Discover Eindhoven, The Netherlands in this catalogue of creative happenings

Family chaos theory

May 20th, 2011

Filed under: ART & DESIGN

The opening image chosen by Councillor Schreurs

“I have chosen this image of a weigh scale to sum up tonight’s opening. There’s a sticker on it, saying it’s in working order. This is an example of how we try to use systems and machines to reduce reality – right down to numbers or notches on a scale. But this exhibition shows that real truth is in the detail and diversity of realities.” With these impromptu, wise words, Mary-Ann Schreurs, Eindhoven city councillor for Innovation, Culture and Public Space intro-ed this evening’s Cartridge Family photographic exhibition opening at the Krabbedans.

Mary-Ann Schreurs opens the evening

At least 300 people cosily mingled and hob-nobbed at tonight’s event, a rich and colourful crowd who had connections to the Verdult family, as well as the peripheral exhibitions (Jo Meesters, Masculine/Feminine and Kevin Janssen) also showing in the space. The rear of the exhibition space has three walls and a pillar absolutely plastered in A3 printouts from a professional Epson colour-printer. It’s a jumbled collection of I’m assuming mostly travel snaps of all five members of the Verdult family – Dick, Rocco, Stella, Max Verdult and Maria van Heeswijk. This family is much loved, and well-known in Eindhoven for being a family of artists and characters (that is, a musician, social designer, fashion designer, social scientist and painter with related genes). The challenge and fun of the exhibition is to find a common thread amongst the micro and macro photos, of differing subjects in sometimes completely unrelated contexts. The result is a riot of impressions, details, constructed scenarios and stolen moments from all over the world, and nearer to home.

The images ask us to see things that you might otherwise miss; if you’re an artist, you see the world with a twist. And if you’re a Verdult? Wherever the path my lead, he or she might look at the ground, at the back of a van, in a dog’s mouth (grinning madly whilst crammed with not one but three tennis balls), the pattern of your clothes folded and laid out before you pack them, lemons that look like lemons but upon closer inspection are probably styrofoam orbs dusted in citrus coloured sand, a mouldy sandwich growing hair, a vitrine full of dead flies, outdoor loungerooms, pomegranates + passionfruit + figs, or the tracks of your tyers after you’ve spun donuts in the dust between a row of tea-tree trees. There’re are a lot of parallels and complete diversions as well.

More amusement can be found trying to guess who took which picture … but you’re guided by the color of the pin that is stuck in the bottom right hand corner and the legend to be found on the wall or the diagram on the central table. However, it’s the random curation of the images that reflects that chaos of this family.

Talking to Rocco Verdult

“We’re always so busy doing our own things, that in fact, many of us hadn’t even seen each other’s travel pictures before,” says Rocco Verdult, sporting his trademark energy-filled grin. “You have to look closely for the detail in some of the pictures, and for others you need to really stand back to take it in.” He’s proud of being commissioned as a family to do the exhibition and is clearly still buzzing from the intense three days it took to get the exhibition ready on time.”The printer took 5 minutes per photo, so it took a lot longer than we had imagined.”

Lots and lots of photos, something for everyone

Personally, I think it’s a fabulous piece of marketing for the Eindhoven ‘artist family’. Not only do they have their names (- not necessarily their work, but their lenses to the world) in a prominent space for a few months, but they will be selling their photos at €50 a pop or €200 for a set of five. The 21st century is demanding a new model of exhibiting; why not have a professional printer in-house (which in this case, it is), and offer prints on demand? I find it audacious … but it doesn’t surprise me either. I wonder how sales will go.

The exhibition is larger-than-life, joyous, chaotic and full of a really positive energy. Judging from my personal interactions with Rocco, that’s the effect a Verdult has when they enter the room. Can you imagine what it was like with the whole family in there this evening? Pop on in and see it for yourself – they’ve left behind walls crammed with the Verdult family chaos theory until 7 August.

The Cartridge Family
Clausplein 10 (De Witte Dame)
5611 XP Eindhoven
T 040 297 95 555
20 May – 7 August

Add your comment

Related posts

Take some solemn fashion vows at DDWSPAM! talks about DesignFriends make the world go round, not oil