TV-talkshow Story of the Netherlands in Gallery Witzenhausen, New York.
On 7th of October 2010, four Dutch professionals, living in New York, talked with writer Arnon Grunberg about their life abroad and their experience with identity and nationality. Invited talk show guests were designer Pascale Gatzen, banker Boris Kwantes, economist Heleen Mees and journalist Michiel Vos.
The event was organised in a gallery in New York and is a reaction to the NY400 celebrations in New York in 2009 and the recent political developments in the Netherlands. It supports the idea that identity and tradition are not limited to physical borders and that in these days we have to search for positive thoughts with collective power. Considering this representation of the Netherlands in New York and looking at the current situation in the Netherlands, with its increase of nationalistic and populist thoughts, we have to ask ourselves: What are the topics and images that we identify with and we are longing for?
This project was a collaboration between Claudia Doms and Eva Pel
The edited talkshow and project website can be visited: http://www.storyofthenetherlands.com
‘1991’, (2018), 42 x 53 cm, poster series.
An office district from the early nineties is at the trashhold of being transformed. Gentrification methods in anti-squat situations attract new audiences. Cultural events contribute to a new image to an out-dated office building district.
Part of the group show ‘The Ballroom live love work’.
3 poster works in situ in the parking garage of the former office building Dolomieten, at Karspeldreef, district Amsterdam Zuidoost. The posters were all part of images of 1991 car magazine’s and the year magazine of 1991. This entire office building area around the Karspeldreef in Amsterdam Zuidoost will be demolished, 30 years after it’s construction.
– Installation view parkinglot Karspeldreef (2018)
Pel explores the boundaries where an object transforms from a hostile obstacle into a ‘perfumed’ and almost unrecognizable obstacle in urban space.
Artworks that serve as roundabout decorations. Steel plates to influence people’s walkways. Concrete blocks to seal off roads. All obstacles function as signifiers of public space.
Decorated concrete boxes to disguise the inaccessibility of space. Flower boxes to create and secure spaces. All obstacles function as signifiers of public space.
Sous les pavés, la plage
HD video, single channel, stereo
9min. 57 sec
The city of Amsterdam has a rich history of openness and tolerance. However, the last 20 years the character of the public realm has slightly altered in different ways. This non-narrative film explores five different public areas in Amsterdam and their relationship practice. Although non-narrative, there is a protagonist, we follow a young adult who above all prefers being in the “in-between” space when travelling from A to B. This short film Sous les pavès la plage (2019), was a commission from the Chief Government Architect Floris Alkemade (Rijksbouwmeester).
Wonders of Nature
Book, 34 × 65 × 5 cm, 264 pages
Collaboration with Claudia Doms.
A remake of the onknown artifact full of drawings and some goaches ‘Miracles of Nature’ by Jan Velten (ca. 1700) kept at the Artis special collections library of the University of Amsterdam. The amateur artist Velten lived at the end of the Golden Age, but almost nothing is known about him. The book ‘Wonders of Nature’ represents this document by means of a self made narrative, which is written by hand on the digitised drawings. The book is bound in a way that was used in the 17th century. The leather cover of the book can be folded open in such a way that the book can become its own standard.
—Installation view of the exhibition ‘exclude/include. Alternate Histories’, Castrum Peregrini, Amsterdam (curator Vincent van Velsen)
Portrait of an Office/Portrait of an Office
video single channel HD, stereo 13 min. 32 sec.
The CBS headquarters in Voorburg was built in 1973 in the brutalistic architectural style. Tens of thousands of statisticians worked here until 1997 the government decided to demolish the building. In 2018 the building was demolished.
For a long time I wanted to film this National office for Statistics (CBS) building. I passed it weekly by train during my commuting to The Hague. I received the final permission to shoot a film a month before the demolition started.
The scenario is partly fiction but also based on interviews with retired employees of the CBS. Voice of the statistician by actor Hans Dagelet. Music composed by Sjoerd Leijten.
– Video fragment ‘Portrait of an office’ (2018)
Public debate, installation, publication and guided tours
Artistic research, exhibition, a publication, guided tours and a debate, about the economic and social changes in local shopping street Kinkerstraat in Amsterdam. A collaboration with urban geographer Marieke Geljon.
A photo of an empty Kinkerstaat shop full of grafitti 1:1 copied in the Hallen in Amsterdam West. The installation also featured photos of images of shops in Kinkerstraat on a display of recycled carpet tiles from an old ING bank building. We also organised performative guided tours through the Kinkerstraat. There was a Kinkerboulevard debate named “Van Belwinkel tot Rolkoffer in the Kinkerstraat” (“from calling house towards trolley suitcases in the Kinkerstraat”), led by Tracy Metz, with guests including researcher Karin Cristof and gentrification researcher dr. Cody Hochstenbach.
—Installation views, Library de Hallen, Amsterdam 2017. Photos by Gert Jan van Rooij.
For ‘RURBAN landscapes on the move’ at the Jan van Eyck Academy
What is the impact of e-commerce on the local community around an expanding airport in the Euregio? Liege is growing mostly in Cargo volumes, and as such many overnight flights are affecting the local communities: amongst others people and their homes are displaced and many locals work for low income jobs at TNT grows. My investigations at Liège airport and the surrounding area concluded in a series of photographic works and objects.
– Installation view Van Eyck academy, Maastricht (photo’s: Romy Finke)
Collaboration with Claudia Doms.
‘New Nature’ is the sequel to ‘Wonders of Nature’ from 2015. The emphasis lies once again on researching and interpreting unknown documents from special collections libraries. Working with 3D printers, CNC machines, laser printers and traditional printing technique, we brought unknown objects, furniture and other recordings from the drawings of amateur artist Jan Velten to life.
As part of the project was created a website with downloadable open source files of the objects created during our residency: www.janvelten.blogspot.nl
The project was executed during a residency at AGAlab and the Waag Society, supported by the Mondrian Fund.
—Installation image, aula Lely, Amsterdam (2017)
Art For Data Center Workers
video single channel HD, stereo, 10 min 12 sec.
Filmed in the data center facility AMS-X located in Amsterdam Sciencepark, an crucial internet hub in Europe. The film is one of the works from my artistic research of data centres. In the film inside AMS-X I organised an exhibition curated with work by artists including Stefan Gross, Semâ Bekirovic, Lucas Hoeben, Katharina Galland and Red Book/Wjm Kok. Because it is high security facility the exhibition could only be seen by the few employees that AMS-X has. The title also refers to this fact. Composer Sjoerd Leijten was responsible for the sound design.
– Video fragment ‘Art for data center workers’ (2016)
A Single Point of Failure
Data center industrial floor tiles and construction, electric industrial fans, photography, speakers.
This installation was the result of my artistic research into the world of data centres.Facilities that society cannot do without but few people actually know about. In the spatial installation of Single Point of Failure, 3 speakers were divided among the platforms in the space, each with its own sound work, consisting of a recorded text and ‘musak’ from promotional films by computer/Internet companies such as Google, Appleand Microsoft. The platforms are made of data centre floor tiles from the old server room of the national tax office.The installation at 37PK contained also a large wall filling print of wasteland for a future data center to be built on.
—Installation image 37PK, Haarlem
In 2013 I was asked to create a work for the exhibition in public space Lijdensweg West in the district of the Baarjes, Amsterdam.
Lijdensweg West (MartyrdomWest) in Amsterdam slightly referencing to the Christian Martyrdom. For this project I worked 3 months as a distribution volunteer for the food bank in Amsterdam. The video has a voice over where we can learn about food distribution, food poverty and eating habits in the Middle Ages.
In her photography, barricade objects are documented in a basic fashion without an aesthetic bias.
Eva Pel is an artist living and working in Amsterdam. With a background in artistic research and human geography with studies in Amsterdam, Los Angeles and The Hague her work shifts between political engagement and subtle mediation. She employs her interest in how social behaviour is affected and changed in our everyday life, a life that is influenced by our shared space, digital and physical. Her work manifests itself in a range of media, such as video, photography, objects and publications.
“With her background in social geography, as well as art, Pel possesses a rather unique set of skills, and she brings together a dedication to artistic research with a very natural feel for sculpture. This has led to the creation of such intriguing installations as New Nature (2017) at Gebouw Lely, which is a good showcase of her multifaceted practice, and Mirador del Silica #2 which again manifests her feeling for combining materiality and image.
Unusual among contemporary artists in the Netherlands is Pel’s sustained commitment to place. This manifests itself directly in her ambitious project Kinkerbouvelvard (2017), which is a sensitive and provocative engagement with the gentrification of the Kinkerstraat area, featuring an exhibition with street performances and a publication. She is also adept at seeking out neglected and overlooked sites for making and presenting art, evident in her Art for Data Center Workers (2016) project; a work which is playfully humorous but also a serious reflection on an alienating work environment. Pel is highly consistent in her engagement with social and urban questions, while also raising more specific questions about the relationship between art and knowledge production, historically and in the present”
Lucy Cotter, PhD
Independent curator and writer
Obstacle quotes by Rob Johannesma
Eva Pel haar werk houdt het midden tussen politiek engagement en subtiele ingrepen in (semi-) publieke ruimtes of domeinen met een collectieve functie. Haar artistieke praktijk bespeelt een groot spectrum aan mogelijke vormen van expressie – van sociaal- geografisch onderzoek tot fotografie, film, mixed media-installaties en publicaties –, maar valt tegelijk te herleiden tot enkele kernthema’s die belangrijk zijn voor haar werk. De keuze voor een specifiek medium – of een combinatie van media – wordt hierbij bepaald door de vorm en inhoud van hetgeen zij tegenkom in haar artistieke onderzoeksproces.
2010 - 2012
Master Artistic Research, Royal Art Academy The Hague
2001 - 2005
Bachelor fine art Gerrit Rietveld Art Academy, Amsterdam
University of California, Los Angeles, (UCLA) School of Urban Planning
1992 - 1997
University of Amsterdam, Human geography
'Fly in fly out', Art au Centre, Luik, België
2020, A rose is a rose is a rose, Amsterdam
'Rurban, landscapes on the move', Van Eyck, Maastricht
'The Ballroom', Karspeldreef, Amsterdam
'Kinkerboulevard', de Hallen, Amsterdam
'Post post paradise', Moira art space, Utrecht
'New Realism; the gaze of science', Science Park UvA, Amsteram
'A single point of failure', 37PK, platvorm voor kunsten, Haarlem
'exclude/include. Alternate Histories, Castrum Peregrini, Amsterdam
'Over het huis en de dingen', Frankendael Foundation, Amsterdam
'Expand, explore, expose', Salzamt, Linz, Austria
'TV-talkshow the Story of the Netherlands', Gallery Witzenhausen, New York
'Mudpie - artistic research on art as art and art and life', W139, Amsterdam
Kunstlerhaus NAIRS, Zwiterland
Atelier Simeon ten Holt, Bergen
AGA-lab / The Waag society, Binnenlandatelier Mondriaan Fonds
Vol.22, 37PK platvorm voor kunsten, Haarlem
Atelierhaus Salzamt, Linz, Austria
Supported by Mondriaan Fonds (Werkbijdrage bewezen talent) and Prins Bernard Cultuur fonds (website)