turkish jail. His sentence for 3 years was soon commuted to 30 years after an attempt to escape. After this his prison life became a worse nightmare than it already was. He collapses mentally and ends up between psychiatric inmates whose daily activity it is to walk a treadmill.
As soon as he regains his senses somewhat, he commits resistance by walking this treadmill in a reversed direction, against the current. He dares the system.
A fellow prisoner, Ahmed, tries to make him turn around and addresses him with the following words:
‘Oh no. A bad machine doesn’t know when he’s a bad machine’,
To which Billy replies with;
‘Oh, I know who I am. And I know who you are. I know that you are a bad machine. And do you know how I know that. Because I come from the factory. I MAKE the machines!’
This of course was a cynical remark about the system where he was subjected. By mentally stopping to subordinate and obey to this system he reclaims his own value and at the same time the courage to fight it.
Back then this film made quite an impact on me. For me as a spectator his despair is almost tangible. Set aside the prison context, metaphorical, a lot has been said in these two lines about the bad machine. It also riddles me about factories, machines and loose screws.
Plenty More Fish, verbal 188
Cut characters from (found) plastic Vero Moda bag, and one found fish-shaped fried fish bowl on part of a broken umbrella on a wooden frame.
When it comes to broken hearts and unanswered love, this saying ‘ there are plenty more fish in the sea’ offers a little comfort. It goes without saying that these plenty more fish – as referred to, are in fact everywhere, but not every fish proves to be tasty enough to pursue. A dive into this pool of Cupido is a dive in deep and murky water. What looked like a playful dolphin at first could, suddenly appear to be a shark, on better sight.
I must note, not all sharks are dangerous as most are victims themselves.
Dorsal fins of sharks end up in soup, the other part, namely his entire body except for the fin, is left to suffer and slowly die in the ocean. It no longer has value. So, the ultimate predator is preyed on too. He is the big Kahuna of the deep blue but no match for the organised death machine that men brought upon him. In this context we could only ‘fish’ that there are plenty more ‘wishes’ in the sea, for sake of balance.
Or is that fishful thinking? Honestly, I think we have missed that boat.
The catch of the day to come is more likely an ugly and fishy date than a fish from a sea of plenty.
I Would Rather Be A Hippie,
Cut text and artificial purple butterfly, gesso and acrylic on a canvas bag on a wooden frame.
Fly silly seabird
No dreams can possess you
No voices can blame you
For sun on your wings
My gentle relations
Have names they must call me
For loving the freedom
Of all flying things
My dreams with the seagulls fly
Out of reach out of cry
Joni Mitchell 1968
Lets Face It,
Cut text from found plastic bag and collage of faces from magazine and personal archive on an illustrated synthetic bag.
“Now all I can do
Love what was once
So alive and new
But it’s gone from your eyes
I’d better realize
Eyes without a face”
Billy Idol Eyes without a face- 1983
This song, I truly love it, still now. Billy Idol was a diamond in the rough, a bright and promising light that gradually faded. It’s the vibe of a song that gives it weight, rarely the lyrics. Not many people really listen to the lyrics in a song. I get to know the words of a song after long-term exposure to it; even then I hardly give the words any real attention, only in some particular cases. David Bowie was known for cutting up sentences and reordering the words in alternative ways. No meaning, just a sense of meaning. Now I write these small stories to accompany my artworks.186 stories by now. And I acknowledge that it’s hard to put some real sense or meaning into a few lines and keep it smooth and sparkling at the same time.
What did Billy Idol mean with eyes without a face? Did he refer to the eyes as a last sparkle of a memory in an otherwise fainting face of a loved one or was he addressing just a face in the crowd.
(What is the) Matter?
Cut characters (white on pink) from public library bag, gesso, acrylic and pink tape on a terry fitted sheet on a wooden frame.
Matter is any substance that has mass and takes up space by having volume. Matter should not be confused with mass, as the two are not the same in modern physics
As a matter of fact, matter, matters regardless of what is the matter.
No matter what, concerning the state of the mind over matter, mind state, it is only a matter of time before the matter overcomes the mind. This matter brings a lot of weight to the table, which is not to be confused with mass. Do we matter?
Adam and Eve,
Cut text from fashion bag brand x, tape on used a Gippy washing bag on a wooden frame
At the end of Genesis 01, the 6th day’, God, so the story goes, created man.
“Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
So God created mankind in his own image, he created them; male and female.
God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.”
(Genesis 01-no 27 > 31- In the beginning)
God seemed very decisive and was obviously content with the work he had done.
Despite the good intentions and effort he made, after 2571 years, this concept could be ripe for an evaluation.
The Rebalancing of our Equilibrium,
verbal no 183
Barcodes, X’s and one minus cut from promotional bag Bellevue Theatre Amsterdam and Hema logo cut in half on an illustrated synthetic grocery bag.
The Chinese invented a crystal clear concept about balance, Yin and Yang. This represents two opposing principles or forces of which all aspects of life and the universe are permeated like cosmic duality and even the opposite sexes. It is like a scale, with two equal parts, both parts must be divided equally to keep the scale straight, ‘Mens sana in corpore sano’, (a healthy mind in a healthy body), everything prospers in good balance, a simple truth.
However; balancing is also a bookkeeper’s delight. Figures on a sheet, shifted about, even in creative ways, to increase the number of the digits, making higher revenues and more profits, read; the essence of economics. In our money dominated world these balances have priority and come before any natural balance. By now, it proves to be a ruthless disrupting force. According to the Yin and Yang principle, this cannot be right. According to me we have to check our balance and find a new one.
(Do) Make (Some) Sense,
verbal no 182
Cut text on blackboard paint and crayon on a synthetic bag from drugstore Trekpleister on a wooden frame.
In the eighties, the post punk new wave band Talking Heads made a film, a live music registration, called Stop Making Sense made by Jonathan Demme.
Why stop making sense, they question in the trailer. Why the big suit and where do the odd movements come from, they question next. These questions remained unanswered…. Same as it ever was, same as it ever was ……….
I interpret Stop Making Sense as a counter reaction on laissez-faire capitalism and young urban professionalism that also rooted in the earlier eighties and finally festered it’s way deep into the 21th century. Talking Heads could have a totally different motive in mind, I don’t really know.
In hindsight we could say that the sense making has actually stopped in many divisions.
Set aside rising economics for the well of, there is no proper logic, no clear line, no confirmation that we made some real sense the past decades. With big future questions laid out for us it might be a good idea to make some sense again, if only a little.
verbal no 181
One white quill, remains of an earlier made paper template, and an average, babies suffocation warning, cut from an plastic wrapping on a plastic demolition waste disposal bag on a wooden frame
The sun, a warm and loyal supportive lifeline, greets us every day in the east and salutes us goodnight in the west. She casts her beautiful rays of light over our wastelands. She makes no distinction, she lights up everyone and everything. It’s equal to her. In her light, an apple tree just grows apples and a bee just vitalizes, for free. It’s what they do and they are not very ambitious or vain about it. You don’t hear them bragging about how their system supports all the others. Leave the bragging to us. Ever since we entered paradise, we refurbished it a bit, ripped some stuff away, built some big phalluses on top, killed some, maimed and raped here and there, invented unbridled capitalism, exploited everything we could get our hands on and along the way, we did some good stuff too. In all the hassle we forgot to tidy up. That’s why this place is getting rather messy. We are now looking for a new affordable planet. It’s a pity the prices had gone through the roof
A found red plastic Scapino bag and white acrylic paint on a wooden frame.
Scape is a non-word, it only gets meaning in combination with other words or characters, like landscape, a wide scenery of vast plains and wuthering heights filled with natural or manmade objects. A place we can e scape from or to, a scenery with spacious green fields where our scapegoats graze.
Scape-goats shoulder next to wool, blame. It is remarkable that we have invented a common notion for blaming an (in)significant other. This is probably rooted in the biblical fear that honesty leads to punishment combined with a need for some kind of justice. A certain someone has to suffer the consequences for the deeds of another to ease the public conscience. The scapegoat is a heavy symbolic but empty vessel when it comes to righteousness. If we are truly seeking for better ways it probably starts by pinning things on ourselves.
Plastic Jumbo grocery bag and yellow acrylic paint on a wooden frame.
Um, sometimes you feel just lost
Do (Not) Disturb,
A white no en black yes door sign from Apple Park Hotel Maastricht, gesso and black and white acrylic on a worn and washed grey male t-shirt on a wooden frame.
What is disturbance, when is distraction disturbance and when is disturbance distraction? There is a thin line between distraction and disturbance. It is how we interpret and value interventions. It differs in what we think we choose and what we try to avoid. There are many evident and obvious settings where we can find ourselves, like in hotel rooms.
” Yes, I do want my laundry picked up and my bed straightened but not while I am still in it, so, do not disturb”.
Less evident is it when it comes to the continuous flood of online traffic that preys for our attention every day. As an artist I am extra aware of this distraction that can easily shift from a nice distraction or inspiration to mental noise at times. It is my aim to keep most of my brain capacity open and free to keep some space for new ideas. It is a true challenge to keep the clutter out. I kind of succeeded by being selective in what I allow to interfere and what not.
After all, even if we are under siege by social media and commercial big data, we are still in charge of our own choices. Or, do we?.
Ring a Bell,
verbal no 177
Red arrow and word from magazine ad, found blue carton Cornetto ice-cream cap and a plastic product wrapping with warnings and price tags still on, on a wooden frame.
A bell that’s ringing is a signal that you have to take action in some direction. Open a door, check your appointments, check your messages, answer the phone, hide under a table, run away, get heroic, call the police, pray or wake up!. This is all depending on the kind of bell that’s ringing. For quite a while I am, like so many, alarmed by all the big challenges that lie ahead of us as a result of everything that lies behind us. Plastic pollution, climate change, insect, extinction and soil depletion, are just a few issues in a long ‘to fix before the apocalypse’ list. The optimist in me believes that we are coming to senses and are able to change direction, in time. The pessimist sees also a reluctant rigidness, how we cling to what we are used to, and that comforts us, now. I only hope this ‘ring’ won’t get lost in the many rings that are pressed for our attention.
As Good As Real,
verbal no 176
A black plastic package of (?) cut plastic bag and blackboard paint on white plastic tarpaulin on a wooden frame.
What is reality anyway? One minute you experience a big or small real life event, next minute it is a bygone era that only exists inside your head (and maybe heart) or on your camera. Years later all memories are polluted with nostalgia, a few centuries later no one really cares if you were present at the time even if the event was interesting enough to remember. The reality or truth is often violated in the past, as it is still twisted today, and will be bent tomorrow. In the 21th century reality became fluid and elusive. Next to lying politicians and crooked corporate captains of industries our world of reality will be tested on every level by numerous deep fakes, fake news, filters, cat fishing, virtual and augmented realities and all that is yet to come. I agree, It is a technical sensation and an exciting box of Pandora, but still….
We all know there is no such thing as just one reality but despite all the offered ‘almost or better then real’ substitutes, the search for it remains vital. More than ever, or equal than ever I guess.
A Twine, two found plastic items, one red, one black, transfer characters, black and white paint on a terry fitted sheet on a wooden frame.
There are various ways to determine human nature. The obvious one is the nature within us humans. It’s what we are made of, the wood we are carved from.
Man, the willing spirit and the weak flesh. Man, capable of making music, art, poetry and theatre. Man, sprout brilliant thoughts and philosophic concepts. Man shows mercy and engagement. But does all the opposite at the same time. We are in fact a barrel of contradictions.
The other human nature holds the same dualism. That is the nature we try to subject to our will. We evolved into a mammal that needs artificial surroundings to survive. The paradox is that we are so successful at it that our surroundings itself might not survive us.Human
Get A Grip,
Slowly decaying but odourless yellow pepper in vacuum sachet in plastic food container and cut text on a product wrapping foil with health warning instructions on a wooden frame.
Currently I am reading the Atlas of World History. I am totally intrigued by it. History accommodated by legends and maps. What this atlas nicely visualizes in a nutshell is that many great powers had come and gone, and many borderlines were endlessly drawn and shifted here and there, bloodshed and disease were to the order of the day. Nowadays it is relatively calm, war-and border swapping wise but in essence not much has changed. Still, what has changed is that everyday western people do not believe in resignation and submission anymore. We want to be fully in charge of our lives and careers. It has been a while since disrupted forces descended upon us on a great scale. Maybe we lost, to a certain extent, the ability to deal with insecurity. We try to constrain and restrain the incontrollable as much as we can to get a grip and reclaim our sole right to determine which way we are moving. Truth is, and Covid shows us again, that life is and never will be feasible. Even when we think it is.
Scooter number plate found on the Zwolle streets, two sockholders and yellow acrylic paint on a terry fitted sheet on a wooden frame.
I discovered that angels come by the numbers. Each and every number responds to a particular angel. Pick a random number and there is a designated angel with the same figure, followed by an explanation for what this specific digit has in store for you. For me, 470 was just a number on the loose before I realised there is no such thing as a meaningless number. I surfed the Google surfaces and dived deeper into 470 and I stumbled on the following Angelic declaration;
“This is a special sign from the heavens. It is an indicator that your angels and the Ascended Masters are trying to get in touch with you.
They have something important to say concerning your life. Actually, this number carries a coded message.
The divine realm is aware of the confusion you have found yourself in lately. Your divine guides are asking you not to worry.
This angelic sign indicates good luck. Your angels and the Ascended Masters are alerting you that you are born a winner.”
Somehow I feel addressed ( :
I like the idea of being surrounded by angels. They must be quite busy right now, saving the world and all.
Plastic red a4 tab for ring binder, two cut crosses of promotional bag of theatre Bellevue gained on the ‘Uitmarkt’ Amsterdam, cut characters and a picture of refugees from a magazine on fabric on a wooden frame.
When it comes to rules and conventions I always felt the urge to bend it a little here and there. Bend it in a civil disobedient way. My rules of engagement are simple; rule bending must take place in a respectful fashion, cannot be with foul intentions and must be a pure act of conviction. Crossing lines. For large groups of people this is unintended the way they walk the earth. Crossing lines endlessly, hoping to find a shelter, an asylum, a future. What is the difference that makes us legit and many of them elegit? What does history tell us?
A finger pointing pen painted white, blackboard paint and transfer characters on a used blue fabric shopping bag on a wooden frame.
The white pointy fingertip and the literal blank point are at point blank range of each other. Somehow, the description of a white dot ended up in the world of violence, shooting and killing or at best in the world of impolite and direct comments. I just wanted to point that out, at point blank!
Polystyrene, a plastic sack and a print of a self-portrait on paper in a wooden frame.
When I first saw the movie ‘The Truman Show’ I recognized this strange feeling of being part of a big play. In my particular case was the play filled with conventions and customs that felt somehow unnatural to me. It felt as if everybody read the script and believed in the narrative, but me. Truman, the protagonist in the film, played by Jim Carrey, discovers that his perfect world is staged and that he is living in a Hollywood façade. It turns out he is the key player of a reality show where everybody but him plays a scripted and paid role. His wife involves herself with constant product placing. TV producer and Truman’s spiritual father (a man behind a see-through paper moon) totally staged, broadcasted and exploited his naive life. Truman was not allowed to get out of this world because he was ‘the’ revenue model for this reality event. Luckily for him, in the end he escapes this so-called perfect cardboard world and he finds his autonomy and freedom. YouTube (2005) and instagram 2010 did not even exist in 1998, when the film was released. And we know now that this freaky concept of 24/7; public exploitation of entire private lives was not far-fetched at all.
Park In Son/Sun,
Crossword puzzles from newspaper, found part of license plate holder and cut words Park, Son, character U and fragile tape on paper on a wooden frame.
Crossword puzzles from newspaper, found part of license plate holder and cut words Park, Son, character U and fragile tape on paper on a wooden frame.
Dopamine is a messenger of the brain that allows the nervous system to communicate well when it comes to mobility, pleasure, attention, mood and motivation. Quit a list. When the dopamine receptors are disturbed the system gets confused with all kinds of unwanted consequences, like depression and Parkinson disease. In these cases dopamine-producing cells actually died and left the patient with nasty symptoms. There is also dopamine addiction and even overdosing. It is literally all in the mind. A dopamine-overdosed person would rather always park in (the) sun even when doctors would say: ‘park in, son.
Word cut from found Esprit bag, part of plastic bag from construction site and paper in and on a wooden frame
Esprit (Spirit) is an eclectic word. When a drunken man talks about spirits, he either talks about his liquor or the figments of his hallucinated mind. When it comes to music, singing gospel spirituals brings you into higher realms. According to some there is the one Holy Spirit. According to others we are surrounded by many spirits, a few dead ancestors amongst them. Some good, some are evil. You can act in the spirit of or get it. It is in many ways everything and nothing in one. Can’t box a spirit but you can have one. In the final chapter of your life your spirit will run free with your last breath. 21grams is what the human soul weighs according to a certain Dr.Duncan Macdougall, the inspiration for the eponymous movie 21grams. It is the one thing that defines us the most but where we never will get hold of entirely.
I think that is fascinating.
Found red white barrier tape, picture from the ‘Volkskrant’ of Haitian man from Port au Prince wearing a pink wig on a bike and transparent parts of plastic wrapping on a wooden frame.
In front of Queensland Australia in the Coral Sea lies the Great Barrier Reef, a breeding ground for marine life in all its facets. I have never been there and I will probably never see it in its optimal shape either. Neither will the next generations. As all corals it is rapidly disappearing and are deadly bleached by the virtue of human behaviour. Simultaneously precious marine life disappears, and finally with them washed out, life, as we know it. Another natural great barrier on the mainland is Mount Everest, Himalaya. Loved by adventurous climbers, thrill seekers and bucket list box tickers. Can’t really blame them, but why do we have this tendency to soil everything we love? For a few decades this majestic natural beacon is covered with human remains, left overs, varying from (apart from numerous dead bodies) mountains of trash, ripped pieces of tents, faeces and more. The great ‘Abode Of Snow’ is no longer unspoiled. Talking about barriers; the great social barriers proved not to be so erosive as their ‘world-wonder’ family. They remain firm and rooted throughout all thinkable social ladders. And unlike the Great Barrier Reef it will not rapidly disappear. How come we are not bothered?
Universal love and gender handkerchief from earlier art project Genderama on a wooden frame.
This hanky is a tiny detail from what supposed to become a giant LQBTH+ Pride dance installation, the Genderama. I Initially designed this proposition for an international open call for L.A. Pride 2016. I had two partners in crime: 19 Het Atelier architects for blueprints, solid calculations and technical support and Showdesign Sijmen Hoekstra for high class DJ equipment. No, we did not win but our Genderama scale model was exhibited in the Amsterdam Museum during Gay pride Amsterdam summer 2016. As much interest it has drawn in the pride community it proves to be too complex and too costly to build it just as a temporary statement of a universal state of being. But, never say never. We are still up for it!
Altijd op zoek naar het beste,
(Always searching for the best) verbal no 165
Part of found black rubber doormat, a found synthetic blue drop for promotional purposes and cut text from plastic grocery shopping bag (Super de Boer) and paper background in a wooden frame.
The phrase ‘Altijd op zoek naar het beste’ (Always searching for the best) is a contemporary slogan that holds instant discontent in it. Once we get hold of the best, a next window of opportunity opens swiftly. The art of seduction is to feed the desire and constant craving. Being content in this context could be looked upon as a lazy state of being. But according to Zen philosophy mind over matter is the highest state of being . It only takes real effort and practice to get there. I mean searching for that best is searching for a precious needle in an enormous haystack. This is why the Buddha figure probably is to be found as cheap accessories in many stores and households, a shortcut to enlightenment.
We Optimize You,
(I’ve Got Algorithm) verbal no 164
Cut text and picture of a serious looking eye from magazines, a found rubber ring and a luggage belt on an ‘Eye’ promotion poster obtained during the ‘Uitmarkt’ Amsterdam 2019 on a wooden frame.
Days can be viral; with never a sigh
Prepped to need what money can buy
Birds on the timelines sing their hyped analogue song
Why shouldn’t we tweet along?
I’m chipper all the day, happy with my lot
How do I get so optimized that way? Look at what I’ve got
I’ve got algorithm, I got cookies
I got my terms
Who could ask for anything more?
I got spontaneous ads, in the side banner of my mail
I got my data all over the place
Who could ask for anything more?
(Freely associated on I’ve Got Rhythm from George Gershwin)
verbal no 163
Metal figure created and used for a game I designed with colleague M. van Enk, in 2011, a metal ring of a bag and white acrylic paint on a used and broken umbrella on a wooden frame.
The metal female figure is inspired by the iconic Napalm girl and is used as a pun in a game that we first developed and designed for the 5th of may festival in Zwolle. This game was initially called Vlucht050511 but became Escape Route X. The general idea behind it was to enable the public to identify with a refugee by playing the game in its so-called shoes. As the player follows his or her route to the promised land he or she encounters all kinds of difficulties, real life difficulties. He or she gets confronted with all kinds of dilemma’s, real life dilemmas. Luckily this is only a game and hopefully it opened some eyes. But fact is that two soul reasons for seeking shelter elsewhere, besides political reasons, are inequality and climate change. In my perspective this is why all refugees are basically legit. Why should they have to suffer in poverty while we got it
Chain case and elastic band, painted white and Primark fashion label, painted black, found on the street, on worn black halter-top with blackboard paint finish on a wooden frame.
Murphy’s law dictates that anything that can go wrong will go wrong. Most of us are familiar with situations that somehow are ending up in a domino day of wrong turns and decisions. Halfway this process the resistance against it weakens and the surrender to failure sets in. As if a higher power takes over. Minimise the damage, and pick up the pieces. Murphy and chaos seem close friends; they almost never walk alone. At some point I tried to exile my chaos to a far corner of my consciousness. Then, the control freak takes over from time to time. It actually believes that the law can be bypassed. But Murphy always got the last word.
(Ripe) verbal 161
Cut word ‘belegen’ from belegen (ripe) cheese package, rubber ring both from the streets and a ring-shaped open lit from Bullet shaker and a transparent lit on cotton on a wooden frame.
Young is a promise; matureness is either a deception of broken dreams or a consolidation of created dreams. Cheese wise, matureness is actually more savoury and flavoured. Old cheese is for true Burgundies who appreciate an outspoken and unique cheese with a bite. Somehow I do see a parallel with aging, human wise. Given the fact that there is a lot to lose like; condition, good health, eyesight, hearing, hair, looks, velocity, virility, tight skin and so on. This is not a sexy list of lost qualities, hardly a recommendation. But then again it is not a matter of choice. One of the best features of growing old is the state of mind that increasingly becomes more independent and free. I believe that ‘belegen’ (ripe) in age can still hold many promises. The (or my) future will show whether it is just wishful thinking or reality
Smashed guitar by A.R.T., black wrapping paper with intriguing print, black shoelaces and the word Super + B from a plastic shopping bag on a wooden frame.
Excellent, impressive, splendid, that is superb! It might as well be just super, for all the good reasons. But somewhere along the line the B at the end is added to bring the already super, super to a higher level. Superb is not streetwise like super, it is more of a black tie-ish at a fancy restaurant drinking high priced wine, sort of thing.
Or is the B not added but eroded instead. Did it fall off in a dispute between Superman and Superb man? Is it swept away by the floods of lingual tides? We will never know. Maybe they are both still here.
Cover of an out-dated barcode book, plastic wrapping foil and cut characters from papers and magazines.
Neoliberalism is dead, dying or at least suffering a severe chronic disease. As far an ideology goes, neo liberalism is everything that idealism is not. The idea once was that the market itself would correct itself if it became corrupted. The reality is that no market corrects anything crooked within its own system; it only provides it with a good slogan. In the meanwhile it did his destructive works on nature, naturalness, uniqueness, creativity, bio diversity, social inequity, cohesion, fact finding, resources and so on.
Still, no one is ever forced to live and act the neo liberal dream, yet we all voluntarily jumped into this ‘there is no limit’, ‘get yours now’, state of mind. Did we confuse the concept of freedom with the freedom we think that our money can buy. We gradually shifted from just human to cons-human.
Communism failed, capitalism failed, their ugly baby ‘neoliberalism’ failed too. It is time for new dreams.
verbal no. 158
A copy of a portrait of me behind a porthole of a friend’s houseboat (±1998), half of a plastic food container, gaffer tapes white & black on a wooden frame.
A few years ago I joined an art contest. I responded to an open- art- call for the Lingewaard riverbanks. This is a green delta region in Gelderland, NL, then (2011) on the brink of redevelopment – to make space for rivers flow- to keep our future feet dry. They searched for art concepts that suited this region. My concept was called Hello Space. The leading idea was to create an intergalactic greet. The underlying motive was; to give future space travellers that were hovering above this area a warm welcome. I am positive a nice welcome softens any possible hostility. Another thought that founded this idea was that mankind, by the option of extra external life entering our world, probably united at once. In a blink of an eye we would all be the same, brothers and sisters, up against a new stranger in town. Skin colour would be the least of our problems. My concept finished in round two as nr. 8 out of 24. It did not see the light of day. So, don’t look at me, if the E.T.’s are a bit less friendly when they arrive at Lingewaard at some point.
verbal no 157
Cut text on cut ink stain on a wooden frame
Whether communication is successful depends a great deal on; excuse my French, ‘le ton qui fait la musique’. New communicational means require new rules. Communication, in black on white is less subtle and harder to interpret than spoken words that are underlined with mimic and expression. Innuendos, cursing and insults are seldom made face to face, it happens mostly under cover of darkness and anonymity. It is really a cowardly and sad thing to do. The Internet provides various types with both a perfect stage and hiding place. Recently I had the pleasure of receiving an anonymous comment in an acronym. It spelled W.T.F. vom, in reaction to a short video I made. I will survive this one intelligent comment, (what the fuck, vomit) of course. But it made me think about the commentator’s wasted time, he or she could actually produce something beneficial himself, and become less grumpy along the way. Lingo, it can be the cement that holds the bricks or the hurricane that rips everything apart. The choice of tongue is an individual one.
verbal no. 156
Paper moon (residue of earlier used stencil) cut text from newspaper and white acrylic on the remains of a blue worn out cotton shirt on a wooden frame.
Nihilism is a philosophical notion that is used to describe the denial of the existence of value or meaning. Nihil is Latin and means nothing. According to Nietzsche nihilism is defined by the fact that moral and truth are subjective (there is no truth), there is no God and history has no purpose and makes no sense. Nietzsche also stated that Christianity was the ultimate form of nihilism. That’s funny in this context. I think it can all be true. What in it self is a very nihilistic thing to say. Either nihilism can lead to modesty or ends up in hedonism. That knife cut both ways. I am not a nihilist, I consider myself more a realist. I try to see things as they really are. However it is the spiritual me that tries to strive at greater goals. I acknowledge that I do need to believe in something more spiritual than the naked need to survive here and now, but not in a God as such. In nihilistic moments I feel this delicate created glass floor under my feet breaking, weighing me down and pulling me under. So my need to believe in something is actually what keeps me going.
Los, vrij, makkelijk en echt,
(Loose, free, easy-going and real)
Plastic water bottles wrap found on the streets of Zwolle, a collage from magazine pictures and a wooden frame.
The title of this artwork is also the headline of an article from which I used the picture for this collage. It originated from ‘Donna’, a fairly dated magazine. Other than that, I have no idea what the article was about. Superficially it seems that lifestyle magazines keep proclaiming the same consistent messages throughout the years; how to become the better version of you. As collateral damage, simultaneously a small seed of immediate doubt is planted. According to the lifestyle prophecy a cool appearance and ditto accessories can help a lot against all kinds of small physical misfortune.
Be that as it may it costs blood, sweat and tears to appear Loose, free, easy-going and real
A plaster print cast from the bottom of a plastic container, a small plastic object and white acrylic paint on the remains of a ripped umbrella on a wooden frame.
Everyone who ever watched Sci Fi, movies and series knows that the cosmic traveller always returns to the floating home base, an artificial home away from home; the mother ship. A return to the ultimate mother ship of mother ships, planet earth, was not in question since traveling through the Milky Way is quite a long-winded endeavour. The narrative of space travel has changed over time. We dreamed, fantasised about, and feared encounters with other living organisms somewhere out there. Now, we can travel to Mars in the nearby future, for real. This time meeting Martians is not on the agenda.
Page from newspaper ad, green and off white elastic bands, and word elevate from small plastic Ziplock bag red piece of paper, a rubber lit of a preserving jar and small yellow object from the street, on a wooden frame.
In the Netherlands where I come from there is a decline in reading ability and skills. In schools we perform inadequately on spelling, grammar and on math too. Illiteracy is growing. It is a strange discrepancy and cohesion between fast technical and digital innovations versus a crumbling intellectual interest in slow knowledge. Low literacy in an increasingly complex world is still a social time bomb. Knowledge is power, reading and writing offers different perspectives and opens windows to our imagination and imagination is quite sane but vital to escape reality every now and then.
Plastic part of bicycle and half of a see-through xmas ball with black paint, a transfer zero and cut text on transparent part of broken micro-fibre resistant laundry bag.
George Orwell wrote a novel (1949) about a dystopian world to come, called 1984. Orwell drew a scary dot on a futuristic horizon and he was fed by the totalitarianism of his time, Hitler’s, Second World War and Stalin’s Soviet union. The imaginary, 1984, dictator, called Big Brother, intervened in every aspect of a human life. The most frightening of this type of totalitarian leadership was the complete control over the mind and thoughts of the individual.
We are far beyond the year 1984, but are we somehow living it? The 2021 totalitarian leader with absolute power is not one identifiable person; it is the one who collects your thoughts, desires and cravings. They are the ones that seduce you into a lifetime addiction on shiny devices. There is no need to dictate us as we already start dictating ourselves. We are held on a string, like puppets for profits. Along the way we tend to forget that we are in fact part of another nature than the one the web provides us with. 1984 is 2021, only now it’s voluntary and it is called progression.
Mini pink ‘Jeff Koons like’ dog, found on the street, painted black, blackboard paint and cut text on white acrylic foundation on found Wavin bag
I sympathize with most underdogs because I, myself, felt like one, every now and then. However, there is a broad variation of underdogs and underdog mind states. The underdog mind state can be false or true. The underdog claim can be just or unjust. But the absolute underdogs are the ones you will not hear of unless their textile factory crashed down on them.
If we take a deeper look down, to see what happens on the lowest staircases we will see that beneath every underdog lays another underdog.
Many greater wrong doings are the result of social imbalance. How can it exist that there is a causal connection between my good fortune and the misfortune of another?
Life Of Brian,
verbal no 150
White plastic caps of milk cartons, black metal caps of red wine bottles on white foam board in a wooden frame.
It has been a while since the Monty Python film Life Of Brian (1979) was a coffee corner topic. Great films can be seen over and over again. Life of Brian is one of those films. Although Monty Python thus Life Of Brian was all about absurdity and laughs, it holds a great truth in it. That truth is; people always seek leaders, messiahs and prophets, either good or false. As Brian in the film is, accidentally and against his own will, recognized as the Son of God, many others claim dubious leadership and get worshipped too? We see the strangest samples of abject and populist leadership rewarded with worship. I reckon this is a result of a constant state of confusion in a confusing world.
verbal no 149
Page from newspaper about ‘fake news’ and ‘viral madness’, found and cut text, printed like/ dislike thumb and white acrylic on a wooden frame.
Big Brother is not a myth. He is very much alive and amongst us. Some say he is an alien, hungry for information to send to his mother planet elsewhere. There is no proof of that. Or is there…
However, he most definitely has this alienated look, with his glassy gaze. And really, how much proof do we need?
The data monster, Big Brother, is very successful with us. We, the gullible believers, are feeding his hungry jaws daily with all our most personal affairs. The Brother loves our commitment. He loves it to the bone. It makes him and our suspicion grow bigger and bigger until it finally blows up on us!
So if you ever wonder where the powers to be homes…and who is the most influential of all……….
Have a nice day.
Against Better Judgement,
Metal parts of a conserving jar, a found metal ring with horn-like snags on top, white acrylic found and cut characters on a towelling fitted sheet on a wooden frame.
The things we do against better judgement are countless. The better judgement is obviously the boring goody two shoes next to sexy irrationality. But rationality often proves itself right again, again, again and again(st) better judgement.
Lifes Of Our Days,
A found plastic bag of ‘Lifestyle Home Collection’, blackboard paint, and handprint with red ink on paper and black transfer characters on a wooden frame.
An incorrect re-shuffle of Days Of Our Lives, a title of a soap series (1965) I have never seen. Thanks to Joey Tribbiani (Matt Le Blanc), from the series Friends (90ties) where he played an actor who plays dr. Drake Ramoray in the Days Of our Lives series, it got stored somewhere in my mind. I allowed myself a free approach to the word Lives. ‘Lives’ became ‘Lifes’, the non-correct plural of life, in my artwork. The bag I used spelled Lifestyle and as an intervention I blacked out the last 4 characters out resulting in lifes. Play the hand you’re dealt.
But what if we turn the incorrect title into a more philosophical direction. How many lives are remaining in our days? The days are infinite, but lives in it are diminishing as days go by…
Tomato, Tomato (Black Milk),
Two cans of juice, acrylic and blackboard paint and transfer characters on an old shower curtain on a wooden frame.
These two milk bottles visualize a strong contrast between black and white. The black colour in combination with the word milk ignited a little search on the Internet and I found a poem by Paul Celan (1948) called Deathfugue (Todesfuge) alias Black Milk, (Schwarze Milch). It is a poem about the Holocaust and the persecution of Jews. A few lines below to illustrate this poem (The original is in German):
“Black milk of daybreak we drink you at night
we drink you at midday Death is a master aus Deutschland we drink you at evening and morning we drink and we drink
this Death is ein Meister aus Deutschland his eye it is blue “
The band Massive Attack made a song called Black Milk, again a few lines:
“You’re not my eater, I’m not your food”
Underground Rapper, Curtis Eugene Cross has an alias ‘Black Milk’. Below a line from his song ‘Could It Be’:
“I don’t represent no colours, I represent my lil’ sisters and brothers”
These 3 samples that I found all has a different perspective but in general they have the same message: Do not load or condemn me for my appearance is different than yours
The inscriptions on the bottles are somehow fundamental. There is much variety and distinction in humankind but we are basically all the same. Our humanity shows in how we treat each other.
“No matter how black the cow, he still gives white milk”.
Would You Like Me Better If I Was A Selfie?,
Cut text from magazines, newspapers and packaging, pink tape, a printed ‘selfie’ on an old shower curtain on a wooden frame.
Hello I am Cat, Copycat for friends. You might find me in the receptacle of progression. I celebrate my uniqueness by looking and acting much the same as others. No, you don’t have to search too deep, I am right here below the surface of almost anything. I thank my parents and on some occasions my plastic surgeon for my magnificent appearance. I am pure poetry captured in an ever striving for perfection’ killer body, face and outfit of brand X. If I could sing, I would praise myself, a God given present to the world. Good to have you around, please like, subscribe and buy this product, which I personally endorse. I am so involved with myself; I simply do not have time left for things that actually do matter. In the light of eternity this might look strange, but today I’m truly the bomb. Fortunately not much is happening in the world. It is all swell. I am a phenomenon, the ambassador of emptiness. Look, this is me making a sexy duck face…………
Two postcards of Boomerang support card offered on a give away stand on the roadside, on towelling fitted sheet on a wooden frame.
We all haven’t been around much past year. Covid kept us close to home. This could be the perfect opportunity to explore the unbeaten tracks of your home and minds. Imagination travels far, beyond any border, any limitation and any restriction. The proverbial heavy suitcase is more of a burden then it is a comfort. But still it seems we like to carry weight even if it slows us down. I always choose adventure and life experience over assets and securities. I Treasure everything life provides me with. Even the dark sides gave insights that were of great value in hindsight. The only true things I cling to are my loved ones and my creativity. But, I am still a woman, so when I pack my holiday suitcase, no matter the size, it will be packed to the max and is often way too heavy. Otherwise I like to travel light.
verbal no. 143
Red ‘FNV union Action’ flag, found lingering in roadside bushes, white acrylic paint and paper stabilizer on a wooden frame.
To prepare ourselves for a sustainable or any future for that matter, we……bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla, economic growth, bla, bla bla bla bla, stakeholders interest, bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla, bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla, buying power, bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla, consumers needs, bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla, employment opportunities, bla bla bla bla, tax benefits or paradise, bla bla bla, healthy economy, bla bla bla, figures, bla bla bla, stock markets, AEX, bla bla bla, rates, bla bla bla, and many more excuses, bla bla bla…………………………ACT
The Holy Cow and the Steel Steed,
Found wheel rim, cut text, picture of Lady Liberty while she’s pinch her nose for bad smells on paper on a wooden frame
This is how I never got my drivers licence. When I was still 18 minus, my parents offered me a deal most youngsters cannot resist. The deal was simple; do not smoke before your 18th birthday.
It was my honest intention to not smoke but I seemed ill motivated. For one, I started an internship at a model agency in Amsterdam; this event really put me to the test. The ashtrays were piled up high on a daily basis and I was frequently offered a smoke for all kinds of social reasons. At first I did it out of politeness, but then I could not resist. I was 17 and boldly decided to come clear to my parents about this new habit, knowing this expensive gift was at stake. The consequence of this confession was, ‘no drivers licence’ for Marit. A remarkable thing came to light, I did not mind at all!! Up to now I remained driver-licenced and car-less and frankly, I couldn’t care less. In a world where the car reached the dubious status of a Holy Cow I hold on steady to my old Steel Steed instead. Besides, I also quit smoking, so I’m truly up to date with this zero emission thing going!
Ik Besef Dat Ik (N)iets Weet,
(the awareness of knowing nothing) verbal 141
Pink plastic, public library, bag with an Einstein quote, handed to me by colleague, Corine Aalvanger, tape, a reflector and white acrylic paint on a wooden frame.
It’s ironic that a great mind like Albert Einstein is convinced that the more he knew, the more he realized that he really knew nothing. Are these the words of a wise man?
If we review this in a contemporary way we see quality and poor quality, true and false information flooding our systems and minds. But do we really become any wiser? I think not. Research proved we are not capable of digesting an abundance of shallow, miscellaneous, chitchat and important information on a 24/7 basis and get in-depth insights at the same time. It’s simply too much. Except for a few sound bites, it just won’t stick.
Intelligence enables us to think in abstractions according to certain logic. It is the art of knowing how to interpret and use information. This is how knowledge is obtained.
According to Einstein, real knowledge makes us humble. If he were still alive today and afflicted with mainstream modern speech, his words could have sounded something like this?: “He-man, I do have an opinion too but to be honest, what do I really know”
Two pages from 80ties art magazine ‘DE RijksAkademie’, a black plastic half circle shaped thing, a fragment of a plastic wheel rim, a piece of paper and zinc white acrylic on a wooden frame.
The Arabic word Sahra means desert area. This is the mother word where ‘Sahara’ is derived from. During the Pleistocene era, Sahra was a green tropical region where early hunter-gatherers lived a good life. This was a breeding ground for the Homo Habilis and Homo Australopithecus. During the Stone Age the Homo sapiens emerged from Ethiopia. There were a broad variety of humanoids in the world but the sapiens proved to be the most successful. On the upside this means we all have African roots but on the downside it means that the sapiens was probably the most violent and (sexual) aggressive of all. All other homos disappeared or blended in where sapiens arrived. Even though years of civilization passed us by, we can still track long blood red lines from the present back to our early rise.
What has obviously changed is that we wear glasses, suits and smart apparatus. The hunter-gatherer became a shopaholic but mind you, underneath the savage, reptile-brained survivor is still lurking.
Raw Footage (my little footprint),
verbal no. 139
Black footprint of found (just one) Nike sneaker found at roadside in Zwolle, plastic Clover painted red and tape on 150gr paper on a wooden frame.
This one shoe lay at the roadside for a while before I decided to pick it up. It has been rained on, snowed on, fogged and sun-shined on. This shoe definitely faced the downside of shoe-life. After being adored for a while It was casted away and left for dead by his carrier. The cruelty and oddness of this situation lies in the assumed fact that his owner preferred walking on one shoe before wearing both shoes until they were both worn out. For whatever reason, this shoe had to go, it overstayed its welcome. I hesitated picking it up because it felt too personal and perhaps too smelly too but for art sake I did. Did you know that the word footage could mean both a film recording as it can mean the size of measurement in feet?
By the way, what’s the extent of your footprint?
PS: shoe is after art- usage gone to shoe heaven- God Rest His Sole)
verbal no. 138
Circle shaped carton board base from chocolate pyramid, 3 characters from plastic bag, two printed and cut black and white baby figures from own inspiration archive, acrylic paint; white titan and zinc on a re- usable shopping bag.
Once upon a time there were the Sex Pistols, a fruit sprung from Malcolm McLarens creative mind. In hindsight, Punk was not as much anarchy than it was a fashion statement (Vivienne Westwood). After front man Johnny Rotten left the Sex Pistols he started PIL (Public Image Ltd.) Punk was an answer to the dull and obedient middle-class culture. My brother was a punk and hit the local papers with the highest ‘straight up’ Mohawk of North Holland. Anyway, Punk was controversial and fashionable.
I suddenly detected a link with another unexpected theme; birth control. Being the Sex Pistols as we all are, reproducing like there is no tomorrow conform the biblical “go forth and multiply”. Result: too many of us and too little of the rest.. As evident as it seems, a pill is quite a handy asset, when it comes to reducing overpopulation. What I am about to say next won’t make me popular; ‘isn’t Less not more in this case too??’
verbal no. 137
Found bag of the Wavin Company, blueacrylic paint in shape of an additional comma and white acrylic line on towelling fitted sheet on a wooden frame.
The future of greeting lays in the hands of the almighty Covid 19 and her antidotes. There was always some confusion about social network kissing. We suffered a broad selection of kissing habits. Who and how to kiss that was the question. Choices had to be made for both the kisser as the kissed. Choices between the wet kiss, French kissing, and I do not mean, a French kiss (tongue) but the triple cheek kiss, the cautious ‘one’ conservative kiss or a distant, two-time air kiss (tennis kiss). This bewildering situation has ended; it is probably a relief for most people. But I must say I miss heartfelt kissing with my friends and family.
The handshake habit is also under siege for a while. As hands gained this dubious reputation of master spreaders. What’s left is elbow cuddling, an Asian Namaste greet or a simple hello. So I figured it would be best to upgrade the wave. There is this royal wave to keep some distance and remain friendly or the cheerful wave, with both arms and hands, wearing a big smile. There is a lot to express by wavin’. This might as well be the new hype. The new wave, wavin’.
verbal no. 136
A found plastic bag of Profile, Men’s fashion, white acrylic paint, cut text, cut and painted, black images of Silvio Berlusconi and a Playmobil toy character on a wooden frame.
What separates us from any other living organism is our ability to speak, create and think in a logical fashion, not only based on pure survival or breeding. We assume we are better thinkers. It is true that no animal is proven capable of writing novella’s or laws for that matter. Even a simple act of carpeting to improve a nest or hangout is not spent on animals, flowers and trees. Still, there is no plant, mammal, fish or insect in the world that would consider wrecking and plundering his own habitat or future feeding grounds like we do. It is not likely an oak sweating acid into the air so his baby branches and itself too would be polluted by their own emission after a while. For them, that would not be a wise thing to do in order to survive and sustain. How clever are we, profound men and women, if we favour short-term cravings before our children’s future? With all our intellect, do we really become anything more than provocateurs against nature? Profo (Provo) und men?
Blue postal envelope, a key and plastic wrapping foil with health warnings, tape and cut text on a wooden frame.
Free radical is a rebellious medical term for mutating cells that forms a serious threat for the corpus it homes in. These cells are corrupted and expanding at their convenience at the cost of the healthy ones. As long as it keeps growing it gains simultaneous power until finally it’s out of control. If nothing stops it. That is a free radical, not harmless at all.
I often wondered if there is a connection between this medical term and the term radicals we use on people with extreme thoughts and deeds. And if so, is a radical per definition free? Or is this all merely coincidence
Brown textile MODA shopping bag, blackboard and gold paint on a wooden frame.
In American hip-hop slang, Mo’ means more, as in Mo’ Money. At first this was the cry of the have not poets from the American hoods.
Some street poets eventually became famous, influential, million dollar merchants, still broadcasting this very Mo’ thing but this time as a neo liberal lifestyle sauced with this – so – desired but vanished street flavour.
For many they became the living proof and example of buying your way into respect and happiness. I am a big fan of old school hip-hop and rap because it felt honest, urgent, and totally un-adaptive. Besides, it made this great point about social inequality.
The more mainstream and ushered hip-hop got, the mo’ the narrative seemed narrowed into shallow money propaganda. This (and other things) combined with our perpetual, mo’ or less, 24/7 markets and the winner-takes-all-adagio we lived for while, it became a bling anthem of the masses.
The Woman Who Fell To Earth,
Lit of a weck jar, a plastic basis of a Ferrero Roche pyramid gift, cut text from magazine, printed falling female figure and white acrylic paint on a towelling fitted sheet on a wooden frame.
As a seasoned Bowie adept I have seen most of the films he acted in too. Not in the first place for his great acting talent, which was varying from time to time. No, just to enjoy watching this radiating beautiful personality who I had a bit of a crush on. The attraction was, next to his music, mostly his total unique approach on almost anything, combined with his unworldly appearance.
Filmmaker Nicolas Roeg, acknowledged probably the very same virtues. He asked him to play the lead role, as the humanoid Thomas Jerome Newton, in the movie The Man Who Fell To Earth. This ultra cool personage also featured the Bowie album cover Low and laid the foundation for his new alter ego called The Thin White Duke, yet again, a proof of his fluidness.
As all teens are alienated at some point, I often felt (and still feel) as if I was accidentally dropped here from another planet.
Cut carton box MADE, type-ex ribbon and an orange reflector on a wooden frame.
Cut carton box MADE, type-ex ribbon and an orange reflector on a wooden frame.
The character Alfred E. Neuman is the mascot of an American satire magazine MAD, founded in 1952. At the age of 6 to 10 years I turned to ‘Donald Duck’ magazine and the ‘Hitkrant’ for worldly inspiration. I must have laid eyes on MAD magazine once or twice. I cannot recollect if my older brother subscribed to it or that I accidentally came across it somewhere else. I was intrigued by the cartoon cover boy Neuman; I thought he was a bit repulsive. Nevertheless, this repulsive Neuman boy is kind of a cult figure. In 2018 the final issue was printed and sold but MAD proves still to be active on www.madmagzin.com.
‘Madhouse’ was a Minneapolis jazz-funk formation from the school of Prince. They say that madness and genius goes hand in hand. This side note has nothing to do with MAD magazine.
But to quote a few lines from a famous song by Seal; ‘we never gonna survive unless we get a little crazy”,
Cut text from a ceramic carton box packaging and newspaper on a classic dishcloth (given to me by colleague Corine Aalvanger), on a wooden frame.
What comes around goes around is the essence of karma. Action and consequence are always intertwined. According to the law of Karman karma does not make a distinction between wrong and right. It is a natural principle, not the verdict of a higher power. So each action will be replied, at some point, with a similar reaction. Subjects must value Karma in order to experience the consequences. If the consequences are not valued, there will be no consequences as result but then Nirvana waits. This means; you will not reincarnate and your spirit will be eternally quenched or set free, depending on how you look at it.
How does all this fit into modern western society? Who or where do we turn to if we suffer from indifference, a spiritual void or mental imbalance?? Cleankarma.nl?
Crescent moon shaped black rubbery object found on the streets, half of a transparent plastic Christmas ball with golden star, shared by the Creative Cooperation, Zwolle to all her atelier tenants, cut characters and white acrylic on BNA canvas bag on a wooden frame.
The past decades we had to be cautious with words regarding the Islam. Some violent Islamic radicals did not tolerate any criticism. Some violent physical attacks took place. The assaults 9-11, Theo van Gogh, Charlie Hebdo and Bataclan are deeply carved in our memory. This caused a lot of outrage and fear. Anti Islam politics became popular. Populist leaders made a quick scan in order to use these events for their own benefit. Contradictions were enlarged and Muslims became persona’s non-grata. Radicals, racist and extremist, regardless of their background, are not the finest examples of idealist people. We all want to be truly respected for what we believe, our customs, for who we are and what we look like.
I do not believe in a God, but I do believe in diplomacy and mutuality. Extremism regardless where it comes from is the only form of diversity we can truly reject.
Wannabe Weekend Warrior,
Cut text white and red paint on an army bag (original British army M37 haversack) from the First World War on a wooden frame.
Wannabe Weekend Warrior, the American news commentator Van Jones is the author of these words. He used these triple W words in his CNN comment to describe the angry mob that was violently storming the Capitol in Washington, on six January 2021. By using these words Van Jones he underlined that this was not your regular civil rights demonstration. He called it a homegrown terrorist attack.
It certainly looked that way, like a big nasty, accumulated, smelly and explosive fart from the festering underbelly of American society. It seems a distant problem but these so-called warriors are not just an American problem. They are everyone’s problem because they are everywhere.
Wannabe Weekend Warrior, it’s a spot on characterization and pure poetry. Are words in this deranged world still mightier than the sword? Let’s hope so. In that case art can save us!
Thank you Van Jones, this one’s for you!
Art 4 Breakfast,
Characters from plastic bag and newspaper, two wooden forks, one white accidental prefab stain with acrylic and paper on plastic coated canvas shopping bag.
Art colours the world we live in and broaden our general perception? For me it is vital. It’s the air that I breathe and the nourishing food for thought. It keeps my mind limber and open and it gives me a sense of purpose. I would not dare to imagine a world without art. When illusion dies I am sure we all die a little too.
There is a cult film called ‘Videodrome’ by David Cronenberg. It is supposed to be one of the most influential cult films of the 20th century. Why? Videodrome is an absurdist futuristic movie with an interesting outlook on technical progression. The storyline is about this certain and alternative truth that is offered to the people. This film questions how far we are willing to go to absorb or uncover this truth.
Internet and reality T.V. did not exist yet (1983). One of the main characters in the film, professor Brian o’Blivion (!?) stated that the T.V. screen is really the retina of the mind. He also raps about a new T.V. reality, one that is more real than our actual lives.
I wonder; to what extent we are influenced and how much our perception is bended by messages and images we receive every day, today. The 21th century will most likely give some kind of an answer on this media-mind-truth paradox.
Plastic (drugstore) Etos bag inside out, transfer characters + extra h and plastic toy goldfish in a small zip loc bag on a wooden frame.
Ethos, ἦθος, and ethics, are both rooted in ancient Greek civilization. Aristotle started using the word Ethos to describe the personality or character of a person. The word ethics arose later but is drawn from the same word. The difference between the two is that ethics refers to moral principles and guidelines of a society and as a discipline that handles the barrier between good and evil. Ethos can be seen as a personal characteristic that is somewhere in-between cautiousness and passion. This can be distinct by high morality and convincing leadership. Etos (the drugstore name), here on display, with an added h, shows how a word can be applied commercially to give a sense of instant righteousness. This is how commerce works. It offers an easy way out to all larger questions of life. I hold no grudge against the Etos drugstore whatsoever but it is far from real ethos and real ethics.
Found plastic bag by ZAZA and undefined found red plastic industrial tag of some kind on a wooden frame.
There is probably no word more popular and misused in western society than the word ZEN. Zen is a perfect example of cultural appropriation. No matter how hard we try, we will never come close to the Zen-ness of a Zen monk. Frankly, I do it too. It is not that I place Buddha’s all over the place nor do I burn sandalwood for good vibes or practice yoga. For me it is a desired mind state, a balance between focus and inner peace. How to get there is a whole different story. It is so easy to get over stimulated; there is so much extraction. My method to keep the calm sea inside is more or less to block stimuli that are not relevant in the moment. Inside my head is already an innate crowded house. When information overruns my Zen antenna my nerve centre shuts down and my mind wanders of.
Plastic bag from WE and reordered characters with characters from side 02 of the bag on a wooden frame.
Yes I am, ‘usually shy’ or used to be shy. I Learned to live with it over time and bent it into something acceptable. When I was young, I was more of a shy observer and a dreamer than anything else. Frankly I still lam but it is hopefully well concealed. I am also a self-taught go-getter and can and do person who communicates or learned to communicate.
At the end of the day, I much rather communicate with images than with words.
Not Rocket Science,
verbal no 123
Noodle bag ‘Mie Telor Asli Cap Atoom Bulan’, and crayon formulas on blackboard paint on an Action shopping bag on a wooden frame.
It is not rocket science is what is said when a person is not capable of answering a dead simple or obvious question, or to presume modesty after an achieved mission if one is over complimented. Same goes for someone who is in default with a simple task
Mie Telor Asli Cap Atoom Bulan noodles have a rocket or missile as a logo. Not sure what they mean by that, maybe that their noodles strike like a bomb. The noodles are good food but of all things, not rocket science.
verbal no 122
Two HEMA facemasks and a conversed Spinach product indication from a plastic wrapping on a wooden frame
Who would have guessed a year ago that we voluntarily would hide our faces behind a small piece of fabric in public spaces? Facial concealment is a controversial political item concerning Islamic face covering, the burka. It is remarkable how quickly we adjust ourselves to this look. The bigger underlying question is; does it keep us safe? Especially in my country, the Netherlands, this question caused a lot of rumour. As the Dutch are not known as the most obedient of all people it provoked much discussion.
In reality, the facemask might be more symbolic than its effective but the symbolic signal it gives keeps people aware of the situation.
I think in situations like this, like this worldwide epidemic, all the best helmsmen are often ashore. So, me not knowing much about viruses and all, like to believe in all experts and obedient follow these instructions,
What’s best? Nobody knows. In any case there is no harm in eating spinach. It is not contagious but it does grows biceps.
verbal no. 121
Carton cylinders of used tape, black and white acrylic paint on used and washed flannel bed cover on a wooden frame.
The composition of the carton cylinders made me think of the wing print of a nocturnal butterfly a.k.a. Heterocera alias moth. As the moth wears it on her open wings these circle shapes pretend to be eyes wide open. Staring back at any potential enemy. Mimicry is one of nature’s finest inventions. In comparison to us, we also communicate with our appearance, without words. We use shoulder padding to look broader, high heels make legs look longer, hoodies to add some street credibility. Human mimicry is one that depends on season, fashion, moods, occasions and sales.
verbal no. 120
Trump picture from newspaper, characters from a Vero Moda plastic bag on a canvas bag by de ‘Nederlandse Architecten Nu’ on a wooden frame.
‘It ain’t over until the fat lady sings the blues’. That is probably what Donald Trump thought when Biden was declared winner of the presidential election 2020. What happens when a lie grows so big there is obviously no return to the truth? I almost pity this egomaniac man, who’s hated and adored. Decorum is a thin line between acting civilized and acting ruthless and rude. In Trump’s case a sense of decorum was never really there in the first place. For his constituency his political incorrectness would be proof of his ability. But once the curtain dropped there seemed only one way out, with a relentless and big bang as a message to his electorate
’’ll be back’ said the Terminator over and over again in the eponymous movie. ‘I’ll be back’ said the fulminator that proved to be inerasable in his bad movie ‘the Dominator’. .I sure hope it is truly over and out.
Red plastic cover of salad or spread container, characters from newspaper and ‘dispolab’ bags, acrylic paint on ‘essential’ canvas shopping bag on a wooden frame.
Quarantine is a word that exhales the vibe of 2020. Just when the world turned in full speed 24/7, a pandemic disease turned up out of nowhere. (?!) Putting us in place and letting us know, we are still not God, nor is it our place to dictate nature. Nature still dictates us. Somehow that is comforting as I started to believe nature lost it already. It’s sad when we realize that the weakest among us are picking up the Covid bill. But unfortunately as it is, that seems the way of the world. It is more and painfully visible now. It’s closer to home. At best we discover our true solidarity and we seize the moment to learn from it. Not only for our own human benefits but also for the benefits of the equilibrium of this vulnerable organism, Gaia.
verbal no. 118
Characters of a Vero Moda shopping bag that was found on the streets of Zwolle, blackboard paint and gesso on a shower curtain on a wooden frame.
3 characters that are inseparable from the Latin greet AVE. This was introduced to me, at first, as a child, by the Asterix comic book series; in these brilliant funny Asterix stories Roman soldiers-greet one and other by lifting the right arm and hand high up. This physical greet was accompanied by the verbal AVE.
This arm salute made an unpleasant return in the 30ᵉ tees in the 20ᵉ century. The Nazi’s, big fans of classism, incorporated the great and bended Hail Caesar to their own fascistic Heil Hitler. The connection between fascism and classism was born then and there. Classism itself was not to blame here.
Today we see ultra right politicians flirting with classism, which is presented as nostalgia. If classism is the gilt-edged sham in which politicians adorn themselves, we’ve got all the right to be anxious.
There is another softer root to AVE and that is AVE Maria. There is no obvious harm in that.
I write this in the year 2020, it is almost Xmas, so I greet you. AVE.
Cheap But Costly,
verbal no. 117
€3-Pricetag of a special offer (found on a t-shirt bought in a second-hand shop, with label still attached) on wrapping foil with warning signs on a wooden frame.
I am a second-hand/vintage shopping enthusiast. Since my awareness of modern slavery in the fashion I try to cut down on shopping for new cloth. There is so much stuff circulating in the world that it would be a waste not using it twice. As for the €3, – price tag, I think it’s disregarding the hands who made it and probably it is quite an assault to the environment. I wonder if this commercial chain of cheap but costly products can ever be curved into something a more dignified and sustainable
verbal no. 116
Yellow bag, black plastic object and cut characters from magazines on wooden frame
If anyone should ask my advice about contemporary influencing or influencers, I would advise to get unfluenced A.S.A.P., master and guide and your own thoughts and acts. We are all under influence to a certain extent. You have to draw the line somewhere, especially when it comes to commercial influence. Always keep your critical ability awake. #Doyoufollowme
L’ Origine du Monde,
verbal no. 115
Small Lego cubes; part of a promotional gift and white acrylic paint on towelling fitted sheet on a wooden frame.
I borrowed the title L’ Origine du Monde from THE l’ Origine du Monde by Gustave Courbet- 1866. In Courbet’s painting the focus is immediately drawn to a woman’s crotch. An image that is quite straightforward and explicit. The origin of the world was captured very clearly in a special way. Everything starts with birth. Stars are born and die in the universe. Everything is stardust. While Courbet got life started as the fruit from the loins, I choose to unfold it along the lines of a handful of elemental particles. Al depending on how micro your scope is.
All Truth Is Crooked,
verbal no. 114, UFO 29
Various found black circle and ring shaped pieces of plastic of unidentified origin and an industrial label on plaster on a wooden frame
The title finds its roots in a Nietzsche quote, “ All Truth Is Crooked, Time Itself Is a Circle”. This is the second draft of this saying as Time Itself was already used in verbal 107. This time I connect it to the philosophical concept of the ‘Eternal return’ also known as the ‘Eternal recurrence’. Eternal return is a concept of the universe and states that anything in it reoccurs in the same shape in infinite numbers through time and space. This concept is found for the first time in Indian philosophy and in the 19th century Nietzsche connected it to some of his own concepts like the predestination of men that will repeat it in recurring situations over and over again. .
All truth Is Crooked, according to Nietzsche everything is subjective and although there is a truth it can be bent and could even become fraudulent.
This is a saying that proves to be very contemporary as we are living in an age of alternative facts and facts that are looked upon as opinions.
Under What Power,
verbal 113, UFO 28
Text from a legal guide by the Extinction Rebellion activists, two handles of a canvas shopper bag and a found black plastic object on part of a plastic bag on a wooden frame.
In fall 2019, I went to London with my beloved, keeping in mind that this might be the last uncomplicated trip to the UK before the Brexit. We had a wonderful time because London is a lot of fun. An unexpectedly funny highlight was an Extinction Rebellion event in Trafalgar Square that we accidentally ended up in. A colorful dancing gathering. One thing that struck me was how tight and well organized they were. They handed out handouts, for example, titledXR LEGAL INFO, to fellow activists and bystanders. From this booklet we learned what to ask if stopped by the police. That question reads; Under What Power is he authorized to do so and whether his arrest is lawful.
‘Under What Power’ became the title of this work because we all sometimes wonder under what philosophical or actual power we actually act.
The I of the Beholder,
Verbal no. 112
Text from newspapers or /and magazines and white acrylic paint on a used shower curtain with black and white strokes (still minimally visible) on a wooden frame.
‘Beauty is in the eye of the beholder’ is a lovely saying that states that real beauty is the energy that one radiates to others, the beholders. The beholders then will review a beautiful energy as a whole and complete person, including imperfections, without judging on superficial features. With the emergence of some social platforms, the I figure assumed an increasingly central role and the spectators became a self-affirming audience.
Or to quote the Hip hop formation De la Soul, ‘Me, Myself and I’.
My statement here on this canvas; ‘Where have I been all your life’, is completely in line with this mind state.
Verbal no. 111
Yellow card found on the roadside in Grote Voort- an industrial area in Zwolle, blackboard paint and plextol finish on a transparent plastic bag on a wooden frame
Leeg is Dutch for empty. It is a conspicuous bright yellow label I found in an industry area. It can be read as a statement: Hey, nothing to gain here, I am totally wasted, EMPTY, in capitals. I am so empty that there is no (for) filling me. This yellow card is probably used to indicate the state of the cargo space left or something refillable that needs fulfilling. But feel free to associate.
Aged Young People,
(verbal no. 110)
A stroke of dried gesso from the top of the gesso bucket, acrylic paint and cut characters on black garbage bag on a wooden frame.
Age is just a number. I turned 50 this year (2020) and I am still here and here to stay for a while. Not feeling really different. I still hope to be foremost judged on my ideas and deeds and less than on my age or sex. Being young means a promise, a clean canvas and a sea of time ahead. Being more mature, now I am preaching for the choir, can increase in depth thoughts, freedom, independence and more power to enforce actions the way you want it.
Conservative thinking, presumptions and rusty ideas are found in all ages.
Being a certain age is not really an achievement, it just is. Keep looking good, is. Getting older is young people’s destiny, with an uneasy outlook on inevitable death at the end, if they live to see the day. That’s life in a nutshell.
(verbal no. 109)
Characters S M A R T cut from a ripped Guppy friend no-waste washing bag on transparent plastic on a wooden frame.
The word smart really came in fashion by the arrival of smartphones; it stayed in fashion by the arrival of all kinds of other smart apparatuses that everybody wants. Everything around us is getting smarter while we are actually absorbing less useful data in our brains. That worries me; our heads are cluttered with all kinds of useless data and our memory and because we are still human, storage capacity is limited. The infinite access to wisdom is wired these days, and often not even wired. The speed of our knowledge is dependent on networks and cables. With the rise of new conspiracy theories that have the credibility of a badly written fairy tail, I seriously doubt whether mankind as a whole is gaining intellect. Or is it really declining and are our phones and other smart-stuff outsmarting us in the future?
(verbal no. 108)
A few pieces of undefined plastic objects on part of a ragged museum flag found in bushes after stormy weather approx. 10 years ago, flag out-dated so finally turned up in one of my artworks, on a wooden frame
The black pieces of plastic are both a bit boomerang shaped. Combined and placed in composition it has the resemblance of a snake rising up. A swift association brought me the Garden of Eden, paradise with the snake as cunning seducer. If not for him, everything would just be still perfect. Boring but perfect. Eden feeds an infinite desire. This desire lives amongst believers as amongst non-believers. The harsh reality of real life is often far from heavenly.
Time Itself Is a Circle,
(verbal no. 107)
3 plastic clean tissue cups, used on diner tables at ‘De Beren’ a Dutch restaurant chain, on a plastic wrapping foil on a wooden frame.
This title finds its roots in a Nietzsche quote, “ All Truth Is Crooked, Time Itself Is a Circle”. It is pure poetry and it has a real contemporary flair to it.
It proves that time itself is not only a circle, but, apart from its superficial appearances, fashions and customs, it never ever really changes on a meta level. Civilized as we may look, underneath the shiny surface the caveman still lurks. And what concerns “all truth is crooked”, that might as well could be an early notion of the alternative facts we know so well these days.
In addition to my words I found these following interpretations on this saying s on the Internet to explain the meaning of this saying,
1- Nietzsche was pointing out that everything is subjective. Truth exists but it can be bent, or made crooked, by increasing focus or decreasing it.
2- that you know the truth but you go in a circle figuring it out trying to find the meaning or the truth
3- Nietzsche was sharing his ignorance of the nature of ‘truth’ and ‘time’ by hypothesizing in a metaphoric manner open to many interpretations.
Losing My Religion,
Verbal no. 106 UFO 27
Wrapping paper, keychain label, an unidentified plastic object and transferable characters spelling G.O.D.
A few things are overlapping spontaneously in this piece of work. The title came in last but sums up the combination of objects and word wonder well.
I did borrow the title of this artwork from the band R.E.M. with their hit song; Losing My Religion. Personally, I never had a religion to lose. The key label in this artwork is addressed to GOD. Is GOD the owner, is it the key to paradise or is GOD here a key figure?
Give ‘Em Enough Rope And they ‘ll Hang Themselves,
Flexible rubber part of a thing and yellow paint on a plastic bag placed on a wooden frame.
The British writer Charlotte Brontë invented this saying. What it means according to her is maybe less interesting than how it can be interpreted. They’re a many interpretations to be found in several fields of interest. I do not define my association to you but that it is an intriguing one may be clear!
This is a Che Guevara portrait only with my face in it. This print was part of an art project Mind Your Steps, 2009. This project was a large, engaged, multidisciplinary and interactive project in the assignment of BFO (Festival of Liberation Overijssel) 2009. The underlying motive of this art project was to engage and embed the public in our installation about free thinkers and thinking.
Curious about this project: Check this link: https://www.maritotto.nl/2009-mind-your-steps/.
We created alter egos with our faces morphed into the faces of some iconic freethinkers as a logo for the project. Our slogan was; in everyone homes a freethinker and a hero. In real-life, we encounter many anti heroes who are too distracted by all the daily hassle.
But every now and then……..
Freedom comes with a price but is heroism on sale?
Langoustine a la Mode,
Found plastic lobster or plastic crayfish on a found plastic bag by Vero Moda on a wooden frame.
Lobster, hard shell and soft on the inside, often boiled alive, cracked as a walnut and then fiddled empty. Most live ones are grey or black; only the cooked ones are orange. Once I encountered a great Spiny Lobster while snorkelling. This is a giant lobster with feelers of a meter long. A magical experience, meeting a sea creature like this. In the past I used to fear creatures and crawlers of the deep but now I think it is fascinating. After being friendly with one of them it becomes much harder to imagine them on your plate. This plastic one is found on the streets of Zwolle.
Plastic propagator and transfer characters, gesso and black board paint on lace-curtain and wooden frame
The backside of the propagator reveals a great pattern. We see circle shapes connected as if they were atoms, molecules or something else scientifically that is connected. Perspective and imagination are everything. If we consider life holistic, everything is connected and is everything oxygen, carbon and water in shifting shape and composition. Stardust!. Where substance disappears, substance arises somewhere else. It is an incomprehensible, all embracing, divine system. On top of that we laid our own system. This system is modelled to our needs and demands. Where our matter appears, life vanishes elsewhere.
(verbal no. 101)
Found and cut text, gesso and white acrylic paint on a molton fitted sheet. On a wooden frame
For me, the word Unbehagen coincides with the punk phenomenon, Nina Hagen. Unbehagen was the title of her second album released in 1980. I was only 10 years old and freshly encountered Grease, which was in itself exciting enough at the time. But my 3 years older brother was or became a punk. He owned her first album called Nina Hagen Band (1979) and spinned it often and loudly. Funny enough Nina frequently switched turns with Johnny Cash.
She was a phenomenon in that time, raw and un-adapted while being classically schooled.
The word unbehagen- discomfort- was in this context a pun with her name in combination with the zeitgeist of the early 80s. Periods of un-comfort were interchanged with periods of comfort.
It appears that we are far beyond comfort by now.
Found undefined plastic objects and white acrylic paint on wrapping foam on a wooden frame.
The first 50 verbals were concluded with a big red dot, a period! The choice for the dot was to finalize a series that, so I thought, was somewhat finished. The period was a nice closure, but it was not even close to reality because I kept on finding strange plastic objects in the streets and it proved to be quite an inspiring activity I can hardly distance myself from. Now that I have reached 100, a few new ideas are already welling up, but this milestone is to mark the imaginary second finish line of Remains Of Today. The arrow already implies there is more to come
Found text from magazines and newspapers, a bamboo toothpaste spatula and acrylic paint on a part of a cotton tablecloth on a wooden frame.
A critical piece of text from ‘HP de Tijd’ magazine, an exhibition announcement from Metropolis M and a line of a text that I once wrote are the basis of this art piece. The self-made text, to place it in context, formed the principle of two text-based portraits that were titled ‘Sign Of The Times’. The text in full does not exist anymore so it gives a fragmented glance on how I reviewed the world back then (2011).
M stands for me, Marit. I am an artist whose work converges with her personality as such. That is a defined outcome of many years of being me, which is not a matter of choice in my opinion.
Rabbit bones, light blue plastic label from transport industries, transfer characters and red and white acrylic paint on brown wrapping paper and transparent plastic on a wooden frame
The rabbit bones came from my material archives. The rabbit as a whole was once found at a cemetery. This was no coincidence. I was working on a series of tribal (ancestral) masks and the rabbit bones were a necessity. Specimen or specimen X (as the bones spell) is referring to the urge of men to collect. We have museums and collections piled with stones, fossils and bones. After collecting comes determining, interpreting and establishing of what it was or where it came from. It becomes really exciting if the found remains cannot be classified…
Found characters from newspapers and magazines, a laughing gas shell and white and black paint on an old used army bag on a wooden frame.
I don’t know much about military operations. But as a novice on the subject I witnessed many operations, interventions and invasions on TV. Also me being a film enthusiast more than one war film passed me by, Apocalypse Now for example. I am almost convinced that I am a pacifist, but, although a cliché, still I get goosebumps from the word revolution or seeing an image of Che Guevara. War obviously fascinates. The battle of life and death, good and evil, defeat, victory and heroism appeals most likely to some kind of essence of life. Terms like Victor, Charley (or is it Charlie?) and Foxtrot is war rhetoric in my perspective. If I did not know any better it almost sounds cheerful and festive. An old Dutch army bag that I used for a long time and a bomb shaped laughing gas shell that I found on the streets of Zwolle were the triggers for this war themed artwork. And I did not even mention the war on Drugs.
Seal tape and part of film poster by Andrei Tarkovsky on a wooden frame.
Sacrifice is tightly interwoven with religious rituals. The Incas and Mayas were cruel masters when it came to ritual sacrifices. But modern religions still hold the sacrifice as an important gift to God or Allah. The Inca rituals were extremely cruel and the sacrificed extremely powerless. The performing priests were always saved from harm for they held the power. As much as I believe that religious institutes, both modern and ancient, use this tool to manage and operate their disciples, a small part of me also believes that a little sacrifice has some kind of value.
I underline little sacrifice!
Parts of found unidentified black plastic objects, combined, a plastic fish shaped soy sauce container and white and black acrylic paint on remains of cotton tablecloth on a wooden frame.
Shooting fish in a barrel is an English expression. It is often used as a cheerful remark to specify that the task ahead is a real easy one. It is not related to aggression at all. The visualised gun with found plastic parts looks more aggressive. I was kind of shocked by the superficial resemblance to a real gun. What does the image of the gun actually represent? The shape was purely coincidental and I simply could not resist it. The title is meant to soften the blow a bit and offers a different perspective than the one you probably initially had. Besides, sex and violence sells. Right?
Like Nina Said,
Found characters from magazine and newspaper and acrylic on cotton curtain on a wooden frame
These lines: ‘How can you be an artist and not reflect time’ are originally from Jazz singer and phenomenon, Nina Simone. She spoke these words to explain why her songs were so ethically engaged. She defined herself as an activist singer or a singer who happened to be an activist. Her personality, stage persona and profession were intertwined. I dig this completely for I am an artist too, a visual artist that cannot prevent any current worldly affairs ending up in her artworks. Not because I choose to, but because I am what I create and what I create breathes the world I live in.
Peace Loving Animal,
Part of a found wheel rim, found metal keychain in lizard or gecko shape and acrylic paint on worn out male pyjama slacks with green army print on a wooden frame.
I was born in the seventies. Totally unaware I was born in the coolest decade and I was definitely too small and insignificant to fully appreciate it. Nevertheless, I always sense this inexhaustible, somewhat naïve hippie girl inside. She is tenacious in holding on to the concept of a better world in the making. When proven yet again that this, ‘you may say I am a dreamer’, idea seems out-dated or maybe never existed at all, disbelief and a little despair follow.
Still, I can’t help but hope rather than believe in a better world. So, You may say I am a dreamer, but I am almost sure that I am not the only one.
Venus Meets Mars,
Found unidentified small black plastic objects and white acrylic paint on remains of commercial flag-fabric.
Men are from Mars and women come from Venus. This phrase gives a reasonable explanation for the differences between the sexes. I consider myself a modern woman. I do like to play chess on the, so called, manly chessboard. It’s not that like pretending I’m King, but the role of libero Queen suits me just fine. Even as a young girl I hated the idea that only certain determined roles were laid out for me. My parents did not push me in that direction, but society as a whole can be very role enforcing. When I became an artist that stereotyping seemed solved. Almost…
A feminine art collective called Gorilla Girls (1985) were addressing feminine issues in the world of art. They made ironic and humorous comments and statements that unfortunately are still relevant today. For instance: “The Advantages Of Being a Woman Artist”, and then they listed all non-benefits of being one. This statement is on my studio wall. To inspire!
Used brush and black gaffer tape on remains of cotton cheesecloth on wooden frame.
This specific brush had been used for many years until one day I accidently left it drenched in black paint. The rigid brush I found the next day became useless for its purpose. Now, unable to help me create, it evolved to an artwork itself. It draws a black line, made of gaffer tape, posing as a brush stroke and lives on in the second term of its existence.
Ze Is Gebruikt,
Part of world map, a plastic bag and white acrylic paint on wooden frame.
Earlier I used another part of the same world map in verbal 77, titled ‘The World’. The words supporting this artwork mostly described a tomcat that ripped the map to pieces, bit by bit. Based on a true story. This verbal is more poetic and sad at the same time. Also based on a true story. This is a story about a beautiful blue planet. A planet that houses many living creatures that has no other planet to go to. This planet is facing serious challenges. Nevertheless, it keeps on glowing and gives us its best. But its heavenly body is cracking and its skin is bursting. It is used and is in need of good care.
Used character template on black garbage bag on a wooden frame.
We have got character and we express ourselves with characters. The one on display here is called the Roman or Latin script. This script was widely spread thanks to the Roman Empire. In one of my other lives I designed some characters professionally. A larger font publisher in Hamburg published it for me. For inspiration I glanced at other scripts than the Roman and I created some crossover typefaces. One of them is Beyond Babylon, a perfect mix between Latin and Arabic scripts. Still according to our alphabet, but with special Arabic shapes and features. Representing my vision of a future society. A community that is mixing and matching cultures and habits, that is getting the best of all worlds, and is moving slowly towards world peace if possible at all.
Medicine 4 All,
Oral medicine, eyedroppers and paper cut text on former- semi-transparent washing bag on a wooden frame.
Public health care is a great challenge.
Population and welfare are increasing and alongside their designated welfare diseases are growing. Having these physical health challenges and people growing older and older, makes healthcare in the western world almost impossible to keep accessible for everyone free of charge. In the meantime our insurance bills get higher and higher, and the pharma industry is turning into a ruthless gold digger. In this globalised world, those who really lack welfare pay the grand prize for this development. They often do not even have access to good healthcare.
There seems to be no cure for this social imbalance
Tensed & Stretched,
Rubber band strapped on wooden frame.
Warning: this artwork might shift in appearance.
The human mind is like an elastic band. It is flexible and can be stretched to a certain extent.
This artwork is made of many elastic bands in various sizes. They are made to be tensile, but once they are stretched to the max for a longer period of time, they will not hold and just like the human mind, they will SNAP! This is my message to the potential buyer of this artwork:
Dear-future owner; this square illusion of the extendable mind needs some maintenance.
This is why this artwork comes with an extra bag of back-up rubber bands in various sizes and colours. Take good care, if it snaps, fix it, but don’t fix it, if it’s not broken
Characters from HP magazine and found undefined plastic objects found at the Rieteweg, Zwolle, on towelling fitted sheet on a wooden frame.
Ok, two characters that indicate what state you are in. I did some etymological research into this widespread little word with its extensive meaning. In contrast to what I always believed, the word, or should I say abbreviation, has many fathers and mothers.
According to Wikipedia only, there are 8 possible sources. I will take you through the 8 sources in a nutshell;
All Correct (1839 Boston Morning Post), Old Kinderhook (1840- birthplace Martin van Buren (president V.S used in re-election), Ola Kala, Greek for All Right. Au Quai (On Quai- Used in New Orleans), Wa Kee, introduced in North America by African Slaves, Oskar Karlson, 1910 gave his approval to the new T Ford by his initials and finally OK, a war term where the O has to be read as 0- and the K for killings – zero killings- So, Ok summarizes a large part of our history, I think that’s quite Ok, Oké, Okay, Hunky Dory, eh…….
Plastic bag of fashion brand, stains of paint and found unidentified label-like objects on wooden frame.
Faux pas is French for an indiscretion. It clings to our vocabulary like many other words even vocabulary. Napoleon’s reputation is disputable, but he really gave a lot of languages a bit of ‘je ne sais quoi’. A faux pas is frequently used in the fashion-world to describe a person who’s on a slippery road when it comes to style. When I think of a fashion faux pas, my memory takes me back to my father’s eighties Jesus sandals. In summertime those sandals were preferably worn with way too high pulled up goat wool socks. As kids we thought of it as funny, but definitely not stylish.
A few years ago, the Adilette slipper worn with high up white tennis-socks suddenly became fashionable. Still ugly as hell, but totally in vogue with young hip hop loving males. It somehow proves that ‘in fashion’ is definitely not the same as stylish.
Voile, veil, black acrylic paint and picture from a magazine on wooden frame
This is a cheerful wink to Vicky Vale, the journalist and flirt of Bruce Wayne in Batman. Introduced for the first time in 1948. There she was, a journalist, a working girl, not a common phenomenon in the forties. Anyway, her presence was more or less pleaded for by her function, but in reality her looks were the main attraction, which was quite normal then. Throughout time she evolved more and more into an independent, self-conscious woman who admittedly stood beside Bruce Wayne, but stood her own ground too. Being a woman (speaking for myself) can be a complex occupation conciddering there are so many aspects of our being that can be displayed. What I do like about my time and place in the world, is the fact that being a woman can involve much more than just a nice exterior, we can contribute our intelligence too. I get the goosebumps when I realize that this is relatively new and far from being accepted everywhere.
Blue pedal bin sack (complete) and plastic toilet seal (?!) on a wooden frame.
Covid dominated the headlines of every newspaper for months, not very inspiring, but a given fact. It was a compelling situation that made the impossible possible. Co² emission was reduced to such an extent that the sky above Beijing turned blue again. Did Covid emerge as an angel of vengeance?
Is it Mother Nature fighting back and showing us, that despite our technological progress, she will have the last word?
‘Zin Om Nog Drie Keer Rond De Maan Te Gaan’, (I am craving 3 more trips around the moon)
Found text/words and a trace of earlier used template on the remains of a used and washed cotton sheet.
The text emerged from a page in HP magazine.
By cutting and reordering the words this scentence occurred. Coincidentally a nice fantasy or promise lies before us. The moon is magical and mysterious. It influences a range of earthly phenomena and is just as easily connected to witchcraft and werewolves as to success and love. Furthermore it is a great inspiration for the arts.
Frank Sinatra crooned for example;
“Fly me to the moon
Let me play among the stars
And let me see what spring is like
On a-Jupiter and Mars”
From these lines you can clearly read that the journey to the moon and the stars symbolises temptation and seduction. In 2013 I named a painting after this song, but my association shifted to escapism and longing.
So here the moon and the stars equal reaching the better, best or highest achievable goals.
Actually, 3 times in this case.
Used and broken, more than 30-year old, wooden cooking spatula from own kitchen, black shoelaces and white acrylic on used and washed shower curtain on a wooden frame.
The English language is rich when it comes to sayings and metaphors. ‘What’s cooking’ actually means ‘what’s up’. Cooking and brewing are in the same proverbial lingual corner when it comes to plotting, creating and debating. As for cooking, there is always the risk of overheating if the heat source is not controlled in time. Metaphorically overheated situations are easily prevented if steam blown off in order to cool down.
Numbers from an old number apparatus owned by the Dutch postal service PTT, characters from magazines and newspapers on paper and plastic support on a wooden frame.
Nobody wants to be a number, nevertheless we are all numbers in statistics, in systems, in login codes, in queues, at the dentist, hospital, insurance company, doctor, restaurants, hotels, in likes, stadiums, protest marches, death rates, birth-rates, population-rates, victim-rates, indexes, interest, market value, researches, data, birthdates, house, phone, passport, member and bank numbers. Still, we don’t like to be treated as one. Well, pick a number!
Sealed Do Not Remove Front,
Red seal strip for unknown purpose, yellow cardboard (inside product wrapping box) and green plastic bag of Fashion brand Only, on a wooden frame.
I am trying to ban plastic from my life more and more for good and urgent reasons. It is not a simple task as most things are wrapped and boxed in plastic. My own inevitable plastic remains end up in a Plastic Hero recycle container. While these plastic heroes are to be found everywhere, our streets and our nature are still flocked with plastic trash. The small particles of micro plastics that float in our seas are slowly poisoning our fish, our sea birds are dying of plastic filled stomachs, and turtles and other sea creatures are suffocating from it. In time it will affect humans too.
Feathers and Fuss,
3 feathers and 1 ‘Stop Micro Waste’ label of a laundry bag, and white acrylic paint on residue of laundry bag on wooden frame.
Fuss and Feathers is an English saying meaning needles commotion and display.
No fuss and no feathers.
There are numerous egos, situations, etiquettes and discussions filled with fuss and feather. It really is a smokescreen that clutters our view on the actual situation. On the other hand, I like a bit of fuss and feathers in the theatre, on the stage, in music and in film. I’d rather see a larger than life glamming and glittering rocking guitar wizard than a boy or girl next door holding a mike. I want to be astonished.
In case of the ‘Stop Micro Waste label’, that tries to address us in alarming words, I believe a bit more feathers and fuss would be useful in order to draw everyone’s attention.
The World (is my Oyster),
Part of world map and transparent plastic lid with straw opening found at Rieteweg area and fragile tape on a wooden frame
For years, this world map was pinned on my bedroom wall. Drawing pins marked the places I’ve visited. Babysitting a friend’s huge tomcat called Streepje (Dashes) made an end to this special wall feature. He had this particular way of telling me he wanted his breakfast. He took the outskirt, the loose end of the wallpaper and tapped it for a while in an annoying rhythm. If that proved to be non-sufficient, he started ripping it apart, gently, bit-by-bit and piece-by-piece. An awful sound of tearing paper followed as the cat was convinced that my paper world was his proverbial oyster. After a while I took the remains of what once was a map of the world and filed it, until now because it fits perfectly into my Remains Of Today project.
Cart box duo (orange) apple container and characters on remains of tablecloth on a wooden frame
The 21th century is the age of new rituals. Rituals seem necessary in an individualistic society. Due to disappearing traditions, rituals are even more necessary than ever. To demonstrate your membership to a certain group or philosophy we conduct the same rituals. It seems comforting knowing you’re never really alone. Now, with access to the whole world, our identities are literary far apart. I think, the more unknown the other really is, the more unattached the rituals become. Take Facebook challenges for instance, there are many that completely surrender to all kind off challenges and then there are others, like me, who think it is total bullocks. It makes me question this; do rituals make sense if the underlying structure is not solid or lacking real personal connection? Or is the yearning for new rituals prompted by a cultural void that originated elsewhere?
Paper cut from magazine and synthetic textile print from leftover materials of an earlier project, red shoelace and acrylic paint on old flag on a wooden frame.
Everyone is part of a new age in his own era.
The new agers of now are the elderly people of tomorrow. Like any product or fashion trend, that once was happening and groovy, will inevitably be caught up and passed by a newer age. What’s left behind is yesterday’s news.
That is such a great misconception.
Like sediment is needed for seeds to germinate, history or yesterdays are needed to renew. Time is elusive and only really exists for the ones living it. The old Romans or even the cavemen were contemporary once. Even though the word, contemporary, did not existed back then. What I am trying to say is this; the newest new is often superficial, dogmatic and temporary. Should the principle of any change not be a genuine improvement instead of being contemporary, parse? Can a contemporary development be criticized in its own time without being labelled old fashioned?
Spying On Us Too,
Found text on black and white acrylic paint on cotton tablecloth on a wooden frame.
Thanks to the digital revolution espionage has become common practice. An equal amount of widely shared data does not equal equality. The word common denominator is more appropriate. The World Wide Web of intrigues and suspicion is infinite. Who is in control, and who knows what about whom? Knowledge is power. In the Dutch language we use the phrase ‘from swapping comes crying’ comes. We have already swapped our data for unlimited access and use.
Someone out there is currently weeping softly. Maybe it’s me.
Time is Honey,
Small cardboard card with lines ‘Time is Honey’ on red and yellow acrylic paint and processed solidified yellow acrylic paint on flag fabric on a wooden frame.
OK, this is a serious matter. The existence of bees and other insects are at stake. We are killing them softly by poisoning their habitat and by terminating them in places we find them annoying. Impeccable and ‘clean’ as mankind thinks it is, we decide whatever is of value, what is useful and what is vermin, what is flora and what is weed? We target certain animals, insects and flowers as persona non-grata. What a strange world this is. I am not religious but isn’t every living creature divine? In our desire to control the unwanted we make everything disappear.
If nature was God, I am positive that we would be on top of the list of the unwanted vermin. Luckily for us, they say that God is dead, exterminated perhaps?
Undefined Found plastic Object found in
Russenweg area, Zwolle, black & white acrylic paint on flag fabric on a wooden frame.
These strange square objects with round bulbs, two characters C and K are found in the surroundings of the truck factory Scania at the Russenweg in Zwolle. No clue what it might be or whatever application it could have. CK, Calvin Klein, is far-fetched at the Russenweg, so it is unlikely to be a fashion statement by a Polish trucker that’s for sure.
I associated these structured balls with parliament where the members of the house are neatly divided, row by row, to interrogate the ruling party. A counter idea is needed if you want to oppose. The opposition will make itself heard, even about corresponding ideas, just to contrast the other party. The aim here is to organise contradiction. This is called democracy. Often opposition is used as direct propaganda for the own party. This is called profiling. Politics can be weird.
Plastic bag, and the word present printed on a yellow card on a wooden frame.
Present, meaning being there as a person, but also the present as in the here and now and to present to an audience as well as a gift, a quadruple meaning of a word. Present or presence, the actual being there, is the most mysterious of all. The word is often used to describe something felt or believed to be present, like an It, in films. The illusive presence of something is a well-known phenomenon in the horror, thriller genre. But to paraphrase Shakespeare; the simplest to be or not to be, is the essence of all or nothing at all, simplicity as pure poetry.
(Hard to) Handle,
Part of felt-wine-bag, painted black, few recycle logos extracted from plastic bags and white acrylic paint on black garbage back on a wooden frame.
The residual shape that emerged when the black item collided with the white painted surface of the black bag has a slight resemblance with some kind of a handle. All objects in my verbal artworks are accidental and random. All stories behind them are as associative, spontaneous and as arbitrary as the items themselves. Although; to make it appear intended and to give it some kind of meaning free association is a must. This actually touches on some truth about art itself. Most artworks are created in a flow and are given titles and meaning in hindsight. And that’s totally legit. The other way around would be harder to handle.
Nurture Nature > Future?,
3 pacifiers, black gaff tape, white power tape and painters tape and black and white acrylic on a cotton tablecloth.
What is nature and what is nurture? A whole science is build around this question with only one purpose; understanding human behaviour. What is DNA-wise already in the recipe and what is taught behaviour. Interesting. Phrases like ‘I cannot change me’, ‘I’ve always been this way’ or ‘I do not know any better’ are often heard excuses. I dare to doubt these excuses. I’d rather believe we can shape ourselves untill a certain extent.
One of my favourite Nietzsche quotes is; “be your own master and designer”. It implies that you can create your own personality given your basic Maslow needs are fulfilled. In order to shape yourself, it is necessary to develop your own internal compass. A conscious compass and love go a long way. Group dynamics often stand perpendicular on this personal compass development so you are probably better off relating to a group as an individual than to extract your identity from it.
Text from newspaper, acrylic and tape on cotton tablecloth on a wooden frame
If I think about the words black and white, in non-artistic terms, the word polarisation comes to mind. The black and white hypotheses often gives false arguments and has a lack of nuance to soften the rough edges even though it’s appealing to a large group of people. It pretends to give direction and clarity, but in a complex society with complex questions black and white really does not exist. It only exists in the extremes. Most things are, as far as they are coloured, grey before anything else.
Grey comes in numerous shades and demands a closer look and ear. There are no simple answers to complicated questions; at best there are complicated answers to simple questions.
White unidentified object and acrylic paint on black garbage bag on a wooden frame.
The song ‘Total Eclipse Of The Heart’ inadvertently found its way into my head. Not that the song has special meaning to me, but the title is very significant. A total eclipse of our heart is maybe the saddest thing that can happen to a sensitive mammal. Not being able to feel is depressing. The capacity to feel makes us beautiful. As owners of feelings we are capable to transcend ourselves and amaze others. It gives us a sense of value. Sometimes matters of the heart seem irrelevant in a world where commercial success, physical power and beauty and financial gain rule. But if nature spoils the fun with a bit of disaster, it’s the heart that looks after another’s wellbeing and prevents us from anxiety, decay and chaos.
Push The Button,
Unidentified circle-shaped black plastic objects, water based lacquer-paint ‘snow’ on remains of a cotton table sheet on a wooden frame.
Push the button evokes strong associations with 1- a fantastic track of the Chemical Brothers titled Galvanize and 2- with the cold war. The fear for a potential nuclear war was mostly that it could easily be set in motion by a simple push on a red button. One push and a chain reaction of other button pushing could destroy the world more than once and in a blink of an eye. Nowadays this concept of war seems less urgent. The cold war has ended, or should I say the first cold war has ended. The arms race is coming to an end. Or should I say the first race came to an end. Great world leaders have reconciled and an era of positivism glowed. Or should I say this era is far behind us now.
Much has changed, but the current state of global politics is not very reassuring. The world leaders now are more frightening than Brezhnev and Reagan in their days. In the meanwhile, the button still exists. There is a substantial number of totally fickle, unstable and narcissistic political leaders and despots resurrected. They seem capable of anything. Nevertheless, I am still here, still alive and kicking or suffering the last convulsions…. Counting my blessings.
Part of a promotionalprint of an existing artwork titled ‘Hahahahahahaha’ and solidified and common use, yellow acrylic paint on a wooden frame.
Not yellow in Dutch literally means, not yellow > niet geel, meaning nothing else than the actual colour. In this case it is a contradiction in termini, because yellow is obviously present. But the English “not yellow’ means that you are not afraid. In science the practical use of toughness is not proven yet. It often leads to senseless muscle actions. On the other hand cowardice (being yellow) often does more harm than good, but without bloodshed.
Then again toughness can accidentally lead to courage and cowardice can be life saving. So to conclude, I think that tough (not yellow) does not equals courage per se, as cowardice (yellow) is not the same as pacifism.
Toothpicks, glue and black acrylic paint on terry cloth fitted sheet on a wooden frame.
Sticks Together- stick together or simplified: together, a word often heard in Corona days.. More than we might like. There is a strong connection to the word, as long as it is sincere. But in the hands of commerce it transforms rapidly into opportunism.
It has a function when our Prime Minister callsout for connection in an attempt to prevent a community going a stray. But if a supermarket, drugstore or producer suddenly sends corny messages about their role as connectors it becomes slippery. Capitalism is gone through the roof if they use a crisis as an image upgrade. Tricky.
Transparent photo print enclosed in plastic bag and white tape on a wooden frame.
The picture in the plastic bag was once used for the artwork Me-volution (2009), a self-portrait made of ink thumbprints. This sample print ended up in the archives subsequently. Archive, in this case means, a folder with other footage that has been used or is about to be used. Because the entire folder is filed away with loads of other things and images it sunk to the bottom of the resource of inspiration. Until I felt the need to tidy up a bit and everything hit the surface again. Now reviewed with different eyes then 10 years ago for I am now engaged in other things. So an image can fit a new usage, like this portrait in the plastic bag.
The Scheme Of Things,
White box straps and brown cotton Marqtbag-handles on a wooden frame.
What is the greater scheme of things? There is the suggestion that there is a greater plan laid out for us. If that’s so we come close to a divine concept. Who else governs a greater plan and with what reason? Plans involve goals, what is the goal of a greater scheme and who’s to benefit from it? A glance in our modern world makes you doubt a greater scheme instantly. The word chaos is more appropriate. Chaos suggests that nature has been appointed to rule and traverse manmade plans constantly so that we have to collaborate to survive out of necessity. And maybe that’s for the best.
Fed Ex postal wrap and leftover materials from an earlier project placed on a wooden frame.
We know Fed Ex as a delivery service. Globalization is feeding the industrious hands that are handling our packages. Where there was once just one, there are now many. That’s the power of competitive forces. For the addressee not much has changed. It is not better, nor worse, it is at most, as many things in the 21th century, more complex. What we do know that it’s good for business in a world that is shopping online 24-7. So Fed Ex developed into a Fat Ex.
Underwear bag and remains of flexible fabric with colour test used for another project on a wooden frame.
Who’s your best bud? Buddy and buttocks combined makes the word bud, a well-chosen gimmick created by the designer of these underwear bags. We only have one butt, it’s always the best because it’s our own, one that always stands or hangs behind you every step of the way. Is a bud really a manly thing? What would it become with ladies underwear versus friendship? Is it bum or booty? Or does it shift to other curves? In that case the friendship equivalent would probably be; best bossom friend.
Pink tape, black, white, covering-sheet, yellow grinding paper, rope, pink wire and a toilet-clean seat-banner and paint on canvas on a wooden frame.
The horizontal stripe that separates heaven from earth is magical. Future perspective and the word horizon are often verbally used in one breath. In science they refer to new horizons. The Vikings and Normans believed that the horizon was the end of the world, you could tip off it. It is a proverbial and imaginary line between the underworld and the Walhalla.
Plastic object of unknown origin of purpose and pencil on gesso primed canvas on a wooden frame.
Framed, as in a framed artwork, framed: as in you are caught. Everything seems to be about framing these days, positive or negative. I grew up believing that others mostly determine how you are valued. Making your self a key subject and advertising your personal life is a relative new phenomenon. The creation of a digital alter ego is a perfect version of the imperfect
mortal vulnerable one. Every step of the way is self-controlled and moulded for the public eye. One could say that framing is kind of a simple and mostly flat representation of someone or something. Due to lack of time, real interest or in-depth inquiries, a quick draft of someone, and what he or she stands for is quickly made, just like simple judgements.
Remains of foil from an earlier artwork ‘ To Me Or Not To Me’, pink tape and white acrylic paint on a primed canvas on a wooden frame.
There’s a good reason to put the word Art in the spotlights. Art is subject to erosion. It must defend it self against unjust appropriation. It must defend itself for its right to exist and against the superficiality of a flattening world while the artist, the creator, must stand up to anti-art cynicism and the temptation of commerce as remedy to imminent poverty, both physically and mentally. Being an artist in this day and age is awesome and dreadful at the same time. Day in, day out, a constant flood of images is pouring over us to such an extent that the subtle voice is easily overseen. Commerce rules and borders are getting vague.
Dutch artist and poet Lucebert wrote, “ everything of value is defenceless”. I‘d like to add “ but worth fighting for;’
Leftover flexible fabric used for a unique swing design called ‘Vluchthaven’ and black shoelaces on a wooden frame.
A crossroad is a literal and metaphorical spot to make choices. There are only 4 options; straight ahead, backwards, left or right, choices that are determined by earlier chosen destinations. The metaphorical choice is a bit more complicated because it often involves larger existential questions. Questions like; will I continue this chosen path or will I take an exit. These choices are often connected to underlying motives such as; is my job or relationship still satisfying? Is new adventure luring? On a meta level, there’s a more universal question laid out, whether our defined path of progression is sustainable and will it move us forward? If not, Is there a brake or an emergency exit?
Nipple (gate) & Bottleneck,
Remains of clotted red paint taken from the bottleneck of an acrylic paint tube on canvas on wooden frame.
This could as well be the most controversial verbal until now. What we see here is a nice solidified nozzle of red acrylic paint. Is has the appearance of a fish mouth, a piece of intestines of some kind, something that cries ‘Oh’, just a duck face or even ‘worse’, a nipple.
It all flashed before me in the choice of the artwork’s title. The chosen title equals the identity of the artwork. Are you sexist if you’re drawn to his artwork? Can you place it at your office in a garage without getting comments……
Worth (a minimum of 45% waste),
A stray plastic Woolworth bag and small black plastic items on a wooden frame.
Worth, what is worth what? Who claims this value? This plastic bag is found on the streets of London. On the bag we read this recommendation ‘a minimum of 45% waste’. We acknowledge these words while at the same time the carrier of the words is littering the streets 100%.
Part of found plastic wheel rim, a card from the Wakker dier campaign against the cheap bargain chicken /kip of supermarket AH- and pink acrylic paint on canvas on a wooden frame.
The wheel rim is – just like verbal 53 Monkey Town – found at the Rieteweg in Zwolle nearby a gas station. This is a composition of two parts that resembles a chicken’s head. We used to own chickens when I was young. There was a disorderly clan of 3 fat Barnevelders and a few bantam hens. A black bantam rooster named Jacob was the padre des familias. His successor Sammie was not taken serious by his flock. The chickens responded to their names and were playful.
Reducing a chicken to a cheap mass product, a nugget, a wing, a Kentucky Fried… It is not agreeable with me. Kip, the Dutch word for chicken, is the most valued and various piece of meat, but is also the most undervalued beast, KIP!
Part of found plastic wheel rim, post label Monkey Town and yellow acrylic paint on canvas on a wooden frame.
The wheel rim is found at the Rieteweg, Zwolle nearby a gas station. It is shattered and looks lost. Maybe it was once used to tune a car. Did the owner want to have his cake and eat it when he chose plastic accessories? When I let my fantasy run wild I see an adolescent male, wearing a cap that casts a shadow on his eyes, when driving a Volkswagen Polo with sporty stripes and a hard style sticker on the rear of the car. Sound systems that cover the entire hat shelf that shakes and bounces the vehicle with open windows once the volume is gone through the roof,
Like it says “Welcome to F*cking Monkey Town.”
Gevouwen pagina uit magazine en acryl verf op inpak foam op een houten frame.
Folded page from magazin and acrylic paint on wrapping foil
What you want
Baby, I got it
What you need
Do you know I got it? R. E. S. P. E. C. T.
Part of Martin Scorsese film poster, promotional material from Eye Amsterdam, acrylic paint and bubble wrap on foam on a wooden frame.
This verbal is titled Period. At the time I thought this would end the series at 50. Time told us us that this only marked the first part of the many others that followed.
Think Coca Cola,
Cola-can, bar code and plastic bag on a wooden frame.
Used Cola-cans have this dubious habit to turn up in bushes, waterfronts, at roadsides and flattened on the streets. They are not alone. Many other beer-, soda – and energy drink- cans join them.
It doesn’t reflect our casualness; this really reflects a dark and stupid side of mankind.
Groove Tubes (vintage Sovtec- electronic tubes) and text on a foam board on a wooden frame
Not sure how I got hold of them. But I do like the look of them. They came in Soviet boxes with Soviet guidelines. These bulbs are rooted in the Soviet era; they are what you might call vintage. ‘когда Восток был еще.’
Divers metal and rubber parts, a tie wrap and acrylic paint on a plastic trash-bag on a wooden frame.
A buzz is a gossip or a rumour. The whispers of many make a buzzing noise. We love a buzz and we thrive on it. But if anything irritates us, it’s the buzz of a regular and original buzzing creature. A light weighted and fragile, flying creature that has no choice but to buzz.
Not seldom buzzing around a picnic crowd means sudden death for the smallest flying trooper.
Left over characters from earlier magazine and newspaper cutting and white acrylic paint on canvas on a wooden frame.
For months I’ve been cutting and saving characters from newspapers, plastic bags, magazines and so on. Finally, a hand full of characters remained with no particular goal, but a character would not be a character if not for a strong will to be seen and noticed. So here they are, naked, not dressed up in a word, but casually piled on together because they look nice.
It happens all the time.
Don’t Fence Me In,
Found unidentified white object, blackboard and white acrylic paint on rough unbleached cotton on a wooden frame.
These famous words; “Don’t Fence Me In” are written by Cole Porter,
It says it all; we do not want to be framed and boxed, we don’t want to be a one trick ponies yet we frame and fence our selves in to others all the time …
Let Op Kabels,
Yellow plastic barrier line with ‘Let op Kabels’ written on it, few undefined objects, 2 black shoelaces and part of an yellow envelope on the backside of canvas on a wooden frame.
Mind the cables and the cable guys these days; they connect everything that needs connecting and probably even more.
Unseen, but most wanted in the age of connection.
3 found plastic green tubes (ex ‘grass’- cigarette tubes), whereof one is filled with dirt and a tussock of grass on white acrylic paint and transparent disposal-bag on wooden frame. This is an artwork to water once in a while.
‘The grass is always greener on the other side’, is a well-known saying. In this particular case it might be true. Whatever opnion this represents depends on the point of view.
Produce Of India,
Blue acrylic paint on part of a cardboard box with tape remains on a wooden frame.
Produce of (product of)………. These words are found as print on boxes and cargo vessels help them travel the world. In this material world there are countries that could be labelled the Walhalla of cheap products. Unfortunately it also means that the lives of the workforce in these cheap production chains are cheap too. So, at every new purchase we can gladly say; ‘It is a real bargain! Almost a steel’, which it was, really…
Draw The Line,
Blackboardpaint, transfer characters and gaffer tape on transparant garbagebag on a
I keep a close watch on this art of mine
I keep my eyes wide open all the time
I keep the ends out for the tie that binds
Because art’s can be fine, I draw the line
‘Geïnspireerd op I Walk The Line van Johnny Cash’.
Original lines below/ originele tekst hieronder
I keep a close watch on this heart of mine
I keep my eyes wide open all the time
I keep the ends out for the tie that binds
Because you’re mine, I walk the line
(Johnny Cash ‘ I Walk The Line’)
Red White District,
Found barrier line, paint and text on a pillow cover on a wooden frame.
The title sounds like a person with a speech impediment. The red-white barrier line, prolonged by stripes of red paint, separates the reds from the whites. That sounds like segregation of reds and whites. None of the above is at hand here.
A coincidental converge of accidental combined materials is leading to the Red White District, where, contrary of its sound, nothing ever happens.
Text from found plastic bag on red-white part of the Dutch flag on a wooden frame.
This is the age of exposure.
Without exposure there’s no presence.
Without presence there’s no exposure.
What if everything and everyone is already over exposed?
Found part of electric device and plastic flower-
like object on wrapping-foil and a wooden frame.
This era will be booked as the era of the energy
issues. We’ve got quite a few.
Found plastic black question mark shaped object, round metal object and acrylic paint on canvas on a wooden frame.
In case of sudden oblivion, Question Mark.
In case of unexpected curiosity, Question Mark.
In case of a search for Mark, I Know Mark
Moon In Scorpio,
Found plastic, black object (ripped sock-holder size 34>46) and white acrylic paint on canvas and a wooden frame.
I borrowed he title Moon In Scorpio from a song by the band Family Stand. They, before me, took it from the cosmos. The Scorpio constellation, when the moon was in Scorpio. How can something so cosmic become so earthly? We are all stardust; ashes to ashes, dust to dust, what comes up must go down and so on.
When we are long gone my Scorpio will still crawl and linger around. This piece of plastic trash, becoming art and all, desires to be immortal and will succeed.
Bigger Fish To Fry,
Found plastic black and white objects and acrylic paint on canvas and a wooden frame.
A beautiful expression that states you are having other and bigger issues than the one at present. It also suggests some determined solving of that same issue (bigger fish need frying) or is it just a lack of interest in the smaller fish…
Found grey plastic object and characters from a plastic bag by Schoenenreus on a blue garbage bag on a wooden frame.
In a performance society everyone wants to be on top. Even when it means you can only go down from there.
Black unidentified found objects and acrylic paint on canvas on a wooden frame.
Strange worthless black objects used and or attached to something bigger before. Put it in a rigid black square and it suddenly represents the safekeeping of something worthy.
Party Ribbon, yellow paint residu, carton box and gaffer tape on a wooden frame
The arty zone is an imaginary zone where art is taken seriously.
The potential value of an arty zone is in the eye of the beholder.
The Eyes Have It,
Found characters and images of eyes from newspapers and a plastic bag on a prepped cotton T-shirt on a wooden frame.
Earlier in this series I made The Nose have It. If the nose has it, the eyes must have it too. The sentence ‘The Nose Have It’ got me by surprise, like a sudden cheerful epiphany. The Eyes Have it (Aye’s have it) is more of a logical follow up, as it was already in line with the previous.
Nevertheless, it is a light and cheerful way of looking at a sad thing, the break up with the UK, the Brexit.
Found carton box, seal ribbon and a plastic hotel toilet seat seal on a wooden frame.
The combination of the word ‘disinfected’ and the repeating vertical stripes calls for an association with oppressing politics and prison bars.
In any system, unwanted thoughts can be disinfected for several reasons. The argument here could be that complex situations require complex measures.
It is a complex world.
Your No -Thing/Nothing,
A few plastic characters from a bag called ‘Yourz’ and an unknown plastic object on a see a through lace-curtain on a wooden frame.
I started playing with the meaning of the word nothing. Maybe the word nothing is rooted in the idea that we don’t want to be treated as a thing. Apparently, we treat things and objects much worse than we treat each other. In a world of winners and losers, being unheard and unseen thus being nothing is probably the worst that can happen. But I can imagine it also something close to absolute freedom?
Found red tie-wrap like plastic object and yellow textile paint on semi transparent cotton on a wooden fram
A red ribbon placed in the centre of a yellow square; using two of the 3 primary colours, add a little Newman flavour to the title and a new artwork is born. Using this title makes me much aware of the original ‘ Who’s Afraid of Red, Yellow and Blue. This artwork created a dispute on the issue on the essence of art. An artwork, where only form and colour matter and where classic craftsmanship or tradition is not revealed at first sight, which makes looking at art confusing for some people. The original Who’s Afraid…triggered some controversy.
As for this small artwork, it is what it is. It has no pretence. Frankly, I do not know what the red ribbon is or was. Found on the street with no particular purpose to be there.
Characters from a plastic bag and tiny homemade paper boat on a plastic bag on a wooden frame.
‘The Earth can be any shape you want it
any shape at all
Dark and cold or bright and warm
Long or thin or small
But it’s home and all I ever had
and maybe why for me the Earth is flat’
These lines are from Thomas Dolby’s Flat Earth song,
In the dark ages a sailor could tip over the edge of the earth and never return.
Columbus disputed the flat earth theory and that was’nt without consequence.
Back then a huge shallow surface suddenly got dept. Some might say it turned flat again.
Transparent white acrylic paint on a brown Marqt- shopper on a wooden frame
In this piece of art I blend in with the name of the company Marqt. With this fusion I‘d like to show how all brands appeal to your personal need of recognition and sense of belonging. ‘Be a success, be sexy, be forever young, be sensible, be wise, be funny, be spontaneous, be what you have always wanted to be, make all your dreams come true……….buy our product, become the real you’!
Even subconsciously we all relate to products and brands. It penetrates deeply into our lives. We are even becoming brands ourselves, a personal brand that endorses brands. Maybe it has all gone too far by now and with this artwork I stretched it just a little further.
Plastic tas en elastiek op een houten frame
Plastic bag and elastic band on a wooden frame
We all got a space to fill
But life, it ain’t real funky
Unless it’s got that pop
(Lyrics Prince: POPlife)
Plastic Money Me,
15 cash cards on blue XL garbage bag on a wooden frame.
15 cash cards from the past, my past. I collected them or never got rid of them over 20 years. What do they represent? Is it my alliance with the bank that provides (and takes) me with money on any given moment? My unique Identity captured in numbers. My credibility? My freedom?
Our lives are not only flooding with plastic, we are in many ways plastic personas in a digital world.
My Future Is So Shady, I Have to Wear Brights,
3 broken-sunglasses on tinfoil and foam on a wooden frame.
Sunglasses are functional.
They are protecting your eyes from the bright sun
They hide the windows to the soul. in case of a sudden attack of shyness, coolness or (in) famousness.
They come in a variety of colours.
The pink sunglasses have a special feature; they reflect a rose colored future and make it look optimistic and bright. I don’t want bring you down, but this might come to in handy when the sun expires.
These specs are worn throughout the years, becoming unusable due to broken support or lost nose aids. They are pinned like rare butterflies
How To Use This Pump ,
Identified and unidentified found objects on a used and washed shower curtain on a wooden frame
A composition of plastic forks in various sizes, a (soda) cap, two black rubber unidentified items and finally a white hook of some kind. It made me think of a toolkit for unknown purposes.
Found and cut characters from magazines and newspapers text on (self) reflecting tinfoil on a wooden frame
Hedonism, a philosophy, (within the school of ethics) it states that the pursuit of pleasure and lust are the primary goals of a human life. Maximize pleasure; maximize happiness, pleasure over pain. Philosopher Nietzsche thought that hedonism reduced moral or ethical behaviour to merely a pleasure experience. The 21e century appears to be a hedonistic era, so far. Where does it lead? And what’s that saying again? “Idle hands are the devil ‘s playgrounds?”
Found characters from magazines and newspapers and plastic wrapping bag on foam board and a wooden frame.
Buy a machine with multiple parts and you are getting a box filled with smaller boxes and all kinds of plastic bags filled with all kinds of, easy to lose, small items. On these bags you often find guidelines like: ‘plastic bags can be dangerous. To avoid suffocation, keep away from babies and children’.
Followed by ‘made in China’.
Again,I don’t want to blame just China for the plastic soup, the size of France in our seas, but we can’t get around the fact that they are one of the most producing countries.
Besides manufacturing products they also ship millions of totally unnecessary items to the rest of the world. Big piles of idle plastic objects crossing the world. The real issue here is; they sell, we buy, they sell more and we buy more, or vice versa, and so we end up in an endless plastic spiral.
Unidentified found objects black and white, on garbage bag on a wooden frame.
These objects, placed in minimalistic composition are found nearby my studio at the Rieteweg 10, Zwolle. Are these pieces of plastic, part of? Or does it surpluses a bigger item? It probably hit the streets after an unwrapping routine. Ever since I am focussed on small, strange but often graphically beautiful objects, I spot them all the time. Because of my intervention they are staged and approached aesthetically. But what it really reveals is the amount of trash we leave behind on the streets. Sometimes it concerns big waste items like fast-food remains but as these objects proves also numerous non descript plastic anonymous items.
Trash, noticed by no one, sprawled around like it belongs there. As pieces of sandstone planned by Mother Nature, moving from location to location. Are these the same pieces of plastic found in stomachs of fish and seabirds?
Unidentified found object black and white, on garbage bag on a wooden frame.
The object, placed in minimalistic composition is found nearby my studio at the Rieteweg 10, Zwolle. It is a piece of plastic, part of? Or does it surpluses a bigger item? It probably hit the streets after an unwrapping routine. Ever since I am focussed on small, strange but often graphically beautiful objects, I spot them all the time. Because of my intervention it is staged and approached aesthetically. But what it really reveals is the amount of trash we leave behind on the streets. Sometimes it concerns big waste items like fast-food remains but as this object proves also numerous non descript plastic anonymous items.
Trash, noticed by no one, sprawled around like it belongs there. As pieces of sandstone planned by Mother Nature, moving from location to location. Are these the same pieces of plastic found in stomachs of fish and seabirds?
This Aggression Will Not Stand,
Characters from magazines and newspapers and red acrylic paint on a wooden frame.
This is a quote from the cult film The Big Lebowski by the brothers Coen. The character Walter Shobshak (played by John Goodman) is a Vietnam veteran who thinks he’s Jewish. He consumed with repressed aggression. He uses this phrase ‘ This aggression will not stand’ at any opportunity, with rather aggressive intonation. This character stands in great contrast with, movie character, Jeffrey Lebowski, alias the Dude (played by Jeff Bridges). He is the friendly, but lazy, pacifistic hedonist that encounters the world peacefully and who is permanent under the influence of weed. This film has reached a cult status, but this statement, adopted by the gentle Dude, became iconic as well.
Found plastic bag and gaffer tape on a wooden frame
This artwork only contains one found object, a plastic bag found near central station Zwolle. Plastic waste and other trash on the streets shows how much we treasure our environment. Mankind soon will be able to travel to an alternative planet, and is dreaming of colonizing it. How can it co-exist: this great wisdom and immense stupidity?
Concerning the word Leftie, I think it suits me well!
Cotton and stitched label on a wooden frame
I found this label next to a traffic light in Zwolle nearby my workshop. This piece of art is addressing both our convenience society as well as modern slavery. Modern slavery takes place in 3th world textile factories and cotton fields. While some are ‘cheap’ in fashion, others endure and suffer a life with no, or hardly any value at all. In other words, slavery still exists.
Extra Blond ,
A beermat, some correction tape and white acrylic paint on canvas on a wooden frame.
Extra blond is referring to my own hair colour and all prejudice about blonds. Either we are dumb, sexy or sexy and dumb! In my case I state with some irony; Hey guys, I might be good looking but I am not stupid. I am more fun though ; )
The Numbers That Show ,
Numbers, barcode and label on remains of commercial flag.
The Numbers That Show shows some random picked numbers. These numbers mean something within a certain context. Taken from the context they are just numbers. In our world of diagrams, exit polls, statistics, term results, interest, index, and quota, we connect emotiononal or rational choice and (re)action to these figures. But figures can be stone-cold if they concern notation of victims of disasters, wars, stable fires, disappearing biodiversity, deforestation and natural disasters.
On the other hand the numbers can also suggest everything is just hunky dory! Who are we? Are we merely a number that shows?
Black and white screen-printing and red acrylic paint on plastic on a wooden frame
Faith -Trust, the word religion is founded on. It is a universal word but is divers in its interpretation. Whom or what do we have faith in? That’s the question more than ever!
Paper characters from magazines and newspapers on wrapping-paper on a wooden frame.
The word Gutmensch is on display here. This must be read with irony. It is a sarcastic typecast of a politicly correct person. Are we talking about the Good Samaritan who seeks approval? Is gutmensch a word, claimed, used and maybe invented by the rivals of the gutmensch? I dare you all to embrace the word and act like it, until a gutmensch is truly embedded and merely a mensch, as most men are, striving to do good!
‘Makes a man take things over’
Canvas bag of – Bowie IS- promotional material by the Groningen Museum, NL and found and cut typefaces shaping the word Fame on a wooden frame
Inspired by the eponymous song – Fame- by Bowie. The sub sentence: “Makes a man take things over” is a quote from a chorus line from the same song. This is a combination of images, text and has a parallel to pop art artist, and Bowie friend, Andy Warhol. Warhol’s statement “In the future everyone will be famous for 15 minutes”, seems spot on in hindsight. Was Warhol a visionary?
Did he have any idea of the magnitude of this concept in the here and now? Do we, really?
To Avoid A void,
Plastic wrapping foil and white acrylic painon canvas on a wooden frame.
This readymade is cut from a plastic protection sheet or bag. I can’t recall the content or use of it. Many of these bags and wrappings end up in our streets, waters and eventually in our seas. The original product wrapped by this bag probably came all the way from China. I presume this, and excuse my stereotyping, because the Chinese companies often send products accompanied with so called English warning notes. These warnings are freely translated into Chinglish, filled with harmless and funny mistakes. When it comes to these lines on this piece, the message seems clear: Avoid a void!
Still Sparkling Still,
Six caps from still and sparkling water bottles, lacquer paint matte white on canvas on a wooden frame
Meet verbal no 7. A bottle of water is, or should I say 6 bottles of water were the inspiration for this piece of art. Sparkling and still are such common words when it comes to the choice in water. Not even worth giving it a second thought after you have made your choice. Combined it’s a statement that seems to say; I am still here, very much alive and still sparkling!
Revolution Will Not Be Televised,
Paper cut typeface from magazine and newspaper and chalk on blackboard paint on a wooden frame.
This artwork is inspired by a famous and influential music-art -piece by Gil Scott-Heron, made in 1974, ‘The Revolution Will Not Be Televised’. I deleted the word ‘The ’at the beginning to make the revolution he is referring to more universal and still to come.
The American Dream,
Poster text and white acrylic paint on transparent fabric on a wooden frame.
The American Dream is an iconic concept that manifests itself in the phrase ‘from paperboy to millionaire’. This is the basic principal of what (Northern) America is and wants to be. Bare in mind; the country is made and created by immigrants from all over the world. Each American, except the Native American, is non-native.
The dream is an invitation to everybody who wants to chase it. If you make it there, you can make it anywhere, right? Of course there is some cherry picking involved.
The American dream is the narrative of the winners, not just everybody can claim this dream. Or can they?
The Nose Have It,
Characters from magazine and newspapers and white acrylic paint on canvas on a wooden frame.
Inspired by recent developments concerning Brexit. Especially inspired by the images of the British House of Commons and the chairman when he, after the counting of the votes, proclaims the historical words ‘The No’s Have It’. This political situation was stuck and jammed and was quite unsatisfactory at the time. But the image of the chairman calling out as loud as he could to shout down the buzz of arbitrary arguing politicians in the room, is also quite comical.
Certainly if you suddenly seem to hear “The Nose Have It’ instead of….
Plastic wrapping foil and transferable characters on a wooden frame.
Plastic represents convenience and hygiene. This was once a genius revolutionary invention by Alexander Parkes in 1841.Today, we drown in it. ‘Plastic People’ is addressing the plastic in and on us. What once started out as toy dolls and plastic iconic gimmicks developed into a tad vulgar but yet actual and desired beauty ideal? Who would have guessed?
That leads me to the question; have we become plastic in a plastic world?
Plastic bag characters, part of plastic product wrapping and white acrylic on canvas on a wooden frame
Gibberish is meaningless speech or writing a.k.a. plain nonsense. I think it is a nice word that covers the meaning of the word well. The term fake-news is gaining popularity since Donald Trump has entered the White House. Every unwanted and unsuited fact presented to this politician is put aside and is classified as fake news; gibberish. This arouses suspicion in the gullible follower, with all the consequences that entails. In this case I randomly placed characters, vowels and consonants, and somehow they seem to make sense. Behold the strange inimitable way how our mind works. Language is really nothing more than an
agreement. If we agree to grant value to a group of characters, it has value.
Kuwayt Rad 24/7. What would you make of these characters?? I think it is gibberish
Plastic bag characters and white acrylic paint on canvas on a wooden frame.
This is a small, slightly humoristic artwork that spells the words Oooh well, Oooh God, Oooh no, Oooh yes. The shout, Oooh is an artful shape in itself. Images speak louder than words. But what if a word becomes an image?
Printed characters and white acrylic paint on canvas on a wooden frame
These random placed characters are spelling the words Create and Art. Those two words are important to me. To create is to exist and to leave traces of your presence. Men create and men destroy. Destruction is a negative while creating is a positive. Creating art is a superlative in creation as such.
According to some, the highest form of creatism, or should I say creationism, is in the hands of an almighty God. According to me, God means incomprehensible nature. Creatism included.