Ronald van Tienhoven: Artworks and Projects 2016-1993
R O N A L D V A N T I E N H O V E N
A selection of works and projects
developed between 2016 and 1993,
as artist, designer, and curator.
“To communicate a state, an inner tension of pathos through signs,
including the tempo of these signs: that is the point of every style;
and considering that in my case the multiplicity of inner states is
extraordinary, there exist many stylistic possibilities for me.”
Frierich Nietzsche - Ecce Homo
Age Of Old/Methuselah Unbound
A long-term project about longevity and immortality, through
encounters, artworks and scenes towards a filmed compendium.
In this day and age an exchange takes place between the spiritual notion of immortality and the concrete measures that are being
taken to make people older and older. As a consequence, technology and metaphysics are complementary in both questioning and
influencing manifold entropic processes in the human body. This project is not intended to emphasize the problems that arise with
getting old, but emphasizes the enormous potential of longing: longing for a long life and unfailing energy, longing for finding the
optimal balance between repose and action. Through the centuries this longing has led to a variety of philosophies, objects, and
rituals. Based on this cultural, social, and historical context, the Age of Old project will lead to a number of artworks, workshops,
performances, and exhibitions with the ultimate goal to produce a large body of visual material. This material contains the source
code for composing a filmed compendium, consisting of scenes that showcase the Human Condition in all its manifestations.
“Zeami warns the actor who plays the old man's part against merely imitating the decline in
physical appearance, and encourages him rather to express the desire to remain young.”
Zeami Motokiyo - The Transmission of the Flower Through a Mastery of the Forms (⾵風姿花伝), 1418
If we take the bonsai principle of making sure one never reaches full potential in order to sustain growth
into infinity and apply this to the human body (as supposed vessel for eternal living) perhaps we would
need to start growing within ourselves the ‘rosebud’ that will become the next flower, again and again.
Longevity as Force, Immortality as Desire: Exploring Entropy as Process and Metaphor
fotograﬁe Philippe Halsman Karl Lagerfeld, omslag The Business of Fashion
Scene 1 (prologue): slowdown merry-go-round occupied by 32 80+ seniors, filmed by 32 GoPro cameras
concept developed with Arne Hendriks | realisation in June 2016
part 1: 2013-2014
A self-initiated project as artist and curator, addressing the monumentality
of news photography versus the ephemerality of the monument
May 7 - June 12 2013
On May 7, 1945, dozens of people were killed by German fire on the Dam Square in Amsterdam, two days after the armistice.
Through word of mouth people assumed that Amsterdam would be liberated that day by allied forces. Thousands streamed to
the Dam Square to celebrate, but after skirmishes with the Dutch provisory forces German forces opened fire.
Many photographers were present to document this event. The exceptional large number of photographs makes it possible to
reconstruct this drama. I added a 07:05:1945: layer to the then 07:05:2013: Dam Square consisting of two rebuild historical
kiosks, a street organ, and other objects, reenactments, and extensive press exposure that recapture this human tragedy.
07:05:1945: visualizes the intensity of such transitory events in the face of human conflict.
Reenactment, May 7, 2013
Germans opening fire - May 7th, 1945, at 3 pm. Dozens of people hide behind the street organ. Photo: Willem Leijns
Reenactment on the 7th of May, 2013, captured from the same window as the Leijns photo. (photo: Jeroen Dietz)
Evacuating the wounded, with the street organ and one of two kiosks in the background. (photo: Wiel van der Randen)
Dam Square, June 2013 - Ballistic Street Organ with two reconstructed Kiosks and National Monument (photo: Gert Jan van Rooij)
Ballistic Street Organ - the sound hole is derived from a 3D scan of a bullet hole in the original street organ (photo: GJvR)
Dam Square, june 2013 - Two kiosks and the Nationaal Monument (photo: GJvR)
Dam Square, june 2013 - White kiosk with photographed reconstructions of the original photos by Cas Oorthuys i.a. (photo: GJvR)
part 2: 2014-2016
plaatseensteen.nl | placeastone.nl
Curator en producer web campaign and memorial by studio Moniker.
For several years now members of the Memorial 2015 for Dam victims May 7 1945 Foundation investigate the causes that led to
the fatal shooting on the Dam Square, and have succeeded in finding the names of 31 victims so far. The foundation also aims to
have a memorial realized on the Dam Square to commemorate the people who perished on May 7.
Part 2 of 07:005:1945: is the consequence of my relationship with the foundation’s members and an extension of my endeavors in
2013. I’m developing part 2 as curator and producer. After several months of research and meetings with candidates we chose to
develop the memorial with Moniker, an interactive design studio in Amsterdam. Departing from similar participatory projects
Moniker designed an interactive website named placeastone.nl. Here people can participate in ‘co-writing’ the names of the 31
victims as an innovative kind of viral typography. The participants’ efforts on placeastone.nl will be engraved in 31 stone slabs and
embedded in the pavement on the Dam Square on May 7, 2016 at 3 pm, exactly 71 years after the incident.
Wim de Leeuw
Sophia Vermeulen-de Vries
Elisabeth de Boer
Wim van den Boogaard
Petrus van Dam
Dien Buddingh-van der Flier
Mies Jager-van Hooff
31 victims (number of victims as of 2015)
Prototype: Elisabeth Wieland-Lacourt, one of the 31 victims, ‘written by 50 participants in the course of one week
Viral typography: the web-campaign’s 31 end results will be engraved in 31 granite slabs.
Every year the department of Industrial Design stages an exhibition during the Dutch Design week in Eindhoven. The department’s
exhibition committee invited me to be curator and designer for the 2013 DDW venue.
Contrary to earlier years, when only graduation projects were presented, the student projects I selected presented a cross-section
of highlights from all Bachelor and Master years. I created circular ‘zones’ that contained either project clusters based on important
themes in today’s design world, or outstanding individual projects. Stretched between circular aluminium tubes walls of printed cloth
contained descriptions and photographs, functioning as carriers of information and organisational elements within the show.
Curator/designer ID’13, Dutch Design Week, Eindhoven Technical University
October 19 - October 27, 2013
ID’13 / Dutch Design Week
Outdoor presentation of the Nano Supermarket, initiated by Next Nature network
Bistro In Vitro, initiated by the Next Nature network
CORPUS: thematic zone addressing the human body - four student projects
INTIMACY: thematic zone addressing intimate (wearable) designs - four student projects
THE OTHER: thematic zone presenting projects for and with developing countries - four student projects
COMMON SENSE: individual zone by Master graduation student (cum laude) Chris Gruijters
In 2012 the Wyspa Foundation in Gdánsk, Poland, staged an exhibition on Materiality, co-curated by Arne Hendriks. Wyspa’s
four curators sought to question and redefine materiality within the contemporary art discourse. My contribution consisted of
a small stainless steel object in which my mother-as-diamond was embedded.
‘Ashes and Diamonds’ also refers to a famous Polish 19th century poem by Cyprian Norwid, and the appearance of this poem
as inscription on a memorial in Andrzej Wajda’s famous film of the same title, released in 1958.
Migration (Popiół i Diament)
A diamond, processed from my mother’s ashes,
Petronella Johanna van Tienhoven-Rook (1919-2011)
Top: high pressure/heat installation
Bottom: diamond cutting process
Scene from Popiół i Diament (Andrzej Wajda, 1958): the Cyprian Norwid poem engraved on a monument
Migration - stainless steel 55 x 50 x 40mm, 0.25 carat yellow diamond
Departing from anthropologist’s Claude Lévi-Strauss seminal publication Tristes Tropiques, Laurence and I re-shot all sixty-three
photographs published in the book’s first edition (1955), in the immediate vicinity of the Frysian village of Beetsterzwaag. More
than forty village residents and their animals, young and old, men and women, participated in the photo shoots.
In Tristes Tropiques Lévi-Strauss concludes that so-called ‘primitive’, pristine civilizations are non-existent. As an act of counter-
exploration we tested his conclusion in Beetsterzwaag, and concluded likewise. In 2011 we published an artist’s publication in
which both Lévi-Strauss’ photos and our photographic reenactments are presented in two separate volumes.
Tristes Tropiques:Illustrations hors texte
A residency and art project with Laurence Aëgerter,
Commissioned by Art House SYB, Beetsterzwaag, Frysia
Claude Lévi-Strauss - Tristes Tropiques
Éditions Plon, Paris, 1955
Family portrait from Tristes Tropiques, reenactment in Beetsterzwaag
Portrait of a woman, reenactment in Beetsterzwaag
Amazon landscape in Tristes Tropiques, landscape and reenactment near Beetsterzwaag
Two booklets with 63 photos each in a transparent holder
each booklet is identically designed, with the new photos in a fascimile setting
On the 6th of April 2009 the first ceremonial strike took place of a commemorative coin, designed by me. The coin, an official
unit of denomination, commemorates the moment Dutch East India Company captain Henry Hudson set foot on Manhattan
island in 1609. The coin’s first ceremonial strike was carried out by prime minister Jan Peter Balkenende, who presented the
coin a day later to US president Barack Obama.
My design anticipates the meaning it will have in the year 2409 when eight hundred years of continuous transformations can
be deduced from the sights of Manhattan island in 1609 and 2009. For the representations of Manhattan island in both 1609
and 2009 I developed new data visualization methods, combined with numismatic 3D software and innovative laser technology.
Design commemorative coin 400 years Netherlands-Manhattan
Dutch Ministry of Finance en Royal Dutch Mint
queen’s portrait by Hans van Houwelingen
South Manhattan, 2009, derived from high-res areal photos and maps from the New York land registry department
South Mannahata, 1609, derived from data provided by the Wildlife Conservation Society/The Mannahata Project
For the new Vinex suburb of Oosterheem a Hymn will be composed, which will be burned on a chip. This chip will be embedded
in a silver coin. There will be as many coins minted as there are new houses. Each new resident will receive the coin as token of
his fresh commitment to a new, virginal, neighborhood. The Hymn also can be downloaded hyper-locally by smartphones and
other bluetooth devices in the immediate vicinity of a glass and stainless steel showcase housing a gold coin -an enlargement of
the coins given to the Oosterheem population-, located in the central suburban square.
Due to the financial and real estate crisis that arose after 2008 the suburb’s initial plans were postponed until further notice.
Art proposal for a new suburban city centre
Commissioned by the municipality of Zoetermeer
Bluetooth in central square– showcase with gold coin - hyperlocal download point Oosterhymn
Two monumental photo works were produced for the underpass in the residential and shopping building complex Carnisse Veste,
located in the Carnisselande suburb, municipality of Barendrecht. The glass-sealed photos cover the underpass walls, each one
measuring over 150 square meters. It is one of the biggest permanent photo works in the Netherlands to date - an antidote to
boundless low-priced consumerism. celebrated in the building’s shopping mall.
Fashion collections from international museums and private collectors were the source for two ‘taxonomic tableaus’ of costumes,
ranging from historical and ethnic costumes to such iconic contemporary designers as John Galliano, Comme des Garçons, Yohji
Yamamoto, Martin Margiela and Viktor & Rolf.
Fold by Fold
Art project for the Carnisse Veste residential and shopping complex
Commissioned by the municipality of Barendrecht and Rodamco Europe
Tableau for the underpass left wall
Tableau for the underpass right wall
In 2002 three artists were invited to develop a plan for a new cemetery in the village of Spijk, Lingewaal municipality. Each of us
was expected to design one third of the available land. Due to the cemetery’s limited dimensions we proposed to develop one
overall design. We embarked on the notion that yearly only three to four people would be interred in a village as small as Spijk.
Therefore we decided to design a garden rather than a cemetery. In the course of two hundred years the garden will be gradu-
ally transformed into a cemetery. We also decided to abstain from traditional foliage found in cemeteries, and proposed plant
and tree species rarely found on such locations. The building elements, such as the entrance and urn wall, are made from adobe,
and partly decorated with traditional Tadelakt techniques.
Design for a new cemetery in the village of Spijk, Lingewaal municipality
With Louwrien Wijers (nl) and Mike Tyler (usa)
Definitive design, 2002
Urn Wall during construction. The wall is made from adobe, the niches are lined with a Tadelakt coating
The Vedute Foundation invites artists, designers and architects to produce a so-called spatial manuscript with fixed dimensions:
44 x 32 x 7 cm. Each manuscript is expected to be a statement about space in the broadest sense of the word.
Manuscript #161 is a statement about both space, time and entropy. By means of its primary material, compressed bird seeds,
the manuscript accommodates a transfer of energy: in the course of one winter season birds (specifically the Ringneck Parrot,
an exotic immigrant) will eat the seeds. What remains, hanging in a tree, is the stainless steel reinforcement. This reinforce-
ment consists of a lasercut poem by the American poet E.E. Cummings: language released by the metabolism of a bird swarm.
Commissioned by the Vedute foundation
Collections Museum Boijmans-Van Beuningen en The New Institute, Rotterdam
Vedute Manuscript #161
An evergreen question: what would you salvage from your house when it is on fire? This question was a point of departure for Lia
Gieling, curator of Cargo Almere. She invited five artists and designers. I connected this question to Noah’s Ark, and reflected on
what the legend of the Ark encompasses in the 21st century. The Periodic Table of The Elements is essentially the ultimate Ark, a
repository for the universe’s building blocks.
I combined the baroque dynamics of a 19th century engraving that depicts a disaster in the Spanish port of Santander with an
alternative model of the Periodic Table in a lenticular print.
Commissioned by the Cargo Foundation, Almere
Lia Gieling, curator
Research project commissioned by Berkel en Rodenrijs municipality
With Anna Spohr, filmmaker
Many new suburban neighborhoods in the Netherlands only have the most basic collective facilities. A yardstick for determining the
level of wellbeing are the young people who grow up there: often they are bored to death, with a community that beholds them with
mistrust, or often even with downright animosity: gradually they have become a marginalized group in the public domain. For this
research project I decided to choose the stories of these young people as the primary theme.
I decided to involve filmmaker Anna Spohr in Youthland. She has worked extensively with young people, both in the Netherlands and
abroad. Together we made a short film about the perceptions and wishes of young people who grow -or grew- up in Suburbia. We
filmed experts, residents, policemen, local politicians, and a large group of young people from many different walks of life.
Jeugdland - Video stills, and visual source material collected by the interviewed young people
For Stroom Den Haag artists Liesbeth Bik and Arnold Mosselman curated an exhibition with the work of Peter Fend/OECD, Nils
Norman, One Architecture/Matthijs Bouw & Berend Strik, and Kyong Park. With this selection Bik and Mosselman aimed to re-
capture Utopia, but without the radicalism, wishful thinking, and naivety of earlier ideologies. To the curators the four artists
and designers represent an attitude in which Utopia can become downhome and humane: a practical Utopia.
Stroom director Lily van Ginneken asked me how the work of the four contributing artists and designers could be made under-
standable for a general audience. I proposed to make four short documentaries with filmmaker Boris Gerrits that explain their
ideas and intentions.
Ways Out To Find The Right Way In
Four short documentaries for Stroom Den Haag
With Boris Gerrets, camera and editing
Liesbeth Bik and Arnold Mosselman, curators
Michiel Huijsman owns high-end analog slide projectors. With these large machines extremely high-resolution, high-illumination
projections are made possible in the public realm. On several locations in Amsterdam and elsewhere Huijsman acted as facilitator
and curator. In 2001 the borough of Amsterdam Oud-Zuid invited Huijsman to develop a project for the Vondelpark. He invited
six artists to make a site-specific looped slide sequence.
My contribution to OEHOE consisted of 36 slides in which one sentence from Shakespeare’s The Tempest was projected in six
languages and corresponding alphabets. ‘NO TONGUE ALL EYES BE SILENT’ was projected in English, Greek, Chinese, Hindi,
Arabic and Hebrew: reflections of the multilingual cosmopolitan nature of the Vondelpark and the city of Amsterdam at large.
O E H O E
Vondelpark, Amsterdam - february-march 2001
Michiel Huijsman, curator
For the new suburban neighborhood of Leidschenveen I developed a scenario and research project with profound political and
planological undertones. The number of governmental and local bodies responsible for land development and preserving and/or
developing the overall ecological and economical structure is sheer endless. In this dense climate of wishful thinking mixed with
machiavellian strategies I decided to build an information platform that would be located both on the edge of land- and cityscape
and in cyberspace. EcoductReal and EcoDuctWeb would provide the local citizenry with a much-coveted bird’s eye perspective.
Scenario and research project for Leidschenveen suburb
Commissioned by Leidschendam municipality
EcoDuct Real | landscape design with logo object EcoDuct Web | dynamic (wiki) information platform
The newly developed Starrenburg neighborhood is dominated by a diagonal traffic route that penetrates the building blocks. Four
artists/designers were invited to develop a proposal that should emphasize this diagonal.
My proposal aimed at merging a botanical ‘intrusion’ with creating an intimate public home environment for local residents. The
botanical setup consisted of introducing several distinct tree species, from the most primitive to the most cultivated varieties, and
from all continents, along or around the diagonal traffic route. The other project’s component encompassed the design of street
furniture and artificial lighting that would turn the neighborhood into a collective living room.
Starrenburg suburb, Voorschoten
Research and proposal commissioned by Voorschoten municipality
Starrenburg - design for central meadow, urban furniture, and artificial lighting wrapped around trees
As advisors, curators and exhibition designers Maarten de Reus and I produced the first full-fledged exhibition in the Netherlands
dedicated to information design. Departing from the notion that there are different cognitive speeds with which people scan infor-
mation, we embedded these speeds into the way people were able to digest the large array of contributions. Both writers, artists
and designers contributed to the exhibition, which took place in the Netherlands and the U.K.
Stroom Den Haag, 2000
Lanchester Gallery, Coventry (UK), 2001
With Maarten de Reus
On the Design of Information
3D model exhibition InfoArcadia, Stroom Den Haag
In 1997 I participated in an group exhibition dedicated to Baruch Spinoza. Several Spinoza-related celebrations took place, with
lectures and commemorative events. Eight artists were invited to reflect on Spinoza’s work, with the initial aim to develop a Spi-
noza monument in Amsterdam. My artwork consisted of a beehive clad in anodized aluminium that was installed in the exhibition
room of Arti & Amicitiae in the centre of Amsterdam. The work links to Spinoza’s concept of a universe consisting of dynamic re-
lationships rather than a Cartesian construct.
In the years that followed I developed a plan for a botanical garden and bee pavilion dedicated to both the great philosopher’s
work and the profound interaction between bee populations and plants.
Arti & Amicitiae, Amsterdam
Hortus Spinoza (1998-2001)
Institut Néerlandais, Paris
Hortus Botanicus, Amsterdam
Baruch (Benedictus) Spinoza
“When a number of bodies of the same or different magnitude form close contact
with one another through the pressure of other bodies upon them, or if they
are moving at the same or different rates of speed so as to preserve an
unvarying relation of movement among themselves, these bodies are
said to be united with one another and all together to form one
body or individual thing, which is distinguished from other
things through this union of bodies”
Spinoza: Ethica, II, Proposition 13, definition
Spinoza Alvearium, anodized aluminum, beehive with approximately 25,000 bees
120 x 65 x 55 cm
Alvearium with outlet into the Amsterdam city centre
berceau from linden trees
Hortus Spinoza: Exploded view with main components
Hortus Spinoza: see-through view of pavilion with 15 beehives and the integral Ethics engraved in the interior stone wall
Hortus Spinoza: pavilion with 15 beehives and the integral Ethics engraved in the interior stone wall
Hortus Spinoza: 6 mtr long lightbox with background information and plans, presented in the Hortus Botanicus, Amsterdam
In 2001 I was invited as curator and exhibition designer by the Outline Foundation in Amsterdam. I was given Carte Blanche.
For years I have been fascinated by one of the hyperbolical stories by Baron von Münchhausen. A wolf attacks him in a forest,
but the baron saves himself by pulling the animal inside out. Such an action is hard to imagine, and therefore I invited eight
artists to visualize the story, and possibly, in the slipstream, also the mental condition that is named after the good baron.
The exhibition design consisted of a mustard green band running along all walls, with the artworks embedded in shallow niches
The Münchhausen Syndrome
Outline Foundation, Amsterdam
Curator and exhibition designer
Es kommt drauf an
Sich am eigenen Haar in die Höhe zu ziehn
Sich selbst von innen nach außen zu stülpen
Und alles mit neuen Augen zu sehn
Peter Weiss - Marat/Sade
Peter van Straaten
The Water-Tower in Oost-Souburg near Vlissingen is a massive structure. For several years now it functions as exhibition space.
In 1999 I was invited to realize a multimedia installation for the circular space that used to hold the water. My fascination with
the Revelation of St. John led to my work for the Aa church in Groningen (1994). Again this text was used for my cooperation
with Gylan Kain. In the video Kain recites Revelation, chapter X. AND/BUT refers to the number of times these two words are
uttered: ‘And’ 37 times, ‘But’ only once. Inside the water holder Kain was projected, supported by dynamic typography, on the
wall. In the narrow gallery that surrounds the water holder Kain’s voice was heard by means of a surround sound system.
The Water-Tower, Oost-Souburg, Zeeland province
Tom van den Berge, Curator
With Gylan Kain, performer, co-founder of The Original Last Poets
1 And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven,
clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon his head, and
his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire:
2 And he had in his hand a little book open: and he set his
right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth,
3 And cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth: and
when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices.
4 And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices,
I was about to write: and I heard a voice from heaven saying
unto me, Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered,
and write them not.
5 And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the
earth lifted up his hand to heaven,
6 And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created
heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the
things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are
therein, that there should be time no longer:
7 But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he
shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished,
as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.
8 And the voice which I heard from heaven spake to me again,
and said, Go and take the little book which is open in the hand
of the angel which standeth upon the sea and upon the earth.
9 And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the
little book. And he said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and
it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth
sweet as honey.
10 And I took the little book out of the angel's hand, and
ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon
as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter.
11 And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before
many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.
Revelation, Chapter 10 - Albrecht Dürer: St. John Eating The Book
Gylan Kain projected in the circular water holder
Four artists were invited by the Trechter 5 foundation to develop a work under the patronage of Mary Magdalene in the large
church in Goes that carries her name. Goes is one of the few cities in the Netherlands with Mary Magdalene as patron saint.
She is not only revered by prostitutes but also by perfumers. Departing from this notion I embarked on making two scents
together with the eminent perfumer Alessandro Gualtieri, creator of the Nasomatto perfume line. The scents were released in
the church by means of a sensor-triggered evaporation system. One scent reminisced a stratospheric space filled with ozone,
the other a subterranean space with one narrow beam of sunlight touching a humid patch of moss. I also designed a double-
compartment perfume bottle for the occasion.
Maria Magdalena Church, Goes, Zeeland province
In cooperation with Alessandro Gualtieri, perfumer
Installation with perfume bottles suspended from the vaults. Motion detectors trigger the evaporation system
In 1996 new plans for the central market square were presented to the Middelburg citizenry.
Middelburg is the urban beating heart of the peninsula of Walcheren, Zeeland province. The city was seriously damaged during
the Second World War. After the war traditionalist architects and urban designers ‘restructured’ the city with building blocks that
mimic historical architecture. The historical outline of the market square was abandoned and replaced by a smaller urban space.
We were asked by the curators to analyse the present and future developments, question the status quo, and reflect on what the
market square was, is, and could become. By means of a widely distributed free newspaper, an exhibition, and several lectures
and discussions, we sought to address this issue.
The Kidnapped City
De Vleeshal, Middelburg / Lex ter Braak en Nelly Voorhuis, curators
With Ton Venhoeven and Johan de Koning, architects and urban designers
The Kidnapped City - cover house-to-house magazine De Faam (ed. 50.000), with the magazine’s centerfold
The Kidnapped City - slide sequence in de Vleeshal
The Kidnapped City - Slide sequence (selection)
In 1994 Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam celebrated the 60th anniversary of the Cineac, an iconic cinema building in the
Amsterdam city centre designed by architect Jan Duiker in 1934. Curator Leontine Coelewij grew up just around the corner.
The group show contained historical material, related artworks that address the societal impact of cinema architecture, and
special contributions by various artists and designers, both in the Cineac building and in the SMBA exhibition rooms.
My work consisted of eighteen large black and white photographs of typical architectural details spotted in the Cineac, and
captured by a 4x5 inch technical camera. I used these details in order to reenact a genre of industrial photography that was
typical of early 20th century Modernism.
Group show Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam (SMBA)
Leontine Coelewij, curator
In 1993 the Amsterdam Fund for the Arts (AFK) commissioned me to develop a public artwork for the Haarlemmer Square.
Ever since the late 1960s the Haarlemmer Square was an amputated public space. After a derelict city block was demolished,
several renewal projects were developed, but to no avail. This time a design by Sebastiaan Gribling stood a better chance.
My proposal consisted of a redesign of the herring and flower stands, two typical Amsterdam public icons. As a counterpoint I
added an exotic biotope in a compact greenhouse consisting of a self-sufficient miniature rainforest. By means of so-called
Priva-Lite glass and light sensors the objects would switch from opaque to transparent. At night the rainforest would be visible,
in the daytime the stands.
Again this project was not realized. As of 2012 a new city block borders the square, after several more years of failed plans.
Commissioned by Amsterdam Fund for the Arts, Peter van der Heijden, curator
Square design by Sebastiaan Gribling/Department of Urban Planning
Haarlemmer Square, day and night - square design by Sebastiaan Gribling (DRO), 1993
Haarlemmer Square, day and night - Herring and Flower stands (left), tropical rainforest biotope (right)
After a long renovation that took over five years the Aa Church in Groningen was reopened as a multi-functional building. The
foundation responsible for maintaining and managing the church, and the Mondriaan Foundation commissioned me to create a
permanent artwork for the church interior. Using as source material the New Testament’s Revelation of St. John, Chapter X, in
which an angel asks St John to eat a small Book as divine fuel for the saint, in order to transmit his prophesies to the world.
I made two objects: a large silver book for the south aisle, and a small golden book for the sacristy. Both books are devoid of
language; they hang upside down with their pages opened and catch the light that enters the church. Both objects represent
the thousands of books that were read in the Aa Church in the course of nearly six hundred years.
Two books celebrating the newly renovated Aa church in Groningen
Commissioned by Foundation for Old Churches and the Mondriaan Foundation
117Albrecht Dürer (1471–1528) - St. John eats the book, woodcut
Revelations, Chapter X
Aa Church - locations of the silver and golden book
Engraved silver object located between the silver book and the church vault
HOE MEER ENGELEN, HOE MEER VRIJE RUIMTE (The more angels, the more free space) - quote Emanuel Swedenborg
Hercules Segers is one of the great artists the Dutch Golden Age brought forth, but his limited body of work is small and unassuming.
Rembrandt loved his work: an oeuvre of small-scale mixed media etchings and paintings. Nevertheless the landscapes he depicts are
profoundly monumental, with an uncanny, brooding atmosphere. The Rijksmuseum owns most of his work.
I designed a cabinet for Segers’ etchings, built to be never used: The empty cabinet contains only the vaporized light in his etchings.
Departing from the colour spectrum in Segers’ work I had specific colours made by means of the aluminum anodizing process. The
Segers Cabinet as homage is and a piece of furniture, and a building and a monument, devoid of a functional program. The publication
that accompanies the cabinet’s presentations is conceived as primary a component as the cabinet itself.
Het Segers Kabinet
A self-initiated homage to Hercules Segers (1589?-1640?)
Hercules Segers - Etching/coloring HB 19a, 1st version, 156 x 210 mm. Collection Rijksmuseum Amsterdam
The Segers Cabinet - isometric projection
The Segers Cabinet - presentation in the Rietveld Pavilion, Gerrit Rietveld Academy Amsterdam