Sven Lütticken

  • Lars von Trier’s Dogville

    THE DOGME 95 “Vow of Chastity” notwithstanding, purity isn’t high on Lars von Trier’s agenda. Dogme’s refusal of certain resources and techniques is aimed less at establishing a “pure” filmic practice than at stimulating greater awareness and more conscious use of conventions. Strict rules can be liberating rather than oppressive, so long as they haven’t hardened into multiplex clichés. Although his new feature, Dogville, isn’t a Dogme film, von Trier has nevertheless imposed strict constraints on himself, shooting entirely on a soundstage. The set consists mainly of outlines and blueprints

  • Rob Birza

    Around 1990, some powerful local players anointed Rob Birza as The Man Who Will Save Dutch Painting. Overwhelming expectations were thereby heaped on an uneven young painter often given to a facile virtuosity, heavy-handed irony, and an all too hasty form of stylistic eclecticism. However, in recent years Birza has sometimes appeared more focused and convincing——notably, in “Cosy Monsters from Inner Space,” a series of comic strip–style horror paintings and drawings from 1998. The equally successful new series “One Is Free,” 2001–2003, the subject of his latest show (which took the

  • Juul Hondius

    The large color photographs in Juul Hondius’s show “Faction” evoked topics in the news: illegal immigrants, asylum seekers, refugees, and civil war. At a time when winning entries for the World Press Photo competition are carefully composed and highly aesthetic, no matter how gruesome the subject matter, Hondius’s glossy depictions of politically charged scenes can trigger a flash of (mis-)recognition. UN/Defender, 2000, shows a man in a white cape leaning in apparent exhaustion and despair against a Land Rover Defender in a muddy field. Although the scene has been staged in Holland, the word

  • Gerald Van Der Kaap

    Gerald Van Der Kaap’s show “Passing the Information (II)” consisted of glossy, often large-scale photographs, along with some videos, all of which reflected his stay as artist-in-residence on the campus of the university of Xiamen, China, where the first part of “Passing the Information” took place. With Van Der Kaap there is always a tension between the traditional photographic imperative to select a “decisive moment” and the inclination to amass such quantities of them that the individual image loses its value. He took some four thousand digital photographs in Xiamen, which he considers material

  • “Casino 2001”

    “Casino 2001: First Quadrennial of Contemporary Art” (the SMAK being housed in a former casino) was the kind of show where you think you know what to expect beforehand: the usual array of young artists, mainly from Western Europe and the United States and mainly from a certain network of galleries, curators, and art schools. However, it was such a poor example of this genre that it became an unintended assault on the whole system.

    Curated by New York gallerist Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn, “Casino 2001” included works by sixty artists, and the imbalance between chaff and wheat was extreme. Most of

  • Job Koelewijn

    The centerpiece of Job Koelewijn’s show was the complex installation Time Machine, 2001, which literally revolved around a large, oblong black frame suspended from the roof and surrounding a rectangular void: an imaginary movie screen. Behind this empty “screen,” there was a painted backdrop of trees, while beneath it a long metal beam turned slowly around an axis that coincided with the center of the screen. At the ends of this beam there were small platforms (supported by wheels); standing on one of them, you could travel around the hanging structure, watching the changing views it offered.


    The focal point of this show by the architectural firm MVRDV was a large projection of Pig City, 2001, a computer simulation of a giant tower for the industrial breeding of pigs. While some advocate a return to more natural modes of farming, MVRDV pushes ahead in the opposite direction, promulgating its favorite method: stacking things on top of each other, thus making the most of the limited space available in Holland. The exhibition also included an updated version of the firm’s installation MetaCity/DataTown, 1998/2001. To view this work, one must stand in the center of four screens placed

  • Marijke van Warmerdam

    In terms of scale, the most prominent work in Marijke van Warmerdam’s exhibition was It’s a sunny day, 1999, a makeshift pool in which floated ten brightly colored plastic garbage bags. The water was kept in constant motion and the sacks, filled with a lightweight transparent plastic, were forever forming new constellations. This work, originally made for another exhibition (“à vent” at the FRAC Langue-doc-Roussillon, 1999), was a bit out of proportion with the small gallery space and seemed superfluous. Its weakness was fortunately more than compensated for by a film loop in the gallery's back

  • Pierre Huyghe

    Pierre Huyghe conceived his exhibition “Interludes” as being similar to a shopping mall: a “scripted space” luring the consumer from one attraction to the next. But Huyghe sought to foster an inquisitive analytical attitude in the viewer, not consumerist behavior. To this end, the various links between his works were emphasized by their installation. The videos Blanche-Neige, Lucie (Snow White, Lucie), 1997, and Two Minutes Out of Time, 2000, for instance, were both projected alternately at two different places in the show. They were always both on; when the video portrait of the woman who is

  • Fransje Killaars

    IN THE MID-90'S, Dutch artist Fransje Killaars moved from painting to work with textiles, often completely transforming gallery spaces with lushly colored wall curtains, carpets, and cushions on the floor. Another series of installations consisted of metal-frame bunk beds draped with colored veils, creating sensuous, diaphanous color-spaces. In her latest show, “Bedspreien en rookgordijn” (Bedspreads and smoke curtain, all works 2000), Killaars presented double beds that were entirely covered with brightly hued bedspreads, designed by the artist and woven in India. These bedspreads could be

  • Fiona Tan

    Contemporary film and video artists often try to develop a different approach to filmic time than that typically employed in conventional action-driven cinema. Fiona Tan is one of them. Walking into her latest exhibition, one first saw a small monitor that showed a pair of feet hovering above a field of grass. This color video functioned as a little teaser for the black-and-white film projection with which it was paired, together forming one work, Lift (all works 2000). The film showed the artist floating through a park suspended from a bunch of balloons, surrounded by bare trees. Tan was hanging