And now we're standing here

Patrick Nederkoorn, theatre artist and performer, 2019


And now we're standing here
Ten years later
Among works that, in my opinion, have not gone too far into meta-thinking
But instead, discover a perfect means of articulating a language for that which hovers between nature and abstraction
And thus, for me, connects with the reality of things

Your work has been called before shamelessly aesthetic
And that's true
Observe, how it is displayed here
Decadently perfect
As if those works themselves have forgotten
The agonizing work process that preceded them

It starts with the collection of things
Jolanda's studio is full of assemblies of beech cups, clusters of tomato stems, dishes
In a certain way, that's still fun
Stones from all over the world
That form a kind of home for Jolanda
Proof of her existing
An attempt to stay
Although her sons have often asked her if another cartload of stones should be brought back from vacation

And then the observing starts
What to do with such a stone
Wondering: how would I want to lie against it
Literally trying

And then something has to be added
An intense color
A different material
That first has to be transported in the Volvo, in sheets
Then heated
Then beaten and driven
Figuring out how to drill it
Beaten again
And again
And again
And again
Until it fits

A whole world is hanging on the wall here
And hours and hours and hours of work on the wall

And then suddenly something, seemingly out of nowhere
Something that fits
And that's why these works, unlike with Mondrian, touch me
It moves me because it fits
I can keep looking at it
And because it evokes so much

If I were to create a theatre show about this wall
Then it would be a kind of dating show
About how relationships are formed
How two completely different entities
Copper and stone
Cuddle up together
Engulf each other
Shyly lie next to each other
And works of which one thinks: be careful, don't do it


You have created a space
In which hard and soft
Tough and fragile
Nature and abstraction
Interchangeably prove that they exist
And feel at home

Patrick Nederkoorn, theatre artist

This is a condensed version of the opening speech at Jolanda's solo at Galerie Gerritse, Middelburg, June 2019. During this exhibition, the constellation Odyssey was on show, a wall filling work made of boulder and copper.