The Thinker by Auguste Rodin is an iconic misunderstanding. Since its creation in 1881, it has been said that the sculpture expresses the activity of thinking, while it merely expresses the pose of thinking. Once you realize, the Thinker is an empty form on which anyone may project his or her thoughts. This has led to a range of ideas - and clichés - about man who reflects on his existence.
Curator Kris Dittel writes: What practices bring us closer to understanding the potential of art to represent different notions of value in the contemporary? How can we counter the certain apathy of the contemporary to engage with positions that resist this mood and present us with challenging perspectives on value? The project attempts to locate artistic and institutional practices that offer viewpoints beyond the strategy of blending-in and conforming to the rules.
It's either filthy thoughts or intellectual blah-blah, and nothing in between. Look closer. More closer. Look at me! You hear me?! If there's any reason for me to be ashamed, it's you. The only reason I'm standing in front of the town hall is because I happened to have been 'created' by a world-famous sculptor: Rodin, the genius of deep emotions and existential gestures. Yeah right. The way I'm standing here, Rodin is the only person who's never once laid a finger on me.
Found in a container in Delft, by a fellow student at the academy. Swapped for an easel and a modeling stand. After the threshold was worn out on one side, it was turned around, after which the other side started to wear out as well. It remains unknown how long this process has been going on altogether. Maybe it once belonged to the house of Vermeer.
De Balzac van Auguste Rodin staat vanaf 1 februari in Het Oog in het van Abbemuseum, als special guest in een installatie van Arnoud Holleman. In deze tijdelijke opstelling draait het beeld langzaam rond. Bezoekers kunnen het beeld van alle kanten bekijken en de 19e eeuwse schrijver kijkt ondertussen rond, naar onze tijd. Via een online radiozender ? Radio Balzac ? worden meningen, discussies en andere inzichten over het beeld verzameld en uitgezonden.
Staring at the picture of the garden on the postcard I catch a glimpse of my mother in a version of her life that she never lived, one in which Nico had gotten in touch, after that evening out. Perhaps now she'd have a different surname and be sitting by a different fire drinking wine with a different child. In a moment that feels like an oedipal short circuit, I experience something impossible: that I never existed.