Companion is Inge Meijer’s (Beverwijk, 1986) first solo exhibition at AKINCI reviewing the work she created while she was studying at the Rijksakademie. Inge Meijer’s films and installations received a great deal of attention and were highly acclaimed at the Open Studios in 2016 and 2017. The works show that she is able to convert complex phenomena into clear, iconic images. The desire to provide access to Inge Meijer’s world forms the recurring theme of this exhibition being held at AKINCI.
Inge Meijer’s films transport the viewer to a familiar environment that still manages to feel strange. At the core is the uneasy relationship between humankind and its surroundings. An environment that lives and breathes but which humankind continuously tries to bend to its will. Ostensibly, Meijer aims at the ‘little’ things and the daily actions with which we express our concerns, our dreams and yearnings, and cherish our illusions. Using a certain amount of self-mockery, she examines humankind, which is continuously arranging, cultivating and shaping its habitat.
In the double projection entitled Beautiful Isle of Somewhere, we see the ‘cathedrals of modernity’, luxury cruise ships that have grown into small cities. Slowly and with great curiosity, Meijer reveals the ‘oceanic longing’, people’s yearning to reach beyond the horizon within the safety of their own cabin. The film opens with a beautiful text, written as a supplement to it by the philosopher, R.B.J. Welten. In the film Maple Tree, a maple travels through the landscape as a character in a scene; a recognisable and yet at the same time absurd concept.
The film If you go down in the Woods Today takes place in a forest, where someone is walking along with a bear. It is all about an unusual relationship between a person and an animal. As a spectator, once you notice the animal in question is a bear, you become aware of how relationships really are. What unfurls is simultaneously both moving and unpleasant. Inge Meijer calls it A god complex. Who rules over who?
In the exhibition as a whole, a ‘style’ emerges in which plausible fiction or implausible facts are depicted: a down-to- earth look at astonishing things or an astonished look at simple things. Inge Meijer places her viewer at a distance, which in her case has an alienating effect. She creates the illusion that we can view everything, yet although we see things as they are, we are wrong-footed by the combination of the individual elements. This bestows an almost ab surd character upon the films, allowing them at the same time to be affectionate.
In addition to films, there are also photos and objects, such as the inverted palm shades of Oceanic Feeling, which Meijer made during her first year at the Rijksakademie. With their slow vertical movements in space, they appear to perform an elegant dance and form a link to the images of luxury and decadence in Beautiful Isle of Somewhere. In the Still Life installation, that will not be at AKINCI but in GarageRotterdam from the 20th of April, you can see documentation material from the Stedelijk Museum’s 1945 - 1983 plant collection, including all of the relocations the plants underwent during those years. Meijer is fascinated by the love of the plant grower, H.J. van der Ham and his implicit role in the design of the exhibitions. Research plays a major role in the work of Inge Meijer, who carries her subjects along for a long time, allowing her to gradually find a way of translating her vision into images.
Inge Meijer studied Fine Art at ArtEZ University of the Arts in Arnhem. In 2012, she won the Hendrik Valk Award with her graduation film at ArtEZ University of the Arts and completed her residency at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam in 2017.