curated by Maarten Spruyt
and Rieke Vos


Het HEM, Zaandam

Jan 23 – May 3, 2020 

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Press Release

“What is important now is to recover our senses”
From Against Interpretation by Susan Sontag.

A work of art generates its own form of understanding. Regardless of the subject, the value of a work of art lies primarily in the untranslatable, sensual directness with which it communicates. Inspired by Susan Sontag’s influential article Against Interpretation (1964), Chapter 3HREE evades the haze of analytic interpretation by specifically appealing to the human capacity to create inner worlds without outside influence. “What is important now”, says Sontag, “is to recover our senses. We have to learn to see more, hear more, feel more.”

The group exhibition shows the work of 27 artists and takes the impressive architecture of Het HEM as a starting point. A large part of the experience-focused presentation takes place in the underground shooting ranges of the former bullet factory where visitors enter the space one by one. In the basement, the literal lack of view provides a unique context for a layered world of experience at a radically sensitive level.

Maarten Spruyt: “We live in a changing time in which we have to reposition ourselves in relation to each other, to nature, politics and art. The beauty of the tunnel is that there are few directions. You have to go through it. We need it to leave our comfort zone, that’s what this time demands.”

A centuries-old artistic theme shines through in the works of art themselves: the human desire to come closer to nature, by curbing it or even destroying it. Now that the separation between culture and nature that Western thought has produced seems to be slowly but surely becoming diluted, we are looking for new ways to grasp our relationship to the world.

The artworks in the exhibition have been compiled by Het HEM curator Rieke Vos and guest curator Maarten Spruyt. As an art director, master collector and maximalist, Spruyt has a highly developed sensitivity for images, colours and materials that are gripping. With Chapter 3HREE he takes us into his intuitive world of experience and offers the necessary tools to appeal to one’s own subconscious.

Anotherview, Ivana Bašić, Bianca Bondi, Tessel Braam, Sander Breure and Witte van Hulzen, David Claerbout, Elspeth Diederix, Desiree Dolron, Bram Ellens, Cyprien Gaillard, John Gerrard, Noa Giniger, Christie van der Haak, Tamar Harpaz, Anthony Hernandez, Maartje Korstanje, Juul Kraijer, Jung Lee, Tony Matelli, Geert Mul, Daniel Mullen, Ossip, Carla van Riet, Maria Roosen, Maaike Schoorel, Tanja Smeets and John Smith.

Sander Breureen and Wittevan Hulzen 
Carla van Riet 
Noa Giniger 
John Smith 
Cyprien Gaillard  

Photos by Eeftinck Schattenkerk

Featured Image
Ivana Bašić

LAYR, Vienna
High Art, Paris
Sørlandets Kunstmuseum, Kristiansand
Der Tank of the Art Institute, Basel
Lafayette Anticipations, Paris
Kunsthalle Lissabon, Lisbon
JTT, New York
Édouard Montassut, Paris