Thursday, February 9, 2012


Like Jan Robert Leegte's slot machine in a previous post, Rubens Mano (São Paulo, 1960) made an artistic statement by removing the options of a gambling tool a decade earlier.

Having no choice or options can either be liberating or frustrating, depending on you state of mind ... to put it in a zen way.

Rubens Mano, 'Let's Play' (1998)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


In the spirit of Flower Power activist artists Christopher Humes and Noah Scalin cooperated on their 'Plant The Piece' project in 2004.

In reaction to the Virginia Tech killings and adopting theories of Japanese radical gardener Masanobu Fukuoka they created gun shaped plant seed packages in red clay. Once planted in the ground a mixture of wild flowers would grow.

The 'Seed Guns' can still be purchased if you are interested in burying the hatchet!

Christopher Humes and Noah Scalin, 'Plant The Piece' (2004)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


Before the 19th century 'nature' was a threat to the (European) civilian rather then a place to enjoy. Since the Romantic art movement of the 19th century (e.g. see Caspar David Friedrich) 'nature' has become something to cherish and respect and even a symbol for freedom and peace.

The Flower Power hippies of the 1960's exploited the idea of nature conquering violence and repression. Iconic is the 'flower-in-gun' picture taken at the Kent State anti-Vietnam-war protests (and shootings) of 1970, an image soon adapted by the soldiers in Vietnam.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


As of today it is save to say that Colonel Gaddafi is no longer dictator of Lybia.

In a way he will be missed. In modern history Gaddafi was the political leader that came closest to being a work of art.

Not only were Gaddafi's extravagantly dressed performances and speeches a memorable happening, also his personal bodyguards - the Revolutionary Nuns - were proof of great aesthetical freedom.

Best remembered might be his silent protest during his visit to Berlusconi's Italy; the first official visit since the colonisation of Lybia by Italy (1911-1940's).
Pinned to the dictators chest was a photo of Libyan guerrilla leader and freedom fighter Omar al Mukhtar, arrested by Italian colonial troops in 1931.
Clearly Berlusconi was more impressed by the bodyguards.

Filmmaker Rania Ajami made a movie about these modern Amazon Warriors: see trailer.

Colonel Gaddafi visits President Berlusconi in 2009

Omar al Mukhtar

Revolutionary Nuns

Killer Virgins


Monday, August 8, 2011


Where performance art, taking a chance and the urge for freedom meet: THE ESCAPOLOGIST.

Escape artists have been around for centuries. Of course it is Harry Houdini who made the escape act a recognised entertainment at the end of the 19th century. Nevertheless it was Norman Murray Walters, a contemporary of Houdini, who coined the phrase 'escapology' for his skills.

Sculptor Silvia B. creates wonderfully strange animal-like child creatures who wouldn't misfit the oldtime freak circus, especially when they are posed as contortionists or escape artists.
The ironical fate of 'Numero Noir' is now being transferred to the glass showcase of the art gallery. No escape there ...

Silvia B., 'Numero Noir' (2010) (collection Museum Beelden Aan Zee)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


Playing cards you never know what hand you will be dealt.

Sleeperhold Publications made an art publication in the form of a deck of cards. Sleeperhold Publications # 3.
(see link for full list of participating artists)

Sleeperhold Publications # 3 (2011)

Dennis Tyfus, Aces

Thursday, May 26, 2011


Today one of the world's most sought-after suspects of war crimes, Ratko Mladic, was arrested. He is being transferred to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in the Hague at the moment. Europe celebrates but not all of the people of Serbia are all that happy.

Last month prominent Dutch lawyer and professor of international law Geert-Jan Knoops published a book titled Blufpoker. The title suggests that international law can be compared to a game of poker, a dark and murky game. International Law is determined by geo-political and economical interests and a western point of view more then by the seeking of plain justice he claims.

Seen in the light of recent events in North Africa and the Middle East as well, one country's freedom fighter can easily become another man's terrorist.