Year of Russia and the Netherlands to Culminate in Days of the Netherlands Festival© Сollage by RIA Novosti
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MOSCOW, July 23 (RIA Novosti) – The Days of the Netherlands festival, which will take place at venues around Moscow on September 12-15, will be the culmination of the Year of the Netherlands and Russia and will mark the start of a two-month program of Dutch culture in the Russian capital.
It is the first time such an extensive events program is being presented as an exchange project between the Netherlands and Russia. Moscow will provide a platform for works by prominent Dutch artists and designers, Dutch movies, plays and performing arts.
Heart of the Festival
Gorky Park will be one of the major venues and the heart of the Days of the Netherlands festival. Eminent Dutch artists Gijs Frieling and Job Wouters will create an enormous picture depicting a quote from writer Maxim Gorky written in Cyrillic. A large-scale format is nothing new to this designer duo. In February, Frieling and Wouters painted an entire street for the Couture Graphique fashion and graphic design festival in Breda, the Netherlands.
Throughout the festival, the Pioner cinema will be screening films by the Netherlands’ best known film director, Paul Verhoeven, who directed “Total Recall,” “RoboCop,” “Starship Troopers,” “Showgirls” and, of course, “Basic Instinct.” The Garazh Center for Contemporary Culture will show “The One Minutes,” a series of 24 one-minute videos filmed by Dutch and Russian artists.
Kyteman’s Hiphop Orchestra and the Don Cossack Choir will open the musical events program on September 13. Kyteman, the orchestra’s vocalist, started his musical training at a conservatory aged 12 but gave up training four years later to tour with various bands. At the age of only 16, Kyteman performed at some of the world’s largest festivals, including Sziget in Budapest and the Cape Town International Jazz Festival. In 2009, Kyteman started a hip-hop orchestra, which now consists of 18 musicians, opera singers and a choir. Oddly enough, the Don Cossack Choir also has close links with the Netherlands. Marcel Verhoeff, chief conductor of the choir, graduated from the Royal Conservatory of The Hague. A great fan of Russian music, Verhoeff visited the Soviet Union in 1987 as part of an exchange program between the Dutch and Russian governments. He had the honor of conducting the acclaimed Yurlov Choir. In 1993, Verhoeff was invited to Krasnodar to work with the Don Cossack Choir, which he still heads to this day.
“He is Dutch, but his heart beats to a Russian rhythm,” music critics say of Verhoeff.
On September 14, the musical baton will be passed over to unconventional Dutch bands, including SKIP&DIE, an exotic band that mixes genres; the anarcho-punk band The Ex; De Kift, a brass punk band; and RebelUp! Soundclash, which will perform its “Sounds from the World Underground” program.
Arts of the Past
Several other venues will also play host to the festival’s events. An exhibition by Piet Mondrian, the foremost Dutch painter of the 20th century and founder of De Stijl, or Neo-Plasticism, will be on display at the Tretyakov Gallery between September 13 and November 24.
The “Utopia and Reality” exhibition by El Lissitzky, Ilya Kabakov and Emilia Kabakova is moving from the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg to Moscow’s Multimedia Art Museum (September 16 – November 24). It is an exhibition of unique works from the collections of the Tretyakov Gallery, the Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Pompidou Centre in Paris and from private collections. Some of Kabakov’s previous installations have been recreated for the festival.
Another exhibition, “Golden Age: Dutch Group Portrait,” will move from St. Petersburg to Moscow. The collection from the Amsterdam Museum will be displayed at the Pushkin Museum between September 20 and January 13. Amsterdam became one of the most important ports for commerce and trade in the Golden Age. Group portraits were popular among members of various guilds, councils, charities and choristers. The genre is unique to Holland – such group portraits cannot be found anywhere outside the country. The exhibition provides a complete review of group portraits, starting from the second quarter of the 16th century to the second quarter of the 17th century. Most of the paintings have never been on display outside Amsterdam before.
A joint exhibition with Zuiderzeemuseum in Enkhuizen is already open at the State Historical Museum. “Russia and the Netherlands: Interaction Space” (June 18 – September 16) showcases the rich artistic heritage of Russian-Dutch cooperation in historical cartography, with a special focus on Dutch maps of Russia from the period 1550-1850. “Dutch Shakespeare Dreams,” an exhibition of miniature costumes from the time of Shakespeare by Rien Bekkers, one of the world’s leading costume designers, is being supported by the Dutch Institute of Drama. The costumes will be on display at the Bakhrushin Theater Museum between September 12 and November 24.
Experiments, Conflicts and the King of Lapland
The Dutch program at the Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Arts will open with the “Space of Exception” exhibition and a curator’s seminar at the Artplay design center (September 11-26). For this project, the participating artists will use their own metaphorical space to display unfair ethics and double standards and to show that the reality is much more complex than the images of reality we create. Many objects, including engravings, fresco paintings and installations will be created by Dutch artists on location.
The National Center for Contemporary Arts will unveil an exhibition titled “The Esthetics of Refusal” (September 13 – October 5) to present several recent video art pieces and installations from the collection of the Museum De Hallen of Modern Art in Haarlem. Each of the “Esthetics of Refusal” artists will exploit their own artistic space to test out opportunities for denial.
The Central House of Artists will hold a photography exhibition titled “Solitude. In the Footsteps of Willem Barentsz” (September 12-15) showcasing works by Dutch photographer Jeroen Toirkens and Dutch correspondent in Scandinavia Petra Sjouwerman, who in April set out on a journey to look for stories about the northern Arctic region of Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia (the Barents region), one of the last truly unspoiled places in Europe. They traveled 3,000 kilometers by car, ship and snowmobile from Bodø in Norway to Murmansk in Russia, following in the footsteps of the 16th-century Dutch explorer Willem Barentsz. Along the way, they met lonely old people in an abandoned Russian village, Finns dancing the tango and the "King of Lapland."
Several Dutch theater companies will perform at the Gavrosh international children’s festival at the Teatrium on Serpukhovka. In an unconventional interpretation for children, they will relate tales for adults, from Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” to Vincent van Gogh’s biography. Nine of the most extraordinary children’s plays from theaters in various Dutch cities will be brought to Russia. The festival program was specifically designed to showcase the most recognizable trends and most ambitious experiments in Dutch theater for families and children. Most importantly, the festival will offer workshops for professionals and children, creative labs and performances involving the participation of children undergoing major treatment in hospital who therefore do not have the opportunity to go to the theater.
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