Joost Bakker

5 June 2011 - 17 July 2011

In its own special way, project space De Ketelfactory joins in the exhibition ‘All About Drawing’ at Stedelijk Museum Schiedam by holding a presentation of drawings by Joost Bakker.

The exhibition ‘Resolutions’ is an ode to the purely hand-drawn line: motionless lines on paper and lines brought to life in almost endless movements on a viewing screen. At De Ketelfactory ‘living drawings’ – referred to as ‘Untitles’ – will also be shown. In his animated drawings Joost Bakker works on the principle that speed is not the standard of the age. On the contrary: his works should be timeless, move with subtlety or attempt to capture a moment in time. That leads to reflection. Bakker likes to play with language and describes his drawings with such ideas as ‘essential lightness’ and ‘gentle fatalism’.

Joost Bakker

Joost Bakker is an original and poetic talent on the young Dutch drawing scene. The ideas of Joost Bakker take shape in diverse types of media. Predominating along with the steady stream of drawings are ‘living drawings’: that is to say, hand-drawn animations that can be regarded as a mix of drawing and film.
The finite and, to no less a degree, the very denial of the finite play a significant role in Bakker’s work. But his subjects vary from architectonic-looking designs, such as the ‘Stadion Inverso’ series, to such seemingly simple line drawings as ‘Between a Thought’.
During the exhibition ‘Resolutions’, Bakker exhibits a variety of work in which the hand-drawn line is the connecting factor. His work has been described as: “extremely honest, disarming in character and layered with a twist’.

distillation ‘drawings up: on the (un-)speakable in image and language

Date: 26 June 2011
In collaboration with: Sacha Bronwasser, Rik Smits and Matthias van de Vel

Sacha Bronwasser. ‘Who can read, will read’
“Delivering a spoken lecture is different from printing it in black and white in a publication. The spoken words get left behind in time and moulded into something else in the memory of each listener.
The printed text is caught, like a butterfly pinned up by a collector. It has to last a long time in this form. This is a concept that fits Joost Bakker’s work in wondrous ways.”
Writer Sacha Bronwasser speaks on the power of language in art, on the basis of Bakker’s short film ‘In Other Words’.

Rik Smits on human linguistic capacity
“The left-handed are stupid, wayward and clumsy, but luckily they die early. They are also genius and creative, but a little crazy. Such mindless ideas are commonplace in our predominantly right-handed world. Poor right-handed, they have no idea that nature has given them just as bad a deal. No more than they realise how mysterious a person’s handedness really is, not to mention leggedness, eyedness or tonguedness.”
In his book ‘The riddle of left-handedness’ (2010) Rik Smits writes about the causes and consequences, the prejudices and facts of our one-sidedness. But also about how symmetry and the concept of ‘left’ and ‘right’ have determined all cultures and world images from the earliest days. How these concepts influence our sympathies and antipathies and what they’ve meant for comics, films, photos, paintings and scripts.
In his lecture, linguist, writer and journalist Rik Smits provides an exciting vision on the origins of human linguistic capacities.

Matthias van de Vel about ‘Untitles’
Writer Matthias van de Vel tells us about his collaboration with Joost Bakker for the animation film ‘Untitles’. This film consists of a series of moving words that leave the watcher with (pleasant) brain-breakers.

video portrait

publication (in Dutch)

Excerpt by Sacha Bronwasser:
“Drawing is not writing. Joost Bakker draws the letters out for us, he even allows them to come about in animation. The way in which that happens, with a light slow shadow dragging behind like a black vale, might be the most beautiful illustration of what Paul Klee once said: that drawing is a line taken out for a walk.”

press release (in Dutch)