melanie bonajo, melanie bosboom, patricia kaersenhout, katrin korfmann, joanneke meester, hester oerlemans and l.a. raeven
dutch group exhibition curated by christine van den bergh
preview thursday 16 september 6 - 8 pm
exhibition 16 until 25 september 2010
the cello factory
33-34 cornwall road
waterloo, london, se1 8tj
open from 1 - 7 pm
‘Private Confessions’ is the title of the forthcoming exhibition by eight Dutch women artists in The Cello Factory, London. The exhibition title refers to a book by the film producer Ingmar Bergman, based on the life of his parents. Bergman used himself and his own life as “fuel” for his work which he called his “building materials”.
Autobiographical elements form the departure point for the “Private confessions” exhibition: a personal exploration with art as the means of really understanding the world. The artists selected by curator Christine van den Bergh make work where events from their private lives form the foundation of their oeuvre. The link between art and reality that they seek is sometimes light and poetic, sometimes it has a heavier, more dramatic undertone. In their work they seek to find what makes us human in a world that is growing more impersonal. They make us confidents while at the same time they keep a certain distance giving the viewer the space for their own interpretation. In the exhibition the artists present performance videos, photographic works, mixed media and collages.
Melanie Bonajo’s (1978) states that she uses photography as a means for recording her thoughts. Her pictures clearly exemplify this attitude. Her series ‘furniture bondage’ involve photographing friends, whom she turns into ‘living sculptures’ Bonajo puts female subjects in precarious positions, encumbered with household junk, the objects of everyday life. About her work, Melanie says, ‘The furniture bondage series speaks of the impossible need to create a perfect harmony with the world around us by exploring seemingly opposing elements together: a choreography of magnetic fields lingering between attachment/detachment, bonded/ liberated, subject/object.’
Melanie Bosboom (1971) explores contradictions and ambiquity with her photographic works. She is fascinated by contrasts, not because of the extremes, but in seeing combinations. How can an image be provocative and challenging and at the same time vulnerable and fragile? What is the reality - what is false or camouflage? And what is the relationship between the individual and the surrounding area? The artist creates installations where characters participate in a role. Her characters have both a male and a female quality. Bosboom herself always plays the protagonist in her photographic works in which she adopts multiple identities in unusual situations.
Patricia Kaersenhout (1966) Her work shows some prominent characteristics. Her paintings, drawings, films, photo and mixed media works play with her Suriname background and create new dialogues that somehow never completely break with older storytelling elements and themes. Lines of thought, inspired by her own life and surroundings, mythology, anthropology, religion, language and travels are brought together in often colourful and layered works of art that are all interconnected, but that are complete in themselves and have their own logic. private confessions
Katrin Korfmann (1971) shows interest in the movement of people in daily life. She either creates a setting where she observes people or finds a perfect setting to study human behavior. In all of her work (photography, video and art in public spaces) she creates a tension between rest and motion and this helps give her images a strong affinity to performance. The integration of time in the photographic image, the ‘timing’ of the image, is important in Korfmann’s work: she inserts stationary models into her time-exposure registrations of people’s movements in public spaces, or analyses movements moment by moment.
Joanneke Meester (1966) gained international fame with the pistol that she made from her own skin. Her previous installations, sculptures and videos are the result of research into the subcutaneous violence in every human being. At the moment Meester is profoundly inspired by the quote from Einstein: ‘A person starts to live when he can live outside himself’. In her new works she still addresses existential issues such as: violence and imagination, daily life, obsessions, the male/female opposition, the absurd and identity - but now more under the cover of humour.
Hester Oerlemans (1961) was originally a painter, but in recent years she has worked with photography, video and art in public spaces. Her work confronts reality and, above all, the way in which we experience it. It is the mixture of poetry and incongruity that intensifies the observation. The photo’s ‘Life/Size’ imitate H&M advertising posters. Instead of skinny models the artist herself is posing: she squeezes herself into size 38 of the latest fashion. The posters were put up in bus stops around Berlin and in the exhibition in KÃ¼nstlerhaus Bethanien.
L.A. Raeven is the artist name for the identical twins Liesbeth and Angelique Raeven (1971), whose very subject matter is themselves. Their video, photographic work and performances are about the female body image and the behaviour dynamics of twins, especially when this dynamic expresses itself in psychologically nuanced eating habits. They use their own, often extremely eccentric, standards. By demonstrating the perverse extremes of two drives, which too-often and too-easily tip into obsession, the twins hope to force women to confront and examine their insecurities and moderate their sense of inadequacy in the face of society’s pressures.
‘The artist must create work as an almond tree its blossom or a snail its slime’. Paul CÃ©zanne
Christine van den Bergh is an independent art curator with years of experience in collaboration with institutions and galleries. She delivers concepts for exhibitions, project coordination, talks and lectures. She develops programs in close collaboration with the artist where the artistic process is central and more important than the final product. Since 2006 she has served as an artistic director for outLINE, a non-profit contemporary space in Amsterdam. She has brought a broad spectrum of artistic positions into her programming. She has enhanced the reputation of outLINE as a springboard for young artists. Her freelance work is brought together under the umbrella of ‘buro Bradwolff’ an art agency which also includes management/advice on demand for artists.