Repainting artworks

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Het museum is weer open!
Het museum is weer open! Het museum is weer open!



Foto: Helene Wiesenhaan

Maandag heropende het Frans Hals Museum beide locaties met een klein ceremonieel tintje. Burgemeester Jos Wienen knipte symbolisch een lintje door en spoken word artist Joshua Baumgarten droeg onderstaand gedicht voor.

Spoken word Joshua Baumgarten

For the painters, the poets, the scultptors, the musicians,
the actors, the technicians, the VJ’s, playwrights,
for all those who participate in linkse hobbies
I salute you and snap my fingers for you.

For hand clapping has become a bit passe’
and a finger snap is really how you can let
any artist know
that you have actually paid attention
to what they
have had to say.

Art, culture, creation

And all the passionate pastimes that we persue
and even during this so called crisis
continue to feel
the undying necessity to do.

These human outlets
that allow us to channel forth
all the desperation, inspiration, exhilaration
that we as human entities
have been bestowed upon.

And as our world is currently at odds
with our current situation
the culture makers,
creative weavers of wonder,
are left not only to protect themselves
from this virus
but as well as from the devestation of
the aftershocks of cultural stagnation,

And as those who persue the arts
are continiously being portrayed
as unemployed non-essentials
in a society caught
like a deer in the proverbial headlights
We, human animals hiding behind facemasks
and computer screens.

Why is it so often
that when lives are on the line
it is the artists who step forward
in the persuance of truth
yet still come to
exist as an afterthought
in the hearts and minds
of those spiritualy paralyzed.

The artists are
the custodians of the common good
offering up self-sacrifice in a society
struggling with its feverish need
to figure out this detour in modern life.

And as always
when the dust settles and the smoke clears
and the shadows retreat from the sun
it is the artists who will be the ones
using their craft to carve out cohesiveness
from all of the static and confusion.

It is the artists who are the bricklayers
using their calloused hands to lay down
the foundations of our common communication.
By building upon those metaphorical and physical bridges,
and by synthesizing the psychotic with the soothing
to forge the symbols that sing
symphonies of sensation.

All of this the artists do in their attempt
to relate black to the world
about who we are,
who we were
and ill-fated illusion of
what we think we may
become.

We must never ignore the fact that artistic creation is the crease in the time continuim that encapsulates us all.

And that a crisis may hold us hostage,
threaten to kill an economy
but even a crisis can never fully wipe out
artistic creation.

For that is why it is the responsibility of the artist to
continue now more then ever to engage
the enflamed egos of a society, a society on the brink
of losing its grasp upon its own overwrought ideas of itself
and to remind us all on how we should handle ourselves,
during this time of crisis and how we must maintain
a sense of dignity and self control.

And as we, the suns objects
become subjected to a set of new rules,
the artists will continue to sharpen their tools
in preparation of this engagement.

For it is the duty of the artist to span
the symbolic and spatial gap
created by physical distancing.

It is intrisic in the archetype of the artist
to redefine the constricting language of regulation
and to dig at the meat of the definition
of what social distancing will in the long and short term
actually come to mean.

Artists, of so many diverse disciplines,
the underappreciated pro-active participants
of this pandemic,
those who have helped stimulate the mind
of the countless quarantined and confined,
now like so many others
are left with futures to redefine.

And be these futures
dependent upon museum walls
or the goldplated windows of highstreet galleries
or that of the poorly ventilated rough and tumble
independent exhibition halls scattered
throughout the world, well that
is as always for the artist
the one stable great unknown.

And now as the doors to our museums are re-opening
we the admirers of the low brow and the avant garde
should all take stock in what the arts represent to us.
The arts have little to do with leisure,
the arts are more than just linkse hobbies,
the arts represent the us
in the midst of all the chaos
that we encompass.

So let us now reopen the doors
to all of the museums of Haarlemtown
and give way to a space
so that everything mentioned above
may continue to occur.

Where we can once again gaze upon
the Banquet of the Members of the Haarlem Cavilerman Civic Guard from 1583, by Cornelis Cornelisz
Or that of the Twelve Members of the Haarlem Brotherhood of Jerusalem Pilgrims, from Jan van Scorel
Or that of Frederik Henderik, the Bringer of Peace, by Jan Salomonsz de Braij
Or that of the Regents of Saint Elisabeth’s Hospital from the one and only Frans Hals,

And now, as we will once again have
the oppurtunity to look upon
these paintings by old masters,
we can only now begin the process of
making sense of this
our new abnormal,

and we should take a moments pause
to ponder a modern question.

Would these artists
have been able to paint
so many grand group portraits
if they had had to subject their
creative visions to
the protocols
of social distancings, too?

I wish bold success to the artists and their museum hosts.
Safety and a sense of security for all the people of Haarlemtown.
And a sense of sanity and calm for all those creative seekers still out there seeking.

Thank you.

Joshua Baumgarten
The Irrational Library
Haarlemtown
June 1st, 2020

 

Foto: Helene Wiesenhaan

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