Jeroen de Rijke / Willem de Rooij

Jeroen de Rijke / Willem de Rooij

MAMbo—Museum of Modern Art of Bologna

Mandarin Ducks, 2005
set photographs
Courtesy Galerie Daniel Buchholz, Köln
Copyright: Willem de Rooij

April 19, 2008

Jeroen de Rijke / Willem de Rooij
curated by Gianfranco Maraniello and Andrea Viliani
April 20 – June 8, 2008

MAMbo-Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna
Via Don Minzoni 14
40121 Bologna
info [​at​]

Since the start of their collaboration in 1994 Jeroen de Rijke (1970 – 2006) and Willem de Rooij (b. 1969) have produced a select corpus of 35mm and 16mm films, photographs, objects, installations and texts. Their collaborative work analyses the conventions of presentation and representation, and explores the areas of tension between sociopolitical and autonomous image production.

This exhibition is conceived as the counterpart to a twin exhibition in K21, Düsseldorf, which took place from December 2007 to April 2008. Each of these two shows highlights a different selection of de Rijke / de Rooij’s works from the last ten years, contextualized by documentation and source material.

De Rijke / de Rooij’s exhibitions were always carefully staged and could be seen as autonomous installations. Through partial reconstruction within both exhibitions of previous presentations – such as Mandarin Ducks, Dutch Pavilion, 51st Venice Biennale and Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Magazin4, Bregenz – multiple conceptual and visual echoes make for a deeper understanding of de Rijke / de Rooij’s artistic program.

The exhibition at K21 centered on two films – Mandarin Ducks (2005) and The Point of Departure (2002) – the slide projection Orange (2004), the photographic works Light Studies I-VII as well as a partial reactivation of the exhibition Mandarin Ducks and a new installation inspired on Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Il fiore delle mille e una notte. The exhibition at MAMbo centers on a hugely different selection of works: the film Mandarin Ducks – the only piece shared by the two exhibitions – the 16mm film I’m Coming Home in Forty Days (1997), the 35mm film Bantar Gebang (2000) as well as a number of photographic pieces depicting different Oriental carpets or monochrome surfaces and the installation Bouquet IV (2005). Mandarin Ducks is a highly stylized conversation piece, in which ten characters negotiate physical and emotional space within a modernist domestic interior. Bantar Gebang juxtaposes the visual splendor of a tropical sunset over an Indonesian slum with the daily reality of that same location. I’m Coming Home in Forty Days, a circumnavigation of an iceberg in Greenland, oscillates between abstraction and realistic depiction of the landscape. Bouquet IV reflects on the photographic translation from color into black and white. Excluding extremes, its color spectrum could be also read as a metaphor for contemporary cultural mainstream.

In the show at MAMbo a main part of the exhibition Together (Magazin4, Bregenz, 2005) is also reconstructed, and two creations of Dutch fashion designer Fong-Leng (b. 1938) are shown together for the first time. Originating from two different public collections in the Netherlands, this duo of extravagant golden dresses – Luipaard and its modern replica, Luipaard II – tells a self-reflexive tale about the liaison between society life and culture, exoticism and economy in 1970s Amsterdam. Both dresses also relate to two installations that Willem de Rooij produced for Galerie Chantal Crousel in Paris (2006) and Galerie Daniel Buchholz in Cologne (2007).

Intersecting with the show at K21, the peculiar ensemble of de Rijke / de Rooij’s works presented at MAMbo creates unexpected encounters that oscillate between expository and documentary framework and sets up a complex doppelganger entity, which ultimately avoids the features and the very idea of a survey show.

Jeroen de Rijke / Willem de Rooij is a joint project by K21 Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen and MAMbo-Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna. The two independent yet connected exhibitions present a comprehensive overview of the work of Jeroen de Rijke and Willem de Rooij, which is accompanied by a new exhibition catalogue (published by Snoeck, Cologne) with texts by Sabeth Buchmann, Willem de Rooij, Ann Goldstein and Andrea Viliani.

MAMbo-Museo d'Arte Moderna di Bologna

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MAMbo—Museum of Modern Art of Bologna
April 19, 2008

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