Christie van der Haak

installation, video

14 february – 8 March 2009

Since a few years Christie van der Haak (1950) has occupied herself with the design of materials which are woven in computer driven Jacquard technique. The patterns are not static but change in form and colour: Van der Haak paints, as it were, at the weaving machine. The resulting fabrics can be presented autonomously (stretched like canvases), but may also be used as upholstery for chairs, couches etc. (paintings with complex frames, on which you may, for instance, also sit down); the difference between autonomous and applied work has disappeared.

The installation consists of three parts: two compound three-dimensional objects and a video. The objects have been realized in collaboration with Asmir Ademagic and Jan Hoogervorst and furniture upholstery Chairs.
In the front part of the gallery there is a composition of black wooden objects of various lengths and heights with a tower in the middle; all the elements are crowned with black-on-black woven fabrics. Thus an obscure monumental entity is created, reminiscent of a memorial, a charred city, mourning over what once existed. At the same time the work is explicitly close to the visitor, within his own space: you can and may also sit on it.

The second part of the installation consists of a number of cubic elements made of MDF, set in a metal frame and covered on all sides with different, very colourful fabrics; together the cubes form a pyramid. If the first object suggests mourning, here something is celebrated: a resurrection, a new beginning? At any rate the objects, both with unmistakably architectonic associations, are in an antithetic relationship.
A video projected on the wall shows five women dressed in black, who are unrolling long colourful strips of fabric and rolling them up again, in a constantly repeated ritual, in a large empty room. In the design of this ritual elements of both objects return: the black clothes of the women, the colourfulness of the materials.

In Dutch, the title of the installation, STOF (fabric), refers to the content and meaning of the installation in various associations; the work is largely made of materials, it provides food (stof) for thought, it may kick up a dust (stof) and it also has a sacral connotation: ‘dust (stof) thou art and unto dust shalt thou return’.

The installation FABRIC, was realized in part thanks to a Subsidy of the Netherlands Foundation for Visual Arts, Design and Architecture (BKVB),