Mondriaan Fonds – Mail aan Rob Scholte, 22 februari 2018 + Rob Scholte – Application Curator and Artist for Biennale of Venice

Mail aan Rob Scholte, 22 februari 2018

RE Application Curator and Artist for Biennale of Venice 2019
Date 22 February 2018, 13:25

Geachte heer Scholte,

In de bijlage een bericht van Birgit Donker namens de jury die zich gebogen heeft over alle ingediende voorstellen voor het Rietveldpaviljoen tijdens de Biënnale van Venetië in 2019.

Helaas behoort uw voorstel niet tot de selectie die de jury heeft gemaakt. In de brief leest u een korte algemene toelichting. Gezien het grote aantal aanmeldingen is het voor ons helaas niet mogelijk per voorstel specifieke feedback te geven.

We vertrouwen op uw begrip hiervoor en danken u voor uw deelname aan de open oproep.

Met vriendelijke groet,

Joost Vrieler
hoofd bureau/projectleider Biënnale van Venetië
T +31 (0)20 523 16 65 (direct)
aanwezig: ma/wo/do/vr

Mondriaan Fonds
Postbus 773
1000 AT Amsterdam
T +31 (0)20 523 15 23


Application Curator and Artist for Biennale of Venice

Van Rob Scholte []
Verzonden woensdag 31 januari 2018 13:03
Aan Biennale
Onderwerp Application Curator and Artist for Biennale of Venice 2019


Mondriaan Fonds
Postbus 773
1000 AT Amsterdam

To Whom it may Concern,

Rob Scholte, artist, founder and director of The Rob Scholte Museum in Den Helder hereby applies to be the curator for the Dutch representation at the 58th Biennial of Venice.
Proposal is to produce PERSONA GRATA, a one man show by the artist MARC BIJL, a presentation of his artistic developments, centering on his recent work, in the Rietveld pavilion.

Here after, included in this LETTER you will find the following texts

•  Introduction and motivation
•  Summary of the concept for the presentation as a whole
•  Curatorial statement
•  Motivation of the artist choice
•  Short description of approach and timing of the project

We hope, that our application will meet your serious attention and consideration.

Your Sincerely,

R + M

Rob Scholte & Marc Bijl

Rob Scholte
℅ Rob Scholte Museum
Middenweg 172 -174
1782 BL Den Helder
The Netherlands
31 / 6 – 30427250

Marc Bijl
Achtermanstrasse 8
13187 Berlin
Studio: Gewerbenhof



Here and after shortened to RS, born 1958 in Amsterdam, is a postmodern artist. Known for his outspoken artistic positions. He represented the Netherlands at the 18th Biennale of Sao Paulo in 1985, Chambers d’Amis in Gent 1986, documenta VII in Kassel 1987, the Aperto of the 43th Biennale of Venice in 1988 and at the 44th Biënnale of Venice 1990. In 1994 he lost both his legs in a much publicized car bomb attack. A year later RS completed his four year ‘Sixtine chapel’-like project in Huis Ten Bosch Nagasaki, Japan. 1991-1999 he is Professor Malerei at Gesamthochschule/Universität Kassel. His works are represented worldwide in private, corporate and museum collections. Documentaries about RS were made by BBC, ZDF, NPO and Asahi TV and many books published.
In the summer of 2019 a retrospective of his paintings will take place in Museum De Fundatie in Zwolle with a catalogue, published by Waanders.


Rob Scholte Museum (RSMuseum) is founded by RS 2013 in Den Helder. RSMuseum is unique in his kind. Completely privately financed and not receiving any state subsidies.
The collection and intention of the RSMuseum can be considered postmodern as it combines high and low art. The museum is located in a former postoffice in the centre of the Nato Marine town of Den Helder,
RSMuseum is positioning itself as an outlet for counterculture and philosophy.
RS gives the museum its name and his works are on display, but the collection has a much broader scope.
RSMuseum celebrates folk art, unsigned by unknown masters (manual works, Intarsia and Bamboo), Japanese woodblocks (Hokusai, Utamaro and Hiroshige), and highlights juxtapositions to well known dutch modern art history as shown in the official state financed museums. On show are much discussed early last century artists of the 20’s generation as Jan Sluijters, Anton Pieck, Han van Meegeren, Jan Toorop and Erich Wichmann. These artists are often partly or completely rejected by the subsidized art world as politically incorrect. They are shown in combination with 60’s artists like Woody van Amen, Jan Cremer, Joseph Beuys and Andy Warhol, plus artists of RS’s 80’s generation: Peter Klashorst, Maarten Ploeg, René Daniëls, Jan Fabre, George Dokoupil and Jeff Koons.
The rebellious spirit of the art RSMuseum represents is reflected in the many court battles the museum fights for its existence with the present city government. We are happy to communicate, that the museum has won them all so far.

The choice for RS as curator for the next Biennale will give a historic connotation to the presentation, under-scribe the authenticity of the choice for the artist Marc Bijl and furthermore enforce his unique qualities.
Both see a historic line between the 1990 RS presentation and the PERSONA GRATA show of Marc Bijl to take place almost 30 years later.
RS wants to emphasize the importance of timing of this presentation of Marc Bijl (hereafter MB), whose broad international recognition deserves state support at this important and decisive moment in his career.
MB and RS know each other since 1998, when RS bought one of MB’s early pieces, that is still part of the RSMuseums permanent collection and on display.
They kept in contact ever since, have been together only once in a group show and corresponded over the years.
In 2017 RS interviewed MB for Café Weltschmerz.
The field experience of RS internationally and in specific as connoisseur of the Venice circumstances wil benefit MB’s PERSONA GRATA presentation.



RS seeks to present fresh und unique position of MB in the contemporary dutch and international art scene.

The selected artist MB, chosen to represent the Netherlands on this 58th Biennale of Venice, is commonly known for his strong, independent and outspoken works, ideas and actions.
According to RS MB debates the natural artificial position of artwork and artist in the present day postmodern reality.
MB represents answers to fundamental questions, that need to be asked concerning the present relation between art and world affairs:
– permanent vacation
– the economy of resources
– the rules
– the universal specialities
– the magnifying quantities of the media
– private versus public
– recycling and sustainability
– from source to use
– abundance and scarcity
– patron or who determines paid
– from sense to tool
– original, copy and repro
– copyright and injustice
– the application, development and effects of the World Wide Web (WWW), either global = local and vice versa More Most Master (MMM)



As opposite to:
Persona non grata

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For the 2003 documentary film, see Persona Non Grata (2003 film). For the 2015 historical drama film, see Persona Non Grata (2015 film).
In diplomacy, a persona non grata (Latin: “person not appreciated”, plural: personae non gratae) is a foreign person whose entering or remaining in a particular country is prohibited by that country’s government. Being so named is the most serious form of censure which a country can apply to foreign diplomats, who are otherwise protected by diplomatic immunity from arrest and other normal kinds of prosecution..


MB, born 1970 in Leerdam, bases his work on social issues, their symbols and use. He rebels and tends to illegality. Text and texture dominate his endavours in the realm of art and history.
MB began his career over 20 years ago. In the many stages of his career, his works formally and contextually contradict each other.
Yet, presented together as in PERSONA GRATA, they seem to accentuate one another perfectly.

While his early art works were aimed at confronting and rebelling against the past, the more current works show a somewhat profounder examination. This contextual reorientation becomes evident in the formal decay of structures and materials. Several layers of powder are applied to aluminum sheets, the industrial process of powder coating burning the lacquer into the material. Contrary to the graphic and bold aesthetic of his previous works with their strict grids and clean edges, these newer pieces are made up of color fields with smooth transitions. Soft and restrained colors blend into bright hues, referred to by MB as ”blurry conflicts.’

“I focus on the blending fact of over-saturation and different power structures of (dis)information. In other words: there is an overload of information, visuals and they have lost their meaning. My work today is aiming to see it as one big blur of misintrepetations and big data; which in itself is a powertool for future governments and rules of regulation.”

“In Venice I like to make an installation, that at first sight is an optimistic colorful and cheerful invitation.. Later the visitors realize it was like Willy Wonka`s Chocolate Factory, a bit too much of dysfunctional ‘smoke and mirrors’ And seemingly not always positive when you look at the meaning of the works.”

“Partly I want to work on location, creating a typical Venetian theatre, people are set up for a sort of walk through the backstage and props. I will use prepared works and materials to be shipped in advance. The show will NOT be a circus, I concentrate and my pictures and sculpture. The idea is to give you a notion of thoughts where my inspiration and interest are at that specific moment in time. The last generation of pre internet humans will be the first to recognize the ‘retro fear’ for the big unknown. The Big Data conquest however is very real and for the now and future generation. My art installation will be ‘smoke and mirrors.”

From Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia
Smoke and mirrors is an idiom for a deceptive, fraudulent or insubstantial explanation or description. The source of the name is based on magicians’ illusions, where magicians make objects appear or disappear by extending or retracting mirrors amid a distracting burst of smoke. Another source is based on the Aztec god of the night sky, a trickster also in charge of temptation, illusion and magic, named Tezcatlipoca (lit: Smoking Mirror). The expression may have a connotation of virtuosity or cleverness in carrying out such a deception.
In mathematics, ‘Name is Smoke and Mirrors’ (‘Name ist Schall und Rauch’, literally: ‘name is sound and smoke’ in German) from Goethe’s tragic play Faust was Henri Poincare’s response to Felix Klein’s vexation of Poincare’s creation of the term ’the Kleinian function for all other cases of S’.
In the field of computer programming, it is used to describe a program or functionality that does not yet exist, but appears as though it does. This is often done to demonstrate what a resulting project will function/look like after the code is complete—at a trade show, for example.


Since 2016 Guest lecturer at Frank Mohr Institute, Groningen

One man shows

Zeitgeist, Upstream Gallery Amsterdam

Marc Bijl – Zeitgeist

Group shows

Bye Bye De Stijl, Centraal Museum, Utrecht

Idiopolis, State of Concept, Athene



An artist proposes an artist.
Art can be seen as an estafette of ideas.
MB is the right person on the right place and on the right time.
The ideas represented will continue in future generations, long after MB and RS are gone.
MB is THE present day dutch artist.
His work represents the best of the actual cultural discussion in the Netherlands.
Not showing MB now, our country will regret later.


MB will spice the debate.
MB guarantees the best chance for the Netherlands to win a Golden Lion.


May 2018
If chosen to be on the short list, MB and RS will present a more detailed presentation of their project in public.

From June 2018 to June 2019
Chosen to represent the Netherlands MB and RS will test and organize their budget and possibilities.
Jointly both will visit Venice in the summer of 2018 to inspect the pavilion and the circumstances on the ground.
Discussing and planning the choice for loans, organization of materials, equipment and assistance.
Transport and insurance.
Preparing shelter and supply.
Constant presence on social media.
Working period for MB in Venice pavilion to take place in the spring of 2019.
Preparing invitations, flyer or catalogue.
Decision on final presentation.
Final installation.
Preparing and to carry out opening, press conference and party in Venice.
Organization of the presentation setup and support during opening hours of the Biennale up till its closing.
Back transport, evaluation and final report to Mondriaan Stichting and public.

Meer informatie