a film about Marijke de Goey’s monumental sculptures
by Victor Nieuwenhuijs & Maartje Seyferth
In the Netherlands there is a rich and for modern art relatively long tradition in public works of art resulting from commissions by State and communal institutions and private corporations. For Dutch art in general the results of these commissions are highly interesting, because in no other contexts visual artists will be offered the opportunity to work on such a large scale: architecture, public space, towndistricts and landscapes frame unique challenges to their ideas, ideas developed in their studios and to be rethought on no-everyday size and scale.
Among the artists that take commissions I consider the most interesting to be those, who work both along artistically autonomous principles and in public environments. Differences between these two contexts, problems of transposition from one scale to the other comprise the challenge to make the best works of art for the one as for the other situation. Challenges like these can be both fruitfull for the development of the specific work and for the evolution of the artist. Marijke de Goey I consider to be a very good example of this mentality. Historically speaking, her work resumes once again the typically Dutch tradition in 20th century art: geometry and its hidden possibilities taken as an abstract visual language. But did Mondriaan only in his last creative period in New York come to a more dynamic expression (inspired by boogie woogie music), Marijke de Goey takes a special combination of rigour and humour as her individual point of departure. As she once said: “The creativity of the mathematician is a limited kind of phantasy, within his axioma’s. What I want to do is to present space by way of creating an illusion”. Points, lines, squares, cubes are essential forms she uses to build images. Concerning their illusionary aspect: Dutch rigour is tickled, and Dutch strictness is contorted into movements that demand the impossible of matter and gravity. It’s only natural, that some of her sculptures, fabricated from long ribbons of steel, are named “Tangodancers”.
The scenario of this documentary film about the monumental commissions Marijke de Goey has realised the last 5 years is built on three main lines. In a narratively interesting way we use the visual contrast between small and large scale works; as a contrast with the impressive static and abstract shots that can be made from the large-scale works, we use the humourous and dynamic aspects of small works like the jewelry she designed and the so-called “Cartoons”; and, to give an impression of the size and scale of the big sculptures, we mix throughout the film shots showing the assembly and the installation of the sculptures with shots showing the resulting images for the onlookers that move in the space around them (along railways and highways and huge buildings for example). I trust in this way we are able to show the specific integrity of Marijke de Goey’s oeuvre, as well in small as in large objects. The narrative line of the scenario as a whole, is focused on calling up for the viewer of the film the ultimate impression that Marijke de Goey does use a minimal visual language while, time and again, the illusion she creates with it is one of meaningful space. Her objects are no ornaments for the landscapes they are standing in, but they determine the character of each place. Each one of them eventually turns into a dynamic, comprehensive sign for its surroundings.
written by Maartje Seyferth and Cees de Boer
directed by Maartje Seyferth and Victor E. Nieuwenhuijs
cinematography by Victor E. Nieuwenhuijs
lighting by Remco Bakker
edited by Robert Jan Westdijk
pianomusic performed by Kees Wieringa
produced by Victor E. Nieuwenhuijs / Moskito Film Ltd
- Website of Marijke de Goey: www.marijkedegoey.com