During four weekends in March four galleries and Kunstverein join forces to host the very first edition of The Hazenstraat Biennale. Galerie Wouter van Leeuwen, Martin van Zomeren, Stigter Van Doesburg, Ornis A. Gallery and Kunstverein Amsterdam will present four exhibitions, one exhibition every week during one month, with special previews on each Thursday at 17.00 hrs.
Martha Colburn (US 1971) will open the Biennale month at Stigter Van Doesburg. Josefin Arnell (SE 1984) and Pim Blokker (NL 1974) will add works to the exhibition the second week, followed by a performance by Feiko Beckers (NL 1983) the third week on Thursday March 15th. During the fourth week of the Biennale month there will be a performance by Martha Colburn on Thursday the 22nd. The exhibition will essentially change itself every week while new artworks will be added. We formally invite you to discover together how Josefin Arnell, Pim Blokker and Feiko Bekkers will contribute at Martha Colburn’s introductory work. Is their goal to challenge each other’s work or to create a more coherent puzzle with different perspectives of the same story?
Martha Colburn is a filmmaker, known for her animation films which are created through puppetry, collage and paint on glass techniques. Currently she is working on films which combine art historical representations and current depictions of politics to challenge our notions of truth and fantasy. She is mainly inspired by themes which include America’s history of war and violence as well as crystal-meth addiction in rural areas.
Her new film Western Wild...or how I found Wanderlust and met Old Shatterhand, is a densely textured documentary about the filmmaker making a film about the famed German author Karl May. The film is a mixture of stop-motion animation, found footage, interviews, travelogue and biography which can itself generate sensory Wanderlust. The animator (filmmaker) and author share their will for 'Wanderlust' and an escape from their surroundings (the animator’s home in Pennsylvania's rural Appalachian Mountains and the author's home in Kaiser Wilhem's German Empire). This film is telling a story about America’s war history, crime, writing, animating and the will for an escape.
‘Western Wild…or how I found Wanderlust and met old Shatterhand’ was recently screened at Doc Forthnight 2018 at MoMa, New York and Rotterdam International Festival 2018. Her films have also been screened at Sundance Film Festival, Museum of Moving Image, New York, B3 Biennale of Moving Image in Frankfurt.
“To say a story is a true story is an insult to both art and life.” Vladimir Nabokov
Pim Blokker approaches the canvas as a game. In his work the perspective continuously shifts or stretches out, and formal qualities and the physical act of painting both collide and merge. Blokker is not interested in illusion-making but in linking personal associations to new depictions of reality and representing the collective consciousness as something with out a fixed structure, end, or beginning. This he does through juxtaposition and confrontational logic. The lightness of a joke sets off the gravity of tragedy and visa versa. Juxtaposing hilarity and horror, two emotional extremes, allows him to examine somber issues in a playful way, to pass off absurdities as logical and to undermine seemingly established facts.
Josefin Arnell works with extended video, mixed media installations, poetry and performance. She navigates between exuberance and self-exploitation. Together with amateurs actors she creates unrehearsed film scenes and use humor as a device to discuss notions of the body, health industry, family and sexual politics. Her fictional and semi-fictional works combine elements and structures from disaster documentaries, advertising campaigns and soap operas. In the video Gag Reflex / I wanna puke in heaven 3 teens are dwindling in endorphin filled laughter while puking like fountains. This can be compared with similar feelings of euphoria when someone has bulimia or practicing other kind of self-sabotage. The video can be also seen as a reaction from feeling nauseous from the world. The dialogue consists of affirmations inspired by the self-help book Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. Arnell’s ongoing research into society’s obsession with physical and mental cleansing rituals reappears in a phenomenological form. She focuses on vomiting: the physical reaction to intoxication, bulimia, shame mixed with veiled pride after mastering a gag reflex, the pain felt by participants of a spiritual ceremony when vomiting to open up spiritual gateways.
Feiko Beckers is a visual artist, working with video, performance, installation and text. He usually works with quite monotonous histories based on personal events, stories, failures or embarrassing situations he has already experienced. His work seeks answers to the unexpected, remorseless character of unfortunate events. By using video, performance, installations and music, he constructs narratives that are unexpectedly interrupted, their determined and unavoidable failure. In his new performance, with the title To not bother anyone, Feiko Beckers will explain and elaborate on several reasons why he rarely helps other people. With the use of objects and songs, he put these motivations in to practice to convince the audience of its validity.