Have Mercy

A walking exhibition with music

open ateliers

17 - 31 october 2008

During the week leading up to ‘museumnacht’ the works that will star in the show are completed in W139. Other works will be made entirely in the exhibition space. From the onset of October every wednesday afternoon a Mondrian-banner is being embroidered, carrying the slogan: "It is all a grand unity, Bert" (a quote from a Mondrian letter to his friend and collector Albert van den Briel). Elena Beelaerts, Maartje Folkeringa and Sachi Miyachi will make their work in public as well. In the middle of the room in an open space between trees the artists meet.

the parade: high art takes to the streets

1 november 2008

Where: Between the Rijksmuseum and W139,
from Spiegelstraat to Warmoesstraat, Amsterdam.
[ route ]

When: Museum Night, 1 November 2008
From 19.00 to 22.00.

What: A cow with a silver ornamental saddle by Linda Nieuwstad, a burning canopy by Elena Beelaerts, an 8-metre-long mop to clean the streets by Sachi Miyachi, two larger than life-size statues by Maartje Folkeringa, a mobile video projection by Martha Colburn, fanfare music by Theo Loevendie and Ernst Glerum, rap by Typhoon to live beats by Kim Weemhoff, majorettes, jazz, poetry, a chamber choir and photography.

Visual Artists

  • Sachi Miyachi will prepare the route at the start of the procession with salt and pepper; at the end, she will wash the street clean with an 8-metre-long mop that is rinsed out in the canal.
  • Elena Beelaerts makes a satirical canopy on birth and death, carried by majorettes; halfway the image catches fire.
  • Guido Geelen’s sculpture of a body from which flowers grow, will also be part of the procession. The carrying caskets were made by Piet Hein Eek.
  • Maartje Folkeringa created a standing and sitting figure from polystyrene which will travel with the procession under a portable awning.
  • For “Have Mercy” Linda Nieuwstad fashioned an ornamental silverware saddle. It will be worn during the procession by a cow.
  • Yasser Ballemans recreates 3D versions of doodles of American presidents. Doodles of McCain and Obama will be on display during Museumnight.
  • Amitai Ben David returns a shopsign of a Jewish butcher to a city that has barely any Jewish shops left.
  • Gijs Frieling has made a cardboard replica of a Donald Judd sculpture and a banner with embroidered Mondrians.
  • Hieke Pars did a photo shoot with the Augustinian Sisters (who oppose processions) and will present the photos during the procession.
  • Mischa van Teeffelen has designed the clothing of all members of the procession.
  • Mathilde de Vriese invites people to imagine their greatest fear, and pull a face. Prints of these mocking faces will join the procession.
  • An animation film by Martha Colburn will be shown in a transportable projection box.

Performers during the parade

  • Rapper Typhoon raps to live beats by Kim Weemhoff.
  • Kees Taal sings a torch song.
  • Writer Tommy Wieringa reads a poem by poet-writer Adriaan Jaeggi who died this year.
  • De Amsterdamse Cantorij sings the second movement of a Bach motet ("Singet den Herrn ein neues Lied" BWV225).
  • Ezequiel Benitez sings a saeta.
  • Clarinettist Michael Moore lures the parade into W139.
  • During the procession, Fanfare van de Eerste Liefdesnacht and a specially handpicked fanfare will play music by Bernard van Beurden, Janfie van Strien, Theo Loevendie, Friso van Wijck, Joost Buis, Oscar Jan Hoogland, Floris Tilanus (arr. Martin Fondse), Florian de Backere and Ernst Glerum.


(2 - 30 november 2008)

"Have mercy" also addresses the ritual passage from studio to public existence.
When the processiion arrives in W139, the art works are installed at a specially prepared spot.
After November 1st video sequences of the parade will be on show. In the seclusion of W139’s exhibition space all images can speak for themselves.

"Art is to conquer fear"- Philip Guston

Museum Night opens with a private viewing of the diamond-encrusted skull. It is an occult work with magical effect: the triumph of death proposed as an ideal. The restless identification of prosperous man with his mortal flesh and the abiding fear that this induces, is the predominant vision inspired by this sculpture. After this séance a walking exhibition with portable art and music leaves from the Spiegelgracht for W139.

When Elena Beelaerts suggested an art procession in October 2007 we greeted her idea with enthusiasm. We agreed to do it at the end of October 2008. So you can imagine our consternation when, in March this year, Anna Tilroe announced that Sonsbeek would open in July with a procession of artworks. We thought: Should we cancel? Bring the dates forward? But we finally decided to bite the bullet and go ahead, convinced that, in art, it’s not about new ideas but about how you carry them out – and that you carry them out.

Art is a public secret. There’s something to see and something to be seen in it. Some artists say that only the visible is relevant: that nothing exists but material, form and colour. Others claim that it’s about ideas and that execution, the visible material part, isn’t relevant. But, in the end, there’s always something you can or cannot see in it. Or, more precisely, something seen by some and not by others. This is why the art world is sometimes – justifiably – seen as a conspiracy, a society that holds the key to secrets. Various people (including Rudi Fuchs and Gerhard Richter) have demonstrated that Art has come to take the place of Religion. In this sense art is dualistic in nature: that which is made visible, and that which remains concealed.

A procession is a ritual pageant in which the participants carry symbolic objects. These normally have a designated place in a temple or church and in a liturgy. During a procession, the objects temporarily leave their place. Most people have experienced the following: now and then someone (a loved one, a future employer during a job interview) insists that you tell them your innermost thoughts – your convictions, your motivations. In such a situation, you may realise how some key thoughts have an unassailable place in your makeup, and that they must be dusted before they can be publicly disclosed. You try to express them clearly, after which they are allowed back inside. Hopefully, these ideals will have remained steadfast and become even stronger. You also hope that something of these ideals will be picked up by the person you shared them with. This is the principle of the procession, on a micro level. Courage and intimacy are essential.

‘Have Mercy’ is the first part of a ‘Requiem in Advance’, an idea conceived by Elena Beelaerts. ‘Have Mercy’ is carried out by a growing group of people. ‘Have Mercy’, or ‘Eleison’, to use the original term from the Requiem, is a plea, an urgent prayer that you will not need to bear something – a loss, knowledge, something that weighs upon you – alone.

Gijs Frieling, director W139

Thanks to:
all volunteers, Martha Colburn, David Elders, Titia Frieling, Marjolijn Heijnen, Emilie Hudig, Guido Geelen, Ernst Glerum, Claartje Kreykamp, Theo Loevendie, Juliënne Straatman, Lucas Vis, Jacqueline van Vugt.

This project is supported by the Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst, the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds and the Nederlands Fonds voor de Podiumkunsten.
W139 is supported by the city of Amsterdam, the VSB Fonds and the Ministerie van OCW.

Onze dragers

  • Hanaa Borham
  • Saemundur por Helgason
  • Pieke Werner
  • Funda Jelsma
  • Sergei Teresuk
  • Masja van Gestel
  • Brittany O'neal
  • Silvana Brugman
  • Liua Popova
  • Francien Degewij
  • Marije Stegeman
  • Tekla
  • Filipa
  • André
  • Julie
  • Lotte Boon
  • Claartje Tettelaar
  • Cindy Wouters
  • Stephanie Bakker
  • Anne Frijstein
  • Boj van den Berg
  • Floris van Slijpe
  • Dario Boon
  • Stephanie Velkers
  • Iona Hoogenberk
  • Micha Ghorghy
  • Niels Hartman
  • Maaike Soetermans
  • Femke Papma
  • Lotte Rijkes
  • Hanno de Groot
  • Marieke de Wolf
  • Cindy Kriegenberg
  • Michella Jansen
  • Lucia Vilarino
  • Jacquine van Elsberg + Boy
  • Joyce Ris
  • Ceciel
  • Olga Oostermeijer
  • Marjolijn Boterenbrood
  • Christine Henfing
  • Barbara Jonckheer
  • Elshaday Berhane
  • Matthew Miziolek
  • Saskia Vermin
  • Paul Elshof
  • Kasper Jacobs
  • Charlotte Hoffmann
  • Catharina Koerts
  • Oscar Peters
  • Pamela van Reesema
  • Carmen Ortega Diaz
  • Rosalie Peeperkorn
  • Jeroen van Spanje
  • Dorine de Gruyter
  • Heleen van Harten
  • Lukas Zandvliet
  • Marlies van Duijn
  • Bernard Kors
  • Job Rietbergen
  • Solenne de Jonge van Ellemeet
  • Annelies Verbecke
  • Sanneke van Daalen
  • Anne
  • Annemarie
  • Jasmine
  • Lia Gorter
  • Thomas Kerkmeer
  • Jolanda Herngreen
  • Liesbeth Ruys
  • Rob Goehart
  • Anne Marie Balje
  • Frans Ernest Toet
  • Suzanne Bodde
  • Vibeke Mascini
  • Marina Frankel
  • Anne Marie Wilmink
  • Rob Noij
  • Pauline Scheurs
  • Anne Baan Hofman
  • Lotte van Geijn
  • Jaap van der Pol
  • Lucille Brakefield
  • Liselotte de Witte
  • Tamara Hommel
  • Madelon van Schie
  • Mvr. H Wardenaar
  • Florian Borstlap
  • Paul van Twisk
  • Emma Mulder
  • Carolien Plasschaert
  • C.L. Navarro Rodriquez
  • Emmy van den Heuve
  • Annelies Meuleman +1

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