ruimteCAESUUR | annual report 2020

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annual report 2020


Front page: Charlotte Besuijen | From one to another, to you Back page: Ruben Mols | HOST ruimteCAESUUR | Lange Noordstraat 67 NL-4331 CC Middelburg | K.v.K. 4111439 | NL43 INGB 0002 6695 59 3


Content Preface | page 06 Jorieke Rottier, curator on behalf of WITTE ROOK Kees de Valk [ 1946 – 2019 ] | page 10 In Memoriam | 28/12/’19 – 20/12/’20 Charlotte Besuijen | page 14 From one to another, to you 25/01/’20 – 07/03/’20 Ruben Mols | page 20 HOST | 15/03/’20 – 12/05/’20 Johanna Talja | page 28 LOWERCASE | 16/05/’20 – 04/07/’20 Nele Brökelmann, June Yu, Katarina Petrovic | page 30 [蒸汽船] Steamboat | 11/07/’20 – 29/08/’20 Karl Karlas | page 34 Not so far from your bed | 05/09/’20 – 23/10/’20 Johan van Geluwe [ 1929 - 2020 ] | page 38 In Memoriam | Ars longa vita brevis 30/10/’20 – 06/02/’21 Colophons / links | page 44 Statements | page 48 5

Preface | Jorieke Rottier / curator Last year, I received the invitation from teamCAESUUR to compile a program for 2020 in the exhibition space 1. In the luxurious position we found ourselves in at the time, I experienced coincidence as something that fell to me from a kind of inexplicable, positive combination of circumstances. Coincidence, that during my graduation year a group of artists came together to set up an online platform called Witte Rook, and I was allowed to connect with it. After Dani Ploeger approached Witte Rook in 2017 with the question whether a publication from his project at ruimteCAESUUR could be given a place on the website, I was asked by my colleague if I wanted to work on this. It is a coincidence that, by worming for an organization based in Brabant, one steps into an exhibition location some 6 miles from your home in Vlissingen. And that, pleasantly surprised, you find yourself sitting down at a table and build up a bond over time with the place Giel Louws wrote about beautifully under the title "ruimteCAESUUR and things" 2.


2020 Started as planned with the exhibition "From one to another, to you" by Charlotte Besuijen. She filled the art space with powerful and subtle drawings, presented in a very spatial form, surrounded by engaged visitors and enveloped by ditto conversations.

rounded by engaged visitors and enveloped by ditto conversations. Then, "coincidence" suddenly became "force majeure" when the first Covid lockdown was declared, a day before the opening of Ruben Mols' HOST. Invitations had been sent. The exhibition stood. What was missing were the visitors, and thus the interaction and the meetings that are so important to both Ruben's work and teamCAESUUR. Ruben managed to overcome this in part by publishing the publication HOST containing an extensive essay about his work, written by Roel Neuraij. After Johanna Talja changed her plans in no time from a physical into a digital presentation in the form of four performances via livestream, we were relieved to meet Nele Brรถkelmann in the summer who, together with June Yu and Katharina Petrovic, discussed and worked extensively on their Steamboat project processing that project into a presentation. During the opening, a soundwalk was experienced by the audience and a few weeks later an artist talk took place that was broadcasted online.


With the measures relaxing, the building of Karl Karlas could started. She used the showcase function of the CAESUUR windows to show her photo works. The miniatures on which these photos are based were visible to the visitor who entered: collected in a miniature house.

of the CAESUUR windows to show her photo works. : Collected in a miniature house the miniatures on the pictures were visible to the visitor who entered the space. Finally, coincidence got an unpleasant aftertaste when it turned out that, the exhibition of Joep Vossebeld had to be canceled. Partly due to the enormous financial and organizational consequences of Corona in the art and culture sector and the pressure that this put on artists who work in that sector as curators or organizers.

Jorieke Rottier in ruimteCAESUUR | 2019


The year in which our adaptability was put to the test was surrounded by the death of two dear friends of CAESUUR. In January, a selection of work by Kees de Valk was shown during "In memoriam". In November we opened the exhibition "In memoriam | ARS LONGA VITA BREVIS� with which we honored the life and work of Johan van Geluwe. ruimteCAESUUR has become a place for me this year to show and hide, to share life and art in a multitude of facets. A place to learn and to listen, to sharpen myself in looking, thinking, making and showing. A place where I recognize the need for art, the pleasure and the seriousness of it.

1 More about this via 2 Giel Louws: please see page 48 9

Kees de Valk [ 1946 – 2019 ] In Memoriam




Sadly, we commemorated our friend and colleague Kees de Valk, who died in December 2019. Kees de Valk studied autonomous visual art at the Free Academy in The Hague and art history at the Municipal University in Amsterdam. Two works and the corresponding pages from his book who loves the sun which were on display, refer to the destruction of the Sarajevo University Library on the night of 25 to 26 August 1992 by Bosnian Serbs. For three days, the burnt paper of the books rained on the city: black butterflies, as the inhabitants of Sarajevo called the ashes of their cultural heritage. Kees realized a work of art in Sarajevo in 1999 on the fence that was built around the library. On May 15, 1999, Kees placed the installation Hommage to Sarajevo in Sarajevo's city hall in collaboration with the Sarajevo Center for Contemporary Art. In his art he tried to connect content and form, with a love for painting. Sometimes in his view photography, sculpture, or video were better visual means. Appealing installations were created by making use of combined materials such as glass, plastics, paper and digital techniques. Kees was three times a guest in ruimteCAESUUR. Most recently in the program The painter, the work & the studio in 2012. With Harry Vandevliet, Kees organized half a lifetime exhibitions in the G H L art complex in the Gravenstraat in Middelburg; his last years at the Kinderdijk in Mon Capitaine. We are missing Kees very much . . . . . . 13

Charlotte Besuijen From one to another, to you






Charlotte Besuijen in CAESUUR Giel Louws The drawing that thinks back at you. When we think of a drawing, our first thought is that of a spontaneous action. Possibly a remnant of the idea that a drawing is not a work on itself, but a study, a draft, a spontaneous gesture. Charlotte however stretches the time of the act of drawing. She scratches time into her work, cuts holes in the course, pastes new time over old time. I used to read drawings like a needle traces a LP recording, but now I falter, the needle skips. Something is happening here with time that is untraceable, time is taken from me, and gifted to me as well. I see a multitude of time, time of contemplation, not the objective (clock time) , but a personal time. Nine sheets of paper extended from a rack on the ceiling. At least, that is what it looks like. There are not nine sheets, but only one, and it is not a sheet at all. It is more like an area I would suggest, a zone. This zone is open to me, but at the same time I am prohibited to enter. I am forced to circle around it, and get glimpses of insight. The vulnerability of the loose parts suddenly appears to me, but I have to correct myself. The whole piece is of great power, it is sovereign. The mistake is easily made to confuse vulnerability and power. In particular the spots where the drawings fray, I am the vulnerable one. I become a possible destructive force. Slowly and carefully I think myself around the work, step by step. My time mixes with that of the work, and of Charlotte. The drawing stretches out in space, and retracts. Lines form paths, are breached, and overlap. This drawing is a being.

I thought about a drawing. The drawing thought right back. At Charlotte.


Ruben Mols | HOST








Text Ruben Mols | HOST By using digital equipment such as smart phones, we avoid the limitations of our body. Technology allows us to always be connected to each other and the world around us. All conceivable information is accessible and procurable. But incorporating technology is an interaction: I use my equipment, but my equipment also uses me. A circuit has developed between me and the devices I use. Can I go so far as to say that these tools are part of me? My practice is driven by a great interest in the power of technology and its consequences on the life of the individual. How do we interact with the world around us? How do the means with which we do this influence our understanding? The sources I use in developing my perspectives: David Chalmers and Andy Clark with the thesis: The Extended Mind and Manfred Spitzer with his book Digital Demenz. Technology is not something we just use or consume, but something that actively shapes us and the way we act in the world. Click here for a booklet with an essay by Roel Nuraij about the work of Ruben Mols.


Johanna Talja | LOWERCASE Performance Series, created for and exhibited at a virtual ruimteCAESUUR

The sculptures: os/3319420168077005/ Performance 1: os/3318556534830035/ Performance 2: os/3354903377862017/ and os/3355605207791834/ (part2) Performance 3: os/3391554947530193/ Performance 4: os/3429113980440956/ 28

Is something digital completely separate than something you can touch and feel? Where are the boarders of fake and real? Talja’s work revolves around exploring filmographic and performative media and the relations between the stage, the backstage, the performer and everything in between. In her work she approaches different ideas with humor and seeks to find a balance between the absurd and the rational, the real and the fake, by combining handmade tactile elements with digital, artificial effects. She focuses on disrupting the normal and sensible while uncovering the madness of the everyday.


Nele Brökelmann | June Yu | Katarina Petrovic [蒸汽船] STEAMBOAT

[蒸汽船] Steamboat is an ongoing collaborative research by three artists that focuses on new explorative ways of making-together. Departing from a shared interest in support structures and how we could create one, we take the steamboat as a metaphor, being a technology that facilitated global change and transformed world relations. We will present our research as an installation, website and a score to be performed together with the audience. Click here for some more back ground. 30

[蒸汽船] Steamboat | the walk




Karl Karlas | Not that far from your bed




Karl Karlas | text Karl Karlas (1991) has put together a number of holiday destinations for the exhibition Not that far from your bed. Karlas takes you on a journey, but as far as the destination goes, you ultimately decide for yourself. Instagram shows beautiful images, and you can follow everything without actually being anywhere. But have you really seen it? And what exactly did you see? Did you really experience it as real? By playing with scaled landscapes, Karlas tries to make you think about this. Traditionally, traveling was a luxury and not for everyone. Now most of us can afford it, but at the time of writing, there are hardly any planes flying, and we are not even allowed to enter some countries because of the effects of Covid 19. Karlas drove by car to France, to a campsite on the coast. With the plastic she found there, she made the miniature installations for Not so far from your bed. Supplemented with residual forms of epoxy from the studio, small worlds arose. The little worlds give the viewer a direction, but above all room to make up a story by himself, Karlas only gives the impetus. The exhibition series is part offers a visual perspective on the role of the internet in our experience world, and examines the value of the physical exhibition. 37

Johan van Geluwe [ 1929 - 2020 ] ARS LONGA VITA BREVIS






Johan van Geluwe | text Flemish artist Johan Van Geluwe passed away in January of this year at the age of 90. Johan lived in Waregem where he was an honorary citizen. The ARTchitect was one of the most important Belgian artists in the second half of the last century. In 2005, the art historian and curator Harald Szeemann gave him a central place in the exhibition Visionary Belgium at BOZAR | Brussels.

His fictional institute The Museum of Museums formed the leitmotiv in his work. For this Museum he collected and made mail-art, graphic, installations, etc. He donated the extensive oeuvre - collected in his home - to the municipal archives of Waregem. Johan van Geluwe had a special relationship with Middelburg. In his opinion it was the most Flemish city in the Netherlands. Here he showed the results of his work several times: in the Vleeshal, in GHL and in ruimteCAESUUR.


colophon | general teamCAESUUR Willy van Houtum | Giel Louws Dani Ploeger | Hans Overvliet curator 2020 Jorieke Rottier [ for Witte Rook ] catalog Hans Overvliet thanks to happy shareholders & friends of CAESUUR municipality of Middelburg | Familiefonds Hurgronje Kattendijke / Drucker Stichting | Frits Lensvelt Stichting knowledge partner of het Metamorfose Lokaal | UCR for using photos and/or texts please contact


colophon | exhibitions Kees de Valk | In Memoriam concept, execution, text & photos Willy van Houtum & Hans Overvliet Charlotte Besuijen | From one to another, to you photos ©2020 Charlotte Besuijen | Hans Overvliet text ©2020 Giel Louws Ruben Mols | HOST photos ©2020 Ruben Mols | Hans Overvliet text ©2020 Ruben Mols essay ©2020 Roel Nuraij Johanna Talja | LOWERCASE photos & text ©2020 Johanna Talja Nele Brökelmann, June Yu, Katarina Petrovic [蒸汽船] Steamboat text ©2020 Nele Brökelman photos Giel Louws


colophon | exhibitions Karl Karlas | Not that far from your bed Š2020 photos & text | Karl Karlas Johan van Geluwe | Ars longa vita brevis concept Ko de Jonge & Hans Overvliet execution Willy van Houtum | Giel Louws | Ko de Jonge Hans Overvliet photos Giel Louws | Ko de Jonge | Hans Overvliet



statements ruimteCAESUUR & WITTE ROOK In the 25th year of her existence ruimteCAESUUR in Middelburg and WITTE ROOK from Breda in 2020 together were working on an annual program. In this collaboration, WITTE ROOK and ruimteCAESUUR attempted to offer a visual perspective on the role of the internet in artistic practice and at the same time question the value of offline exhibition locations. Jorieke Rottier fulfilled the task of curator and invited the artists presented in this catalog.


ruimteCAESUUR and things Giel Louws ruimteCAESUUR is a thing, a tangible fact in Middelburg. Four walls enclose the exhibition space, leaving glass holes open for passers-by. The space expands behind the art space, above the art space, into the people who live there, pass by, and in time. The physical aspect of this whole is unmistakable, and essential. ruimteCAESUUR and its exhibitions are undeniable. Hundreds of nails pierced the walls, to bear as many works of art. Even these holes have been objects since Anish Kapoor placed his cut stone in De Pont Tilburg. You can remove an object, but the nail hole will remain. Exhibitions live on in thoughts, concepts, roaming the internet. However, everything derived from physical objects, physical labor, a physical space. An exhibition space as a nail hole in reality. Objects are perhaps the best remedy for forgetting. In a time when objects have become disposable items, or completely without objects on a screen, we are in danger of forgetting. It is a big topic at the table at ruimteCAESUUR, a society without memory. These conversations quickly end up in the political realms, how modern history is formed in a vacuum of memory. The exhibition space is loaded with memories and what makes these memories reliable is the trace of objects that carries and confirms these memories. This place is 49

that carries and confirms these memories. This place is a place of things, things that carry things, which, when named, escape us. I could point in the direction of beauty, meaning, emotion, knowledge, skill. I could continue this list with ugliness, failure, ignorance, powerlessness. In short; it's about something. Together they form a physical memory, a kind of serious trick to remember. Like some memory champions remember the decimals of Pi by associating them with objects, so you can make a great memory of objects that passed in ruimteCAESUUR. Remembering things as a protest I wrote on a post-it last night. It sounds very cautious to my ears. Because in order to remember things, we have to make things, keep making things. Things are fair, but also so ambiguous. It helps us remember that truth does not exist, that our truths change, must change. And when we look back we see that we have changed ourselves, we have the objects that prove this, these objects have hardly changed themselves, make us this clear as glass. Whether they are objects that we made, that we appropriated, or that we remember, they can make us think about who we were then, and are no longer. The objects as external memory, a kind of touchstones to check whether we are still changing. But also as objects of beauty and comfort.



& in 2020

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