De Ketelfactory and writer/journalist Peter Henk Steenhuis (Trouw) have launched a unique collaborative project: ‘through the image | through the word’. Over the past three years Steenhuis has interviewed, for the newspaper Trouw, 21 artists who have exhibited at De Ketelfactory. His main focus concerned the sources of their work. The philosopher René Gude then went on to make associations based on the concepts of these artists, asking questions like “what makes an image meditative”, “why isn’t true inspiration ‘top-down’ but ‘bottom-up’?” Their collaboration resulted in a substantial book in which the artwork, the artist and the importance of art today constitute the central theme.
For De Ketelfactory and the 21 artists, the book and the exhibition can be seen as a preliminary step toward a major exhibition to be held at an external location in Schiedam in 2016.
Marjolijn van den Assem, Hans van Bentem, Maria Blaisse, Florette Dijkstra, Wineke Gartz, Harry Haarsma, Bernadet ten Hove, Claudy Jongstra, Kinke Kooi, Mirjam Kuitenbrouwer, Ton van der Laaken, Birthe Leemeijer, Jan van Munster, Jacco Olivier, Olphaert den Otter, Karin van Pinxteren, Ewoud van Rijn, Roland Schimmel, Winnie Teschmacher, Simon van Til and Robert Zandvliet.
Peter Henk Steenhuis
Peter Henk Steenhuis (1969) is editor of philosophy for Trouw newspaper. He has published works on the linguistic development of his eldest son and about art and philosophy. His ‘Philosophy of looking’ (2009) and ‘Thinking about poetry’ (2011) were shortlisted for the Socrates Challenge Cup. In 2010, he and documentary filmmaker Marcel Prins created ‘Other Secret Annexes. Stories of Jewish hiders’. This project appeared as a children’s book ‘Hidden like Anne Frank’ in German (2013) and in English (2014). Of the American version, over 85.000 copies have been sold so far.
René Gude (1957-2015) was a tutor of philosophy and director of the International School for Philosophy (ISVW) in Leusden. Gude made philosophy accessible to the larger public, both through his work as a tutor at the ISVW and as the writer of ‘A Small History of Philosophy’ (with Daan Roovers), ‘Stand-up Philosopher: René Gude’s Answers’ (with Wilma de Rek) and ‘Dying is dead easy, anyone can do it’ (with Wim Brands). He also wrote numerous articles and columns for national newspapers.
Peter Henk Steenhuis: “You see the viewing of art as a theoretical activity?”
René Gude: “Yes. ‘Theorein’ or ‘Viewing’ in this case is the equivalent of ‘altruistic observation’, implying that the viewer – thanks to the artist – is able to set aside their self-interest, to be picked up once more afterwards, but with more space than prior to the viewing of the art. This way, art can play her part in the land of freedom.”
“An entirely different way of writing about art!”
– Jan Andriesse on the essay Empathie
“The text is finger licking good, exceptionally stimulating in every aspect and a wise plea in favour of the poor relation that lust has become. Everything good comes from below.”
– Connie Palmen on the essay Lust
“Craft represents everything that appeared to have been shoved to the background in the twenty-first century; patience, experience, anti-modernism, knowledge, a connection to tradition and a true in-depth view of the subject matter; in short, slow-art. Yet now we see that indeed a fast connection has appeared to modern and even conceptional art: a sustainable distillation!”
distillation, lectures, philosophical café
A number of lectures and interviews were organised around the exhibition and the book presentation. These were visited by those interested in the relationship between art and philosophy.
On Saturday the 13th of June, Peter Henk Steenhuis and Winnie Teschmacher discussed the book and the exhibition ‘through the image | through the word’. They discussed matters such as De Ketelfactory as a space where ‘image’ and ‘word’ meet: in exhibitions, distillations and in publications. Video portraits of René Gude and Peter Henk Steenhuis were shown.
These were followed by a series of lectures by Peter Henk Steenhuis on the ideas of René Gude. During these lectures he entered debates with artists from ‘through the image | through the word’. On the 21st of May he spoke with Florette Dijkstra about inspiration and darkness, on the 29th of May he spoke with Marjolijn van den Assem on items such as her fascination with the life and work of Friedrich Nietzsche.
On the 14th of June, a Philosophical café themed ‘word and image’ was held at the International School of Philosophy (ISVW) in Leusden. Peter Henk Steenhuis joined artists Roland Schimmel and Kinke Kooi in a discussion about their work.
publication (in Dutch)
The book ‘through the image | through the word’ by Peter Henk Steenhuis and René Gude was published to accompany the opening of the exhibition. This publication by the International School of Philosophy was created in collaboration with De Ketelfactory.