On the occasion of its 25th anniversary, the museum examines its history, dedicating its ground-floor gallery to a series of commissioned presentations by a select group of contemporary artists. A new installation by artist Willem de Rooij, "Character Is Fate", showcases an astrological birth chart Piet Mondrian had made in 1911.
Willem de Rooij
Character Is Fate
On 27 January 2015, twenty-five years to the day it was established, Witte de With will present a new installation by artist Willem de Rooij. Character Is Fate showcases an astrological birth chart Piet Mondrian had made in 1911. A special display system that relates to the solar calendar allows for the birth chart to be illuminated by the sun, best seen from 2.15pm to 2.30pm each day. While considering the conservational parameters of displaying historical objects, Character Is Fate also visualizes Witte de With’s physical position in relation to the sun.
In late 1911 artist Piet Mondrian was about to move to Paris and leave his native country of the Netherlands behind. During this period of artistic and personal transformation he turned to theosophist Adriaan van de Vijsel for an astrological reading. Mondrian was born under the sign of Pisces on 7 March 1872, and according to his horoscope was “very susceptible and [had] psychic tendencies.” He was “able to feel things without being able to give an explanation of how this knowledge was obtained, [with] a mind that can express itself diplomatically, calmly, and systematically.”
Special thanks goes to the Netherlands Institute for Art History (RKD) in The Hague for their generous loan of Piet Mondrian’s original horoscope. The loan also marks a first- time collaboration between the RKD and Witte de With, which will be continued annually.
Character Is Fate, a Witte de With Publishers artist book by Willem de Rooij, is forthcoming in 2015.
In Light Of 25 Years
“The image of art that Witte de With disseminates is a universal and autonomous one. It is dissemination that should not prevent the construction of a framework which can tell us, for example, something about the glamour of art and its capacity for communication, about art from beyond Europe or North America, or about the terror of current events.” Introductory essay in The Lectures, Witte de With Publishers, 1990
On the occasion of its 25th anniversary, Witte de With examines its history, dedicating its ground-floor gallery to a series of commissioned presentations by a select group of contemporary artists. Each participant has created an image-based work that analyzes certain sediments of contemporary art history. Presented on a large-scale double-sided light box these anniversary commissions are visible to the city day and night.
Throughout the year, In Light Of 25 Years functions as a space for artists and curators to respond to developments in contemporary art, its landscape and possibilities, departing from Witte de With’s past program. Where can or should we go in the next twenty-five years, when questions of autonomy and universalism, or critical reflections on the global dissemination and power of art, are still as urgent today as they were in 1990?
A forthcoming publication concluding this project collates each contribution and features critical essays reflecting on the anniversary year.
Mahony 27 January – 1 March 2015
Freek Wambacq 3 March – 5 April 2015
Wineke Gartz 7 April – 3 May 2015
Christopher Williams 5 May – 7 June 2015
Özlem Altın 9 June – 12 July 2015
Xu Zhen 14 July – 16 August 2015
Zin Taylor 18 August – 20 September 2015
Camille Henrot 22 September – 25 October 2015
Germaine Kruip 27 October – 29 November 2015
Raimundas Malašauskas 1 December 2015 – 3 January 2016
Team: Defne Ayas (Director), Natasha Hoare, Samuel Saelemakers (Associate Curators)
Adelheid Smit and Angélique Kool T: +31 (0)10 4110144 F: +31 (0)10 4117924 firstname.lastname@example.org
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