History of Art


Nicoline van Harskamp

Nicoline van Harskamp, image 1

Artist Nicoline van Harskamp (the Netherlands, 1975)  will introduce a number of recent works and a work in progress, that all address, through performance and film, the power of the spoken word and its ability to shape thought and (social) experience, both of which are instrumental to politics. Especially relevant is the work Yours in Solidarity, that considers the history and future of anarchism through the letter archive of the late Dutch anarchist Karl Max Kreuger, who, between 1988 and 1999, maintained extensive correspondence with around 400 fellow anarchists world wide. Through the study of the letters of 60 of these - an investigation of their respective political observations and handwriting analyses - and with the help of actors of the relevant age and nationality, van Harskamp constructed their possible life stories since the last date of writing. In a fully staged meeting of correspondents, she suggested what would happen if they were to meet today. The resulting work brings together van Harskamp's notes and quotations of over 1000 letters; video documentation of individual working sessions with actors; and a film of the meeting.

In New Latin, a work in progress, van Harskamp expands on an important feature of all her previous works: the variations of the English language spoken by people who have a different 'mother tongue'. She will explore the aesthetics of these 'Englishes' and their potential for creative writing and film making.

Nicoline van Harskamp, image 2