Radicale Sociale Animale Talen (group show)
CoBrA Museum of Modern Art, Amstelveen
27 May - 24 September 2017
Radicale Sociale Animale Talen is a large-scale exhibition at the Cobra Museum, which loosely explores a number of themes that were relevant to the CoBrA movement. These themes continue to inspire today’s artists, since they have always maintained their artistic and social urgency.
‘Liberation’ and ‘freedom’ were important terms in CoBrA’s vocabulary. The new form of art advocated by artists was intended to go beyond liberating artists from academic rules; it would also release the human spirit from its passive state. This section of the exhibition includes work where unrestrained, almost childlike spontaneity has been a source of inspiration. Erik Van Lieshout is showing his video installation ‘The Island’ (2016). It is an account of the several months the artist spent on an island in a lake near Dortmund, where he passed most of his time in self-imposed isolation. With the camera as luggage, the artist beats his own path of self-discovery The attitude and the temporary structures which Van Lieshout made on the island remind of the work of CoBrA member Henry Heerup, an artist who deliberately presented himself in the ironic role of a naive fool, with bare torso and pointy elf hat. The work of Jonas Ohlsson in this section is rooted in social and political engagement, and his interest in the relationship between popular culture and building communities. The exhibition includes results of a recent residency at the European Ceramic Work Center, where he produced a series of experimental ceramics which reflect his intuitive and direct way of working in this slow medium.
cobra museum of modern art, Amstelveen
The Gift (permanent installation)
International Criminal Court premises in The Hague
The sculpture ‘The Gift’ by artist Navid Nuur marks the entrance of the new building of the International Criminal Court (ICC). The artwork is situated in the public area by the entrance in the dunes of The Hague.
A jury unanimously chose Navid Nuur’s design because its apparent simplicity contains clear universal imagery and has iconic value.
Navid Nuur: ‘The design radiates a sense of security, confidence, energy and strength. I wanted to do justice to the diversity and complexity of the cases dealt with by the ICC and at the same time relate at a profound level to the essence of what it means to be human and the universal emotions that connect us as people.’
The work of the ICC evokes emotions of joy and victory, but grief and loss play an equally big part. The stainless steel sculpture is based on the shape of salt crystals found in tears. Tears are a universal expression of emotions of happiness, triumph and relief, but also sorrow, pain, anger anddisappointment. Salt crystals are also found in the sea that connects all continents and sand dunes with which The Hague is inextricably linked. So the sculpture not only symbolises human emotions, but also the connection of continents and the natural setting of the host city.
Nuur entitled his work‘TheGift’to emphasise the ICC’s importance as an institution for international criminal law. The Court is a gift to the international community because it helps apply humanity’s gift for restoring societies. The artwork is also a gift in the literal sense: a gift from host nation the Netherlands to the ICC, to celebrate the opening of the new premises. The sculpture is situated at the corner of Oude Waalsdorperweg and Van Alkemadelaan in The Hague.
The International Criminal Court was established in 2002 as a permanent court for prosecuting and trying suspects of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. The court is based in The Hague: city of peace, security and justice. More information on the ICC can be found atwww.icc-cpi.int.
Designs by three finalists were presented to a jury formed by the Director of Museum De Pont, the President of the ICC, the Secretary-General of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a representative of the Mayor of The Hague. Navid Nuur’s design‘The Gift’was unanimously selected as the host nation’s gift to the ICC.
Navid Nuur, The Gift, 2016