The Box: quite a phenomenon for someone who grew up in the 90s. An inexhaustible source of music to watch while leaning back and eating a toasted sandwich. This TV channel broadcast video clips and was thus the predecessor of on demand watching and listening. You could not determine the order, but you could phone in or text to request a clip. Only after lying on the couch for a long time did you get to see what you wanted: that one video clip. The memory of this slow way of processing moving images makes me think of this exhibition, as it contrasts so sharply with the fast way in which moving images are processed nowadays. Not only in an exhibition, but everywhere. It has repercussions on the way you view an exhibition with video art. The longing for the physically tangible is diminishing all the time. A lot of art is traded digitally and the share of art that only exists in the digital world is increasing. Collector Frits Bergsma stores his collection in a plastic crate of modest dimensions: the box. And that box contains certificates, thumb drives and headphones. Each work fits into your hands and does not immediately reveal itself. It is all about the ones and zeros on the digital medium.
They all reveal an obstacle, impossibility or ambiguity. Whereas in more classic video art the shock came from the struggle with elements, the relationship of the body to the other (Vito Acconci, Bruce Nauman, Marina Abramovic come to mind), in this selection there is a shock that arouses curiosity and makes it impossible not to look. Bergsma describes it as a combination of identity, growing up, acceptation and gender that brings the works together.
Text Menno Dudok van Heel, art historian
Curators Frits Bergsma, Menno Dudok van Heel, Kees van Gelder