a series ofinstallations at Arts Letters and Numbers Averill Park NY, USA, August/September 2015Barts adventure inALN started at The Shop, that huge space on the ground floor of The Mill. Whenyou visit it for the first time it looks like a chaotic mess, so many stuff ofall kind, everywhere around, in all corners. It was too much. But suddenly hediscovered an old wheelchair and from than on the story started to tell itself.
At the end of 2014the grandparents of his daughter Eline both died. Her grandfather suffered fromdementia and he ended his life in a wheelchair. He looked very satisfied, in away hassle-free childish. Was he happy? One couldn't verify. At that time - as a memory of grandfather Fritsand his illness - Bart made an new artwork: a small wheelchair with very highgrab bards. It looked like a toy. Why we do give children a small stroller toplay with, or a little car but never a wheelchair? Is it because we are so usedto ignoring the 'dark sides of life'?
So finding that oldwheelchair in The Shop turned out to be the beginning of a series of 'vehicles'that people use/need during their lifetime. Bart made drawings of a stroller, abuggy, a scooter, a skateboard, a bike, a walker, the wheelchair and finallythe litter where you lay when live is over.
And then he found a music box, playing 'raindrops keep falling on my head'... and the idea of the merry go round was born.
The drawingsbecame cut-outs and the cut-outs became part of a small merry go round thatafter all turned out to be the model of a full-scale one.In this period theresidence artists of ALN visited MASS-Moca and Bart was excited about the worksof Jim Shaw. Back in Averill Park he went to the studio in the evening (whatreally was special because his working hours mostly are from 8 hs in themorning until 14 hs. The afternoon is reserved for his bike rides) and made aseries of nine large sheets of brown paper where he cut out the life-vehicles.Next day he painted the sheets white and a new piece of art was born!
The cut out papervehicles he folded as small as possible and he tied a ribbon to. Presented on abutchers chopping block it represents the complete arsenal of surprises lifecan offer each one of us everyday.
The fourth part ofhis works are the vehicles made of rest wood he found in The Shop. At thismoment this is an important issue for Bart: as he left home he decided not tobuy any new materials or tools for the artworks he eventually should make atALN. In addition he intended not to takethe eventually new art works back hometo Holland. For the presentation on August 29th at ALN Bart made akind of cross court in The Shop.
The nine woodenvehicles later were part of a performance in The Mill: nine actors moved eachone of the vehicles and formed a Living Merry Go Round. Finally all the actors were interviewed aboutthe rol 'their' vehicle played in theirown life.