‘Emptiness, silence, light and space’, first and second edition
Ton van der Laaken and Paul den Hollander

9 May 2009 - 19 July 2009

Ton van der Laaken and Paul den Hollander are holding an encounter with each other for a period of ten weeks at De Ketelfactory. Midway through the period, the character of the exhibition will change and undergo a second edition. Aside from presentations in the exhibition space, the two artists are developing a program of lectures, encounters and exchanges which provide background information and explain aspects of their artistic approaches. Each of these ‘Distillations’ will focus on one of the artists.

Ton van der Laaken

Ton van der Laaken (Breda, 1952) lives and works in Arnhem and Düsseldorf. His conviction lies with the strength and the need for ‘silence interventions’ in art. Van der Laaken’s spatial installations, photographic works and drawings could be referred to as ‘silence interventions’. These are mental spaces that offer the viewer an opportunity to experience silence. From such a spot, all sorts of decisions can be made. The phenomenon of matter dissolving through light, or that light seems to become material, is a key theme throughout his work. The words of the German physicist David Böhm, who said that all matter is a condensation of light, can be regarded as a guiding principle. Ton van der Laaken’s approach is sooner cyclical and associative than linear and adhering to strict logic. At the Ketelfactory he is showing new objects, drawings, paintings and publications. Into these he often integrates a pre-existing element which allows new connotations and realities to arise.

Paul den Hollander

‘Light, shade and color help me to break through the limits of habitual observation,’ says Paul den Hollander. ‘A quest aimed at making the invisible visible.’ With him photography goes beyond the familiar. Concepts such as space, time and timelessness are inverted in his work. His personal relationship to the immediate surroundings always constitutes the point of departure. At De Ketelfactory Paul den Hollander is showing works that have their source of inspiration in nature. The visitor sees a reality which, whether familiar or not, he will never have seen before in that way.

distillation ‘Looking back on “Art meets Science and Spirituality in a changing Economy”

Date: 14 June 2009
In collaboration with: Louwrien Wijers

Louwrien Wijers and Ton van der Laaken discuss the extraordinary manifestations and publication ‘Art meets Science and Spirituality in a changing Economy’. During the nineties, artist Louwrien Wijers spoke with the great thinkers of the world of art, science and spirituality. This sizeable project lead to a ‘timeless’ publication with DVD’s of the conversations.

distillation ‘Pilgrimage, perception, photography’

Date: 4 July 2009
In collaboration with: Paul den Hollander, Reynoud Homan, Ida Jongsma, Arita Baaijens and Huib Sneep

Paul den Hollander. Nature became my early teacher.
“Sun and moon at the firmament initiated me into the game of light and shadow. The clouds in their continuous movement sharpened my gaze. The travels, the encounters, the seasons and the perpetual return to my own garden were and are my tools. The tides of life gave me a wealth of experiences. Gardner and photographer, photographer and gardner inseparably connected. Like a mystery plant, my work shows the traces of the encounter. An encounter with creation. Like something old, like a childhood memory of patiently waiting for that one moment in which to capture that image of a bird with my camera. It is the beauty, the mystery and the life force of nature, the life and the death, the dark and the light, that colour my work.”

Reynoud Homan in conversation with Ida Jongsma
“Is it possible to perceive without prejudice? How much do our experiences colour our perceptions? Can we alter or deepen our perception, and how? How does the perception of an image, nature or a story affect us? Does increased knowledge of an artist or the context of an image alter our perception? We perceive all day, thousands of times per day, but what do we actually see? Which aspects are important when perceiving art? Can we change perspectives? Can you teach a feeling for art? Do we perceive with our minds or with our senses?” Designer and writer Reynoud Homan explores these questions with philosopher Ida Jongsma.

Arita Baaijens. The desert is of a cruel beauty
“In the immeasurable expanse of sand and rock, a person can get lost and die, go insane and be moved.” Desert traveler and writer Arita Baaijens lives on the edge in the desert. She takes you with her on her voyage of discovery and wonders along the way: “How does danger affect perception? What influence do silence and loneliness have on a person? Can you end up in situations of emergency through the experience of beauty and how does that affect that mind?”

Huib Sneep. Analytical and intuitive perception with trees
“Can a practiced watcher perceive the body language of trees? Can we link ancient Celtic knowledge to our biomechanical insights?” After his lecture, tree expert Huib Sneep takes us for a walk in De Plantage, the park across from De Ketelfactory, where he tells us about the ‘alternative perception’ of trees.

video portrait

publication (in Dutch)

There are two publications to accompany this exhibition, ‘Ton van der Laaken’ and ‘Paul den Hollander’. Excerpts: “To counter the increasing onslaught of images and information, demanding a constant stream decisions, he tries to slow perception down, as it were. His works relate to a positive aspect of boredom. The concept of ‘beholding’ may come closest to a description of the viewer’s activity. It also reminds us of the Chinese concept of Wu Wei, which implies a conscious being in time, a conscious non-action.”
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“Through photography, Paul den Hollander researches concepts such as space, time and timelessness, and his own relationship to his environment. In his photographs, a certain reality plays a part which the viewer recognises, but has never seen in the same way.”
Paul den Hollander: “Light, shadow and colour help me to break the boundaries of familiar perception. A search to make the invisible visible.”
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articles (in Dutch)

Kunst ‘stoken’, Henny de Lange in Trouw

KetelFactory; geen melk en geen jenever, Eleonoor van Beusekom in Beelden

Leren kijken met een wichelroede, Jolanda Breur in Trouw

press release (in Dutch)

persbericht #1