Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Kroller-Muller (with Umlauts Over the O and the U)

So, aside from the shoe and the grocery store on Monday (and the fly too I suppose...) Monday was good.  The studio, or Atelier, I'm working in has some awesome projects for me and my supervisor Clara seems really great.  Constant tea drinking is also encouraged.

Yesterday (Tuesday) Clara and I went to the Kroller-Muller Museum.  As stated in the title, take that museum name and put umlauts over the O and U.  Now you have the appropriate name.  I'm sure I could figure out how to make umlauts here on the computer, but it's not really worth it right now.  I'd rather spend my time eating these karamelstroopwafels - a cookie/syrup/waffled treat item purchased at Albert Heijn.  Albert Heijn is the nearest grocery store.  I keep forgetting, and thinking that the name is the Kaiser Wilhelm.  So close.

Anyway, I got up early early and took a tram to meet the Director of Collections/Exhibitions (at least I think that was her job... she kept referring to activities... which I assumed to mean exhibitions) and she gave me a ride to the Kroller-Muller.  Public transit, which is otherwise good, wouldn't have worked because the bus drivers are on strike right now.  It seems that public transit workers are always on strike in Europe.

The Kroller-Muller is located in Gelderland (yes, Gelderland is a real place, not a place that only exists in the Princess Bride).  Gelderland is like four provinces away from Amsterdam, so I really got to see a huge chunk of Holland.

Traffic between Gelderland 
and North Holland, where Amsterdam is located. 

Not exactly a van Gogh.

The Kroller-Muller has something like 291 works by Vincent (including the cafe at night that most college freshmen have on their dorm walls), a huge collection of contemporary art (think Picasso, Seurat, Manet, Duchamp, etc), and is located in an approximately 750 hectacre national park - a national park which doubles as a huge outdoor sculpture garden.  It was very cool, and I'd like to go back as a visitor.

I did get an official badge, with my very own name on it, not an ordinary visitor badge.  As you can see in the photo of the badge, the museum is very serious about its umlauts.

Closed because of refitting - for all you non-Dutch readers (like me).

The show, which is titled Nature as Artifice, opens tomorrow.  As you can see from the following images, things weren't exactly hung on the walls yet.

It's actually a really cool show.  Contemporary Dutch landscape photography and video art.

Clara and I were only responsible for the photographs - we left around 5:30 (starting the day at like 8:15) and the a/v team were still messing around with the video installations.

It was a little hard to do a condition report on an object that was literally three times your own height and hanging on a wall above you, but you look at it and squint, "I'm pretty sure that there is some surface dirt overall... maybe a hand print - no, definitely a big greasy hand print at the top right corner...".  There is also lots of crawling around on discarded packing materials and peering behind frames and looking at corners and squinting and peering.

There are tons of photographs in this show.  Around 19 different artists and represented, some of whom have more than 20 objects on the walls.

And its a great theme for the Kroller-Muller - contemporary Dutch landscape photography in a museum dedicated to the contemporary arts which is situated in a huge natural wildlife preserve/sculpture garden.  The best part of the Kroller-Muller is that you can go outside for lunch or a cup of tea or a walk and then wander back inside to look at the art.

I'm either allergic to rural Holland, or to the dust generated by the strange green wooden particle board the carpenters used to create the pedestals.  Things were very dusty inside the installation galleries.  I kept sneezing and had some intense allergy issues.  Observe the puffy runny eyes below.

1 comment:

Michael said...

Umlauts are under symbols in word. In HTML you can type &<letter>uml;, for example &Auml; makes a capital A with umlauts: Ä. This comment was dad's idea, but he didn't know the HTML.