Exhibition ‘Hollandaise’

Artists: Godfried Donkor, Abdoulaye Konaté, Wendelien van Oldenborgh, Willem de Rooij and Billie Zangewa.
Curated by Koyo Kouoh.

HOLLANDAISE is a critical, contemporary art exhibition built around the colourful printed fabrics that are exported from The Netherlands to Africa, and therefore popularly known as Hollandaise or Dutch Wax. Dutch textile enterprises such as Vlisco developed commercial applications for Javanese batik in the 19th century, and found their largest market in West Africa. Today the brightly coloured fabric is regarded as typically African. But in fact it is the result of complex globalization processes that right down to this day exhibit colonial features. Curator Koyo Kouoh, and director of her own art institution in Dakar, Senegal, invited five artists to delve into the phenomenon of Hollandaise and the peculiar trading relations and cultural interchanges that it represents. They all produced new work especially for this exhibition, which after Amsterdam will travel on to Dakar.

Click here to download SMBA Newsletter #130 to read Koyo Kouah’s introduction to ‘HOLLANDAISE’ and contributions by PhD researcher/artist Senam Okudzeto and political scientist Françoise Vergès.

Exhibition ‘Bart Groenendaal, Stefan Ruitenbeek, Quinsy Gario’

Bart Groenendaal - The Paradox of Being Taken Seriously (2011)

The current exhibition by Gario, Groenendaal and Ruitenbeek can be seen as a break for introspection within the Project ‘1975’ programme. This time, attention turns to the Netherlands. The presentation combines two exhibitions and an essay that each focus on cultural systems of classification, seeming certainties and the urge for cultural freedom.

The Paradox of Being Taken Seriously by Bart Groenendaal was filmed during therapy sessions with traumatised refugees who have either been granted, or are awaiting, asylum in the Netherlands. As the film unfolds, it gradually reveals the workings of a subtle power game between the Dutch therapists and their African patients and the emergence, with no evident provocation, of a growing uncertainty regarding the therapists’ unquestioning assumptions about certainties concerning their own country.

In the film Ancient Amateurs Stefan Ruitenbeek utilizes his artistic freedom to create art in the domain of porn. Under Ruitenbeek’s direction, the actors and actresses then concentrated their efforts on bringing an unusual narrative to life on-screen. Through the haze of porn images and chaos on the set, we see how the people involved in the film, including the artist, seize upon this curious exercise in an attempt to escape cultural classifications.

Cultural theorist and theatre maker Quinsy Gario examines Wim Verstappen and Pim de la Parra’s erotic blockbuster Blue Movie (1971) in his essay in the SMBA Newsletter. Blue Movie marks a key moment in the Netherlands’ increasing perception of itself as a sexually open and tolerant nation. Gario analyses the film against this background and raises a number of criticisms of the much-acclaimed Dutch self-image.

Click here to read more on the exhibition and download the SMBA Newsletter here.

Overview ‘Identity bluffs’

Overview of the exhibition ‘Identity bluffs’.
With works by Sara Blokland, Bruno Boudjelal, Mahmoud Khaled, Lucia Nimcova and Nii Obodai.


Exhibition ‘Identity bluffs’

‘Identity bluffs’ is the second exhibition to take place in the framework of ‘Project 1975’. Bringing together works mostly based on photography and video, the exhibition sheds light on the ways in which migratory processes related to globalisation affect the featured artists’ practices. Read more…

Mahmoud Khaled