A new exhibition featuring a politically-charged photographic work in an installation that explores themes of individuality, protest and representation.
The work of Dutch artist Willem de Rooij is multifaceted and incorporates film, sculpture, and installation. In many instances, his installations include the work of other artists and artefacts from historical or anthropological collections that relate to his own works, forming temporary groupings which create new layers of meaning. This contextual gesture or act of framing draws attention to the relationship between cultural identity and memory, collecting and display. In his installations, meaning is not produced by an object alone, but in the relationship between the things we see, their context and our own act of reading.
Many of de Rooij’s recent works are reduced, almost abstract, and seemingly devoid of any explicit meaning or reference. In these works, which include fine weavings with delicate colour gradients, you are invited to experience immediate pleasure or fascination. In a much subtler way, his work can be interpreted as questioning, for example, the way in which colours relate to systems of meaning such as skin colour or political bodies. For his exhibition at Arnolfini, de Rooij further investigates the relationship between images and meaning through an installation that consists of two different works that explore the mechanics of representation.