OUR Territory

April 16 – Mai 27,  2009
De Nederlandse Cacaofabriek – Helmond (NL)

Participating artists: Ellen Rodenberg, Hans Ensink op Kemna, Maarten Schepers, Kees Koomen

In De Cacaofabriek EX-MÊKH presented an exhibition in which they showed a phase during the making of an exhibition. A process took place in the collective which consisted of a confrontation of the collaboration of four individual artists with a venue in which they would like to work. It included all it’s social and professional implications along with it. These two territories met in a border-situation, where ideas, proposals, concepts and references to former exhibitions met in the exhibition space. This border had to be crossed both ways and it is this process that they wanted to show.

EX-MÊKH: “Next to this one could also stipulate that in a collaboration you will have to deal with, in this case, four different territories of artists. Artists who limit or stimulate each other and who will certainly influence each other. The artists individual development defines their territory . When four artists go together their developments will show parallels and undoubtedly they will eventually influence each other. It is evident that this occurs in EX-MÊKH, it is what we are looking for. A method to develop our individual artworks is to research the meaning of everyone’s work by seeking the context of each others work. In this way we confront each other with different options and points of view. During the preparation and the process of installing an exhibition territorial conflicts take place: where do we end? Will it be an addition of strong individual works that eat each other out? Or will the whole be more than the sum of four individual artworks?

Then there is the territory of an exhibition-space: the actual space with its measures, the cultural surroundings in which it functions and the history it carries. What do we use, what might be interesting to react on? We infiltrate this territory and add a certain value to it by having our exhibition in it. We create a certain tension: will they weaken or strengthen each other? This is also an element that interests us. The venue has its own public in the region it is settled in and the confrontation of our work with these people is another point of interest: how will a public from a socially and culturally different region react to our work, will  it be challenged and stimulated?”

It was their idea to develop an exhibition on the basis of these elements, to show the process and the result in Helmond. From the moment Ellen Rodenberg en Kees Koomen visited Helmond they developed possibilities and ideas in regular meetings. They visualized the process in the studio of Maarten Schepers: sketches, models, photographs, tests and texts  were discussed. Eventually a choice was made for the exhibition in De Cacaofabriek in Helmond.