Leave the house, enter the museum! To celebrate the (partial) alleviation of the COVID-19 lockdown measures for the cultural sector, the Frans Hals Museum is participating in the open-source exhibition entitled Unlocked/Reconnected. Together with a large number of other museums, galleries and other art institutions in the Netherlands, we celebrate the reopening of our cultural ‘home’ with a work from our own collection that connects
the period that lies behind us with the future.
The concepts ‘house’ and ‘home’ have acquired a special connotation during this pandemic. ‘Home’ is the physical place and space of ourhouses, but may also refer to our country, the area that we miss when we cannot be or return
there. What is ‘home’ in times of a pandemic? It can stand for a place of affection and security, but it may also be a place of oppression and fear. And did we feel at home in the first place, in an increasingly globalized, digitized and constantly
PINK de Thierry, born Helena Scheerder is known for her performances. Between 1980 and 1995 she carried out various projects with her partner and daughter under the denominator MWC (Man Woman Child). In Standing Stone (1989) they walked from Amsterdam to the seaside resort Zandvoort. Their luggage consisted of a boulder. Along the way they dined and spent the night at the Frans Hals Museum. The visit was recorded in a series of photos.
In this way, PINK turned the museum, primarily a public place where works of art are exhibited, into a private space where she slept and dined with her family. The Frans Hals museum thus temporarily acquired the character of
a place to stay: a ‘home’.
The COVID-19 pandemic seems to teach us harshly that life is not fully controllable. The virus forced us to come to a virtual standstill, live in isolation or at least involuntarily confinement. Consciously cutting oneselfoff from the outside world in a quiet environment to be able to think or create is traditionally associated with the artist’s studio. Here we see the artist in the privacy of his studio, seemingly idling, walking around, staring outside. Silently screaming without anyone hearing him.
When Luuk Wilmering made this work, he was preoccupied with the question to what extent one is responsible for one’s own course of life. He doubts the idea that happiness and success can actually be enforced. He relates this, among other things, to the fact that one of his brothers was born with an intellectual disability. Wilmering prefers to see life as a series of coincidences, in which he is strongly attracted to choosing the position of the passive idler.