Project: Plenty to go on

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Project: Plenty to go on
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My art project “PLENTY TO GO ON” I started in the beginning of the year 1997. During all these years I have taken a photo’s of the toilets at the different countries.

A person of Western culture uses euphemisms when talking about some physiological processes… Conventional names veil the place of the “process”: toilet, lavatory, Loo, WC, restroom…
The “toilet” theme is extremely rare in literature, film, and photography, whereas in the fine arts it is not represented at all. A hidden part of human life…
My photo collection of street toilets in the countries of Europe was first shown in the Dutch town of Vlissingen (“DeWillem3” municipal gallery) at the “BELARU-TION” exhibition in July–September 2001.
The photo series was supplemented by an installation. The viewers put a small change on the plate – as if for visiting the toilet. It was on the eve of introducing the Euro. Getting rid of the unnecessary coins was associated with the relief after visiting the toilet. The “EN PASSANT” group exhibition, which took place in June 2002 in the Grand Church of the town of Goes, developed my initial project and was also accompanied by an installation. I put my “toilet bowl” on the church column. The visitors posed for the photograph sitting on the toilet “throne”… The participants of the performance were offered respirators and funny masks. The play obliterated the conventional line between “decency” and “indecency”. The pictures were immediately exposed for viewing. The project was a success and called for continuation.
In the center of the town of Middelburg, with the help of the administration of the “DeDRUKKERY” Book Center, I opened my own “toilet” gallery with a constantly changing exposition of photos and pictures. In September 2002, it displayed the final exhibition of the photo contest “Toilet: Beautiful, Awful, and Original”. The photos that had been sent in for the contest were supplied with commentaries and stories. The winners got prizes with the emblem of the contest elaborated by me.
In 2003, I announced another photo competition “People in the Toilet”. The collection is being replenished.
I make computer collages where I combine my pictures of people in the toilet with the faces of famous personages. In my virtual “toilet” one can find Yeltsin, Bush, Mao, and Margaret Thatcher…
The next stage in the development of my project is a series of oil paintings. Each picture is related to a historic event, a heroic person, a well-known work of art and toilet.
My motto is: giving the problem a fresh look, getting rid of the complexes.
I showed this series at the group exhibition in the “Tacheles” gallery of Berlin in October 2003.
In June- August 2007 my project was shown in the Dutch town of Vlissingen (“DeWillem3” municipal gallery for modern art). At the present, I have made 22 oil paintings dedicated to the famous artists of political events. A large toilet was build in the room is as imposing as a throne. It was not intended for actual use thought visitor can leave behind a message on the wall – with a felt tip pen. The tiles with their little ‘sayings’ can serve as inspiration. One of them, for example, says ‘Elke hek ruikt graag zijn eigen drek’. Roughly translated, it means ‘Every fool likes to smell his own poo’.
In June – August 2008 project was shown at the kunsthall “Tacheles” Oranienburger Strasse 54-56a in Berlin. The exhibition has a Name “Die letzten tabus unserer zeit”.
Here ware not only 26 paintings but also en installation. For the visitors of the exhibition I have constructed and painted two paintings representing big tiles with holes for heads in it, and everyone can put their heads through it and make a photo of themselves.
In September 2008 my project was exhibited in the capital of Belarus Minsk in the gallery “Podzemka”. There ware not only the paintings but on the tiles in the toilet of the gallery I draw all kind of expressions toilet-theme. And the visitor can leave behind a message on the tile with a felt tip pen. I have got a lot of new expressions written down by the public.

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