October 27, 2014

Ellen Schippers’ foggy portraits of women

Filed under: Art,Photography by Branko Collin @ 9:30 am

snowwhite-still-ellen-schippersI went to check out a small art fair today that I was told had photos by Danielle van Zadelhoff (not the exhibition I wrote about last week, but also in Amsterdam).

Zadelhoff’s photos weren’t there, but instead I saw photographs by Ellen Schippers, Bas Bogaerts, Gabriele Vierte and Janet de Graaf. I may show you works by the latter three later, but today I recommend you check out the works of Ellen Schippers (some may be NSFW).

Schippers makes photographic portraits that have a painting-like quality because everything is blurry without being out of focus. I don’t know how she creates this look, but if I had to guess I would say she positions her subjects behind fogged up screens. The work shown here is called Snow White. I am not sure if this a photo or a still of one of her videos, but does it matter?

Ellen Schippers is a multi-disciplinary artist from Amsterdam who started out as a performer in art galleries and theatres.

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September 28, 2012

Bill Cosby sweater designer on stage in Amsterdam

Filed under: Fashion by Orangemaster @ 6:20 pm

Last March, the world famous, colourful Bill Cosby sweaters got their own blog, which was an opportunity to remind everyone that they were all designed by Dutchman Koos van den Akker.

This week until October 7 at Theater Bellevue in Amsterdam, Van den Akker, 73, will be on stage being interviewed — all very spontaneously — by friend and acteur Marcel Musters. In a performance entitled ‘Rietje meets Koos’, Musters plays a middle aged woman who is a big Cosby fan and is excited to discover that Van den Akker designed those sweaters.

Van den Akker’s jackets, sweaters and shirts have a carefully crafted collage style, works of art that are now a source of inspiration to designers such as America’s Marc Jacobs.

(Link: www.elsevier.nl, Photo of Cosby sweater by Felix Jackson, Jr., some rights reserved)

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September 4, 2009

Plight of Senegalese fishermen depicted in classic Dutch play

Filed under: Literature,Shows by Branko Collin @ 3:19 pm

A play set published in 1900 about the plight of Dutch fishermen, which was adapted for a modern context in Senegal, is returning to the Netherlands this month with Senegalese song and dance left intact, and with Marisa van Eyle as a Dutch narrator.

Op Hoop van Zegen (The Good Hope) is a play by Herman Heijermans about the eponymous fishing ship, its owner Bos and the brothers Geert and Barend, who know the ship is not seaworthy, but still sign on as sailors. The brothers then die when the ship sinks during its last voyage. The line “de vis wordt duur betaald” (the fish is dearly paid for), with which Kniertje, the mother of Geert and Barend greets the news of the death of her two sons, has become a saying in Dutch.

The Senegalese version, called Dieuna Diaffe in the Wolof language (Expensive Fish) and with Senegalese star Marie Madeleine Diallo as Kniertje / Yaye Cathy, was performed in 2007 and 2008 in the coastal cities of Senegal. It was adapted by sociologist Maaike Cotterink and directors Anna Rottier and Pape Samba Sow.

According to Cotterink in Trouw (Dutch): “These days, Senegalese fishermen are hired to work three months in a row on Korean and Spanish boats. Far from the coast they are put to work under horrendous conditions for 16 hours a day. Each year fishermen die, but they have little choice, as they have to support their families.”

The play will be performed this weekend in Amsterdam as part of the Fringe Festival, and next week in The Hague.

If you are unfamiliar with Heijermans, Archive.org has an English adaption of one of his other plays, The Ghetto.

(Source photo: Theatre Embassy)

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April 29, 2009

Play about the birth of Maigret in Delfzijl

Filed under: Literature,Shows by Branko Collin @ 8:36 am

The story goes that Alfred Hitchcock phoned prolific French detective writer Georges Simenon (1903 – 1989) once, only to be told by the great man’s secretary that he could not be interrupted, as he had just started working on a new novel. “That’s all right,” Hitchcock said, “I’ll wait.”

In 1927 Simenon had his boat Ostrogoth built, a cutter modelled after the fishing vessels of the English Channel. In 1929, when he arrived in Delfzijl, Groningen, he noticed a leak, the repairs of which kept him there for four months. “I still have vivid memories of my discovery of this pink town, surrounded by dikes, with its walls that weren’t meant to keep out attackers, but were there to keep the streets from flooding with sea water during bad weather,” he writes in a companion article to the 1966 Dutch edition of Le Château des Sables Rouges.

He wrote that novel then and there (“I was still in the habit of writing two or three chapters a day back then”), and when he had finished it, he wondered what the next step would be. Drinking genever one morning in café Het Paviljoen—two, three glasses?—he saw the outlines of a broad-shouldered man through the alcohol induced veils of his imagination. A pipe followed, a bowler hat, a warm overcoat with velvet collar. In short, a proper police commissioner.

Theater te Water will stage a play about the birth of this most famous of all French detectives, Jules Maigret, in Delfzijl starting May 12. The play, called Noord Moord (‘Northern Murder’), will be performed on a boat. Where else?

(Link: Dagblad van het Noorden. Photo of a Pieter d’Hont statue of a Georges Simenon character by Wikipedia user Gerardus, who released it into the public domain.)

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September 14, 2008

Spectacular theatre group Dogtroep to close shop

Filed under: Art,Shows by Branko Collin @ 11:20 am

Dogtroep = wild theatre, outdoors, stunts, “live locations”, pyrotechnics, using the scenery, spectacle, and none of these for much longer. Citing reduced subsidies, the life-blood of their expensive type of theatre, the “troupe” will give one more series of shows called To Be To Not To be, and then quit. Their last show runs from September 15 to October 5.

Says Curving Normality in a farewell review:

Combining abstract narrative with the outstanding locations of their performances, the absurd visual compositions and daring stunts made their performances unsurpassed. I’ve seen them flood a ships-dock with a million liters of water (yes, some in the audience had some seriously wet feet), paraglide inside theater Carré (Amsterdam, the Netherlands), but also perform more tender scenes using small light after sunset in their out-door locations.

As always, the location the Dogtroep selected for yesterday’s performance was closely tied to their narrative. Using the outdoor location provided by the remains of the old steel factory ‘Montan’, the actors literally dug to find the unknown history of this forlorn place. Will they, the Dogtroep, become such a place themselves, or is there another message to be seen in this? As they say for themselves, the basis for this performance “at the edge of existence” are the plans, personages, and dreams that emerge from the crater they dig themselves.

Via BN/De Stem (Dutch).

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