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It is not by adding to a space, but by removing something that Germaine Kruip often creates new and theatrical environments. Kruip conducted research at Oude Kerk, studying how the building was lit originally and how light and darkness related to the architecture. For the work Oude Kerk Untitled, all artificial light sources that had been installed over the years have been removed, resulting in a blending of the everyday with the theatrical. The architecture of the church was laid completely bare by totally removing all direct light sources and any decorative lighting. During the exhibition the light flowing in from outside changed drastically, with the church continually taking on another look and feel. The exhibition’s state changes on the daily shift between time and light.
The language of simple geometric forms, such as circles and squares, is deeply rooted in the history of ideas, religion and art. Using these forms, along with some subtle interventions, Kruip’s work exposes historical and cultural phenomena, such as the impact of traditions and rituals, culminating in bewildering abstractions of light and space. Kruip’s abstractions have a double meaning. On the one hand they created a link to the contemplative character of the Oude Kerk, but they also influenced and alter the perceptions of the viewer.
The square, once a Modernist symbol, was central to the performance A Square, spoken. In the history of the square, suggests Kruip, we recognise the passage of time and the instability of our own perception.
The installation Kannadi from Square to Circle is about material and immaterial heritage. Kannadi are traditional round mirrors made in Aranmula (India). Simply by asking if square mirrors could be made Kruip forced a change in the local, centuries-old process of production. 10 variations on the familiar pattern were created. Integrated into the architecture of the Oude Kerk the mirrors made reference to existing and broken traditions.
The ongoing installation Column Untitled (2011-2015) is composed of hundreds of white marble elements which, through their seemingly endless repetition, reproduce a traditional pattern. In the Oude Kerk Column Untitled formed an 18 meter high column reaching from the gravestone floor to the vaulted ceiling of the Chapel of Saint George (Sint-Joriskapel). The column altered the space, evoking a sense of endlessness.
Germaine Kruip (born 1970, Castricum, Netherlands) lives and works in Brussels and Amsterdam. Her minimalist installations and actions interact with social systems such as groups of people, exhibitions and exhibition spaces. Kruip received training at DasArts, Amsterdam (1998-1999) and the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam, (2000-2001).