Triptych in response to Museum Arnhem
left to right
In early 2016, there were two themed exhibitions; Mirror-eye, with self-portraits, and Unrest. There is also the permanent collection at the Arnhem Museum, which seems to have an important of jewellery collection. There are paintings by, amongst others Marlene Dumas and Charley Toorop.
The Mirror-eye exhibition consists of more than one hundred and fifty works. Rineke Dijkstra in a bathing suit and a Moniek Toebosch doll also belong there of course. There is a row of black and white photos by Marina Abramovic and a large painting by one Anya Janssen shows her as a naked peeing giantess causing a flood. There is a series of photographs by Melanie Bonajo, where she is mostly crying or almost crying. The photos remind me of the Roni Horn portraits, where she has just come out of the water. It is an anti-selfie, according to the label. There is a 1979 film, a performance in which Lydia Schouten plays revolting sex object.
The Unrest exhibition shows a video of the sisters Angelique and Liesbeth Raeven: a merciless struggle in a ditch of cold water. Lidwien van de Ven has printed a large photo on paper and pasted it on the wall as a poster. Later I hear that it is a triptych. Here are some Marlene Dumas collages and pictures of Regina Galindo who has cut the word ‘Perra’ into her leg with a razor, blood running out. It is all very emotional. A large bunch of glass breasts by Maria Roosen hangs outside. Inside, she also has glass self-portraits (spheres) in the Mirror-eye exhibition.
I speak to Mirjam Westen, who has been curator of the Arnhem museum for twenty-five years. Mirjam Westen has a passion for feminist art. There is indeed much work by women to see in the museum. Mirjam says something about the questioning of identity: 'In the past it was all about how well the artist showed he could paint and make a likeness, which has developed into the portrait as a means of commenting on society.’
My self-portrait is a commentary on the art world itself; first, quite emotionally, as women are, I rolled myself into the red acrylic paint and made prints and adjustments with more colours within half an hour. Then I worked for weeks to craft it, to make a copy of this portrait in oils, and finally I photoshopped both onto canvas and had it printed in one day. I question the art by displaying it three times in three completely different ways and with different intentions.
Photo2: Marlene Dumas, Emily
Photo3:Anya Janssen, Fickleness of mother nature