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Group show for artists from Rotterdam and Budapest The name - reminding us of some sentimental song - stands for an exhibition featuring works of visual artists invited from the artist run studio and exhibition space Duende in Rotterdam and young Hungarian artists. Duende was founded in 1985. The idea behind the project was that the artists themselves should create a space collectively providing some form of independence from the institutional system of great exhibition institutions, private galleries and museums. The self organising group of artists had a complex of ateliers in mind, that comes up to their expectations related to the creation process and the presentation of works of art and which would create a new forum of manifestation for them - independently of traditional structures. "The building, as a place with a lot of opportunities and excellent studio-spaces functions as a catalyst, as a material, as a production place, a meeting place, an exhibition space, a social space, where a discourse devel ops around and out of the individual work and attitude of the artists." - as they put it themselves in their pamflet. This collective thinking and cooperation is a peculiar characteristics of the art scene of Rotterdam - despite the fact that the scene there is not less competitive than anywhere else in the world. There are more than ten smaller or greater studio houses run by artists, all of them resulting from similar motives. We must not think of some kind of communes but rather of the strengthening and institutionalising of professional relations that offers the oppotunity of profiting from transcending traditional intitutional barriers. Naturally, conditions in the Netherlands favour such initiatives: both society and the legal system are very tolerant with the occupants of houses and buildings and the supporting system for the artists is many-folded and very effective. The artists working in the Duende do not define themselves as an artist group. Every artist works on his own projects but there is a smaller group of 7 or 8 artists - the "Duende activists" - who invest great efforts into the management of the different projects and exhibitions of the studio house and into organising international exchange programs. The exhibition 'True Dream of Anyone" cannot be seen as having been organised around some strict topic or concept - since this was not the basis of the choice of works. The aim of visits to Duende was to choose works which could harmonically "coexist" in the limited and undivided space of the Trafo and ones which put together would possibly even "amplify" each other. Yet the exhibited works still have one feature in common: they all are embodiments of a lyrical attitude that always uses simple yet delicate devices in its endeavour to make the spectator confronted with the works insecure and to lure them into some kind of personal involvement at the same time. Dream or melancholy can be kind of parabolical of this state of inspiration in which it is an increased sensitivity that takes the place of the rational interpretation of the "message". The exhibition is part of the joint exhibition and studio exchange-program of Duende and the Studio of Young Artists Association.


Noel Cuppens
The work of Noelle Cuppens has always been characterised by his individual use made of photographies. Her earliest manipulated photographies almost exceptionlessly have the qualities of a painting she cuts off all the peculiarities a photography offers in representing 3 dimensionality. She works with the plain and explores the possibilities inherent in transparency and in complex textures resulting from the transposition of several layers. Her woollen tree is a grandious undertaking - emphasized not only by the big scale of the work but also by the technic chosen for its realisation: the rather meditative and longish procedure of knitting. The monumental knitwork is based on a photography of a tree and it follows minutiously the outlines of the form of reference. The symbiosis of wool - a material originating from an animal - and a plant covers the wall as an abstract black surface, that still reserves some of the warmth and a feeling of organicity connected to both the model and the material used.

Ágnes Előd
Humor, irony and ease. These could be the key words for a short tract about the works of Agnes Elod. In her sculptures and small pieces humor and reflection on the media itself are given a prominent role. She dares to be ironic about except-ed sublime standards of her profession while we get a grip-pingly natural glimpse of her personality in these works. The work shown at the present exhibition is a transcription and rethinking of the documentation of a land art work. The title - as it is usuall in her works - plays a key role: it reveals the process that lead to the birth of the composition. Classical dance and the meek little flowers evoke the romantical idea of easing up in nature - reminding us of a young girls' novel -, but at the same time we get the feeling of a grotesque grimace pointing to the deeply human fallibility of the ambivalent relationship to our own desires and longings.

Engelen & Engelen
Engelen & Engelen have been working together from 1997. Portretpoetry is a good example of their way of working which they prepare in public spaces like supermarkets and libraries. As they write about it: "Portretpoetry is mostly connected to other already organized activities. The synthesis between art and poetry which is the purpose of Engelen & Engelen gets it's form in an installation which is made out of objects created by the artists and out of elements already present at the location. This installation gives room to the poet and the guests. During the stay in the installation one can change it if one likes. During this stay in the installation the poet writes a portret poem for the visitor. The visitor recieves this poem hand written on a special card with a relief stamp from Engelen & Engelen in it for oneself. With permission of the participant a polaroid photo is taken and together with the portret poem this will form a self-made book. We made one book for every event and mostly these books end up in the places that hosted the event."

Marján Laaper
Marjan Laaper works mainly with videos and builds installations. The restructuring of space, the positioning of the spectator, the spatial preparations for meeting the work all play a prominent role in her understanding of art. The pictures appearing on her screens feature paradoxically as a kind of reality in the installations, and this shows above all in the relation to other building blocks and materials figuring in her works. The diagnostic topics of her video works are human relations, our every-day psychological reactions and passions. In the video installations exhibited here the screen plays an unusual role - it functions as a source of light and a device to project pictures. Marjan Laaper uses the absence of bodies to suggest their presence: with the cloths that wrap it up and the pictures that we take of it. The hanging up of the object and the disturbing optical play of the reflection of the soles in the water lend a gruesome reading to the work.


Gert Rietveld
Gert Rietveld questions the accustomed mechanisms of experiencing and interiorising the space surrounding us and our immediate environment in his installations that are not without a trace of humor and refinement. His peculiar objects and astounding machineries all seem to serve the purpose of - by the creation of hitherto unexperienced situations - opening up new dimensions for our every-day experience, which may wake up the lust for experimenting and exploring in the spectator himself. The multimedia installation Gigalink Avatar was originally designed for the program Open Studios organised in the Duende, where the artists opened their studios to the public and everybody represented her activities in her own ways. Gert gave this idea a dodgy twist by not really opening up his studio but rather he used a camera - mounted on his own head - to "provide access" to his studio "brain-center" filled with the untouched, half finished works.


Pál Szacsva y
The work of Pal Szacsva y shown in this exhibition is a piece documenting the last phase of a longer experimenting period, whose beginnings were marked by slide projector installations. In the case of the slides projected on objects the original picture is distorted according to the spatial form of the object; the last step captures the spectacle born from the symbiosis of the projected picture and the object. Szacsva y uses the most evident methods to investigate the automatisms connected to sensation and the interpretation of pictures and other kinds of information while questioning their evident charachter. He always harps on the limits of the medium used, "... on the one hand he realises the coming and the historical importance of a new era created by technical innovation, but at the same time he also sees the discrepancy that exists between the mediated information and the intended recipient." - as a critic of his work put it.



Lidwien van de Ven
Lidwien van de Ven has been working with photographies since the mid '80s. In her exhibitions she uses her pictures to create a closed group of pieces worked out into the finest detail, usually covering one topic. In her bewildering spatial installations she tries to uncover the deepest connections of such paradigms as death, sleep and murder. Her photgraphies spreading the atmosphere of drama speak of the tragedy of the photographer "...however persistently the photographer try to photograph that inner space, all he can do is straight-forward the voyeur, it is doomed to wander, never to touch, never communicate and never to learn how to extricate itself, to emerge from its own drama" (Dirk Lauwaert)


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