The human condition is the guiding principle in the work of Christiaan Bastiaans (Amsterdam, 1951). He raises current social issues – war, displacement, upheaval, exclusion – in his complex installations.
Bastiaans comes from a Dutch, French, Armenian and Indonesian background. His sense of being “different” leads him to look for sources not so much in the Netherlands as elsewhere. He travels to places where people have to get by with the most basic survival strategies and seeks out situations that revolve around life and death, beauty and terror.
Since in his installations he works with everything that comes to hand, he is free to work anywhere in the world. Sculptures, drawings, existing texts and images, photographs, videos, pieces of rope, iron wire, tree bark and performances: anything can be part of the work. He documents his photographs and images in his many Notebooks, which are the starting point for his installations, films and texts.
In Club Solo, Christiaan Bastiaans shows new work in addition to work from the past fifteen years.
During the opening of the exhibition, Hélène Vrijdag will give a performance that will also introduce Bastiaans’ new project Laboratories of Empire.
The artist was awarded the Jeanne Oosting Prize in 2022 for his incisive and gripping watercolours. In 2023 he was selected to be Amsterdam City Draftsman.
The performance is sponsored by the Amsterdam Art Fund.
14 May – 25 June 2023
wed to sun 11.00 – 17.00 hrs
opening 14 May 15.00 hrs
On the second floor of Club Solo, the special premiere of Valuable Cargo can be seen continuously.
The film Valuable Cargo deals with the deportation and internment of Japanese lepers on the island of Ōshima. They were treated inhumanely for decades. Central to the film is the encounter between actress Liv Ullmann, who co-founded the Women’s Refugee Commission (NY), and the island’s residents, the former lepers.
The film consists of a fictional part and a documentary part, filmed on the island of Ōshima. The stories told by Liv Ullmann are based on conversations with the residents. But in between the reality of the documentary, strange, unworldly characters who seem to be commenting on what is happening or living certain scenes in another reality also keep coming into view. Like the Navigator, played by the Butoh dancer Yoshito Ohno. He is almost a ghost, an old man cloaked in white gauze, whose silent presence attests that atrocities committed will not be forgotten.