Summer Sagas Sale!
1_ Peter Giele _ Napoléon III _ Prospect & Exile

august 30, 2009.

[ Some memorable bytes from and for 2009's summer(art)y events that I skimmed over in Amsterdam, Maastricht and Paris ... ]

Peter Giele - Salon d'Amitié in Arti, Amsterdam

On the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the demise of Peter Giele (1954-1999) ..<=[Amsterdam post-punk artist, designer, activist and entrepreneur, who - pretty much single handedly - founded and built (just to name two) the seminal AORTA art gallery (early 1980s in the then NRC-Handelsblad squat), and - some years later - the legendary Roxy disco that went up in flames in the aftermath of the party following Peter's grand & extravagant burial on the Amsterdam Zorgvlied cemetery, june 21st, 1999]=>.. the Giele Trust set up a Salon de l'amitié in Arti et Amicitiae, from june 20th till july 26th.
87 artists contributed works; most of them presented a pair, consisting in a work from the days they contributed to or were active within one of Giele's initiatives, next to a recent one.
Here's some pictures I shot at the opening on friday june 19th, and some made a few days later.

giele trust aorta giele trust aorta
giele trust aorta giele trust aorta

In one of the expo's corners stood a Reciva, streaming Raudio, 24/7 ... It was there as a contemporary counterpart to £pcM's 'Het Glaswerk' (1983), that you see him looking at in picture to the left, above.

giele trust aorta

The early 1980s Amsterdam of squats, DIY-ers, young post-punkers and emerging artists, was anarchic, fast-paced, influential and rich in ideas. Thirty years onwards this relatively short period still/again is discussed at large. It also is a period 'claimed' by many, which maybe is a reason why its documentation remains curiously sparse and fragmentary, presenting several often contradictory and mostly myopic views. Let me therefore jump at the occasion, and indulge in the means of a now blog to bring back to (some sort of) life even some of the most obscure among the obscure of back then :-) ...
aorta 1983 In the black-and-white picture to the right (click to enlarge) you see 'Silent Music (sound/no-sound)', a minimalistic and wobbly 3-part sculpture that I made in the spring of 1983 with some odd bits and ends of wood lying around, in Peter Giele's Aorta. The thing was part of a group show that included pretty much tout le monde, initiated and organized by Erik Hobijn, Maarten Ploeg and Rob Scholte. It was shortly after Ronald Heiloo and myself had released the Commuters album with Dagmar Krause, and the silent 'wooden trio' was obviously related to that, though the conceptual details by now have disappeared in the mists of time ...
Tens of friends 'n' artists worked and schemed for one month; with, but - let there be no doubt about it - also against, one another, in the cold Aorta space. Then there was an opening, on the evening of saturday april 10th 1983. £PcM's contribution was a participation as 'Publiek'; and Peter Giele covered his eyes, laid himself down and went to sleep, in the very middle of the spacious and dark Aorta, where the crowd had to crawl its way through a lot of wet and fresh creation with the help of red dyno torches (knijpkatten) that were distributed at the entrance.
The big 'R' on the floor next to the sculpture is from a poster of Mike von Bibikov's "De Reagering", a po(et)(lit)ical 'movement' striving for - of course - world governance. "Ik wil niet op iemand stemmen, ik wil het zelf doen!" was one of Bibikov's better slogans. ("I do not want to vote for someone, I want to do it myself!")
'Silent Music (sound/no-sound)' probably shortly after was de-constructed and put to use to momentarily warm up part of the pretty much un-heatable Aorta space.

"Nothing serious" - antiNoise Brigade in the Louvre

Julien Arno invited the Commando Anti Bruit to join him in a celebratory visit of the former quarters of Napoleon III, in the Parisian Louvre. We were to make sounds, unobtrusively, while here and there Julien would recite related texts in french. We went there on sunday july 6th, with Rébus and Anthony Carcone, and later on were joined by Jodi Rose, who then took over Rébus camera. It was a very hot and sunny day and, being the first sunday of the month, entrance to the Musée du Louvre was free. So a hell of a lot of tourists were in there with us.


We got spotted by guards right away, who saw us as a bunch of, maybe not terrorists or otherwise dangerous, but certainly 'fishy guys'. They kept a close watch on us, and stepped in with a warning each time we got a bit too overtly loud.


They were friendly enough, though, and probably just worried that we were on some kind of political mission, like, say, a royalist one. We refrained from insisting, and mostly managed to reassure them. "It is just a very informal celebration of Napoléon the Third," Rébus told them. "Nothing serious ..."

I edited the uTube out of material shot that afternoon by Rébus and Jodi Rose.

[ Added september 17th, 2009: Following an urgent but polite - and all things considered, justifiable - request from one of the museum's employees that in the quality of his function willy-nilly became an actor in the CAB's action of that sunday, the documentary uTube "Nothing Serious" is no longer available for public viewing.
Added september 24th, 2009: The requester apparently was not satisfied by my geste de bonne volonté, that is, rendering the video private on YouTube, and wrote to YouTube, who - as is their policy - removed the clip from the soundblogvideos account. As you can see above. I consider this unjustified and contrary to the tone of my correspondence with the requester. So instead of having the clip available for private (a limited number of invitations only) viewing on YouTube, feel free to download it or click here to view it (quicktime, mp4 - hosted by park.nl, Amsterdam ) ]

Prospect & Exile - Bonnefantenmuseum, Maastricht

Passing early august through Maastricht, I took the opportunity to take the kids on a tour of the Bonnefanten museum. Which always is a pleasure. If not for the art that's on show, then in any case for the museum's peace and quiet; and - especially on this august's dog days - for its cool.

On the third floor there was the Prospect Park V expo, including a show of audio-works by Rod Summers and a display of a selection of his many CDr's. One could sit or lay down, as you see me doing in the picture below [pass your mouse to wake me up; then click to have me rest again], and listen to a soundprojection playing in one of three audio-domes that the museum had installed. The set-up comes with an undeniable sort of neutral-modern esthetics. It appeared to be not very practical, though, showing once again what hard times almost all museums - still - have to properly 'expose' works made out of sound ... The volume was way too low, and I had to listen to Rod's recordings mingled with the soundtrack to a film by snow-pataphysicist Capitaine Lonchamp's which was projected in the adjacent room.

rod sounds condition

On the second floor, there was Exile on Main Street, named indeed after the Rolling Stones' pièce de résistance from the early 1970s. Sub-titled 'Humour, exaggeration & anti-authoritarianism in American art', this colorful exhibition of 200+ items, curated by the Bonnefantenmuseum's director Alexander van Grevenstein, highlights the work of a number of artists that will strike you as typical american, without quite fitting one of the continent's post-1950s artistic main streams.

In the pictures there's a couple of images I particularly enjoyed. Like (above) H.C. Westerman's 'A Human Condition (1964)': a small closet in the shape of a crucifix, that looks like a coffin, with a lid that despite the hinges and a doorknob, by construction, is impossible to open. Other highlights were among John Tweddle's curiously shaped canvases (below); and the kids just loved taking snaps and being snapped next to Peter Saul's weirdo canvas cartoons.

real art
peter saul tas

Last, but in these which are our times not least, we did the tour of the museum shop, running our fingers through the tons of merchandising, gadgets, books and souvenirs. There was a whole heap of polyester retro cassette tape bags, like the one Alec shows you in the picture.

We did not buy it.

tags: Amsterdam, Maastricht, Paris, Louvre, Napoleon III

# .329.

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