Nadia Sels – Rob Scholte

Achter de wolken schijnt de zon (The sun is shining above the clouds)

Rob Scholte (b. Amsterdam, 1958) is an excellent example of a postmodern artist. Quotes and clichés are his favorite instruments. Rather than creating images, he reinvents them: a descendant of Warhol, he analyses and uses the stream of visual information that inundates us every day, extracts elements from it and gives them a new meaning and a new value by changing their context.
In the courtyard of the Troubleyn/Laboratorium, Scholte has attached a panel elegantly inscribed with the words ‘achter wolken schijnt de zon’ high up on an outer wall. The gold finish reminds us of nostalgic tin boxes, and the optimistic message of the ‘Association Without a Name’. We might at first sight think that Scholte was rather noncommittally mocking the naiveté of pieces of wisdom as this. However, even though there is an unmistakable gentle irony here, the work goes deeper than this. Anyone who knows that Scholte lost both his legs in an attack in 1994 and went through a very dark period which he survived both as a person and an artist, will not interpret this motto lightly. In Scholte’s hands these words, which have become so worn with use, regain their full, meaningful value. Scholte squeezes water out of a stone in that he manages to distill sincerity and authenticity from the biggest cliché imaginable. The poster is therefore not only monumental in its size, but is a magnificent expression of an indestructible life force.

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