NXT creatives

Chris Rijk

HKU Hogeschool voor de Kunsten Utrecht

Installation with marble and made and found objects

Rijk's installations function as safe havens, away from what he finds the grandiloquent, serious high art world for that petrifed him during his studies. When he figured out he really wanted to work in contemporary art field, he had to seek refuge, to create a place where play and fun have free rein. This installation revolves around the convergence of ostensibly opposites viz art and kitsch. The artist brings together these two evils in made works, but he also uses readymades. Part of the installation for example is a vase with a pattern of Debbie Harry’s face on its outside: the archaic shaped vase becomes a low culture artefact, and at the same time the image of a pop icon is lifted and becomes relic-like. The two sides of the same coin result in an object that is neither art nor kitsch, and it trying very hard to be something that it is not, it ends up being slightly estranging. And that counts for all elements in the work: a golden chain guarding nothing but an empty corner- a sculpturally installed latex boot that smacks of pathetic fetish affairs. A rather important role in this installation is the painted marble floor, for marble embodies the dichotomy the artist fancies so much: on one hand it is rare and can be found in palaces and temples, while on the other hand it is eagerly used in sex saunas.