Annet Gelink Gallery is pleased to present the upcoming exhibition of new work by Dutch artist Barbara Visser (Haarlem, 1966).
The video installation Beauty is the victory of the mind over matter (2003) will be shown in the middle space of the gallery. Created for this year's Festival a/d Werf in Utrecht, this simultaneous projection of 2 DVDs shows The Liar on one side of the screen and The Actor on the other. Both characters are played by the same actor, the renowned Belgian Steven van Watermeulen. His translation of the liar Thomas Neuman is based on an existing man who is in prison for the selling of 8000 pieces of the moon, among other crimes. Fascinated by a news paper article on this case, Visser started a correspondence with Neuman and visited him in jail. This correspondence and the conversations they had return in Beauty is the victory of the mind over matter, but not as a dialogue between the artist and her subject: The liar has become the fascination of the actor who is reading from 'his' correspondence with him. Documentary and drama are ingeniously intermingled. The actor skilfully moves from one side of the screen to the other, from his role as actor to his role as liar.
The boundary between mind and matter, art and non-art is a recurrent theme in the oeuvre of Visser. Not to play both poles off against each other, but to address the beauty of the simultaneous existence of both worlds. Or as Visser puts it in a text that she wrote in 1999 for L&B (Lier & Boog) : "What continues to intrigue me is the idea of using a medium that blends in completely with its surroundings." In 1993 Visser placed two gallerists on a podium who carried on with their usual gallery business (Podium), in 1994 she created a video of a "factional" interview with Duiker wherein an actor plays the sixty year earlier deceased architect Duiker and answers questions about 'his' Cineac-building (Interview with Duiker). In 1995 she conquers a guest role in the Lithuanian soap Gimines, where she appears as the artist "Barbora Visser" and wife of a doctor in the series (Gimines), and in 1997 Visser tests the audience by having an actress conduct a lecture on her art work without notifying the audience of this change of roles (Lecture).
For the gallery Visser will make a panoramic collage - just like The Liar a new construction of reality from loose fragments. Images of buildings from Dutch architecture before 1955 play the main lead. The images come from a Dutch arhitecture encyclopedic publication on Dutch architecture and the beauty of our country.
Architecture is also the subject of a new photowork in the exhibition: a row of photographs depicting a flat building's bare interiors that only distinguish themselves by what the departing inhabitants have left or what the new, illegal inhabitants have brought along.