Façades of The Hague #157

Esteemed International Criminal Court!

In 2016, you received a work of art designed by artist Navid Nuur (1976) called The Gift.

The work stands in the public space in front of the entrance to your Court.

The work was gifted to you by the Dutch State to welcome you in our midst.

The Dutch State represents the Dutch people who may need you one day (one never knows what the future may bring)

Nuur made the work in such a way that it can be viewed from all sides, whereby that possibility should in principle be seen as a commandment, since a sculpture should generally be able to be viewed all the way around (by way of comparison: you don’t want to look only at the underside of a painting, do you?).

Until recently, you could; but to my dismay, there are now crowd barriers and “no entry” signs in front of the steps for your entrance.

That an institution like yours unfortunately cannot do without protective measures is perfectly clear.

However, this was also clear when your building – not so long ago – was designed and built in accordance with your wishes and those of the local authorities.

In good conscience, you might wonder whether someone who wants harm will be stopped by “no entry” signs and some crowd barriers; that applies to loners as much as to crowds.

Your building, which tends to exude great power anyway, certainly does not gain a more sympathetic appearance as a result.

Surely international law would benefit from being more friendly; after all, it seeks to do justice to the actual and potential victims of political and military arbitrariness, who should also be able to recognise themselves in your Court.

It is possible that the prohibition signs were erected on the advice or even insistence of the Hague authorities, but that does not diminish the authoritarian aura this gives your court.

That a Court needs to exude some prestige is obvious; however, authoritarianism should be avoided, because that is precisely what is represented by the persons sued at your Court.

In other words, ensure that the steps in front of the Court become freely accessible again to all those who want to admire your building more closely and, in particular, to see Navid Nuur’s The Gift, because it is not only a gift to you, but also to the public. 

© Villa Next Door 2023

All pictures were taken in March 2020, except for the last two pictures, which were taken in January 2023.

Bertus Pieters

Façades of The Hague from #146 onwards: https://villanextdoor3.wordpress.com/category/facades-of-the-hague/

Façades of The Hague #1 – 71: https://villanextdoor.wordpress.com/category/facades-of-the-hague/

Façades of The Hague #72 – 145: https://villanextdoor2.wordpress.com/category/facades-of-the-hague/

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Elmar & Elisabeth Trenkwalder; Galerie Maurits van de Laar, The Hague

Galerie Maurits van de Laar has opened its doors in a new location.

Compared to Maurits’ last place this is a palace of space and light.

The first exhibition in the new place presents works by Elisabeth Trenkwalder (1961) and her husband Elmar Trenkwalder (1959).

Elisabeth shows paintings and Elmar shows ceramic sculptures (and there are drawings too)

At the moment Elmar also has an exhibition at the Museum Beelden aan Zee (which i haven’t seen yet).

Both artists seem to be fascinated by organic growth, which in their hands becomes a process of almost dreamlike imagination.

Elisabeth mirrors treetops and so creates patterns (they would make an interesting combination with Christie van der Haak’s patterns) that metamorphose into something else, sometimes visible, sometimes only tangible in the mind.

In Elmar’s ceramics details seem to grow by association and on top of each other.

In the end, however, they always become coherent compositions, that seem to evoke – sometimes vaguely known – archetypes, fixed by glazing.

The exhibition also presents models for larger, monumental compositions.

The monumentality of both artist’s works gives a good start to the gallery’s new life.

Now that you’ve come here, you might as well subscribe to Villa Next Door (top right of the page)!

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© Villa Next Door 2023

Contents of all photographs courtesy to Elisabeth & Elmar Trenkwalder and to Galerie Maurits van de Laar, Den Haag

Bertus Pieters

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Samuel Fosso; Huis Marseille, Amsterdam

Last week i visited Huis Marseille in Amsterdam to write a review for Villa La Repubblica about the great exhibition of works by Samuel Fosso (1962). Click here to read the review in VLR (in Dutch).

As i’ve written quite extensively about the show in VLR, i just leave you here with some impressions of the exhibition, of course with the warm recommendation to visit it yourself.

Click here to read the review in Villa La Repubblica (in Dutch)

Now that you’ve come here, you might as well subscribe to Villa Next Door (top right of the page)!

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© Villa Next Door 2023

Contents of all photographs courtesy to Samuel Fosso and to Huis Marseille, Amsterdam

Bertus Pieters

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Paul Beumer, Born from the flow of colour feeling; Dürst Britt & Mayhew, The Hague

Paul Beumer (1982) has a fine sense of painting (even without putting a brush to a canvas), and of structures, tones and colours. He also has a keen interest in used textiles from around the world.

He is currently showing works from what is probably his most sensual series to date at Dürst Britt & Mayhew’s.

The works are inspired by and made from worn Japanese kimonos, particularly their insides.

The hems show the point where deep colours fade out into delicate textile structures that once gently abraded along bodies.

The textiles’ worn sensuality has been given a new life in which the colours and structures play a subtle game of seduction with the viewer.

This series is yet another example of art that should be seen in real life, and not just as a picture on the internet.

Now that you’ve come here, you might as well subscribe to Villa Next Door (top right of the page)!

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© Villa Next Door 2023

Contents of all photographs courtesy to Paul Beumer and Dürst Britt & Mayhew, Den Haag

Bertus Pieters

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Façades of The Hague #156

Pedestrians bridge, Stadhoudersplantsoen.

Even street furniture like this bridge is part of the stage we live in and as such it co-defines what we see as a bridge specially made for a park.

The bridge’s railings with their zigzag patterns are typical for the modernism of the 1950s when the bridge was built.

They rhyme with the waves of the water; as such this bridge elegantly brings you to an area of relaxation and leisure.  

© Villa Next Door 2023

All pictures were taken in March 2020.

Bertus Pieters

Façades of The Hague from #146 onwards: https://villanextdoor3.wordpress.com/category/facades-of-the-hague/

Façades of The Hague #1 – 71: https://villanextdoor.wordpress.com/category/facades-of-the-hague/

Façades of The Hague #72 – 145: https://villanextdoor2.wordpress.com/category/facades-of-the-hague/

VILLA NEXT DOOR IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY ADVERTISING ON THIS PAGE!