Het HEM (https://hethem.nl/nl/Het-Hem/Mission, n.d.)
Studio Artist Het HEM
For five months, I was studio artist at ‘Het HEM’ (May 1st till September 30th, 2020). A place for contemporary culture located at HEMbrugterrein in Zaandam. Originally, built as a bullet factory at the river het Noordzeekanaal. Het HEM: ‘Together with the visionaries of our time, we develop multidisciplinary art programs that shine a different light on the world around us. A playful and free approach to both creating and experiencing art is central.’
On the left wing of the building is an atelier complex for studio artists, with five ateliers and one communal space. During my time, Het HEM was for two months in lockdown due to Covid-19. Sometimes, I was working completely alone in the building, which was a fascinating experience. The walls still have the old factory paint and scratches, the oil smell of the machines, and an orchestra of cracking sweeping sounds can be heard - coming from the construct of the building in dialogue with the wind.
The building is like a canvas painted by the passing of time.
Working as a craftsman in my studio space at Het HEM, I remade and expanded my sculpture collection of Deform, Deform Reflect, Deform Amoibe, Looming and Collective Loom. They are flexible sculptures in contact with the performing human body. Like ‘objects of use’ they disintegrate over time.
I made structures from metal and hard plastics to let these flexible sculptures stand autonomously in space.
The forms are directing a movement and a presence in the space; vibrant by colour, shape, placement and light
– as it where a ‘solidified moment’ of my time-based performance work.
Hereby the sculptures became expanded into their full scope, standing throughout the building and using the different spaces of Het HEM. A special moment, documented by photographer Alina Fejzo.
Atelier Iris Woutera at het HEM, photography Marilyn Sonneveld.
During the last period of my stay, I could remake my performance work Collective Loom. That came into being in 2018 as a 60-minute structured choreography during Fringe Festival Amsterdam.
Now, in 2020, I remade Collective Loom into a three-hour durational performance. And as a trained improvisation, the performers could ‘truly experience’, seizing possibilities 'in the moment'.
Inspired by the idea that everything is equally important; human is not above matter, but form ‘one vibrating whole’.
The public was free to wander through the performance and decide their own time and place in the room, so that the work could be viewed from 360 degrees.
Nothing was set or pre-programmed to increase the sensation of ‘aliveness’. Realised with a piano piece improvised on the movement of the performers, and vice versa. Also the performers handled the light plan themselves.
Presented in ‘the dark room’ in het HEM, the shadow play was visible on the old factory floor, pillars and the walls - video registration.
Preparing the Deform installation at het HEM, photography Alina Fejzo.
Preparing the Collective Loom installation at het HEM, photography Alina Fejzo.
High Tide exposition
The Collective Loom performance, installation and video work was part of the group exposition High Tide, with fellow artists Marilyn Sonneveld, Tom van Veen, and Sarah Donna.
Musician/ composer Mink Steekelenburg
Performers Anna Riley-Shepard, Fernanda Morales Gonzalez, Mayke van Veldhuizen, Rosanna ter Steege.
Videographer Veerle Boekenstijn
Photographer Alina Fejzo
Editor of this blog Kim Hoogterp