The Sign Foundation in Groningen, The Netherlands, is pleased to present a show by Dutch artists Anya Janssen, Mitsy Groenendijk and Colien Langerwerf.
Deliberately or not, every human being is lead to perform roles for others and ultimately for herself. The theoretical awareness of such repeating behaviour patterns has come from the side of the ones that didn’t find respect and fulfilment in performing them: immigrants, the old and, above all, women. Today, some say that the measure of all human freedom is a function of the individual’s capacity to resist the reproduction of these roles and to creatively play with them, sometimes even confronting our own competing desires. 3D is about possible ways to see ourselves differently and make, out of our very contradictory faces, the fundament of sustainable strategies of survival, for ourselves and others.
With her monkey sculptures, Mitsy Groenendijk gives a voice to the animal Other and elaborate a discourse on their fate and our own. By embodying caricatured versions of human role models, her pet-size monkeys seem to take revenge on us as much as to make us aware of our own drives and desires. And, therefore, they ultimately challenge us in our daily habits.
Thanks to her large canvases on which the figures only seem to have left a faint trace of themselves, Anya Janssen holds a broken mirror up to us and reflects on the double self through the metaphor of the twins. Ultimately, we all have in us something of a split nature, having a different face for every occasion. With the unavoidable sensuousness and pleasure at looking at her simultaneous portraits of these different aspects of our personality, Anya Janssen seduces us to love our contradictions, to conciliate them and, ultimately, to live in greater harmony with ourselves.
Last but not least, Colien Langerwerf paints billboard-size portrait medallions of beings that only last the time of a day – or a night. They are as fleeting as the characters they perform and thanks to this performance they transcend their socially attributed nature. They stand at the cross roads of different ages, genders and identities. They defy the viewer’s gaze, reflect on the possibility of self-transformation and dare us to do the same.
Together, Colien Langerwerf, Mitsy Groenendijk and Anya Janssen, offer three colourful views on ways to take care of ourselves and others and enjoy the experience of being in the world.
Catherine Somzé, Amsterdam 2005