SOUND/VISUAL ART & MUSIC
On saturday, 17th september I will start a one month enduring roadtrip in a former - typically Dutch - supermarket on wheels: A so called 'SRV-wagen'. This one is built somewhere in the 1970's. After getting retired from beeing a riding grocerystore for many years, in 2014 it has been transformed into a riding artist roadstudio/roadhome by the artinitiative VHDG, based in Leeuwarden (Fr¥$lâN), who kindly invited me for this project.
During that period I will travel whith low speed (25km/h max.) from village to village - avoiding motorways and only using tiny sneaky roads. There we go: ADVENTURE! RIGHT INTO THE BLUE. STRAIGHT STORY, CoCo RiCo Monsieur Poulet! you name it.
I will make new work on the road. The results will be presented on october 15th, during an exhibition at Hofplein 25 in Leeuwarden (Friesland). The exhibition and the bus will be open to public until november 11th, 2016.
Afterwards the exhibition will travel to The Hague, which will open on december 3rd, at Binckhorstlaan 215, Locatie Z XL
Hello and welcome to my recent project:
Why am I doing this?
For quite a while I have been curious about how it would be if I made my art-practice mobile? How could I adapt my visual language and my way of working to a non-artworld related context and environment. How would my work look like? How would I react to my frequently changing surroundings, it's inhabitants, their communities and their 'materials'?
How would my surrounding react on me?
Having these questions in mind, during my residency I want to approach Friesland as an Ethnologist and an Ethnograph. Mapping out that 'Wild North' as an exotic, far away and - at least to me - yet unknown country.
I'm about to find AND to create unpredictable happenings and encounters.
The results of my exploration will be articulated directly in form of temporary sculptures, installations or happenings, or an amalgamation of those elements.
During that period I will try to update this site from time to time, to share some impressions and maybe even thoughts that will come along my way. Since I have never been a postcard-writer while being on holiday, I'm curious how this will turn out.
So stay tuned-ed-ed-ed
17.09. - 15.10
15.10. - 11.11.
exhibition in Leeuwarden
If you are living in Fr¥$lâN and you would like to meet me or want to help me somehow during my road trip, you are welcome to do so by downloading this poster (just click on it), print it out and tape it on your window, so I can see it from the street when I drive by your house.
You can also send me an e-mail, a Whatsapp message, a SMS or give me a call.
On the poster you can already find some prefab suggestions what I could be in need of, but off cause you can also come up with something yourself. In return I will bring unbelievable stories, tropical music, strong drinks and good company with authentically german humor...
Phone: 06-153 337 23
03.12. - t.b.a.
exhibition in The Hague
Not even officially on the road yet, but already in the news! And what kind of news. We made it into the NKC (Nederlandse Kampeerauto Club) a magazine of the Dutch Motorhome Club.
To read it, just click on it. (Text is in Dutch)
10.09.2016, The Hague
first day on the road.
This morning I welcomed my first two curious guests for a cup of 'koffie'. They brought 'kruidenkoek' (gingerbread). Wil en Wilma are heading towards the island Terschelling by bike, coming from Soest. They make about 70km/day. Good Luck.
This is Johannes Daalder uit Vorchten. Johannes is an organ player and became quite enthusiastic when he stepped inside the bus and saw the keyboard on my workbench and the organ pipes in one of my yellow boxes.
Since 2 days I am a guest at 'Het Tijdelijk Verblijf' by Rolina en Paul in Rutten, which is located approximately 8km south from Lemmer. This means I am just outside Fr¥slâN. But since artists are ment to stretch out the borders from time to time, I just did my job. Thus, Rutten belongs to Fr¥slâN, now! Hurray!
Anyways, yesterday I hooked up my soundsystem on the roof to my recordplayer and tried to get the interiour of the bus a bit more organized.
Today it's time to get deep into colours.
For this job I hardly recommend the record: 'Psych Funk SA-RE-GA!', released by the 'World Psychedelic Funk Classics' Label in 2010.
Here is a first impression of the transformation of the bus. This is just the beginning. For the next 3 weeks I will continue with this project. Encounters, impressions and other important happenings along the way will find their way directly on the bus.
HYPERFOLKLORE, here we come!
It's time to go on and say goodbye to Rolina and Paul, who have been phantastic hosts. Thank you so much for welcoming me for four days on your farm, the great conversations and last but not least, the delicious suppers. Hope to welcome you at the opening in Leeuwarden on october, 15th or see you in The Hague.
I am heading north-east now, not sure yet where I will set camp tonight. So stay tuned-ed-ed-ed-ed-ed...
Wanna know what my sound system will spill out on the long and winding roads for the next hours?
Some great columbian Cumbias, spaced out disco tunes from Cape Verde and probably a good sniff of Lee Scratch Perry, straight from the Black Ark!
Wow, what a day!
I made it to Drachten pretty easily today. It also was a very nice route. I like that eastern part of Fr¥$lâN. It's beautiful. Anyways, after having done some groceries I decided to leave the city again, because I prefer setting up camp on the countryside.
And now the ADVENTURE begins:
In order to leave Drachten, I had to follow an unconventional route of yellow temporary street signs due to some road construction works. Some of them even had a traktor on them, so I thought I am save.
BUT, I didn't take the devil into account and ended up on the motorway. Keep in mind, my maximum speed is 25km/h!!!
Well, I didn't have a choice, so I took the berm to the next possible exit. It's quite a frightening feeling in your guts, driving with an extremely slow vehicle down the motorway while everyone races past you 5 times as fast as you are, next to knowing what you are doing is against the law. But, there are also angles in this world, and I was lucky and even got two. The police found me, stopped me, asked me if I am alright, if my vehicle is alright and most important: was understanding. So, after that was all cleared up, I explained them what I am usually doing when I am on the road with that bus and showed them the interior and the work I have done so far. As I told them that I started to put stickers on the bus which relate to special encounters and happenings along the way, they were looking in their car for some police stickers. Unfortunately they didn't have some.
They decided to give me an escorte off the motorway to a save road which really lead to the countryside. Thank you again for your understanding and help!
BUT, now I was driving towards Beetsterzwaag again, which I passed just two hours earlier this day, with blasting 'The Meridian Brothers" out of my sound system on the roof ;) So I decided to take another direction. I had no clue where the road would lead me to, and it was getting more and more narrow. In addition to that, I did not have much eye sight since the lights of the bus are not very strong and the frontwindow is shed. It feels like driving in the dark with sunglasses on. After an half an hour I ended up in 'Klein Groningen' which to my big surprise is about 1,6km away from Moskou. WTF!? is going on in Fr¥$lâN?
I decided to set up camp here, and surprise: Somebody left a trailer for me.
@ VHDG: hebben wij nog wat budget voor dit project? Volgens mij is deze trailer te koop :-)
It's getting better and better and I start loosing control on what is happening to me. In a good way. Rationality impossible. I met so many lovely people along the way that I didn't have time at all to keep you posted about my encounters and adventures, anymore. So I"ll keep it short. Since Friday last week, I am in Oudebildtzijl. What a village! According to the Friesians, it's the end of the world. If this is true, I want to move to the end of the world. What a wideness. What an emptiness. What a people. Thank you all for being so welcome and giving me the feeling of being home. The pictures down here represent just a very small selection of the people I met.
Well ok, some short stories:
The proud man in front of his caravan is Ben. I met Ben and his wife Ann in Twijzelerheide on a farm-camping which was completely abandoned. Ben worked for the most time of his life in the records industries. As a banality, he told me, that he was responsible for the fact, that the album "Thriller" by Michael Jackson had a delayed release of 2 weeks in Europe and the US, because he discovered some major faults on the records. The stores in the US were already filled up and ready to go. But Ben stopped the process, all the records had to leave the shops again and had to be repressed from a new "mother-LP'' which has been cut by Ben himself in Haarlem. Great Job Ben! Keep it going.
When I left the camping and drove towards Oudebildtzijl, I came across the Shop KA & KO in Wyns, which was so kien to sponsor me with a real Holsteiner Cow skin. Thank you very much, didn't expect that! I am curious in which way it will find it's place in one of my new works I am about to make on the road.
When I entered Oudebildtzijl, I found a "Welcome Matthias" poster on the window at Wies Noest's house, where she offered to repair cloths. So I knocked at her door and Wies was home. She welcomed me and was so happy to see me. According to her, she never expected me really showing up. Wies repaired 2 of my trousers and we had a great time talking about art and life all night long with some special Southern German "Williams Birnenschnaps", I brought with me.
I stayed 4 days in Oudebildtzijl and met a whole bunch of great people, who showed me around, we went spotting flamingos and even found 2 on the shore and we did so much more. Once again, THANK YOU, I will carry all of you in my heart and hope to meet you again.
I'm on the go now, heading towards Harlingen, spotting for the right place to record a video. So, stay tuned-ed-ed-ed...
Today I spent a visit to the Friesian poet and birdwatcher Jan Kleefstra. Jan is part of several unique music projects, most of the time in collaboration with his brother Romke Kleefstra. They are also known as the "Kleefstra Brothers". In my early preparations for my Fr¥$lâN project more than a year ago, I stumbled across the record "Wurdskrieme" by "Piiptsjilling" one of the many projects of the Kleefstra Brothers, together with Rutger Zuydervelt a.k.a. "Machinefabriek" and Mariska Baars, which made me very curious about that little country up north. After three weeks traveling through the Friesian landscape I can really feel where their inspiration has it's very roots. Together they create fantastic, dark soundscapes, enriched by strong visual poems in Frisian language by Jan. A very unique project which is received very well around the globe, yet they are still little known.
I am very happy that I could be your guest today Jan and I am even happier to announce that "Piiptsjilling" will open my solo exhibition about this very project in The Hague, december 3rd. But until it's so far, I am also happy to announce my return to Leeuwarden next week Saturday, October 15th, which will be the opening of my solo exhibition at VHDG as well. So I hope to see you there and celebrate my adventures and the new works I have made alongside a long road.
When I parked in front of Jan's house, I had another unpredictable encounter. "Is this Vincent van Velsen on that foldable bike?" Yeah it very is. According to a mutual tradition introduced by higher forces, usually I stumble across Vincent in Rotterdam. So I was very surprised to meet him in Akkrum. According to him it was purely by accident that he ended up in Akkrum. According to his socks, I'm sure he planned this encounter. That perfect match with my bus cannot be an incident.
For more information about the Kleefstra Brothers:
18.10.2016, The Hague
It has been four weeks now since I left Leeuwarden, so I had to return for the opening of my solo exhibition. What a warm welcome. So many people I have met during my trip have found their way to the opening. It was quite overwhelming. But have a look for yourself. The pictures give an impression of the opening and a sneak preview of the installation I have made for that particular event.