De Reis (1983)

Performance + installatie (Stationsweg, Den Haag)




'the Journey'

Project for the Dutch Art Foundation

The suitcase makes a journey around the world. It stops over 'n New York, San Francisco and Tokyo, where it stays with artists. The experiences of the suitcase are documented by photos, drawings and/ or other descriptive media.

Participating artists:
Holtappels, The Hague
Dick Higgins, New York
Gini Lloyd, San Francisco
Nagahiro Takatsugu, Tokyo

The works of both, Boegel and Holtappeis, made for this exhibition are to be seen as self-image (self-portrait in the modern sense) by which a commentary is made on being an artist in general.

Boegel and Holtappels have worked together regulary since 1976. Dissatisfied with the traditional means of visual expression, they sought new possibilities. They were mainly concerned with the question of how to remain as close to themselves and their 'life-process' as possible. They found their solutions by carrying out, among other things 'experimental research'.

Their work of that period showed a relationship with 'Body-Art', as it is manifested itself in the late sixties and early seventies. The aim of their 'actions' and performances was to express their feelings physically, with the help of extreme situations.

A journey through the spirit, toward the inner self.
"A journey has two aspects: the goal and the way. Or in other words, a point and a line, or the idea and the experience. When I travel, my interest is directed at the second — the way (of experience). Travelling means being curious about something. The same applies to art.

The process, the making of a work of art is important, not the object that finally results. The final product is, as a photo of a journey is, a proof that one was there, that something occurred" according to Holtappels.

His suitcase made a journey around the world, described a circle, before returning to it's point of departure. The case went alone, the artist stayed at home in expectation of events to come. The case was sent to three artists. They treated it as a true 'Art guest' . Some gave the case a tour of their home town. Some integrated it into their daily work.

Holtappels suitcase is the tangible proof of the contact, the mutual influence among artists. The suitcase is a metaphor for the necessary communication and exchange among art colleagues, or, as Ger van Elk recently remarked: "For me, the adventure in art is mainly in communicating with other artists, and by so doing reaching a point at which you can no longer speak, and see only a philosophical attitude."

(Text: Evelyn Beer)