Alpaca: Figure, Form and Abstraction (part two) Lindsay August-Salazar in Amsterdam
Amsterdam, the second stop for the show, elicited an inquisitive dialogue that extended outside the gallery. There seemed to be a consistently calm and intimate, yet wildly liberal and free attitude in the air. I believe this disposition was a result of the urban planning of Amsterdam itself. I know this sounds crazy but, the “hustle and bustle” of the city life doesn’t come from cars honking their horns, so much as from bikes ringing their bells. There is something about hearing an array of different bell tones filling the streets. It feels as if there is more time to think… perhaps it is just the summer light. After all the sun sets usually around 11PM.
Like the Berlin exhibition, duration played an integral role in the shows reception. The show’s opening and closing took place over the course of one weekend. Many of those who came to the opening also came to the closing. By chance during that weekend, I was able to meet and speak with some very intriguing culturally-engaged “doers”, including Lukas Fuchsgruber, an Art Historian/ Critic, and Andre Smits, an Artist. On multiple occasions we found ourselves chewing on the concepts and questions the show was proposing, as we rode bikes through the city, boated on the canals, or sat in the many parks. Somehow the topics in our conversations always came back to the exhibition. By the culmination of the show, I had connected to and spent time with so many interesting minds that it really evoked a great feeling. I shared this sentiment with a friend and he laughed and said “we have a word in Dutch for what you are trying to describe”. I eagerly asked him, “…and what is that?” He responded, “this feeling…here we call it gezellig. It is a nice comforting quality that is shared with friends or better yet it is something that you can really only experience with friends.” I believe that it is with this cozy sense of comfort that any thought or way of acting, from the wildest to the mundane, the Dutch feel at ease to share it with each other. In another conversation, I shared this new word and concept and they agreed, paused, then laughed and said, ” …it is not the people nor our thoughts, but the weather that is truly elusive. We’re thankful now to have buienradar.nl!” He then laughed again. In short the most commonly visited and comprehensive online weather website used in Holland. Regardless of the weather, the Dutch don’t let much prevent them from critically engaging with what is presented before them. The show was a great success and I am excited to share the reception at the last stop for the show, Paris.
1K Project Space: http://1kprojectspace.com/
(Ed. Andre Smits’ project Artists in the World, the never ending trip was recently presented in its entirety at 1K Project Space. For this project Smits has traveled the world photographing other artists. As the European art blog artfridge, put it “Andre Smits prefers his artists from behind.” artfridge have fabulous images from the series at this link: http://www.artfridge.de/2011/06/have-we-met-andre-smits-prefers-artist.html.)