Imagination & Construction
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The imaginary city Prague
In 1992 I organised an exchange between the Minerva Academy and the Akademie Vitvarnich Umeni (AVU) in Prague. A Czech teacher takes over my lessons in Groningen and I spend a semester as a guest professor in Prague.
In Prague, the tension between constructive and anti-constructive elements in High Baroque architecture captivated me
But I was also gripped by the boundlessness of the baroque imagination
The old love for Asia and the new love for Rococo are feelings that fit together wonderfully.
Houses with names
Particularly in the series ‘Fencing’, transitions from ‘Asian’ to ‘Modern’- two-dimensional ‘autonomy’ with a classical illusion of space were created.
I will later translate this approach into a series of ‘Natural Histories’.
Including a series of ‘Views’.
a series of ‘Nebulae’.
And a series of ‘Blazons’
‘Der Zauberflöte Zweiter Teil’
.‘Der Zauberflöte Zweiter Teil’; is a comic strip after an unfinished libretto by J.W. von Goethe.
It serves as a programme book – and at the same time as a decor – for the performance of the piece of the same name during the Festival for Old Music in Utrecht, 1991.
Etchings Mission Museum ‘Steyl
Working residence in the Centre for Graphic Art ‘Frans Masereel’, Kasterlee, Belgium. Starts a series of etchings drawn to life in museums, first the Mission Museum in Steyl, then various nature museums.
The skeleton book
Inspired by a power struggle within the top ranks of the State Vocational University – which is fought on the back of Minerva Academy – I draw the comics ‘The Battle of Mont Parnas’ and ‘The Rat Kings’.
The stay in Prague is complemented by a tour of Krakow (Poland), Lvov (Ukraine), Eger and Budapest (Hungary) and Bratislava (Slovakia).
This is followed by trips to Italy and Greece.
And to Tenerife
The imaginary city Rottum
In the early 1990s I wrote and drew the second part of “The Description of the Free State of Rottum”.
I design an alternative society:
The state is organised like a company, all inhabitants are shareholders from birth and in state service. The shareholders elect a Supervisory Board that controls, appoints and dismisses the management. Self-employment is possible by paying back the basic income (buy-out).
Island Rif and the 13 Stonesquare
Economically, the Rottum company is supported by some monopolies. The most important is land ownership: all land is owned by the community. Rental income replaces tax payments. There is also a monopoly on energy production (from the tide, as the most regular natural force) and on waste disposal (one man’s waste is another man’s raw material).
Island Gog and the Living Mountains
The dozens of Free States in Northwestern Europe are united in a holding company: the Hanseatic League. It looks after overarching tasks such as defence, immigration and the exploitation of disturbed territories. Its monopolies are all drugs that influence mind and body (from medicine to marijuana), and special free places for casinos and brothels. The Hanseatic League is controlled by scientists.
Ialand Magog and the Wintercircus
The typescript of ‘The Freestate Rottum’ is awarded in a (national) competition on the occasion of the 400th anniversary of the province of Groningen (1994), with the theme: the future of Groningen. The drawings are exhibited in the Aa-kerk in Groningen.
But after two books I can’t find a publisher and I go on to another imaginary city: Prague
I reorganise the Minerva evening class, resulting in several nominees for the ‘Royal Grant’.
In January 1992 and the first school semester, Sept.-Dec., an exchange takes place with Academy Vitvarnich Umeni (Academy of Fine Arts) in Prague, Czech Republic; it is an exchange of knowledge and ideas, through notes, discussions and work meetings. This will be continued in the spring of ’93 as a guest professor at the AVU (with students of Vladimir Kokolia).
AVU, Prague, 1993
Also in 1993, I ended my employment (voluntarily supernumerary) at the Minerva Academy.
In 1993, the stock of studio premises managed by the WWK foundation – with earmarked use – is transferred to housing corporations. The municipality invested one and a half million guilders in the buildings.
In 1998, I initiated the ‘Circuit’ Foundation (Idealistic art mediation), which organises exhibitions in old monumental Groningen churches.
On the Groninger clay soil tens of churches with roots in the middle ages have been preserved, which are maintained by the foundation Old Groningen Churches.
Programming is in cooperation with this foundation.
Exhibition in the church of Wirdum
In 2003, together with the Circuit Foundation, I will also organise an international exchange programme ‘Art in Churches’ named “Meetings/Begegnungen” with Ost-Friesland (BRD) as part of the EDR (Ems-Dollart-Region) cultural programmes.
I am also a board member of the Van Royen Lecture Foundation, which organises cultural lectures in Drenthe.
The program booklet “Der Zauberflöte Zweiter Teil” serves as visual support – instead of scenery – for a musical theatre production during the Festival of Early Music in Utrecht and later elsewhere in the country (music publisher Entr’acte, Amsterdam).
I write the ‘WWK Memorandum’ for the Foundation ‘Living and Working spaces for Artists’ WWK, Groningen, which leads to an investment of NLG 1.7 million by the Municipality of Groningen in the file, linked to a transfer of five premises to housing corporations. Because management and exploitation coincide for the WWK, it decides to dissolve itself as of 31-12-2012. The transfer is based on a covenant in which the destination is earmarked. The management of the waiting list and the filling in is transferred to a tenants association.
I also compile the annual ‘Artlending Topten’ for the BBK newspaper, with overviews of the results of the art rental companies in the Netherlands, and write – with Frits Linnemann – the note ‘Transactionpolicy’ (published by the BBK in A’dam, concerning possible policy changes in the central policy on the visual arts).
I make an ‘Atlas of visual art in the Netherlands’ in which the demography of artists in the Netherlands is described (uitg. BBK-A’dam), and publish articles in among others BBK-krant and Volkskrant (opinion page).
Click here to open PDF: Rottum Appendix II
Click here to open PDF: The imaginary city of Prague
Click here to open PDF: Book of skeletons
Click here to open PDF: Der Zauberflöte Zweiter Teil
Art in Churches: Meeeting/Begegnungen: RTV Noord