Arts Holland Magazine, issue 1, 2012

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people who make the magic happen P



dutch design you can’t leave behind




food on the arts agenda P



sustainable solutions by cityscaping


Arts Holland Magazine would like to share a little secret with you: in a limitless cloudscape of trending topics, tag-clouds, likes and followers, pins and the unending range of sharing possibilities, a printed magazine is an oasis of calm reflection and clarity. To make sure you don’t miss anything while visiting Holland, or to give you some pointers while you are planning your trip, this magazine presents some of the unique, innovative and top-of-the-range culture that Holland has to offer. Our selection is not exhaustive. It couldn’t be, as the arts and culture scene in Holland is constantly changing, and we wouldn’t want it to be. We want to give you reasons to come back. For such a small, flat country, Holland’s cultural landscape is remarkably dense and varied. The major cities, each no more than an hour apart, are home to an internationallyorientated cultural sector that offers a fresh alternative to the mainstream global hotspots. Arts Holland, both in print and online, is a new platform that encompasses the entire ­spectrum of the Dutch cultural scene. Welcome to the w ­ orld’s art district.

The Arts Holland Magazine editorial team, Yvette Gieles, Kim Nanne, Taco de Neef, Anna Visser & Femke van Woerden-Tausk

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best in show

10 behind the scenes

20 toneelgroep

Combined with a slight touch of romance, seduc-

Photographer Daniel Cohen visited five music

This is the story of how over the past decade

tion and storytelling, conceptualization­defines

venues in the four largest Dutch cities to find

Artistic Director Ivo van Hove developed

Dutch fashion at the moment. Being raised in

out just who runs the show backstage. From the

Toneelgroep Amsterdam from an appreciated­

a playground of examination, Dutch designers

director, who coordinates the whole operation to

national avant-garde group into an internation-

stride to the horizon, ready to ­disperse their

the technician who makes sure all microphones

ally renowned theatre company, and how he did

stratified products to the ­widest of audiences.

are working – these are the people who make

so by building on the accomplishments of the

the magic happen.

flourishing small theatres in Holland.


architecture of consequence


a perfect daughter


Arts Holland Magazine selected five Rotterdam-

A brand new short story by Tommy Wieringa,

A portrait of five equally passionate Dutch

based bureaus that are designing a sustainable

writer of the novels All About Tristan and Joe

art collectors. Danielle van Ark took on the

architectonic future.

Speedboat. His travel stories have been collected

challenging task of capturing the heart of each

in the volume I Was Never In Isfahaan.

collection in a series of portraits. Instead of por-


home is where the art is

traits of collectors simply adorned by beautiful pieces of art in the background, these portraits are of the collections themselves; the house in which they are held is merely décor.



27 darlings

30 edible cities


Comparing cultural exports and regular exports

In the past decade Holland has rather surpris-

Your chances of purchasing an original

has its limitations, but it does show how the

ingly become a platform for innovative food

Rembrandt or Rietveld are pretty slim. Luckily,

culture and commerce of a small country find

projects, commonly initiated by young artists,

there are plenty of affordable and transportable

their way in the world.

designers and architects.

Dutch Design items to take home. Arts Holland

on the go

take me home

Magazine invited Florianne Eshuis to share a ­selection of her favourite pieces.


holland turkey 400 years


play the game

78 the

Dutch culture does well in Turkey. The cultural

Discover Dutch culture icons (and snacks) in this

Go off the beaten track. Experience arts,

offering from Holland has tripled over the

game made by Sue Doeksen and Raw Color.

culture and heritage, museums, design, fashion,


past few years, thanks in part to Daniël Stork,

theatre and more in the cities of Amsterdam,

Cultural Attaché at the Dutch Consulate

Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht. These maps

General. He is one of the masterminds behind

help you plan your visit with a selection of the

the 400th anniversary celebration of diplomatic

city's true gems.

ties between Holland and Turkey.



Photo—Wikkie Hermkens

hyun yeu ‘This is the campaign image of my first commercial collection,’ says the Koreanborn designer Hyun Yeu. It is the logical outcome of extensive examination of his androgy­nous men’s fashion. He began by choosing the name of his label, Ado Les Scents, which besides ‘teenagers’ hints at ‘the scents of commotion’ in French. It resulted in jackets that look as if the wearer has already grown out of them. In other garments he took commotion quite ­literally: Yeu’s pants are cut to enlarge the crotch.

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Best in show

between space and structure Text—

aynouk tan Aynouk Tan is a journalist, writer, consultant and art-director. She creates installations and performances for museums and art institutions and writes about fashion for newspapers and several Dutch and international fashion magazines. In all her books and journalism Tan discusses the historic, artistic and social significance of fashion and sets out to define our zeitgeist.

When entering Holland from the south, clambering over the hills of the province of Limburg, you encounter a landscape that is representative of much of our countryside. If it weren’t for the resplendent view you might close your eyes for a moment just because the space is so vast, the light so overwhelmingly present. The clouds resonate in the water of the narrow channels that separate one meadow from the next.

—> More images and addresses on

The Dutch landscape is comprehensive in its flatness; there is nothing to get in the way of contemplating anything and everything within your range of sight. We have room to think, to indulge experimental ideas and to reflect.

Fashion is taught in art academies in Holland, forcing students to conceptualize their approach. While in the 90s it led to highly artistic, unwearable, but very interesting garments, the current generation seems more realistic. Intensive research is translated into an unclouded vision. It results in intelligent, tangible collections that straddle space and structure, the conceptual and the commercial, the artistic and the practical.

Our fashion designers are known for their need to question. Why does a sweater have two sleeves instead of three? What is the definition of ‘tough’ when it comes to men’s fashion? What does ‘craft’ mean in an age of technological riches? At the same time the Dutch are moved by the urge to structure their space. Anyone looking towards the horizon and seeing a grand panorama will also perceive the graphic network of the broad canals and their finer channels that outline the meadows.

Combined with a slight touch of romance, seduction and storytelling, conceptualization defines Dutch fashion at the moment. Being raised in a playground of examination, Dutch designers stride to the horizon, ready to disperse their stratified products to the widest of audiences.

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spijkers & spijkers Twin sisters Truus and Riet Spijkers make fashion as structured as the Dutch landscape. Distinct colour pallets and linearity characterize their style. The modernism of the 1920s is an important source of inspiration, translating into­no-nonsense dresses that refer to ­triangles or squares. And, significantly, their designs are suited to a bike ride around town.

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Photo—Michel Zoeter

iris van herpen Twenty-eight-year-old Iris van Herpen takes craftsmanship to another level. Her innovative silhouettes, experimen­tal in form and function, represent the digit­ al revolution—the transition from the world before. The making of her leather dresses, knotted by hand, is particularly labour-intensive and she has introduced ornamentation created using a 3D printer. Her sculptures are the result of a timeconsuming practice, of continually reflecting on what has been and, more importantly, on what is yet to come.

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Photo—Petrovsky & Ramone

jan taminiau What does couture mean now that democratization is at the top of the agenda and the elite has ceased to be relevant? Jan Taminiau lets his models walk on tottering shoes, covers their faces in metal and their body in transparent silk combined with shiny armour. While never losing his romantic touch he turns his muses into aliens, proposing a new definition of an upper-class ideal.

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Photo—Hermanna Prinsen

mattijs van bergen Even though he was educated at Central Saint Martins in London, Mattijs van Bergen’s Dutch origins shine through his designs. They are glamorous, but restrained. Seductive, yes, but his dresses never scream sex. His power lies right in the middle of these references, holding the line between fluid temptation and restrained elegance, between artistic craft and commercial ambition. Subtlety is his keyword, open to innumerable interpretations.

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behind the scenes People who make the magic happen

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the hague



daniel cohen

The Lucent Danstheater is one of the world’s biggest purpose-built dance venues. An impressive building in the centre of The Hague, designed by Rem Koolhaas and hence always a popular field-trip stop for architecture students. Besides hosting world-renowned dance companies the theatre has its own in-house company, the acclaimed Nederlands Dans Theater (NDT). And it’s not only about dance. The ­adjoining theatre, the Dr. Anton Philipszaal presents opera, classical and popular music concerts.

Daniel Cohen studied photography at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague for a year before deciding that internships and training with professional photographers would better fit his personal development and career. He realizes his own projects, such as We Want More and My Name is Cohen, and works as a freelance photographer for print media and advertizing agencies.

—> For the full agenda, visit



‘In the fifteen years I’ve worked here, there’s never been a dull moment. One day you’re unloading eight truckloads of opera equipment and the next you’re organizing a commercial event. What makes this theatre very special is the combination of having an amazing in-house company and orchestra, and being able to host the greatest companies in the world. The best moments for me are actually the times when something almost goes wrong. A power outage or computer crash: if we can fix it without the audience noticing definitely gives me a rush.’

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PARADISO From The Rolling Stones to Prince: Paradiso can boast an impressive procession of musical guests. Once a church, this historic venue on Leidseplein in the centre of the city first opened its doors in 1968 under the name Cosmic Relaxation Centre Paradiso. Given its pastoral origins, the building’s acoustics and atmosphere are superb. While the ground-floor auditorium is the ­preserve of big established acts, upstairs is the place to discover new talent. After concerts Paradiso transforms into a nightclub, with dance and hip hop events that go on until the early hours.

programme manager visual arts


‘When Paradiso approached me in 2008 I was astonished. What would a music venue like Paradiso want with an arts person like me? But it turned out to be a great match. I’m the only person here responsible for visual arts programming. We organize projects like the Infiltration Series, in which interactive art with a surprising, experimental or subversive character breaks into the regular programme. ‘What makes Paradiso unique is that I get complete freedom in coming up with my own projects. As long as it suits the venue of course. I feel personally honored to be working in a place with so much history. Just knowing that this stage, where The Rolling Stones chose to perform in our city is where I organize my events every night is pretty special.’

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DE DOELEN Across 1,200 events a year, ranging from classical concerts to the International Film Festival, De Doelen in Rotterdam welcomes over half a million visitors a year. This giant complex right beside Rotterdam Central Station also hosts conventions and business events. The history of De Doelen goes back to the Seventeenth Century when the first concerts were held here by local musicians. The Great Hall is the biggest in the country and was refurbished in 2009 by Kraaijvanger Urbis Architects (now called Kraaijvanger). De Doelen is also famously the home of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra.

technical coordinator

sander zeilstra

‘I’ve been working here for twelve years and still I love it. I started as a sound technician, but over the years I’ve got to know all the technical aspects of running this place. Now I’m more involved in the business side, the organization and meeting guests and artists. One of my personal highlights was meeting U2’s Bono. That was pretty special. The wonderful thing is that you don’t just get to meet these great people, but actually to work with them too. If it was up to me, I’d like to invite Phil Collins to De Doelen. I’d love to work with him.’

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CONCERTGEBOUW In the close company of the Van Gogh and the Stedelijk Museum, the Concertgebouw on Museumplein is a real eye-catcher. The concert hall was built in 1888 to the design of architect Adolf Leonard van Gendt in the Neo-Dutch Renaissance style and finished with a grand Neo-Classical facade. Because of its excellent acoustics the Concertgebouw is considered one of the top three concert halls in the world, alongside the Boston Symphony Hall and the Musikverein in Vienna. In its two halls the Concertgebouw can daily host any of the world’s finest symphony orchestras and concert soloists, oratorio, world music, touring jazz groups and a lot more besides.

director concertgebouw foundation

JOLIEN SCHUERVELD ‘The acoustics of the Concert­ gebouw are literally a miracle. When it was built, there wasn’t a lot of knowledge in this field. Making it compact, square and richly decorated were all unconscious but, as it turned out, brilliant choices. Much as many concert halls would like to, it’s not possible to copy the Concertgebouw. Some of the materials from which it was originally constructed simply no longer exist. I’m extremely proud to be part of something that is at the same time so beautiful, so strong and so fragile. Putting on two concerts a night is certainly a demanding job, but it's what I love to do.’

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EKKO If you like to be among the first to discover new musical talent, EKKO in the centre of Utrecht is the place to be. It is known for booking hot national and international acts before they make it big, which makes EKKO one of Holland’s most influential stages. Alternative, hip hop, techno or electro: EKKO offers it all. And there is something particularly outstanding about the staff here; alongside its permanent employees, EKKO is run by about a hundred ­volunteers, from bar personnel to technicians.

managing director

marlies timmermans

‘EKKO is known as a pioneer venue featuring new ­artists. It’s often the first place in the Netherlands where international bands perform. Franz Ferdinand and Triggerfinger had their first gig here. It’s my function as managing director to take the musical ­experience to a deeper level. For example, we might invite acts who whip up a menu for our restaurant, or maybe organize a punk night where the artist might recite a ­passage from his favourite book. That way we offer visitors something unique and personal.’

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Photo: in ongenade

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Photo: husbands

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Leidseplein in Amsterdam is one of the city’s main squares and has for centuries been the seat of the Stadsschouwburg Amsterdam, (Amsterdam Municipal Theatre) and its various predecessors. In theatrical circles it is simply referred to as het plein. Theatrical types, luvvies and assorted art-folk gather in one notable artists’ club and the many atmospheric and in some cases ancient packed bars right on the plein or in the surrounding narrow lanes. Although it is loved, famed and possibly disliked for just this reason, Leidseplein is undeniably the epicentre of Dutch theatre. Any theatrical tremors in this place can cause wider shocks nationwide. Text—

simon van den berg Simon van den Berg is a theatre journalist based in Amsterdam. He is the theatre critic of the Amsterdam daily newspaper Het Parool and one of the editors of TM, the Dutch magazine for theatre professionals. He has a keen interest in cultural criticism in the digital domain, and is the founder of the website, devoted to audience reviews, and His blog can be found on


jan versweyveld —> Want to see TA perform? For the full agenda visit stadsschouwburg

In contrast to many other European countries, Holland’s theatrical venues and acting companies are separate, independent organizations. The Stadsschouwburg has an in-house company that has changed its name many times over the centuries, from the Nederlandsche Comedie to the Publiekstheater, and since 1987, Toneelgroep Amsterdam (Theatre Group Amsterdam), or simply TA. The core of the organization, however, remains just the same. Given its location, the occupant of the Stadsschouwburg is automatically the nation’s dominant dramatic arts company. This is the story of how over the past decade Artistic Director Ivo van Hove developed TA from an appreciated national avant-garde group into an internationally renowned theatre company, and how he did so by building on the accomplishments of the flourishing small theatres in Holland. It is worth noting that the Dutch arts landscape has never been home to large institutions such as those of France or Germany. The dynamics of the arts in Holland have always arisen out of the innovation of the thriving midfield of chamber music, small and mid-sized theatres, local festivals throughout the country and quirky museums of contemporary art. p 23

Furthermore, unlike many other European countries, the national debate doesn’t feature a culture war between traditional and modern art. In Holland there are no publicists asserting it would be better for young people if we banned hip-hop and read Shakespeare instead; there are no politicians setting a threshold for a minimum annual number of Dutch films, plays or compositions, and no academics insisting on a strict cultural canon. To a culturally savvy Dutchman there is no greater insult than to be accused of having oldfashioned tastes. In this cultural climate, TA behaved like a reluctant Dutch performing arts institution for quite some time. Theatrical director Gerardjan Rijnders, who was one of the founders of the group in 1987 and Artistic Director till 2000, imbued the company with an avant-garde stance. He filled the main auditorium with postmodern montage theatre and abstract modernizations of classic repertoire that espoused an ambitiously high artistic level, but which failed to make the group very popular in the city. He opened a blackbox theatre in a former industrial site outside the city centre, where he was able to work in a smaller and more flexible environment. Everything changed when the Flemish director Ivo van Hove took over the artistic leadership in 2000. He embraced the institutional role with gusto and spared no effort to build a larger audience for TA. Van Hove closed the group’s own venue and concentrated on performances suitable for the Stadsschouwburg and he transformed the group into a modern repertory company that, in addition to playing classics by Shakespeare, Ibsen and Moliere, is always on the lookout for new material in dramatizations of novels and films.



Van Hove continues to make large-scale theatre with the attitude of small-scale theatre, expressed through a search for intimacy and immediacy, shunning the overwhelming monumentality that so often characterizes the big stages in Europe. He uses abstract, purely conceptual set designs (designed by Jan Versweyveld, his partner in both life and work), and an acting style that focuses on candour and interaction.

if they are in the theatre where the story takes place, and watches the action as a studio performance), film (the performance is recorded by cameras on stage and projected onto a large screen, allowing filmic close-ups and an entirely different perspective on the events in the story) and the large auditorium stage. Backed by a soundtrack of Neil Young songs and carried by the astonishing emotional range of lead actress Elsie de Brauw, a rare performance ensued, both highly theatrical and intimate, and as naturalistic as it was conceptual.

His idiosyncratic approach is perhaps best reflected in Opening Night, from 2007. Based on the 1977 film by John Cassavetes, the play centres on an actress who suffers a panic attack right before the premiere of a show, when a young fan who wants to speak to her is killed in an accident. The brilliant scenography is a combination of a small auditorium setting (part of the audience sits on a smaller stand on the stage, as

The idea of using a theatre as a location for site-specific theatre, as in Opening Night, reached its peak with the completion of Roman Tragedies (2007). In an uninterrupted six-hour p 24



Photo: zomertrilogie

marathon, three of Shakespeare’s plays – Titus Andronicus, Julius Caesar and Anthony and Cleopatra – were performed on stage, in one grand gesture.

centre, a news studio and an airport; clinical areas far from a harsh exterior reality, making the shock of Caesar’s bloody murder all the more horrifying.

The stage was outfitted as a hyper-media space and, again, included cameras and large screens, but in this case the audience was shamelessly, and craftily, used as set-dressing; spectators were encouraged to move freely across the stage, dine at the on-stage bar and use computers at the digital reading table. LED screens kept the visitors aware of the schedule of the show – 60 minutes to Anthony’s speech – and flashed the latest news headlines from the outside world.

But Van Hove and Versweyveld do not always choose such extravagance. Angels in America (2008), Tony Kushner’s epic play about AIDS in the Reagan years, was performed on a completely empty black stage, the visuals consisting merely of a few abstract videos, with David Bowie’s music as a framework for the piece. Hans Kesting, star actor and audience favourite, was outstanding in the role of Roy Cohn. His performance was awarded the Louis d’Or, the highest annual Dutch honour for a male stage performance. The American playwright himself praised Kesting’s achievement: ‘I love his recklessness, his relentless drive, and his agility.’

At times the action took place at several locations simultaneously – on a stage that was a cross between a conference p



These three productions represent the best of a series of significant developments in Dutch theatre over the past few decades. The naturalistic style of acting, where the audience is included and directly appealed to instead of being an exterior observer, originates from the working methods of the Werkteater1 and Maatschappij Discordia.2 The concept of space arises out of the site-specific theatre of Johan Simons’ and Paul Koek’s company Hollandia. Gerardjan Rijnders’ influence is recognizable in TA’s freedom to take on new styles and approaches. And of course Van Hove brings his own brilliance, his interest in the use of technology on stage and his insight into the struggles of human beings unable to cope with the world they have created.


audiences to the work of American playwright Charles Mee and has exchanged directors with the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Yet it was in Germany that Van Hove recently discovered a soulmate in Thomas Ostermeier, artistic director of the Schaubühne in Berlin. They share an enthusiasm for the radical modernization of repertoire, a stylized aesthetic and a love of seeing strong women on stage. Van Hove directed a powerful and convincing Menschenfeind (The Misanthrope, 2010) in Berlin, and Ostermeier presented Ibsen’s Ghosts (2011) with actors from Amsterdam.

The extraordinary quality of TA’s productions around 2007 was noticed abroad. Although Dutch theatre was late in joining the international performance art scene, it has made up for lost time in the last few years. Van Hove has been essential to that development; his performances are now celebrated at the major international festivals, including Edinburgh, Venice and Vienna.

Van Hove’s success in Europe has been rewarded with an invitation to create a production for Prospero, a collaborative European theatre project. Six theatres, in Rennes, Berlin, Liege, Lisbon, Modena and Tampere annually invite a director to create and perform a production in their theatres. Van Hove chose another Cassavetes film, Husbands, and is making a macho dramatization about ‘men in menopause’, starring actress Halina Reijn in all the female roles.

Dutch theatre traditionally takes a lot of inspiration from Germany, but Van Hove looks to the West as well as East. He has directed several productions at the New York Theatre Workshop and is happiest when living in that heaving city. He received an Obie Award for Best Director for two productions, More Stately Mansions (1998) and Hedda Gabler (2005). He introduced Dutch

Perhaps the relative invisibility of Dutch theatre in Europe is to be expected, considering the country’s modest size and its lack of a canon of classics or large theatrical institutions. But it seems these same factors have given rise to a new form and an attitude towards theatre that might lead the way for Europe in years to come. If so, sounds from Leidseplein will carry right across Europe.

1 Werkteater: a groundbreaking theatre collective from the 1970s and 80s, inspired by the The Living Theatre in the States.

Photo: de vrek

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2 Maatschappij Discordia: a professional theatre collective, active since the early 80s, with a repertoire that ranges from Samuel Beckett to Jon Fosse and from Thomas Bernhard to Sarah Kane.



—Dutch artists are internationally oriented and like to travel. Chances are you'll encounter Dutch Art outside Holland. Dutch art abroad

DARLINGS ON THE GO Illustrations—


—> A current overview of Dutch activities abroad on

Cultural and Export Trends: Focus on Western Europe and the United States Holland has one of the most export-oriented economies in the world. Due to its strategic ­location, it is to a large extent a transit country for products made elsewhere. The export of our own products has grown only slightly over the past few years and lags behind the growth of re-­exportation activities. In the area of culture Holland is not a transit country; we export only our own productions. Dutch artists are internationally oriented and like to travel. Chances are you'll encounter Dutch Art outside Holland. Our biggest ­cultural export product is music, with almost 5,000 performances in 2011, followed by film, art and theatre, ranging between 1,000 and 2,000 presentations each in 2011. As an export ­country, Holland is traditionally focused on Western Europe. In 2011, almost three-quarters of our total exports went to Western Europe, specifically Germany (24%), Belgium (12%) and the United Kingdom (8%). Outside Europe the United States p 27

was our most important business partner, with an export share of 4%. The export of our cultural productions followed fairly closely on the heels of general export trends: almost two thirds of Dutch international cultural activities in 2011 took place in Western Europe. In culture, too, Germany was our most important market: over 20% of all Dutch cultural productions that were exported went to Germany. The United Kingdom also scored well, being a noticeably active market for Dutch pop musicians in 2011. Outside Western Europe, culture also pretty much followed the trends of the entire Dutch export market, with the United States being the biggest customer for Dutch cultural productions. Twelve per cent of all Dutch performances and exhibitions goes to the States, three times greater than the American share of total Dutch export figures. Comparing cultural exports and regular exports has its limitations, but it does show how the culture and commerce of a small country find their way in the world.



Dutch art abroad Number of activities 2011 1



12 Poland


23 Indonesia


34 Serbia


45 Netherlands Antilles 30






24 Denmark


35 Finland


46 Slovakia





14 Brazil


25 Greece


36 Estonia


47 Lebanon





15 Norway


26 Sweden


37 Ireland


48 Chile





16 Portugal


27 South Korea


38 Croatia


49 Cuba





17 Australia


28 South Africa


39 New Zealand


50 Bulgaria





18 Austria


29 Mexico


40 Luxembourg





19 Russian Federation 138

30 Israel


41 Slovenia





20 Hungary


31 Argentina


42 Lithuania


10 Switzerland


21 India


32 Ukraine


43 Macedonia




22 Czech Republic


33 Romania


44 Colombia




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The Arab Spring The revolutions of the Arab Spring in 2011 had relatively little effect on the Dutch exports: the proportion of exports going to the Arab nations remains small. Holland’s exports to the Arab Gulf states stood at 1.4% of total exports in 2011. The North African countries stood at just 0.6%. Despite the limited importance of that region in Dutch export trade, there is an interesting point to be made about the impact of the Arab Spring on our cultural exports. It is noteworthy that the relative share of cultural exports to the countries where the Arab Spring took place declined more sharply than the share of overall exports. Exports to Tunisia, Egypt and Syria declined very slightly, but the export of cultural products to those countries is now minimal. There was a falling off of cultural activities not just in the countries where p 29

revolutions took place, but in the countries around them as well. So relatively few cultural activities took place in Jordan, Morocco, Iran and the United Arab Emirates. The share of cultural productions in Israel rose slightly in comparison with 2010. Regular trade evidently suffers less from disruptions to the political situation in a country than do cultural institutions. When fighting breaks out, there is still a need for the various services and products that can be provided by or through Holland, whereas cultural productions are not needed. In such situations, people simply do not need our cultural products. What’s more, the nature of cultural activities is completely different: supplying goods in politically tense situations may not always be risk-free, but there are ways to make it relatively safe. Performances and exhibitions require a physical presence of artists, musicians, art objects and heritage in the country. In 2011 the risks in those countries were clearly too great.


city pig Winy Maas & The Why Factory Pig farming used to be part of urban life. Today it has become an industry found only beyond the city limits, invisible and unrecognized. City Pig investigates whether pig farming could be brought back into the city, making it a visible, transparent, ecological and natural part of urban life. As a research project, Architect Winy Maas and The Why Factory (TU Delft) designed an Agrocluster that includes a pig farm for the urban-industrial area of Binckhorst in The Hague. Image: video still from animation Wieland&Gouwens Courtesy Stroom Den Haag

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—Many foreign travellers in Holland over the centuries have commented on the lack of a refined gastronomic culture in the Low Countries, but in the past decade Holland has rather surprisingly become a platform for innovative food projects, commonly initiated by young artists, designers and architects.

EDIBLE CITIES Ask a person to imagine Dutch art and food, and their first association might well be Van Gogh’s The Potato Eaters, in which coarse but honest peasants reach for the potatoes on the plate with the same gnarled hands with which they have tilled the soil. Others might recall the seventeenth-century still-life paintings of Willem Claesz Heda or Balthasar van der Ast, with dew on the fruit, tasty oyster meat and reflections in the glassware and pewter plates. They are allegorical paintings, showing the painters’ mastery over nature but also warning against gluttony, one of the seven deadly sins. The Dutch word for food (voedsel) has the same root as the word ‘to ­educate’ (opvoeden); people in Holland are by nature moralists. Text—

brigitte van der sande Brigitte van der Sande is a moderator, curator, writer and advisor. She was the external editor of the book Food for the City, by Stroom Den Haag and NAi Publishers and editor of the Food Tribunal at Stroom Den Haag. One of her specializations is art in public space.

—> Interested in an edible route?

More than a meal Food design as a profession popped up everywhere in Europe and the United States in the late nineties, and the leading-edge Design Academy Eindhoven began educating a generation of experimental food designers who are now leaving their mark at a national and international level. Katja Gruijters, for example, the self-proclaimed first Dutch food designer, develops food concepts like the World Wide Wrap for Honig – the biggest Dutch brand within p 31

Heinz and one of that corporation’s fifteen world power-brands – just as easily as she prepares her limited edition of Left Over Cookies for Salone del Mobile, the annual furniture and design show in Milan. Often working in collaboration with others, Gruijters initiates such projects and products as edible rose petals, violets and lavender buds called Sweet Velvet, or tiles with lacy patterns in different materials known as Another Face of Lace. Marije Vogelzang, meanwhile, pertly calls herself an eating designer, because ‘The food itself is already perfectly designed by nature, so there’s hardly anything I need to add to it.’ In her book EAT more LOVE, she unfolds a philosophy that concentrates on the act of eating, rather than edible results. Starting with the typically sassy question ‘Can eating design go beyond food porn?’ Vogelzang set up organic restaurant/design studios in Rotterdam and Amsterdam called Proef (meaning, in Dutch, taste, test or hallmark). She de- and reconstructed Christmas dinners, funeral meals and other commemorative food rituals. One of her most notable projects was the three-day performance Eat Love Budapest, where Roma women fed invisible visitors through a slit in a curtain while telling their life stories. While a very small proportion of the guests were disgusted, the rest were


touched by the personal experiences of these women who are members of an often-despised minority in Hungary. Feed the discourse Globally, 1.3 billion tons of food is wasted or lost every year, of which Holland’s share amounts to more than 4.4 billion euros annually. Unlike in Canada and the United States, reclaiming food from trash is illegal in Holland, since it remains private property until the moment the garbage truck arrives. Media and art institutes Mediamatic and Stroom Den Haag, however, have embraced the freegan movement with Expiration Date Dinners, Onion Feasts and Food from the Gutter evenings. Stroom has dedicated three years to the programme called ‘Foodprint. Food for the City’, about the influence of food on the culture, shape and functioning of cities, using the city of The Hague as a test-bed. Since 2009 it has put food on the agenda with a stream of exhibitions, symposiums, publications, festivals, excursions, performances, and art and design projects in public spaces. Convinced that artists, designers and architects can inspire discussion of public


issues in the city, Stroom commissioned the British artist Nils Norman and the American/Dutch artist and social designer Debra Solomon to develop urban agriculture for various locations in The Hague. Edible utopia Although both artists work with permaculture strategies, the scope of the two projects differs widely. Using models of utopia as a toolbox to critique contemporary society, Norman developed an Edible Park with local permaculture centres at two locations in the city: a piece of wasteland next to an allotment complex and a city farm in a large municipal park in the southern part of the city, the Zuiderpark. The Edible Park plot in the city farm has become the hub of educational activities, and houses a pavilion designed by Norman in collaboration with the Dutch architect Michael Post, inspired by the roundhouse built by Tony Wrench and Jane Faith in Wales in the late nineties. Characteristically, Norman inserts elements from another utopian movement, modernism, into his permaculture model for an eco house.

Both locations are designed by participants in the permaculture course, with a circular, radial layout of fruit and nut trees, from which other plants radiate. Collectivity, the idea of communization, and bottom-up processes are the utopian elements that Norman employs to create urban landscapes that look wild and informal when juxtaposed against the monocultural allotment complex and park designs. Nils Norman’s strikingly different urban landscapes are pleasing to the eye and have become strong visual teaching tools that show there is always another future imaginable. Public space as natural space When in 2009 Stroom Den Haag invited Debra Solomon to organize an urban agriculture project in the socially deprived immigrant neighbourhood of Schilderswijk she didn’t know what to expect. During her initial reconnaissance of the area, she found a diverse and socially engaged community, where women beat carpets and rugs collectively and invited her to drink tea with them in the neglected community garden. When she asked if anyone would be interested

The Potato Eaters (1885) Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890) Oil on Canvas, 82 X 114 cm, Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (Vincent van Gogh Stichting)

p 32



cradle to cradle Atelier Van Lieshout Cradle to Cradle, a mixed-media art installation, is a self-sufficient system for recycling humans, as part of Slave City. Atelier Van Lieshout: 'This ecological design shows the production system that emulates nature's model of recycling. Old, crippled, sick and ill-tasting people will be recycled in the biogas digester. Healthy, not so clever people will be recycled in the meat processing factory. Young and very healthy people will be able to take part in the organ transplant program.' Photo's: courtesy Atelier Van Lieshout and Stroom Den Haag

p 33



infrastructure for food production and social engineering. Both artists use art as a crowbar to lever official policies, rules and regulations, and to offer people a viable alternative way of living.

food for the city Published by NAi Publishers and Stroom Den Haag In 2050 nine billion people will be living on earth, 75 percent of them in cities. If we go on at this rate, we will need several extra planets for the production of our food.

The pre-existing city as a natural source of food that grows independently of any officially or unofficially planned ecology interests the Dutch artist Wietske Maas and the Italian writer and academic researcher Matteo Pasquinelli. Maas and Pasquinelli have coined the term urbanibalism, and the edibility of the city is the starting point for online and offline research into the historical roots and contemporary forms of living organisms that are the basis of a metropolitan culinary art. During the closing activities of the Grand Domestic Revolution – User’s Manual project at the Casco - Office for Art, Design and Theory in Utrecht last February, the visitors raised their glasses to toast Ferment Utrecht, a drink of fermented honey, tree sap and yeast, slowly and carefully gathered in the urban environment of Utrecht. For the artists the city is a place of excess, full of invisible food chains.

Food for the City. A Future for the Metropolis examines how we can

Sustainable but daring concepts

keep feeding our cities.

in creating a communal permacultural garden, she was taken by a young boy, who with his mother had set up an illegal kitchen garden. The young boy volunteered immediately. Solomon set up the Urbaniahoeve foundation to develop a visual language that integrates urban food production into public space. Driven by the urgent need to increase the city’s resilience against the combined global disasters of peak oil, climate change and economic crises, Solomon and a growing group of local participants are steadily transforming the public spaces and enclosed lawns of Schilderswijk into attractive, colourful foodscapes with fruit, berries, herbs, vegetables and flowers that all attract and support pollinating insects. Like Nils Norman, Solomon combines budgets from funds for social cohesion, education, public greenery and culture to create a sustainable

Bad boy Joep van Lieshout’s Cradleto-Cradle proposal to recycle elderly, crippled, sick and bad-tasting humans in a biogas digester while selecting healthy but dumb people for the meat-processing industry is more than a mere provocation: it anticipates a dystopian future and is a counterpart of the utopian models used by other artists to imagine an alternative society. As part of the Slave City project, a self-sustainable, environmentally friendly city that differs little from a concentration camp or an extermination camp, Van Lieshout touts the Cradle-toCradle philosophy, dressed in ideas for carbon neutrality, zero footprint and so on, promising a new and better world, though without the accompanying moral superiority. The fact that food is closely connected to emotions and gut feelings rather than to rationality was also evident in the repudiation of the City Pig Project, a p 34

re-introduction of pigs into the city by the Why Factory, a think tank on urban futures led by the Dutch architect Winy Maas of MVRDV. Taking The Hague as a case study, the Why Factory designed a publically visible, transparent organic pig farm with a biogas installation, fodder storage, offices and a slaughterhouse. Specific options available to the organization of urban pig farms include stacked stables, farms in empty office buildings and on wide bridges spanning roads and on land covered by domes. The advantages are manifold: pigs live near their consumers, who begin to rediscover where their food comes from; the transportation stress for the pigs is zero; the fodder can contain organic waste from households in the neighbourhood and the manure can go into the biogas installation that supplies energy to the city. The reactions of the city authorities were vehement: pigs belong in rural areas, and besides, what about our Muslim population? Maybe the Meat License Proposal by British artist John O’Shea, which was presented at the Food Forward exhibition at Stroom this year, will solve all the animal welfare issues. Only people who are prepared to slaughter animals themselves will be able to consume them. The majority of consumers will then become vegetarian, including this writer.



sanatorium supper Wietske Maas & Matteo Pasquinelli A supper for pathological appetites. The meal was prepared from urban medicinal plants, harvested in and around Amsterdam. Each course contains a victual vaccine made of minute amounts of urban matter to provide resistance against, and treatment for, most of our urban ailments, real or imagined.

edible park Nils Norman British artist Nils Norman has devised a work of art that grows and blossoms and produces delicious fruit and vegetables for various locations in The

foodscape schilderswijk Debra Solomon and Urbaniahoeve

Hague. He cooperated with volunteers to create a special vegetable garden, Edible Park, according to the principles of ­ permaculture, a form of ecological

Urban agriculture project creating edible

gardening. Norman’s interest in perma-

landscapes maintained by the local com-

culture springs from his fascination with

munity in the Schilderswijk in The Hague.

the old idea of a Utopia as a hopeful, paradisiacal place. (Publication Edible ­

Photo: courtesy Stroom Den Haag

Park, Valiz, books and cultural projects.) Photo: Eric de Vries, courtesy Stroom Den Haag

p 35



—Unless you’re a famous gallery owner or an extremely wealthy art collector, your chances of purchasing an original Rembrandt or Rietveld are pretty slim. Luckily, there are plenty of affordable and transportable Dutch Design items to take home. Arts Holland Magazine invited Florianne Eshuis, director of OPTIONS!, a contemporary department store with a focus on Dutch Design, to share a selection of her favourite pieces.

TAKE ME HOME Sure, you could walk down the Damrak, one of the oldest streets in Amsterdam, and buy one of those Peruvian woolly hats that proclaims the word amsterdam all around your head and would mark you out as a tourist. But you could also go into options!, where Dutch and international designers share pride of place alongside promising students from the Amsterdam Fashion Institute (AMFI) on the biggest Flat Table, designed by Japanese architect Jo Nagasaka. The store, the adjacent Restaurant Stock and Hotel The Exchange are part of The Red Carpet, an urban-renewal project that gives the Damrak a diverse and fashionable look. Leave it to the director of this hip design store to pick some of the best Dutch Design out there. Florianne searches the world for the most beautiful souvenirs. She previously worked for fashion and design magazines elle and elle Decoration and has organized the annual three-day, high-end interior, Inside Design Amsterdam event.

p 36

—> For more shopping inspiration



<- for goodness sake — Drinking sake has never felt so luxurious. Ceramic designers Inge Venderbosch and Lenneke Wispelwey made two versions of this carafe and cups, a white and limited golden edition. Porcelain 20 cm high, 7.5 cm diameter, 20 cm high, € 227 (white), € 347 (golden) ↑ butte tuna — A butte is a traditional Dutch travel case made from woven willow and wood veneer. This modern take by designers Scholten & Baijings features decorative fluorescent interior paint and hand-drawn printed illustrations. Each tells a story: The life of a tuna, The life of a turtle and The life of a tree, addressing the environmental implications of intensive farming and deforestation. Wood € 425 (Established & Sons)

↑ birdhouse — Most people do not like birds building nests on their rooftops. Designer Klaas Kuiken thought of a stylish roof tile and birdhouse in one, that will definitely not spoil your roof. The design team states to be 'still working on the final product with <- one more time

some functional changes, in the interest of the well-being of birds'. Prices are to be announced, but pre-ordering is possible by

— An object that shows only the

contacting the designer.

­skeleton of what it could be, yet representing a function in full

Clay, from € 19,50

state. Studio Kiki van Eijk made

14 clocks of metal wires and ceramic face, with 14 different finishes. Metal, ceramic and various finishes, 34 x 14 x 41 cm, € 3400 p 37



colour scarves → — The design of these scarves involves grids and ­gradient colours that bear the un­-mis­takable signature of Scholten & Baijings: colour, transparency and layered patterns. This is timeless design with an eye for detail. photo: viviane sassen

100% Silk, 90 x 90 cm € 189, 135 x 56 cm € 149

<- domoor — Ideal for little ones who are just starting to hold their own cup: the Domoor (Dumbo) cup by Richard Hutten for NgispeN. ↑ urge

This mug is unbreakable,

— Elsie Gringhuis’ style is characterized by

various colours.

dishwasher safe and available in

innovative minimalism. Her clothes repre-

Plastic, 26 x 7,6 x 9 cm, € 10

sent a smart simplicity while a complex and

innovative construction through patterns lies behind the simple silhouette. Working with as few pattern pieces as possible, she

<- how they work

saves work in cutting, pasting and stitching, achieving a form of sustainability. Elsien Gringhuis is one of the winners of ­the

— The days of Delftware may be far gone,

Green Fashion Competition of Amsterdam

Dutch design is still conquering the world. What

Fashion Week.

makes Dutch design so distinctive and suc-

photo: jasper abels

cessful? In How They Work photographer Inga Powilleit and stylist Tatjana Quax examine the

The dress shown is a design from

working ­methods of seventeen internationally

fall/winter 2012-2013

­acknowledged Dutch designers. What do they

have in common? Is there even such a thing as Dutch Design or do they just happen to be Dutch designers? Naturally, How They Work is full of beautiful pictures of the designers and their work. A great addition to the collection of coffee table books. 244 pages, Dutch-English, 300 x 244 mm, € 39,50

p 38



flax lamp → ↓ chocolate hooker

— It might look like 'just' a lamp on a rope, but there's a little more to this lamp than meets the eye.

— Yes, the name is quite strange and the design takes some

This design is partly made of flax,

getting used to. But this ring by Atelier Ted Noten that’s

a natural material which used to be

part of a series called Haunted by 36 Women has a big perk:

one of the most important textile

It’s filled with real chocolate!

fibres in Holland. It was grown and processed into all kinds of textiles.

Ring, nylon tumbler and dyed,

Nowadays flax is farmed in much

40 x 35 x 21mm, € 150

smaller quantities and is mainly

shipped to China to be processed further. With her Flax Project designer Christien Meindertsma aims to make a series of products from flax that are produced locally. From the seed to the end product. Flax, socket –5 m € 200, 10 m € 260

<- drawn from clay — Basic design, raw products and beauty can definitely go hand in hand, as is proven by this series of pottery. Design bureau Atelier NL and ­manufacturer Royal Tichelaar Makkum joined forces to produce a series of clay pottery, made of six different Dutch clays. The project Drawn from Clay by Lonny van Ryswyck and Nadine Sterk (Atelier NL) started by digging up, ­shaping and baking clay from different locations in Holland. They created a series of plates and bowls in different colours and structures, showing the local identity of the area the clay was taken from. Clay

flexvase → — A vase that always fits your flowers. The FlexVase by Vij5 (Arjan van Raadshooven and Anieke Branderhorst) is a base element that receives any of three inserts that can be exchanged to adapt the vase to any bouquet. Based on the preserving jar principle, a practical clip holds the pieces together while giving the vase a simple decoration. The FlexVase is available in white porcelain. Porcelain, basic vase 20 cm high, 22 cm diameter, inserts with a height of 21,5 cm, 13 cm and 11,5 cm, € 145 p 39



↓ colour-based on nature

<- krukje

— Colour-based on nature is a collection of striped wall-

— Lotty Lindeman works

paper by graphic designer Irma Boom for Thomas Eyck.

on her products with

The range is inspired by global UNESCO sites - places the

craftsmanship and a great

World Heritage Committee ­considers to have outstanding

sense for her materials. Her

universal value - and comprises a book and seven different

designs exist in a spatial

wallpapers. One of the wallpapers depicts nature reserve of

environment and evoke a

the Wadden Sea.

dialogue between man and object.

Paper, roll 75 x 900 cm, € 398

Quilted fabric, two oak boards, three lacquered boards, four oak legs, from € 200

↑ strap — Dutch people sure love their bikes and everything that comes with them. That’s why NL Architects have given traditional bike straps a function in the home as a storing device for books, magazines and toys. Silicone rubber, 72 x 3 x 1 cm, € 14.50

<- dutch heights #2 — This book is the perfect addition to your art book collection. Dutch Heights #2 is the second edition of an annual book presenting the ­winners of various art and culture prizes. The 576-page book features the best from all fields of art, from architecture and literature to theatre and music. Dutch Heights is designed by Irma Boom. No wonder the first edition was named one of the 50 Best Books/Best Covers by the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA). 576 pages, Dutch-English, € 34.50 p 40



↓ zeeuwse necklace — Jewels are a genuine element of Zeeuwser ­klederdracht; traditional clothing from the Dutch province of Zeeland. This collection of jewels by Charlotte Wooning is inspired by traditional Zeeland jewels. All made with coral, sterling silver and original Zeeland buttons. Silver or gilded € 175 (silver) or € 200 (gilded)

↑ piet paris tableware — The fashion illustrations made by Piet Paris are easily recognizable. Usually in black-and-white with a drop of colour, they are sharp statements about fashion and full of life and humour. Together with the design company Jansen+co, Piet Paris launched a set of tableware in his signature style, called Girl Talk. For all fashionistas who prefer eating ‘en vogue’. photo: bpfp fotografie

Porcelain, from € 29.95 <- stroopwafel — It’s something Dutchies abroad still crave: stroopwafels. This cookie, made of two thin waffles with dried syrup in between, is certainly a must-taste. Take home a bag. Or two. Stroopwafels come in various sizes, from € 1.60 a bag. Available at the supermarket, HEMA or fresh at the market

<- icon snap ring — 3D printing is the future of design, so why not start with jewel-

↑ work: lamp

lery? Designer Brian Garret based his design on a single ring with a

— By integrating oak parts into a ceramic desk

range of different icons that snap

lamp, designer Dick van Hoff proves that using nat-

into it. Each set evolves around

ural materials can completely transform a product.

a certain theme, and people can

The lamp is part of a series called Work and made

mix ‘n match the different icons,

in collaboration with manufacturing company

buy new ones or exchange them

Royal Tichelaar Makkum.

with their friends. Designed for Freedom of Creation, Amsterdam.

Stoneware with oak parts, 28 x 43 cm, € 476 ,Consists of 3 pieces, € 39 p 41



<- shirt no. 10 — In fashion, what’s ‘in’ one day

↓ light bulbs

can be ‘out’ the next. Designer Monique van Heist made a

— Part of Pieke Bergmans’ ongoing Design

­collection of pieces that will never

Virus series, Light Blubs are hand-blown

be out of fashion. Like this classic

crystal light bulbs containing leds, made

white shirt.

from Royal Leerdam Crystal and Solid Lighting. The lamps take on many forms

Hellofashion, Shirt no. 10

and sizes. The Light Blubs were nominated

100% eco-cotton, € 323

for the Rotterdam Design Prize.

Unique pieces, 20-70 x 10-45 cm, Royal Leerdam Crystal, leds, starting at around € 1800

silk cardigan with saffron block-print → — If you like to live in your clothes, the labels Youasme (female) and Measyou (male) are the perfect choice. Designer Mark van Vorstenbos and art director Twan Janssen only use materials like cashmere, alpaca and silk for their classic but stylish collections. Silk/Saffron Cardigan, 100% raw undyed silk, € 219

<- extra button — What’s more random than a button? Designer Noon Passama puts buttons in the spotlight with her ongoing project Extra Button. Each edition is a new result of different forms and materials, and any possible transformation derives from the basics of a button. photo: tanapol kaewpring

Electro-formed copper plated with precious metal or sprayed with car paint, acrylic sheet backing, various forms and sizes, from € 190

p 42



<- biotopes — Grondvormen (Fundamental Forms) is a spontaneous collaboration between designers Sander Boeijink, Nienke Sybrandy and Jeroen Wand. They met at the Sandberg Institute, studying for their Masters at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy. They share a fascination for the cliché or stereotype and look for new possibilities in ordinary things, starting with a prototype and producing something unique. Biotopes are hand-blown glass volumes filled with earth, water, air and plants, forming habitats that represent a discrete world within our own. Wood, glass and flora, € 425

↑ tea-towel woww — The graphic design of WOWW fabric is a playful, ­colourful, bright and festive pattern that changes shape <- elastic remix hi

for each item in the WOWW collection, made up of fabrics developed at the Textile Museum in Tilburg for

— Whether it’s the sole or the shape, some

plaids, stoles, baby blankets, cushions,

shoe brands just have a certain signa-

scarves and a tea towel.

ture. United Nude, the brand by Rem D. Koolhaas (not to be mistaken for his uncle,

Mixture of cotton, linen and acrylic

the architect), is one of those brands. Elastic

yarns, 52 x 62 cm, € 17

seems to be the designer’s favourite mate-

rial, as it is both strong and flexible. It makes the high heels by United Nude comfortable, without ever losing a sense of style and sophistication. Elastic and leather, € 165

a4 jubilee → — Leather wallet A4 Jubilee by Ferry Meewisse (Frrry) is made of an sheet of coloured leather the size of an A4 sheet of paper. The manner of folding provides the ­wallet with five compartments. The leather features three colours. At first only one colour is visible; the second and third colours will appear when you open the wallet. Using it intensively will make it more beautiful. Leather, 10 x 8 x 4 cm, from € 55

p 43



In a time of recession and with the environment under increasing strain, focussing on sustainability

villa welpeloo, enschede 2012architecten

is clearly the most sensible choice. 2012Architecten proves that employing used materials is both cheap and environmentally friendly and can result in stunning construction. They have named the concept super-use. 2012Architecten reuses everything from I-beams, wood flooring, car tyres, washing machines,

photo's: allard van der hoek

stainless steel sinks and even retired wind turbine blades as building materials in their creations. Their Villa Welpeloo project in Enschede, in the East of Holland, is the perfect example of just how spectacular super-use can be. The owners, a couple of art lovers with great respect for 2012’s method, wanted to maximize their use of surplus material. They even scouted around in the vicinity of the construction site, looking in on old disused factories, hunting for any recyclable materials. Mindful of the couple’s large art collection, the architects drew up an interior with plenty of light and space for exhibitions. 2012Architecten is celebrated for its smart, sustainable solutions. Practicing what it preaches, even the company’s offices are divided into the cyclic sections of, and

p 44



ARCHITECTURE OF CONSEQUENCE The power to make a difference

Clearly Dutch architecture has enjoyed an abundance of design talent in the past twenty years. OMA, Droog Design, MVRDV and Piet Oudolf have earned global fame alongside the rise of a design culture noted for its organization of talent. Offices big and small became adept at connecting up with an international population of trainees, interns and project architects prepared to give their best to Dutch architectural practice; Holland was able to add the invaluable mass of a huge brain gain to its own abundance of talent. By the mid-nineties it was becoming clear that the country was heading into a golden era. The economy was doing well, catapulted into high speed by the muscular rise of a global debt culture. Innovative start-ups could easily find venture capital. Clients were only too happy to invest and experiment in riskseeking architecture, in which hardly anything remained as it had been. The Dutch government launched a major wave of investment in train stations, cultural institutions, parks and public spaces. To cap it all, those were the years of a top-speed architectural policy that fostered opportunities for almost anyone involved with their environment. Citizens could ask for subsidies to improve neighbourhoods; clients could freely seek architectural advice. In design

culture itself many stimulating tools came into play: a variety of stipends, a centre of excellence, a special architectural fund, a series of large awards. Then there was the biggest architectural centre in the world right on the doorstep in Rotterdam: the Netherlands Architecture Institute (NAi), running a huge archive, a large museum and a conference centre in addition to many other facilities. How could you NOT love this culture of architectural faith? But it was not to last. Major disruptions are sweeping through every aspect of the discipline. While some are clearly the result of the global financial crisis that has been stifling the world economy for some years now others are the result of a certain fatigue, of the kind where glory starts to forget its provenance. Whatever the reasons, the results have been devastating. Joblessness in architecture has reached unprecedented heights. Clients are no longer willing to take risks and now prefer to hire the same architects as last time to do the same kinds of jobs, shackling them into strict contracts for much lower fees. Schools teaching architecture are suffering from major budget cuts. Architectural criticism has become a very rare profession. Under these conditions, it shouldn’t be surprising to see the whole discipline haemorrhaging much of its self-esteem. p 45

But as you will see in this article, the tide is now turning for Dutch architecture. It is becoming increasingly clear that Dutch designers are starting to re-calibrate; not by going back to paper architecture, as they have done many times in the past when the economy turned sour, but by developing a new mindset that is redirecting architecture away from being part of the problem to becoming part of the solution. Architects are increasingly aware of the need to present their surplus value in terms of performative rather than symbolic power: the power to make a difference by solving what others cannot solve. Seen in this way, architecture is starting to come up with great solutions again in what can be called an architecture of consequence. This article provides five examples of an emerging practice. This introduction is an edited version of an article written for Architecture and Urbanism (A+U) magazine by Ole Bouman, director of the Netherlands Architecture Institute.

Rotterdam is known for its spectacular­ modern architecture and many new building projects. Arts Holland Magazine selected five Rotterdambased bureaus that are designing a sustainable architectonic future.



2 hiphouse, zwolle atelier kempe thill Few architects ever display the slightest interest in social housing. In the history of construction, social housing always seems to be cramped, dark, small and ugly. Atelier Kempe Thill took a stand against that stereotype with the Hiphouse project in Zwolle, a hybrid complex of both social and student housing built at minimum cost, but with maximum determination and craftsmanship. The building accommodates 32 studios, nineteen two-bedroom apartments and thirteen with three-bedroom apartments. It utilizes every chance of daylight and every available square meter. To compensate for its necessary volumetric compactness the whole of the building’s surface is glazed with either a transparent skin or a reflective surface of anodized aluminium. Sliding doors throughout the building provide generously dimensioned facade openings. Atelier Kempe Thill’s Hiphouse project won the biannual AM NAi Prize for architecture. Atelier Kempe Thill, specialized in public buildings, housing and urban planning was declared Dutch Architect of the Year for 2011.

p 46


3 recycle office/ haka building, rotterdam doepel strijkers architects

If you’re building a campus for clean-tech projects, then you have to make it sustainable. In 2009 the HAKA building in Rotterdam was turned into a Living Lab for companies, government agencies and other organizations that wanted to come together to pool their knowledge of water and energy use. Doepel Strijkers Architects, partner of the REAP PLUS (Rotterdam Energy Approach & Planning), decided to lift their focus on sustainability up to the next level. They would add a social component to the project that already minimized CO2 emissions. As part of a process of reintegrating offenders, a team of ex-convicts helped build the interior. The use of low-cost second-hand materials freed up money better spent on the social component. And Doepel Strijkers took the growing numbers of flex-workers in account by zoning in private and public spaces that could be modified for flexible use in the future. Doepel Strijkers Architects is known for its sustainable city projects. It has won several awards, including the Annual Outstanding Designer Award in Shenzhen, China, in 2011. p 47


4 klavertje 4, venlo studio marco vermeulen


Naming a project Klavertje 4 (four-leaf clover),

zone of logistic and agricultural business, without

when you’re developing a greenfield site for indus-

harming the environment. Collaborations and new

trial purposes seems perverse. But in the case of

initiatives are promoted by an inventive interlink-

this project the name actually makes sense. Studio

ing of programme, location and raw materials. The

Marco Vermeulen was asked by the city of Venlo

clover-shaped spatial blocks of the master plan

and surroundings, in the very south of Holland, to

facilitate the exchange of energy, water and surplus

implement the principles of Cradle-to-Cradle in

matter between the businesses, and with the sur-

the development of an area they call Greenport

rounding cloverfield landscape.

Venlo. Klavertje 4, in the shape of a four-leaf clover, covers almost five thousand hectares of land north

Studio Marco Vermeulen grew out of Urban

of Venlo and is bordered by two main highways. The

Architects and champions closed-loop systems for

aim is to make the whole extensive area a dynamic

water, energy and raw material reuse.

p 48


5 park supermarket, rotterdam and the hague area van bergen kolpa architects Wouldn’t it be great if you could pick fresh fruit and vegetables from a city park? The architects from Van Bergen Kolpa will make just that a reality in the near future. Their project, Park Supermarket, will include a space where food is grown to support the city residents. The Park Supermarket model, which made the shortlist in the Future Projects–Landscape category of the World Architecture Awards 2011 is based on the cultivation and harvesting of food in the metropolitan parks of the Randstad – the whole of the built-up region of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, Utrecht and all the areas in between. People will be able to pick vegetables directly from the plots where they were grown. About 4,000 acres of land would be converted in the project to small-scale plots for the cultivation of food crops like herbs and fruit. Ecologist and researcher Vincent Kuypers from the University of Wageningen, the Dutch centre of expertise on rural areas, has worked on the project in conjunction with Van Bergen Kolpa Architects. While the Park Supermarket has yet to be realized, the architects are reportedly in contact with the cities of The Hague and Rotterdam. Van Bergen Kolpa Architects is known for its tackling of large city challenges and always seeking out a balance between programme, resources and landscape. p 49



A Perfect Daughter a short story by

Tommy Wieringa * Translated from the Dutch by Sam Garrett

Tommy Wieringa wrote the novels All About Tristan, which won the Halewijn Prize in 2002, and Joe Speedboat, which marked his breakthrough and won the Bordewijk Prize in 2006. His travel stories have been collected in the volume I Was Never In Isfahaan. Wieringa writes columns on art and literature for the daily newspaper NRC Handelsblad. His latest novel Caesarion was shortlisted for the AKO Literatuurprijs. —> Listen to A Perfect Daughter at

p 50



The boys who came for the piano were the same ones who had brought it, back then. He hadn’t forgotten the mockery on their faces. Tucked up behind the windscreen of the van were packets of rolling tobacco and cigarettes. Soon they would take the piano to where it came from, and it would be as though nothing had happened. An eighteen-month interruption. They would make caustic remarks about him once they climbed into the cab, and that would be it. They slid their gangly frames out of the vehicle, four feet to the ground. “So here we are again, sir.” It was as though they knew everything. The tailboard was lowered, they took out a horse blanket and the dolly and rolled it inside. One of the wheels became caught in the bug curtain. The piano was in a different spot from where they had put it. It had been moved around a few times. The house was actually too small for a piano. They rolled the thing outside. Spider webs showed up on the wall behind, he could see traces of the coffee he had spattered once down the back. He would have to repaint the wall if he didn’t want to be reminded of it every day. She didn’t play often. Sometimes. He was happy when she played. The way the light from the window fell on her, her straight back. She sat like a statue. It was about her father that she had talked to him the most, the man at the centre of everything. Who had even taught her how to keep her little finger poised as she ate. And undoubtedly how one was to sit at the piano. There was no coincidence involved, no sort-of-like-that, only bludgeoning repetition, for as long as it took to make her perfect. A perfect daughter. He was a teacher, she said. He taught Dutch. The leaders of the Khmer Rouge were all teachers, he said. She laughed as though he had conquered him on her behalf. He was in love even with her teeth. A picture of her as a girl, taken in class. She wore her hair in braids and was looking up at the teacher with big, earnest eyes. The devotion cut you to the quick. She played Mozart and Chopin, her eyes fixed on the sheet music with that same look. There was no woman more beautiful, no music more beautiful. What had he done to deserve this? Sometimes he whistled as she played.

p 51



They rolled the piano up onto the tailboard and pushed it into the van. It was their only piece of cargo. Maybe their jobs were part of some reintegration programme. A way to put them in touch with the 足working world. The van turned at the back of the yard. The fellow in the passenger seat raised his hand, the other held on to the wheel, a cigarette clenched between his fingers. They kept the windows rolled up; a closed circuit of smoke and foul language. Gravel ground beneath the tyres as they gunned it up onto the dyke. When is it an off-ramp, and when is it just a ramp? she had asked him once. They had searched for a long time for a house for the two of them. They wanted to leave the city behind, everything had to start all over again. This house was exactly right. It lay on a bend in the river and the rent was modest. The discomforts they accepted as part of the 足bargain. That it was small, that the living room ceiling was cut in two by a low beam, which he bumped his head against whenever he was drunk. It had been where the cows were tethered once. They could hear everything the other one did, every phone call and every e-mail that came in, but that was no problem. Everything was new. Their hunger was limitless. Two lives slid into one. They had run out of shelves, so he bought a set of wooden bookcases that had belonged to an antiquarian. There were books in the bedroom and hallway now as well. He read with the diligence of the self-taught, she read because it made her happy. When she read, she said, shutters were thrown open in her mind. She read aloud to him things that had made her stop and think, or made her laugh. One day she took all the books off the shelves in the living room. She was going to sort the library by colour, to create a new order. Two whole days she spent arranging and rearranging all their books, they slalomed around the piles in the living room. Immortelles fell out; poppies and cornflower, the faded purple of bougainvillea. The first book was red. There were lots of red books. Gradually the red flowed into orange and yellow. There were more yellow covers than you would have imagined. The transitions were the hardest, they had to be smooth, not sudden. Yellow slipped into green and blue (countless, too, the blue spines) and after blue and purple everything faded to black.

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What they were looking at was a work of art, a new and fragile order that could barely stand disturbance. He thought: who cares if she can’t cook, when she makes the world this beautiful? It was the first summer in the new house. She was sitting in the sun, painting her toenails, with one knee tucked under her chin. He was swimming at the bend in the slow river. He let himself sink to the bottom and listened underwater to the propeller throb of approaching pleasure boats. He sank through warm and cold layers, the light bottle-green and grainy in his eyes, and pulled back his foot when it touched the slimy bottom. Later he went to get her. “Come on,” he said, “go for a swim with me.” He wanted to pull her under water, to seize her breasts from behind. To set the mood. After that her cold skin with goose bumps beneath him on the narrow bed, his body heavy on hers as a gravestone. But he always swam alone. Later, too, he couldn’t recall seeing her in a bathing suit or bikini. He loved her body more than she did. He remembered thinking: through my eyes she’ll see how lovely she is. He still believed that then, that love could heal. Autumn came. The wind picked up the house and shook it. Inside, the lid of the piano slammed with a bang. Tears were running down her cheeks. “Sweetheart, what is it? What is it?” Her stifled voice: “I don’t want you to whistle along when I play.” Perhaps the house wasn’t too small for a piano, only for the two of them. Maybe it was better suited for a person alone. She talked about it sometimes, about missing the people, the cyclists and the trams. She talked on the phone in the bedroom. But even there you could hear each other. Not word for word, only the undulation of a voice. Her life lay before him like a broken oyster. Everything was visible, yet he knew no life more mysterious than hers. She said: we’re playing the violin on each other’s nerves. The arguments were like rain, they wouldn’t stop. It was her silence that enraged him, he said. It was his rage that made her silent, she said. It had come too far to see where it had started. He said: “The only one you talk to is your damned diary.”

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“If I didn’t, this place would kill me.” Her diary was an adversary, it conspired against him. Suspicions like cold shivers. When she started to get up and walk away, he pulled her down into her chair. “Sit down, goddamn it. Now you’re going to talk to me.” But her silence congealed, grew heavy, lumpy. His rage, on the other hand, spattered in all directions. The difference between them was a difference in substance. In viscosity. In December he went away for a few weeks. From an internet café in Aleppo he wrote that he would give one of his little fingers just to be with her again. Only one little finger? she wrote back. He dreamed that she desecrated their bed. It was hurtful and exciting. She had once read to him the words of a Catholic priest: keep separate the places where you love and where you commit your sins. When he came home in January, he found a thin cigar butt in the cabinet, amid the wires behind the CDs. It could have been there the whole time they lived there, or only for a few weeks. Jealousy, his old condition. Never was his imagination more lively, more colourful. It was above all a matter of hearing – her sighs, the exhortations, the endearing terms she whispered; they dripped into his ears, poison-green as absinthe. “I don’t know whose cigar that is,” she said. “I have no idea. It’s not mine, not from anyone I know. Please, just stop it.” While lying in bed with a fever, she became afraid of the d ­ iction­­­aries. They were trying to hurt her. They besieged her in her dreams. There were frost flowers on the windows, the central heating couldn’t warm the bedroom. That was when, she said later, she had made her decision. “I wouldn’t know what to do without you,” he said. “I miss the city.” “You miss the city and I miss you.” She could go back to her former house, the tenant was leaving at the end of February. In March he visited a couple of European capitals. He called her from the train. “I hoped maybe you would change your mind if I wasn’t around,” he said. “So did I,” she said.

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She asked where he was. “Somewhere between Vienna and Budapest.” He looked outside. “In the hills. It’s already a lot greener here than it is at home. What about you?” “At Ikea.” When he asked what she was doing there, she said: “Buying a new bed.” Naturally, life went on. You couldn’t do without a bed, sleeping on the floor was not an option, but he had held up his bleeding heart to her and knew that he could never be that happy again. By the time he came home she was gone. The lilacs blossomed, April arrived. After the boys drove off in their van, he vacuumed up the spider webs and dust balls that had gathered under the piano, and found a ten-guilder-cent piece. The rest of their change they had traded in back then for euros; beneath the piano, the coin had survived the switch to the new monetary system. She was where she belonged now, she would not come back. Early in the evening he hopped the fence and walked into the fields. Above his head he heard the laboured flight of a pair of swans, the low sun glanced across the mowed grass. That morning the farmer, who was also his landlord, had stuck a hose into the cesspool beneath the house and pumped it dry. Together they stood looking at the hose that lay twitching spastically on the ground as their faeces and dirty water were sucked into the manure tanker. It was a strange, intimate moment, as though someone were sitting beside you while you were crapping. When it was over, the farmer said: now you can do your best for another year. He went to work spreading the sludge over his fields. His Jack Russell sat beside him on the tractor. Now a man was walking through those same fields. He was keeping his head down, as though he’d lost something. Amid his own excrement he searched for evidence. The devil had whispered in his ear that he might find a condom there. That would lend direction to his rage, a focal point. Everything else would have decomposed at the bottom of the cesspool, except for that. She would have flushed it to keep him from finding it, but she had not counted on his rampant imagination. The images were clear enough and focused, he did not doubt them. He walked all the way down to the embankment, an express train came and went by; he screamed up into its roar. Then he walked back to the house in the distance, his eyes riveted on the grass. That he didn’t find it did not mean it wasn’t there.

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Photo of collection Hans Kemna

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—The vibrancy of its private art collections is not the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about the Dutch art world. Art critic Renée Steenbergen has written that contrary to the general impression, Holland has many noteworthy art collectors.


Home is where the art is

daniel bouw Daniel Bouw is project leader at Deneuve Cultural Projects. He realizes visual art, heritage, fashion and design projects with a focus on communication. Bouw wrote for the publication put out by Alexander van Slobbe and is responsible for the international PR of Manifesta 9, the European Biennial of Contemporary Art.


danielle van ark Danielle van Ark studied at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague, where she graduated in 2005. Her work has been shown at FOAM Photography Museum Amsterdam, the Gemeentemuseum The Hague, and at various institutions in Arles, Tokyo, London and New York. She is currently resident at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam.

—> Find a gallery at

In a strong collectors’ climate a good many individuals purchase from national and international artists, galleries and art fairs. Its a market that is constantly expanding. The enthusiasm within Dutch society to ­collect art is cultivated by organizations such as My First Art Collection. Workshops, symposia, conferences and courses are dedicated to the edification of collectors with the aim of encouraging their active participation in the art world. Greater participation by private individuals in the art market makes art more accessible and attractive to a wider group of art lovers. This is a portrait of five equally passionate art collectors. Danielle van Ark took on the challenging task of capturing the heart of each collection in a series of portraits. Instead of portraits of collectors simply adorned by beautiful pieces of art in the background, these portraits are of the collections ­t hemselves; the house in which they are held is merely décor. p 57

While some art collectors seek to create an eclectic selection of works, others show a strong preference for a specific discipline. One might collect predominantly photography while another concentrates on Dutch arts. The one thing the collections have in common is that each and every Dutch private collection originates in a passion for art. The presentation of, and approach to, each collection symbolizes the difference between it and all others and illustrates the collector’s individual passion. Where the constantly changing, almost museumlike, presentation might give one ­collector great satisfaction, another may find ful­ filment in a chaotic set-up where every available meter of wall space is covered. Regardless of how each individual handles his or her collection, none of them has made a conscious choice to collect art; it is simply a way of life. Arts Holland Magazine visited five Dutch art collectors and asked them about their passion for arts and what triggered them to start collecting.



—I collect national and international contem­ porary art and I am intrigued by African and SouthAmerican art. My collection is a ­reflection of travels, ­discoveries and encounters.

kai van hasselt

Kai van Hasselt is an entrepreneur

(1585-1634), Holland’s most famous

to buy pieces whenever I could. I

and lectures Retail Design students

painter of winter landscapes. It

collect national and international

at the Piet Zwart Academy in

opened up a whole new world of

contem­porary art and I am intrigued

Rotterdam. He lives in Amsterdam

stories about fine art. In 1994 my

by African and South-American

where in 2004 he founded Shinsekai

father took me to the MoMA in New

art. My collection is a reflection of

Analysis, a consultancy for urban

York. That was the first time ever I

travels, discoveries and encounters.

strategies and cultural intelligence.

saw paintings by Cy Twombly and,

While it is mainly kept private, I will

The company works on urban and

still only thirteen, they made a huge

occasionally show it to friends if they

cultural developments in Holland

impression on me. Since then I’ve

express an interest. I have in the past

and abroad. Arts Holland visited Kai

kept an eye out for his work.

organized a series of lectures with

‘When I was in college I worked

at his Amsterdam home and asked

W139, an independent exhibition

for a trend-watcher which gave me

space in Amsterdam, about art col-

the opportunity to travel and to visit

lecting. That proved to be a great way

‘I remember reading a book by Dutch

many foreign museums and ­g alleries.

to discover and discuss the wonder-

author Thea Beckman as a child.

The result was a powerful desire to

ful world of collecting art with other

It was about Hendrick Averkamp

­surround myself with art. So I started

enthusiastic collectors.’

him how his art collection started.

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—Joop van Caldenborgh once said that one becomes a collector when there is no space left on the wall to hang a new work of art. You don’t become a collector, it just happens, and I have now experienced that at first hand. Freelance Casting Director Hans


knew it, I was a collector. Joop van Caldenborgh, Dutch entrepreneur

‘I was introduced to the works

and collector of modern and con-

of Wolfgang Tillmans, who had an

temporary art, once said that one

exhibition at the Tate Britain after

becomes a collector when there is no

he won the Turner Prize in 2000,

space left on the wall to hang a new

and I soon bought a photo he made of

work of art. You don’t become a col-

Damon Albarn of the band Blur. We

lector, it just happens, and I have now

have been close friends ever since.

experienced that at first hand.

I still buy his photos and those shot

‘My love of photography began

Kemna has carried out casting for

hans kemna

magazines like i-D and The Face.

by young photographers, mainly portraits, as I love people.

Dutch artists including photogra-

when my mother gave me Johan van

pher, installation and video artist

der Keuken’s photography book

Marijke van Warmerdam, instal-

Wij zijn 17 (We are 17). I wanted to

director of Museum De Hallen

lation and film artist Aernout

be like them, the existential young

Haarlem, invited me to exhibit

Mik, Painter Ronald Ophuis and

people of Amsterdam in the fifties.

my collection. Xander Karskens,

photographer Erwin Olaf. He is

I lived in Rotterdam at the time

curator at De Hallen selected pieces

the permanent casting director for

and spent a lot of time with Daan

from my collection for the exhibi-

Toneelgroep Amsterdam (Theatre

van Golden and Woody van Amen,

tion, Courtesy Hans Kemna, which

Group Amsterdam), where he has

both well-known Dutch artists, who

attracted 8,000 visitors. I was truly

been involved in casting since 1987.

would take me to ateliers and exhibi-

honoured. The beautifully designed

He told Arts Holland Magazine:

tion openings. I bought gouaches,

booklet for the exhibition, which was

illustrations and paintings but really

made by WassinkLundgren is now

‘I once bought a piece of art that

fell for photography. Because of

itself a collectors item.’

I found captivating and before I

my line of work I was fascinated by p 60

‘In 2008 Karel Schampers, the



p 61



—The few times I tried to influence the storyline of my collection, or the direction it was taking, I went wrong almost immediately. Alexander Ramselaar is an indepen­

but now I mainly buy ­national and

quite a lot of photography, but I also

dent in the real-estate, finance and

international pieces.

have paintings and sculptures. There

‘I have always been a very visual

Magazine visited him at his house

person. It seems I have a strong desire

The few times I tried to influence

in Rotterdam and asked him what

to surround myself with things I find

the storyline of my collection, or the

­collecting art means to him.

beautiful or fascinating.

direction it was taking, it went wrong

‘Expanding my collection is a very

alexander ramselaar

is no deliberate, underlying policy.

cultural industries. Arts Holland

almost immediately.

‘I find it difficult to explain why I

intuitive process. One by one new

‘I believe that the world of art

collect art. It just happened. When

pieces are brought into my home,

collectors is very secluded and closed.

I bought my first piece ten years

each of them purchased on a ­d ifferent

As soon as an artwork is bought it dis-

ago, I didn’t have the faintest idea

occasion. Storylines in the collection

appears behind closed doors, never

that it would develop into such a

develop along the way, but I do not

to be seen by the public again. So I

large ­collection and overwhelming

consciously buy specific pieces to con-

host open houses on a regular basis

passion. In the early years I would

tinue or elaborate on the storyline.

and I lend my collection to museums

­occasionally buy an artwork by a

My intuition leads the process, the

regularly because I feel that it is a way

local artist at a gallery in Rotterdam,

how or the why comes later. I own

to share my passion.’

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p 63



—Peter Struyken created the Colour-­ Space-Generator-Eijck for us, a computerized piece of art that generates unique combinations of colours, shapes and shades and will continue to do so for one hundred years. Hidden in the beautiful Limburg

Visser and Rob van Koningsbruggen.

Giuseppe Penone, Donald Judd, Tony

landscape, in the far south of

Art enthusiasts like Carel Blotkamp,

Gragg and many more.

Holland, lies the Wijlre Castle,

Rudi Fuchs and Jean Leering gave

home to Jo and Marlies Eijck since

lectures. We sold the paint business

Colour-Space-Generator-Eijck for

1981. They have shown a huge

and moved to Wijlre in 1981.

us, a computerized piece of art that

‘In 2001 Wiel Arets designed the

amount of dedication in creating a

jo & marlies eijck

‘Peter Struyken created the

generates unique combinations of

place for the art collection that grew

Hedge House for us as an exhibition

colours, shapes and shades and will

up over the years. When asked about

space where our artwork could be

continue to do so for one hundred

this magical place and collection,

kept. It is a modern building, set in

years. Based on this piece he also

they said:

the beautiful garden, scattered with

designed a gobelin, specially for our

sculptures, that surrounds Wijlre

dining room, in collaboration with

‘We were both surrounded by art

Castle. The design included a tool

the Audax Textile museum

from a very young age and have

shed, chicken-coop and green-

in Tilburg.

always remained interested in cul-

house filled with orchids, each of

‘This year we are embark-

tural activities and beautiful exhibi-

which was meant to enhance the

ing on a new venture with the

tions. For a long time we organized

already ­beautiful works of art that

Bonnefantenmuseum in Maastricht,

an annual exhibition at our company,

we had collected over the years.

where a large part of our collection

a paint wholesaler in Heerlen, show-

We visited many galleries and had

will be held. As a foundation we will

ing the works of artists of current

very ­i nteresting conversations with

continue to host many spectacular

interest, such as Ad Dekkers,

Riekje Swart, Art and Project, Paul

public exhibitions. We hope to be

François Morellet, Richard Paul

Andriesse and others. From there

able to enjoy and share our passion

Lohse, Antonio Calderara, Carel

on the ­collection grew to include

for many years to come.’

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p 65



—Collector's House is a platform where co-collectors actively participate, to improve the conditions that are important for collectors of ­contemporary visual art.

albert groot

Albert Groot is not only a psy-

Art adds flavour to life and artists

caters to the different senses and who

chiatrist in Sittard and founder of

question the world. I enjoy talking to

is a classic example of someone is

the AmaCura in Geleen, a second

artists and closely listening to what

more than meets the eye. Along with

line medical institution for mental

they have to say. I am intrigued by

Stijn Huijts, the current managing

healthcare, he is also an art collector.

our existence here and now. Artists

director at the Bonnefantenmuseum

give a certain direction to concepts

in Maastricht, I established the

‘I started collecting contemporary

of reality. One of my favourite artists

Collector’s House in Heerlen, in the

art in 1999 after my brother took me

is Aurelien Froment (Motive Gallery,

very South of Holland. The idea is

along to galleries in Amsterdam. I

Amsterdam). He has a magical way of

that it will become a platform where

bought various pieces and got a real

representing fine arts as a continuum

co-collectors actively participate,

taste for it. The Kunstkoop, an initia-

of human existence over the centuries

exchanging information and working

tive of the Mondriaan Foundation, is

and of questioning our position as

together to improve the conditions

a way to make buying art affordable

humans. Another artist whom I truly

that are important for collectors of

by providing interest-free loans – a

appreciate is Job Koelewijn (Gallery

contemporary visual art.’

perfect stimulus for new collectors.

Fons Welters, Amsterdam) who p 66



p 67




Culture takes relations to a higher level

sandra jongenelen

HOLLAND TURKEY 400 years Dutch culture does well in Turkey. The cultural offering from Holland has tripled over the past few years, thanks in part to Daniël Stork, Cultural Attaché at the Dutch Consulate General. He is one of the masterminds behind the 400th anniversary celebration of diplomatic ties between Holland and Turkey. The first official envoy from Holland took up residence in 1612 on almost exactly the same spot in the heart of Istanbul where Stork now has his office. ‘It's as if we are on the Dam in Amsterdam,’ says Stork. ‘On busy days, one million people pass by here. They

Sandra Jongenelen is a freelance journalist and copywriter in the cultural sector. Amongst her contractors are leading Dutch newspapers, magazines and cultural organisations.

even though smaller activities like a seminar on the freedom of speech are also important. In the second half of the year, the Sakip Sabanci Museum is freeing up its walls for Cobra, an exhibition from the similarly named museum in Amstelveen. Museum Boijmans van Beuningen showed contemporary work, while the Van Abbemuseum is offering three successive presentations right up until the last day of the year.

parade through the street until two o'clock in the morning.’ At the time when he arrived four years ago, the embassy was supporting some 30 cultural projects a year. By the end of this festive year, that number will have risen to around 100. Dutch culture is alive, also in cities like Izmir and Ankara. ‘An acquaintance of mine remarked: ‘I can't walk into a museum without seeing something about Holland.’ Earlier, the Rijksmuseum presented its collection of 17th-century masters, including five of Rembrandt's paintings. For Stork, that is one of the highlights,

The importance of culture Earlier this year, Queen Beatrix and President Gül called on one another, with various trade delegations following in their wake. With €20 billion, Holland is the biggest foreign ­investor in Turkey. The countries are also connected through the almost 400,000 Dutch citizens of Turkish origin and the Dutch tourists in Turkey. ‘With cultural events, we can take our relations to a higher level,’ explains Stork. The importance of culture goes ­w ithout saying. ‘Without culture, there’s nothing. You can come together,

ambassador cornelis calkoen attending an audience of the sultan Atelier van Vanmour, 1737-1744 Rijksmuseum Amsterdam

An audience with the sultan was often the only opportunity an ambassador ever had to meet the most powerful man in the mighty Ottoman Empire. The visit would proceed according to set protocol. After his audience, Calkoen sent a detailed report to the Dutch States General and the Directorate. He reported with some satisfaction that his speech had been well received. The gifts he had brought had been much appreciated.

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dam square and the town hall Gerrit Berckheyde, 1673 Amsterdam Museum, on loan from Rijksmuseum Amsterdam

In Amsterdam, the Directorate of Levant Trade (1625-1826) coordinated maritime contact with the Ottoman Empire. Dutch ships brought Leiden cloth, minted silver and other produce to the sultan’s realm. They returned with goods such as angora wool, cotton, silk and dried fruit. In the town hall on Dam Square, the directors met each week in the Directorate’s chamber. The room was decorated with paintings and maps of the exotic Ottoman Empire. The artworks from the Directorate chamber are brought together here for the first time in over two hundred years.

but you don't have that special atmosphere or extra media attention. What you do is bring the best of art and culture here in order to expand the trade and economic contacts. So the cultural programme is not just important for the partici­pating organizations and attractive for the public.’ The picture that the Turks have of Holland is not always recognizable. ‘Some people think Copenhagen is the capital.’ For Turkish culture lovers, Holland is more on the map, especially in the areas of design, architecture, dance, classical music and jazz. This summer, the singer Caro Emerald will be performing at a jazz festival in Istanbul, while in November, Holland will be the guest country at one of the largest book fairs. But there is also theatre and film.

the Spaniards. Somewhat later, painters of the Golden Age portrayed men in Eastern dress in order to show how cosmopolitan a city like Amsterdam was. Turkey is one of the few countries with which Holland never waged a war during the past centuries. It also is the source of two typically Dutch symbols: the tulip and St. Nicholas. The saintly man was born in Myra. While not entirely comparable, the reverse also occurs: ‘Miss Turkey’ is ‘an ordinary girl from Almelo’, Holland. After winning that competition, Azra Akin captured the title of ‘Miss World’ on behalf of Turkey in 2002. Around that time she had more of a Dutch Tukker’s accent than a Turkish one. She is now a celebrity in Turkey.

Dutch from Turkish descent

For Dutch merchants in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the city of Izmir was especially important. Their presence is attested to by the Dutch cemetery, the chapel of which was in the hands of the Dutch government until recently. Karel Dutilh, the Dutch Honorary Consul in Izmir, is a direct descendent of those merchants. He speaks only English and Turkish.

Their diplomatic ties may be four centuries old, but their contact dates further back. During the Eighty Years’ War, the Turks supported the Dutch in the fight against the Spaniards, under the motto: ‘Rather Muslim than Catholic’. Around 1600, Dutch men even cultivated a Turkish moustache in order to provoke

A family affair

p 69

Stork himself speaks nine languages, not counting Turkish – although that is starting to come. At university, he focused on Eastern European studies, with Russian and a smattering of Arabic as subsidiary subjects. He learned Spanish and Romanian in the countries where his father, Coen Stork, was dispatched as ambassador. Love of art and culture is in the family. His cousin is a well-known writer, his great uncle a renowned painter. In Cuba and Romania, his father had contact with dissidents, including many artists. ‘He tried to help them, smuggling poems to the West through the diplomatic service.’ In the late 1980s, Stork Senior ­w itnessed the fall of Ceausescu’s communist regime in Romania. In the months prior to that, he involved his son in the work. As a boy of 12 or 13 years old, the present Cultural Attaché brought ­messages around – by ­bicycle, in accordance with good Dutch ­tradition. Says Stork, ‘The Secret Service went on foot or by car and couldn’t follow me. That was quite exciting.’ —> For the full programme:



PLAY THE GAME And discover the Dutch


marieke verhoeven Marieke Verhoeven is a freelance writer for news­paper de Volkskrant and various magazines, including ELLE, Ode and Schiphol Magazine. She writes about work and career, travel, humaninterest, lifestyle, technology, art and fashion. Illustrations—

sue doeksen Sue Doeksen studied Illustration at the Utrecht School of Arts. She works for a broad range of clients, including Orange, Royal Mail, Heineken, Virgin, Uitgeverij Snor and Versal. Photography—

raw color Raw Color is a collaboration between designers Christoph Brach and Daniera ter Haar. Their work reflects a sophisticated treatment of material by combining photography with graphic design, embodied in research and experiments for the construction of a visual language.

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1 — Art

mondrian, picasso, magritte, lichtenstein

Most people seem either to love or hate the famous grid paintings by Piet Mondrian (1872-1944). The artist worked mainly in France, where his minimalist art caused quite a stir in the 1920s and 30s. Some called his rectangular shapes, black lines and primary colours cold and heartless. Others found his work daring, innovative and astonishingly well-­balanced, as did fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent who created a series of dresses based on the Dutchman’s grid paintings in 1965. Mondrian was just as balanced as his paintings. Unlike his ­flamboyant contemporaries Picasso and Dali, he was a modest and extremely disciplined painter. Feeling threat from Germany, Mondrian moved to London in 1938 after the Nazis condemned his work as being degenerate. He then moved away from Europe altogether in 1940, to New York, where he capped his career by making the monumental painting Broadway Boogie-Woogie. He died there of pneumonia in 1944 before he could finish his huge work, Victory Boogie-Woogie.

2 — Design

rietveld, le corbusier, mendini, jacobsen

When you think of Dutch Design, furniture designer and architect Gerrit Rietveld (1888-1964) is probably one of the first names that comes to mind. He’s justly famous for combining ­aesthetics, simplicity and practicality, and one of the principal members of the Dutch artistic movement called De Stijl (The Style). Rietveld was an archetypal autodidact. He left school at eleven to work in his father’s cabinet-making workshop, then aligned himself with De Stijl in 1918. Rietveld made his first impression as an architect in 1924 with The Schroeder House in Utrecht, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. By then he had designed his most famous, and sub­ sequently much-copied, piece: the Red and Blue Chair. The severe, right-angled geometry and use of primary colours make his chair a perfect example of the


principles of De Stijl. The Red and Blue Chair is even more interesting for the fact that it plays with the conventions of what a chair should be. It’s neither soft nor comfortable, unlike any other armchair in the world back in the early 1900s. Rietveld consciously designed a chair that makes people alert and at ease at the same time. ‘I am constantly concerned,’ he said, ‘with this extraordinary idea of the awakening of the consciousness.’ Throughout his career, Gerrit Rietveld continued to experiment with materials and techniques.

3 — Heritage

hunebed, pyramid, stonehenge, mayan temple

While everyone’s heard of Stonehenge in England, few know that Holland has its own ancient stone monuments, the Hunebedden (Dolmens or Passage Graves). In a country known for its lack of mountains, the fifty-four giant stones in the northern provinces of Drenthe and Groningen are strange and impressive sites. Dating from some 5,000 years ago, these megaliths are older than Stonehenge and the Egyptian Pyramids. How did these giant blocks of stone, some of them weighing over 25,000 kilos, end up standing alone in the Dutch countryside? The most plausible explanation is that the larger boulders from which the Hunebedden were hewn were carried here by glaciers in the ice age 200,000 years ago. It is unlikely that we will ever know how our Dutch forefathers, who were little more than primitive herders and tillers of the soil, proved themselves capable of cutting and arranging these enormous stones.

4 — Museums

stedelijk museum, guggenheim british museum, centre pompidou

The Stedelijk Museum, founded in 1874, is a must for all lovers of classic modern and contemporary art. The collection of some 90,000 objects includes The Beanery by Edward Kienholz and works by Kazimir Malevich, Bauhaus and De Stijl. The Stedelijk is widely ­acknowledged to hold one of the world’s p 74

most important collections of modern and contemporary art and design. A complete renovation of the Stedelijk’s historic building has converted virtually all of its programme spaces into galleries, enabling the first comprehensive display the Stedelijk has ever mounted of its permanent collection. The dynamic new wing at the back of the building, designed by Mels Crouwel of Benthem Crouwel Architects, is an innovative structure that strikingly reflects the Stedelijk’s history of collecting, exhibiting and fostering extraordinary Dutch design. The new building has a floating form and is the envelope for the second-floor ­galleries and auditorium, with offices above. The ground-floor main entrance, lobby, ­bookstore and restaurant are entirely encased in glass.

5 — Film

golden calf, golden bear, golden peacock, golden lion

Berlin might have its bear and Venice a lion, but the Dutch film world claims an animal that matches its own ­modest dimensions. The Golden Calf is the award presented in six categories at the Netherlands Film Festival, held annually in Utrecht since 1988. Actors Jeroen Krabbé, Rutger Hauer and Carice van Houten have all won a Golden Calf, as have directors Paul Verhoeven (Basic Instinct) and Jan de Bont (Speed). In 2002 film director and jury member Martin Koolhoven referred to the Golden Calf as a typical example of Dutch Calvinist ­culture: ‘The name of this award alone proves that it doesn’t take itself too ­seriously. Real foreign countries have lions or bears. We have a calf, an animal you’re not even supposed to worship.’ One actor who definitely didn’t take the award ­seriously was Rijk de Gooijer, who hurled his Calf out of a taxi window after feeling let down by the award ceremony.

—> Discover more of the Dutch?



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what – where


—> Find more city guides on










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architecture: 1 Architecture Centre Amsterdam: Prins Hendrikkade 600 – 2 Beurs van Berlage: Damrak 277 – landmarks: 3 Hermitage: Amstel 51 – 4 Het Scheepvaartmuseum: Kattenburgerplein 1 – festivals & events: 5 Holland Festival: various locations – 6 IDFA: various locations – fashion & design: 7 Amsterdam Fashion Week: Westerpark area – 8 Salon/: various locations – dance: 9 Het Nationale Ballet: Amstel 3 – 10 Julidans: various locations – theatre: 11 Stadsschouwburg: Leidseplein 26 – 12 Amsterdam Fringe Festival: various locations – music: 13 Concertgebouw: Concertgebouwplein 10 – 14 Paradiso: Weteringschans 6-8 – film & photography: 15 FOAM: Keizersgracht 609 – 16 EYE: IJpromenade 1 – museums: 17 Stedelijk Museum: Museumplein 10 – 18 Van Gogh Museum: Paulus Potterstraat 7 – galleries: 19 Galerie Paul Andriesse: Westerstraat 187 – 20 Annet Gelink Gallery: Laurierstraat 187-189 – art & food: 21 Mediamatic: Vijzelstraat 72 – 22 Proef: Gosschalklaan 12 – shops: 23 OPTIONS!: Damrak 49 – 24 Frozen Fountain: Prinsengracht 629 –

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what – where

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architecture: 1 Gemeentemuseum: Stadhouderslaan 41 – 2 Vredespaleis: Carnegiplein 2 – landmarks: 3 Binnenhof: Binnenhof 8a – 4 Museum Beelden aan Zee: Harteveltstraat 1 – festival & events: 5 De Parade: various locations – 6 TodaysArt: various locations – fashion & design: 7 LHGWR (store): Stationsweg 137 – 8 Cos: Venestraat 17-19 – dance: 9 Holland Dance Festival: various locations – 10 Nederlands Danstheater: Spuiplein 150 – theatre: 11 Appeltheater: Duinstraat 6 – 12 Koninklijke Schouwburg: Korte Voorhout 3 – music: 13 Lucent Danstheater: Spuiplein 150 – 14 Crossing Border: various locations – film & photography: 15 GEM: Stadhouderslaan 43 – 16 Gemak: Paviljoensgracht 20-24 – museums: 17 Panorama Mesdag: Zeestraat 65 – 18 Mauritshuis: Korte Vijverberg 8 – galleries: 19 Arti: Binckhorstlaan 249 – 20 Galerie West: Groenewegje 136 – art & food: 21 Stroom: Hogewal 1 – 22 Eetbaar Park: Anna Polakstraat 21 – shops: 23 Task-Ka: Prins Hendrikstraat 97 – 24 HEMA: Grote Marktstraat 57 –

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architecture: 1 Netherlands Architecture Institute (NAi): Museumpark 25 – 2 Architecture Biennale: various locations – landmarks: 3 Van Nelle Ontwerpfabriek: Van Nelleweg 1 – 4 Erasmusbrug Stadsdriehoek – festivals & events: 5 Raw Art Fair: Veerlaan 9-13 – 6 Poetry International Festival: Schouwburgplein 25 – fashion & design: 7 Object: Wilhelminakade 699 – 8 Concept|NO|Store: William Boothlaan 13a – dance: 9 DANSnacht: Schouwburgplein 25 – 10 Rotterdam Danst: Schouwburgplein 25 – theatre: 11 Internationale Keuze: various locations – 12 Circus Stad Festival: various locations – music: 13 De Doelen: Schouwburgplein 50 – 14 North Sea Jazz Festival: Ahoyweg 10 – film & photography: 15 Nederlands Fotomuseum: Wilhelminakade 332 – 16 IFFR: various locations – museums: 17 Kunsthal: Westzeedijk 341 –

18 Museum Boijmans van Beuningen: Museumpark 18 –

galleries: 19 Galerie Vivid: Scheepmakershaven 17 – 20 Wilfried Lentz: Stationsplein 45 – art & food: 21 Atelier Van Lieshout: Keilestraat 43e – 22 Stroom Hotel: Lloydstraat 1 – shops: 23 Blaak 10: Witte de Withstraat 7a – 24 Shopper: Van Oldenbarneveltstraat 113 –

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architecture: 1 Rietveld Schröderhuis: Prins Hendriklaan 50 – 2 Van Schijndel Huis: Pieterskerkhof 8 – landmarks: 3 Domtoren: Domplein 10 – 4 De Oudegracht: Oudegracht – festivals & events: 5 Impakt Festival: various locations – 6 Cross-linx: various locations – fashion & design: 7 In-Fashion: various locations – 8 Design Route 030: various locations – dance: 9 Springdance: Ganzenmarkt 14 – 10 Utrecht Danst: various locations – theatre: 11 Stadsschouwburg Utrecht: Lucasbolwerk 24 – 12 Theater Kikker: Ganzenmarkt 14 – music: 13 EKKO: Bemuurde Weerd WZ 3 – 14 Festival aan de Werf: various locations – film & photography: 15 Nederlands Film Festival: various locations – 16 Holland Animation Film Festival: various locations – museums: 17 Centraal Museum: Agnietenstraat 3 – 18 Museum Catharijneconvent: Lange Nieuwstraat 38 – galleries: 19 Toonkamer: Rotsoord 3 – 20 Flatland Gallery: Lange Nieuwstraat 7 – art & food: 21 Casco: Nieuwekade 213 - 215 – 22 Vlaamsch Broodhuys: Nachtegaalstraat 54 – shops: 23 Nukuhiva: Zadelstraat 36 – 24 Designercafé: Oudkerkhof 7 –

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1966 — Jan Slothouber and William Graatsma


1968 — Theo van Doesburg

2010 — David Bade

About the Cover Lernert Engelberts and Sander Plug (Lernert & Sander) are two artists and friends who decided that working alone was no longer stimulating and started collaborating on artrelated projects. Since their first video, Chocolate Bunny, they've been working on commercials, leaders, art movies, documentaries and installations. Their aim is to make simple and communicative works that take little account of established borders between contemporary art and commercial projects. Their highly aesthetic, humorous and dedicated works are often challenging to the media and its viewers, in a simple but very effective way. Their work has been selected for international festivals in New York, Rio de Janeiro and Oberhausen.

invitation to, the Sikkens Prize award show. Since the first ever Sikkens Prize was awarded to architect Gerrit Rietveld, they decided to strip down his Red and Blue Chair and create ten different chairs, each depicting the signature colour combinations of some of the outstanding winners of the Sikkens Prize over the last fifty years. Just as colour cannot exist without light, social, cultural and scientific developments demand an interest in colour. That is the conviction on which the Sikkens Foundation was based in 1959 and to which the foundation has dedicated itself to ever since.

To celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the Sikkens Foundation, set up by the prominent Dutch paint company, Lernert & Sander were invited to create the programme for, and

On the back cover: 1960 — Gerrit Rietveld

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Arts Holland is for those who like to go off the beaten track and want to experience hidden cultural treasures. It reveals the sheer magnitude and diversity of Dutch arts and culture and has developed the tools to assist you in visiting Holland and making the most of your time here.

Experience Dutch arts, culture and heritage, museums, design, fashion, theatre and more in the cities of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, Utrecht and their surrounding areas. The variety of cultural activities in easy-to-reach locations makes Holland one large district of wonder, beauty and inspiration.

Arts Holland Magazine inspires and helps you plan your cultural visit to Holland so you can discover the country’s true gems. Also, visit our website which offers a comprehensive overview of the latest events and activities available in our museums, galleries, fashion, music and theatres as well as general information on Holland hotels, shops and restaurants.

Arts Holland. Discover the world’s art district.

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Arts Holland Magazine

Yvette Gieles, Kim Nanne, Taco de Neef,

Arts Holland Magazine is a coproduction of the


Anna Visser, Femke van Woerden-Tausk

Netherlands Board of Tourism & Conventions (NBTC), the Netherlands Uitburo (NUB) and SICA


Dutch Centre for International Cultural Activities.

Deneuve Cultural Projects

This collaboration provides a unique collection of

(Daniël Bouw, Taco de Neef,

knowledge and information about the Dutch cultural

assisted by Sietse van Leeuwen)

world and the international positioning of Dutch art and culture.

Contributors to the magazine: Marieke Verhoeven (writer),

Arts Holland

Jessica Voorwinde (image editor)

The Netherlands Board of Tourism & Conventions

Funding partners

(NBTC), the Netherlands Uitburo (NUB) and Waag Design:

Society have entered into a tourism/culture partner-


ship. As Arts Holland they jointly promote Holland

(Eric de Haas, Elske van der Putten,

internationally as an attractive, cultural destination.

Erik Sjouerman)

Arts Holland is sponsored by the cities of Amsterdam, The Hague, Rotterdam and Utrecht, the City Region

Pattern design inside cover:

of Amsterdam, the provinces of North-Holland

Hansje van Halem

and Utrecht, and the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation. Other partners in this

Copy editing, translation:

project are SICA, KLM and Total Active Media.

Jane Bemont, Sam Garrett, Rowan Hewison, Anna Visser

NBTC The Netherlands Board of Tourism & Conventions

Acting Publisher:

(NBTC) is responsible for the marketing of the

SICA Dutch Centre for International

Netherlands. NBTC promotes 'Holland' internation-

Cultural Activities, Amsterdam 2012

ally as an attractive destination for holidays, business meetings and conventions. NBTC cooperates closely


with private and public parties both within and

10,000 copies

beyond the tourism industry.

Contact & distribution:

Nederlands Uitburo

The Uitburo network operates on a national and independent level and delivers the most complete and up

ISSN: 2213-1906

to date and diverse cultural agenda information.



The contributors and the publisher have

SICA Dutch Centre for International Cultural

made every effort to secure permission to

Activities is the support organisation for the interna-

reproduce the listed material, illustrations

tional cultural policy of the Dutch government. SICA

and photographs. We apologize for any

stimulates and realises international cultural exchange

inadvertent errors or omissions. Parties

in collaboration with the (international) cultural field,

who nevertheless believe they can claim

civil society, the business world and governments.

specific legal right are invited to contact the publisher.

Deneuve Cultural Projects Taco de Neef and Daniël Bouw have been Deneuve

© 2012, NBTC, NUB, SICA. All rights reserved.

Cultural Projects since 2008. They lead projects and elements of projects in the cultural domain. Their fields of work include production, content, communication and organization, books, international PR, festivals and award ceremonies. TheNewStudio Eric de Haas, Elske van der Putten and Erik Sjouerman form Dutch design agency TheNewStudio. They work hands-on with clients on design and brand and identity development in every dimension. p 84