1997

Approach

8 March 1997–6 April 1997 / Casco HQ

Approach is an exhibition project with four artists who come as close as possible to their public through their work, sometimes to the point of intrusiveness. They therefore often chose a literal presence in their work. Approach presents four of these innovative performances. 

Jacqueline Donachie opens the project with Advice Bar. This is a variation of an earlier performance Let Me Be Your Bartender, in which the artist sits behind a bar in a cafe setting selling drinks and advice. “I’m open minded, personable and I mix a mean vodka Martini. I’ll only charge you a session, and I’ll throw in a free cocktail.” Advice Bar combines the mostly American habit of visiting an expensive therapist for everyday problems, with the straight-forward English approach where life issues are deposited at the bar of the local pub. 

Birthe Leemeijer has opened a website where she tells of her encounters with walkers like Wessel on park benches in and around Utrecht. Sitting on his favorite bench in front of Utrecht’s city hall, Wessel explained why he enjoys the view of a row of bicycles on the Oudegracht. Casco becomes Leijmeijer’s stop-off point where she collects the information and stories gathered on the benches for the visitors who in turn can get a map and visit the benches, and perhaps meet Leemeijer. 

Klaar van der Lippe will spend a week at Casco with the performance Keeping the Dream Alive, in her words, “to meet the public and move.” Energy is a keyword in the work of Van der Lippe. Her “experience concerts” are exciting, intense, idiosyncratic and unique events: if you’ve never witnessed one, you’ve really missed something. In these performances she got the public to speedily acquire energy by successively eating chocolate, drinking coffee and dancing to house music, after which they had to put their fingers in a mousetrap. In Keeping the Dream Alive Klaar van der Lippe will spend a marathon 7 days in Casco purely to be able to be woken, like Snow White, by the visitors. 

On 5 April 1997 at 6 pm, Heather Allen will read fragments from a number of newspapers and novels as darkness falls. These are fragments about intimacy, experienced by others at another time and place, which Allen transforms into a new situation. She will speak about the personal stories behind such major topics as violence, war and resistance. A central theme in her work is the impossibility of precisely communicating an experience in word or image. Words and images have never had singular meaning – a word like “cow,” which she once wrote on a piece of wood, might have been meant to name an animal or insult a person. 

See: 

Birthe Leemijer, A journey through my room. Casco Issues #4 

Klaar van der Lippe, Meeting Henry R. / De stijl van het feitelijke / Crash. Casco Issues #2

Colophon:

Translation: Annabel Howland

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