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A ‘life & site-specific’ project in seven acts:

Lotte Geeven en Yeb Wiersma

16 March 2013 — 16 April 2013
Opening (Act One) Saturday 16 March at 18:18 hours

Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them. George Orwell, 1984

For the project Surveillance, Lotte Geeven & Yeb Wiersma have formed a temporary team, with which they will claim a part of two The Hague districts – the Stationsbuurt and the Centrum, the neighbourhoods surrounding West – as their working and research area. In the course of a month, this area of about one square kilometre will become a dynamic space, in which the mechanism of observing is scrutinized in a rough manner with various interventions and using a script that is composed of seven life & site-specific acts. The borderline between acts and reality will be desultory or invisible for the passers-by. In ‘Surveillance’, Geeven & Wiersma investigate the sovereignty of the public space. Who owns the streets? Who is the boss? In doing so, the artists focus attention on the habits and characteristics of the city. The script – the manual of this research – consists of directed acts that challenge the controlled establishment and make an appeal to the concept of autonomy. During that month, the script will slowly unfold and become a series of images and movements that want to relate to the street at a fundamental level. During this project, West’s exhibition rooms will function as headquarters, a temporary shelter for the team and an assembly point for documentation. On the blog the various acts will be announced and compiled.

Doublethink is a central concept in Surveillance. It represents a mental and physical domain in continuous motion; staggering stroboscopically between authority and autonomy, between control and wilderness. This twilight zone is where the artists will operate. Isaacs’ Principles is the title of Act One, which will take place on Saturday 16 March at 18:18 hours in the West headquarters. We cordially invite you to attend this starting shot.

After finishing the Rijksakademie, Amsterdam in 2009, Lotte Geeven (1980, NL) has proved to be able to observe very precisely and to translate society into large-scale installations, objects and photographs in a poetic way. Her work is characterized by a slightly anarchistic view and a refreshing approach. In her recent works Sovereign (An upside down Jaguar that is spinning around in 24 hours) and Resonance (a room occupied by coloured pyramids), she makes out a case for the sovereignty of object and place. Geeven ́s previous exhibitions include Foam Amsterdam; Frankendael Foundation, Present Forever in Amsterdam; PointB, New York; Parisian Laundry, Montréal, GEM, and West’s Bunker in The Hague, and various art fairs such as ArcoMadrid, NADA Miami Beach and Art Amsterdam. In 2010 she was awarded the Illy Price (an incentive prize for innovative art) at Art Rotterdam.

The cooperation between Lotte Geeven and Yeb Wiersma is novel, and it highlights creative energy. Subsequently, Wiersma and Geeven have challenged West in a search for the ‘optimistic resilience’ of art and a reflection on the usefulness of exhibition rooms. The works of Yeb Wiersma (1973, NL) move between visual art, journalism and essay, and reflecting research and fieldwork always play a major part in all of these. Her field of activity is often situated in ‘urban’ nature. Wiersma has studied at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam and subsequently at the Cooper Union in New York City. Her previous exhibitions include Museum De Paviljoens, Almere; SBK Amsterdam and Foam Amsterdam. In addition, she writes for magazines such as Mr. Motley and Club Donny, and at the moment she is engaged in a research project and publication called ‘Lift the city skirts’ about Piet Mondrian’s final working period in New York.