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"Folklore Project" Project


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Slavs and Tatars

Slavs and Tatars was born in 2006, devoted to the polemics and intimacies between the east side of the Berlin wall  and the west side of the Great wall of China,  in easy words ‘’Eurasia’’. The  group explores time relations between  Slavs, Caucasians and Central Asians, groups that belong those lands.

The beforehand mentioned collective has mainly language , architecture, politics, mystical stuff, etc… as the main focuses of their researches, practices and magazines,  but is possibly through the multiplicity of languages  around  Eurasia by which  Slavs and Tatars build connections between disparate subjects as new ideologies ,old histories and  some  places, is by this way that some cultural affinities and geographical identities arise from unexpected  places and  never minded sources . Its is by their great interest in language by which their work take place in the public space, trough institutions or media, to the public sphere.

Slavs and Tatars interest in Eurasia  because its relevant role politically, culturally and spiritually , It  position belonging two continents make  languages there played a big role in a practical, historical and sometimes  sacred way, (they point to some old  an recent mystical protests which are reflected in the changes of affinities and differences until nowadays).


In this edition  Slavs and Tatars seeks for  the changes of language ,across Eurasia ,from a close and personal  perspective, but at the same time understanding it  from a discreet distance. Their phrase  ’’ Times are changing , consequently the scales we use change ‘’ takes a real meaning with the idea of substitution which examines, rethink and self-discover  the role of mysticism in social revolutions, metaphysics of protest. It is under the name of ‘’ Khhhhhhh’’ by which they try to show these changes.

x, ? , ?  or  ? ,  all these belong  [Kh]”  but with almost different graphemes, sounds, roots and roles. We can considerer [kh] as a linguistic totem  who plays different iterations in different  languages across Eurasia, To begin I think is important to understand the phonetics of [kh], it begins in the  vocal tract , in a rasp over the throat ,is at this friction  where [kh] ends and other letters begin.

It is remarkable the role that [Kh] has in different languages, I can describe like an example the Persian word for house— (khaneh)— begins with [kh],  while other persian words also related to ‘’shelter/house ‘’  has the the [kh] like a beginning or beside it, okhraniat (to protect), kholia (care), khibarka (hovel) … khlev (cowshed [Kh] followed by [l], produces an entirely different meaning to a [kh] followed by [r]. Changing the [l] of the Russian  (khlam, junk), into an p [r: junk is sublimated and becomes (khram, shrine).

In some historical points languages get richer. New words brought by foreigners, neologisms forged by common parlance, among many others, It is at this point that [Kh] suffer certain transformations and get the acquisition of new multiple meanings. Certainly some ideas and stories from foreign lands bring new symbols, whose with the time becomes in letters , those  will have an  inherent correspondence between the sound—or shape—of itself (the letter )and its meaning, One example could be the eight letter of the Hebrew ”?” (chet), which in other languages becomes in almost  different symbols and letters, as examplesi can show:   Syriac «, Arabic ?  and Berber ?,  Greek Eta H, Latin H, Cyrillic ?, the remarkable part of this is that these letters are always regarding at some point to their real background, Hebrew ?  (chet),  like in the Hebrew these are positioned in the 8th position of its respective  alphabet.

serpentine (click over serpentine)

At this last point I would like me to show 2 names of interesting importance in the changes of languages across Eurasia, especially in the early 20th century, Velimir Khlebnikov  whose work connects cultural roots and linguistic ramifications, he did experiments with consonants ,nouns, and definitions spelled out in a simplest form, there  are some of its 1920s essays who mark a clear line  between what we considerer old readers and new, his work was classified as hermetic, incomprehensible:

The sun’s rays in the dark eye
of an ox
and on the wing of a blue fly,
like a wedding’s line dance
that streaked past above him.

And Rudolph Steiner, who searched  for a language of thought. He was looking for the process ‘’from the figure to the thought/ form ‘’, and how our bodies will be able to make a real union with one or another kind of being, something similar to this last statement could be turning the reading normal book into a manual and lately into an artist book, according to him it will lead to a ‘’high level of spiritual insight’’.

“Style, however, requires continuity of thought. Anyone setting out to write an essay and to write in style ought already to have his last sentence within the first. He should in fact pay even more attention to the last than to the first. And while he is writing his second sentence, he should have in mind the last but one. Only when he comes to the middle of his essay can he allow himself to concentrate on one sentence alone. If an author has a true feeling for style in prose, he will have the whole essay before him as he writes.”

Eat sleep create?

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Detail from the flee
Detail of the Bayeux Tapestry,c.1066. People eat, sleep, breed and create.

In this post I will quickly address to a specific example and a specific theory that goes into this subject. Even though we do not see art as a necessity to life, as long as we life there tends to be creativity. Apparently they go together, they feed each other. How are they linked? Besides sleeping, eating and breeding, do we need culture? If it does not contribute to surviving, why is it there? Man has been carving in caves, painting in sand and weaving threads to tell stories that will survive us. You could say this is a pattern in human existence. If storytelling or archiving in either books or objects is a pattern, is creation equal to basic need? Researching this subject I found the Bayeux Tapestry to be a nice study case. Tapestry’s made at the time of the Bayeux Tapestry are often described as folk art. Folk art, a concept that is very well explained by Jean Dubuffet, typically embodies traditional forms and social values. It originally suggested crafts and decorative skills associated with peasant communities in Europe – though presumably it could equally apply to any indigenous culture. It has broadened to include any product of practical craftsmanship and decorative skill. Folk art has also a utilitarian characteristic to it. Utilitarian because it displays the life events of a collective, rather than an individual experience. This social or collective aspect of it makes it interesting to research in association to social behavior. When looking at cultural history there are bluntly put two ways to look at the history: through folklore culture and through ‘elite’ art culture.
Art in the 14th century was a male dominated field. Artists worked a lot for commissions, and painting can be seen as the biggest medium. It represents an elite culture because the elite financed most paintings. On the opposite the folklore culture deals with a great collective history. Woman, left on the shores while their man went out for wars or exploration, stood together and shared their lives in many ways. It is no wonder then, that most of the folklore art, made by these women in particularly, is usually subject to a specific event in their lives. The documentation we know nowadays, is the same as the folk art way of storytelling of these long last centuries.

Greec Vase 570 BC, Trajan Column Rome, Captain America vs the Axis of Evil, a message from the Minestry of Homeland Security.

Although you could argue that the Bayeux Tapestry is not an example of folk art, I would say it is. It is true that the tapestry was made as a commission and the ‘team’ of people who made it where highly classified workers who were selected to work for the state of England. But think about it. It is not about who made it that much, it is about the specific choice for this medium. Each medium talks and feeds our minds differently, not only visually. So the English King and Queen wanted to document this period of Great War. They could also have chosen any other medium besides tapestry. They could get a painter to make a huge war scene; they could pick a hero from the battlefield and give him a statue. But they chose for the medium of textiles. And there is a reason for this choice. The Bayeux Tapestry is made in this form so that the people could relate to it. It is made as a form of propaganda to underline connections between the English crown and the bishop at the time in England. Also there are small references to the Normandy regime, undermining their power and choosing a more heroic English version of the battlefield. The Bayeux Tapestry, or actually the real technique is embroidery, is like a modern propaganda youTube movie. Looking at it shows no difference to ‘real’ amature paste-up movies. In this case there is surely a strategy behind it. I do not want to go into this too much, or make it a conspiracy story, but it seems not more than logical to me that a mass medium is not always just directing the masses of the people. It can also be used to address the elite, because it appeals so much to the mass. Susan Sontag already wrote it in on photography. Amateur pictures and art photography are different. They talk different. But this difference is a strength you can use.

So from which desire does folk art come? In researching the essence of why we create the basic question first is what is there to create from? Philosophers have written many theories about how we perceive the world. Choosing one of the many, I focus on the theory of Lacan. It describes three ways in which the world is ordered. It is interesting because it suggests that the way we life, think, and create are prior to eating, sleeping and breading. This all comes from Lacan’s theory on the three world orders, being the real, the symbolic and the imaginary.

Lacan’s order of the Real finds a lot of similarities with the well known philosophical term ‘die welt an sich’. The real order is the objective outside world, known as a whole, without any conceptual boundaries set by language. This order always remains invisible for the subject, never to grasp. The symbolic order is the world the way we experience it through language, image, story, and so on. Every conceptual possibility in words is used to give form to the imaginary order. That imaginary order is the world of desire and fantasy. It is not only desire and fantasy as we know it in de Freudian way.
In Lacan’s theory the imaginary refers to every single subjective experience through the real. In the three orders it is clear that the imaginary order is something that is fundamental to our being. We think, or at least we would like to believe so. Every thought, desire, fantasy or whatever you experience non-materialistically fits into this order. But it did not come there by a gift of god. Like I said above, the three orders feed each other. Our experience comes from the real world, but what we notice of this is depending on the symbolic order. In a way the symbolic order determines what we explore of this real order. Then again, the imaginary takes all these concepts deriving from the symbolic order into consideration and is able to give some output.
This output needs a concept, definition, or even materialization to be noticed and to be justified. And this is the point were culture comes in. From this I understand that culture is like a snowball. It takes along things that stick, it leaves out things that don’t.  It starts small but picks up along the way and grows and grows and grows. When accepting this theory it is very logically that creation is a fundamental part of our existence, because we need concepts and objects to think. Without thinking we cannot react.
What for example the Bayeux Tapestry is showing us, is in a way nothing new to what we already know: we shape and create our own existence. This does not come after the first basic surviving needs of eating sleeping breading etc; it goes parallel next to it.

The making of Medium Girl

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

When DHL delivered the package with the traditional Zeeuws costume to the Bristol Hotel in Athens, Greece, I immediately ripped it open, only to find a stack of different fabrics in various sizes, textures and colours.
I had no idea what to do with these mostly two-dimensional pieces of cloth, what was supposed to go where and how.
This knowledge-gap became the works’ major point: what is the perception of a traditional cultural expression by someone from another country (and in this case I regard the city of Amsterdam as another country in relation to Zeeland as well) grown up in an era where self-examination and focusing on the present and future prevailed over historical awareness and/ or cultural pride.

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In short: a young Danish woman of gigantic proportions who happened to pass by on the streets of Athens was lured into the hotel room, to be dressed and undressed in different combinations by an innocent Greek woman, using the separate elements of the costume to create a whole new image of national identity.

Barbara Visser, Winner of the Dr A.H. Heineken Prize for Art (2008) check out her new website.

Medium Girl (1996)
video, 6 x 30′

the cleaning of the Rietveld pavilion

Monday, November 16, 2009

At March 16th 1992, Cornelia, Jane, Greetje, en Weimpje Koelewijn Vermeer cleaned the pavilion of the Gerrit Rietveld Academie.

the soberness and functionality of Rietveld

the neatness and the costume of the women from Spakenburg


space – light – color.

a women that cleans will not lose her morality.

Job Koelewijn, Winner of the Dr A.H. Heineken Prize for Art (2006) talks.
photo’s by Erik van de Boom, reprinted from Rietveld Publication no 76

That we originate from diamonds

Thursday, October 29, 2009
How science looks at the universe today...

How science looks at the universe today...

Sinds het ontstaan van ons mensen hebben wij de behoefte om een verklaring te vinden voor alles dat om ons heen gebeurd; voor waar wij en de wereld vandaan komen en waarom in deze hoedanigheid.
Deze drang om alles te ordenen en enige controle te krijgen over de choatische levendige wereld heeft geleidt tot vele romantische verhalen.

Vaak zijn de personages in deze verhalen almachtige goden en godinnen wiens vetes, liefde, verdriet, frustraties en eigenlijk menselijkheid bepalen hoe het er aan toe gaat in de wereld. Al gelang de situatie maakt dit de mensheid onderdanig, devotisch, woedend, machteloos of doodsbang. Vast staat dat de relatie met deze oppermacht zij het zeus, god of het universum ontzettend diep gaat en als van levensbelang voelt.
Vaak wordt deze manier van omgaan met ons bestaan toegeschreven aan onwetendheid. De onwetendheid maakte echter plaats voor veel wetenschappelijk verkregen kennis wat de meeste verhalen onaannemelijk maakt. Misschien hebben de mensen ook nooit echt gelooft dat bijvoorbeel de wereld voorbeweegt op de rug van een schildpad, als is dit een gevaarlijk statement, maar zagen zij vooral  het gote belang van het vertellen van verhalen. Verhalen die spelen met de vragen van het leven en de behoefte om te weten hoe alles in elkaar zit te verzadigen.
De komende beschrijving van hoe de wereld is ontstaan is een samenstelling van verhalen van volken van over de hele wereld. Heilige verhalen die mede door de wetenschap en globalisering voor vele te niet gedaan zijn; mythes. Mij is duidelijke geworden dat veel mythes het idee van hoe de wereld is ontstaan bij het juiste eind hadden volgens hedendaagse standaard. Zo word er bij voorbeeld  gepraat over een olievlek, een massa latente energie en over een chaos. Dit symboliseerde denk ik precies hetzelfde als dat wat vooraf ging aan de nu gangbare theorie over de oerknal.



Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Jan Jansen, the shoe designer in Amsterdam.

He is still working on his collection of shoes even he is 68 years old.

He has so much passion for his works.

First Question to start my research was;
What are you going to use to make your own research for Jan Jansen?“.

Then I turn to use Video and it was not too hard to think. The idea was, taking interviews from Jan Jansen himself, Workers from his store and customers and make them together.

Here is my ‘Interview’

This video was embedded using the YouTuber plugin by Roy Tanck. Adobe Flash Player is required to view the video.

Louis Vuitton and Golden Earrings

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Ted Noten thinks these days the function of jewelry is quite not necessary in the western culture. In his opinion we have forgotten what it means. He asks himself the question; What is jewelry? And; Why do we keep it?”
He wants to make jewelry people can afford, and that’s a funny thing because his way of working is to pack things into acrylic material, so he actiully makes a distance between object and public.
And the fact that he don’t want to make art for the elite people. But – if you make jewelry that goes into the art field, it’s only the elite who can buy it.

That’s also my question; What’s the use of this ‘useless jewelry’?

Pdf-icon  research on_Ted_Noten


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

link to the research


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

link to the research


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

link to the research

Chess Game

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The work of Lucy Sarneel interested me. Her work is precise and careful. She translates historic time to our own time. She also shows ideas which are derived from her personal daily life experiences.
A really interesting work of Lucy Sarneel is called ‘Stoelringen’, (Chair Rings), made in 1992. This work represents different types of personalities. To each personality, she connects a different chair. She is thus showing a personality as a chair, in a ring format.
This work caught my attention, because it shows a different interest of the artist if you compare it to her other works. In the ‘Stoelringen’ work, she focused on the relation between material and personalities instead of time and personal feelings, as in most of her works.
The small size of the jewellery remembers me of traditional games, particularly the chess game.
As a response to this work, I decided to make a chair for each personality on the chess game. Each chair, its size and shape, is related to the social difference and position of the chess piece.

Lucy Sarneel

art and buttons/ art in buttons/ art of buttons

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The ‘drukknoop’ in the work of Jan Taminiau and San Ming exhibited in the Zuiderzee Museum has lost any function. They were used as decoration on folkloric costumes, inspired on traditional farmer weddings.
Did this typical and especially simple buttons suddenly got another meaning, by using them as Taminiau did?
Which way to look at a button, such a simple everyday object? Buttons are not as simple as you think. Don’t take the object for granted, as once they were beautiful miniature works of art. The aim of my research is to explain a little bit of this big history and show some beautiful examples of handmade buttons.


Portraits without faces

Monday, October 26, 2009

Beautiful or ugly? Smiling or crying? Or maybe thoughtful? Or just silly?…

Lying on the table or looking for something behind it? Or maybe resting in this absurd way? Or perhaps the person is even dead…

You can guess but you don’t know for sure, because the indication of these emotions, feelings, moods and characteristic features, which can immediately tell you the whole story at once, is missing. The face is missing.

Annaleen Louwes, the Dutch photographer, turns people’s faces away from us. She is taking a photograph of a dancer stiffened in one of the passes, a patient from the mental hospital, a duo of theatre makers, or this photo of a young woman in a traditional Dutch costume leaning across the table. A photo made for an exhibition related to the subject of Dutch Folklore.

She raises all these questions and leaves us with no answer.


Dolls and fairytales

Monday, October 26, 2009

In 2008 the dutch design duo Viktor&Rolf held an exhibition at the Barbican Art Gallery in London. They represented their 15 years in the fashion industry with dolls dressed in their most famous creations. These dolls were presented in a spectacular five meters wide and nine feet high doll house (designed by the Dutch architect Siebe Tettero) along with a video presenting 55 other life sized dolls, as well as a montage of their most famous fashion shows to date. Among the fashion shows mentioned was- their 1999 show entitled ‘Babuskha’. Although this, on one level, seems just a fun concept, it had deeper connotations and it was addressing a deeper set of issues -a thin model, beginning only in a light slip was progressively covered in more and more dresses (designed by the duo) until only her face was visible– all making use of dolls as their central theme, or fairytales as the duo themselves put it.

Why have Viktor and Rolf incorporated the use of dolls so frequently into their fashion and what is the significance of a doll?


Inspired by the subject Johanna Illerhag decided to make a set of her own dolls

enjoy also Alexander Calder’s “Circus” 1927

Fragmented concentration

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Gustaf Klimt caused alot of commotion in his time (±1895-1910) by breaking taboes of the current politcal artculture. Although Klimt’s work is know as groundbreaking he used alot of existing elements to which he responded by giving them a different interpretation and thus giving populair themes his own posture. Taking elements of all sorts of areas which are liked and combining those together make the definition of what we nowadays call popart.

Zooming in and taking an image or a situation it’s surrounding away makes it into an statement instead of an narration. This objectifying/ distilling let to an more architectural form in which the most known feature of Klimt is visible namely the decorative side.

Which characteristics did Gustaf Klimt use to open the barrier between art and decorative expression?


The Last Days of Shismaref

Friday, October 16, 2009

> Fred Goodhope < photograph by Dana Lixenberg

Shismaref is a community settled on an isle close to the Alaskan west coast. The people who live there will be the first victims of the global climate change. Slowly but surely there homeland will disappear in the sea. I do wonder what will happen when these people, with their traditions and folklore, end up in the middle of the mainland American society. There are no concrete plans yet for a re-settlement. In the meantime these inhabitants of Shismaref are forced to survive in refugee centers, which brings about interesting contrasts.
Should there be a search for an isolated site making it possible for their traditions to survive, or should these people lurn how to live in a society as we know it? Questions which I find hard to answere.

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The perfect workspace, does it work?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

I find it really interesting to visit an exhibition were artists are working. It gives you a look into the thoughts of these artists. You can see the process.

“Published Workspaces”, I called them in my research.

Published Workspaces make people think, they activate the people’s creative minds. And I think that is a good thing.

In these Workspaces you are often involved in the work process, sometimes you can even help the artist.

In my research I am wondering about the intention of these Published Workspaces, and if they achieve their goals.


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