Fotos: Anne-Marie Ros
Mate(r)ealties special events
One of Amsterdam’s most impressive historical buildings, the Hirsch building on the Leidseplein, temporarily resumes its role as cultural host with Mate(r)ealities; a group exhibition organised by Déiska featuring work by over 15 contemporary artists. Over the next few months various activities, presentations and gatherings will take place on the Leidseplein. Each event is designed to focus
on one of the many facets of the art, the building, and what the location has to offer.

The title and theme of the current exhibition Mate(r)ealities were largely dictated by this grandiose yet crumpled place, as its rocky pillars and rough surfaces evoke an awareness of the materials around you. One cannot help but notice how the rough, raw surfaces of the interior have been battered overtime. Each chapter of the rich history of the building left a trace. While preparing the space for the exhibition, I struggled with many material aspects of the building. In my attempt to
conquer the space, I became more and more intrigued by the notion that an artist continually faces the same challenges when making material choices for their work. This heightened sense of awareness influenced my selection of the artists and artworks. The exhibition highlights the materiality in several pieces of the
Deiska collection in combination with some new artists’ work, providing a
different lens through which to look at these diverse art pieces.

Works such as the poetical epoxy objects by David Lindberg (USA) conjure up the questions; How much? of what? and where to put it? The result is a harmonious blend of shapes and forms that appease the eye, yet long to be touched to reveal their tactile qualities. The work of Inti Hernandez (CU) is characterized by a carefully chosen combination of simple materials, concise design and dedicated working methodology. When shaped by his hands the result is a work of art about life, it triggers reflection and engages the viewer. Repurposing objects and
materials is a strategy often deployed by other artists in the show. Examples are Home Grown, a towering cactus made of empty Heineken beer cans by Kristof Kintera ( CZ), and the half human, half animal /plant sculptures Sjaak in Het Groen and Adventures in Geology made by Lawrence Bailey (GB).

Historically the Hirsch Building housed Hirsch & Co, the epitome of high fashion and luxurious service. Over time however, the building changed hands and purposes. The impressive building is the perfect location to bring art and service back to the Leidseplein. Change shaped it into the rough and romantic place it today, a place filled with art and service once again ready to inspire and delight the people in Amsterdam.

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