Podcast: Welcome to Interesting Times?

If we are welcomed into an interesting era, what will this show in the here-and-now? That’s what we examine in this podcast by talking with various socially engaged, political or activist artists working in ‘ broedplaatsen’ in The Hague. Warning: most of the interviews are in Dutch.

Starting point of the conversations is the text that Sis wrote. The work of the artists will be exhibited on the 17th of March in the Grey Space in The Hague.

Sis Josip, Eveline de Jonge, Eveline Cleiren and Jonne Verhoog

Welcome to interesting Times?

 

Still at the start of the 21 st century, we are welcomed to an interesting era.
But what about the present defines it as interesting? This time, in which one football player can cost
as much as the entire museum Voorlinden. In which governments no longer run their countries, but
rather adjust laws to the needs of multinationals and international cooperation. A time in which the
media lies to us, and it’s hard to tell if anybody is still interested in the truth. In which inequality has
become normality thanks to the rich European hold on power.
A time in which East-European philosopher Slavoj Žižek promotes an end to capitalism, just like his
predecessors Hegel and Marx. An opinion that is shared by our Pope: “The adoration of capital
brings on poverty and terrorism.”
But that very same capitalism has brought on vast prosperity for half of the world, in which we can
now reach everyone, go everywhere, and where we can possibly expect a general minimum wage in
the near future. If you don’t believe in the circulating conspiracy theories, or don’t profit from them,
it is hard to view current conflicts as one worldwide construct. Rather, you’ll see a spread out
pattern of hostilities and confrontations, some more horrible than others.
Will equality to men stay at the very top of the feminist agenda? Or will these times rather show an
embrace of female talent, with a focus on nurturing these to make the difference in our future? How
will we treat our animals and plants in a world with more than 8 billion mouths to feed? Will we turn
to urban farming or rather grow our meat in labs? Have the arts been fully adapted to function in the
entertainment industry, or is there a lasting effort to grasp what we can’t yet see? Does the creative
layer in society ascend above the economical benefits of the gentrification process they so
passionately progress?
Are we at the start of a new era? Where we clean our earth, respect each other, and leave the hard
work to robots while we jump from festival to holiday destination and from the latest gaming
experience to the most recent fashion trend?
Or are we experiencing a spiralling fear, our mood swept on by the next news item, our view of the
world reduced to a screen and our hearts in search of the high of small success and new
relationships? Do we live in a time in which booze and drugs have become a staple in our diet, and
we can’t manage to escape the manipulation directed by multinationals?
If we are indeed entering a new, interesting era, then where will it manifest? Should we look
amongst the richest youngsters, dictated by Quote magazine? To the innovation that spans
industries from 3D printers to drones? Can we see it represented by the modern feminists and their
Januhairy? Or perhaps in the event-, gaming- or fashion industry?
None of the above. From the 1 st of January 2018, together with Eveline de Jonge, I will attempt to
find proof of these Interesting Times amongst the work of The Hague resident artists. This research
will be documented and presented in a podcast, in addition to an exhibition of the results on the
17 th of March.

 

Sis Josip (1959, Amsterdam)

Autodidact. Visual artist, painter: realistic, women, nude.
Moved to The Hague in 1981. Religion: Catholic
Develops and realizes conceptual research projects with the resulting artworks and
publications.
Examples are projects De zoektocht naar Onvoorwaardelijke Schoonheid (a search for
unconditional beauty) and Der Himmel on Earth (Heaven on Earth).
Initiator at HOOP warehouse, fashion label Hector&Wolf and the Sis Josip gallery.

Eveline de Jonge (1992, Goes)

Lives in Rotterdam since 2010 where she completed a bachelor in autonomous visual arts at
Willem de Kooning Academy, in addition to a master of law at Erasmus University.
Works as a lawyer at Solon Lawyers in The Hague since the start of 2017, where she
focuses on supporting (creative) entrepreneurs with copyright, privacy and contract law. She
is a big fan of podcasts and has developed a touch for initiating and organising through her
own social art practice.

Eveline Cleiren (1988, Goes)

Studied Cultural Sciences at the Maastricht University, where she specialized herself in i.a.
the art trade and enterprise collections. Lives in The Hague. Works as an advisor in
Middelburg since 2017, where she supports cultural programs in regional education. In
addition to her role as advisor, she enjoys involvement in a range of art projects in- and
outside of The Hague.

Jonne Verhoog (1995, Amsterdam)

Moved to The Hague at the start of 2017, where she graduated as industrial designer at The
Hague University. Works as personal assistant for Sis Josip during GROUND festival and
the Der Himmel on Earth project. Enjoys viewing, discussing and creating art. Uses
photography and design to search for beauty in triviality