So Called Human
drawings, spatial work
13 October through 22 December 2019
The human figures in the work of Dirk Zoete (1969) often have a theatrical appearance, they wear masks or costumes and are usually on a stage-like space. He does not show man literally but rather an archetype or interpretation of the human form, that which we call a human being and recognize as such. In the spatial work they are composed of wood, plaster, metal, textile and wool, dead materials that bring a body to life. Their clothing consists of fabric, pvc tubes and iron stips, the mask-like faces of cast plaster from which woolen threads hang like hair, mustache and beard. They are distant cousins of the suprematistic figures of Kazimir Malevich or Oskar Schlemmer’s ballet dancers.
At the same time, Dirk Zoete connects with much older traditions of rituals, parades and the carnivalesque in which people adorn themselves with costumes and masks to defy reality.
In the exhibition the visitor has to pass through seven of these figures that hang from the ceiling in the front space of the gallery. In the back room on the central wall is a constellation of masks, images and drawings as you could find Dirk Zoete’s studio. On the other walls large and smaller drawings are shown in which human figures appear in one form or another. As stylized actors or dancers on stage, small pawns in a village or landscape or as decoration captured within the contours of a vase.