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In 1978, Martha Wilson (founding director of Franklin Furnace in New York City) travelled to Amsterdam in order to do a performance at de Appel. Together with Wies Smals, founder of de Appel, she then came to the idea to organize an exchange between both, very similar, institutions. As a result, in 1980 the event ‘Dutch Treat’ was organized, in which a group of Dutch performance and installation artists showed their work at three New York institutions: Franklin Furnace, The Kitchen and 626 Broadway.
In this broadcast by SOHO Television, Wies Smals provides some context while speaking to Robin White. She says that performance and installation art are relatively new phenomena in the circuit of official art institutes and museums at this point in history, b…th in the Netherlands and in the States. Institutes like de Appel and Franklin Furnace play a very significant role in the support and development of art that is difficult to sell. They provide a platform that generates interest from the establishment. After this conversation, Smals introduces the Dutch artists that are part of the ‘Dutch Treat’ show: Gerrit Dekker, Madelon Hooykaas and Elsa Stansfield, Servie Janssen, Harrie de Kroon, Marja Samson, Moniek Toebosch and Nikolaus Urban. Photographs of various performances and installations are shown. Nicolaus Urban has presented 'Target Piece', 'Flower work' and 'Glass installation'. 'Target Piece' is a performance that involves the audience. Urban asked the viewers present to shoot more than a thousand arrows at a target on the wall. Afterwards a sculptural result was left in the gallery. For 'Flower work' he made a path of flowers. The audience could walk over this path in the gallery after paying 25ct, which most people did. The 'Glass Installation' consists of a table with many wine glasses, placed in pairs. One glass of each pair is broken, the other glass contains the shattered pieces. Works by Servie Janssen follow. In his performance Janssen crashes plaster boards into the wall, creating a new form of aesthetics as he destroys them. Wies Smals then describes a work by Gerrit Dekker; it is a light source in a steel box filled with heavy liquid, placed in a wooden box. This sculpture must be moved around the globe for eternity – Smals herself brought it to New York. Next, a video registration of a performance by Harry de Kroon is shown: 'Not too little, Not too much,' followed by a registration of the video installation 'Split Second' by Hooykaas/Stansfield. A very theatrical performance by Moniek Toebosch '1, 2, maybe 3' closes the broadcast. It is performed in front of an American audience and is a comical reaction upon the American mentality. [Excerpts from this show, including registrations of installations by Nikolaus Urban, Servie Janssen and Gerrit Dekker are featured on the DVD series "Installations 1975-2006" (2007).]
Netherlands Media Art Institute, Anna Hoetjes Read more...