Debate centre De Balie in Amsterdam is organising the Beeldbepalers series in collaboration with the Mondriaan Fund. In the series, leading Dutch visual artists are given the opportunity to use De Balie as a laboratory for an entire evening and to share their ideas about their work and about art in general with a live audience. In collaboration with other artists and with scientists, theatre artists, writers and journalists, they present their new work or put existing work in a different light. Up to now, the Image Shapers have been Joep van Lieshout, Ronald Ophuis, Barbara Visser and Berend Strik.
Berend Strik examined the connection between the creative space and the aesthetic opinions of artists. In Strik’s edition, subtitled ‘Redefining Realness’, he reflects on questions such as: How does an idea come about? How is something new created? How does the process of creation work? The process of assigning value after the creation of the work of art is also examined. With, amongst others, Juha van ’t Zelfde (artistic director of Lighthouse Brighton), Maxine Kopsa (curator and director of Kunstverein), Jannah Loontjes (writer, poet and philosopher) and musical contributions from Frances-Marie Uitti and Morschi Franz.
The edition staged by Renzo Martens was also an IDFA Special, in which Renzo Martens showed the public his project: Lusanga Research Centre on Art and Economic Inequality in the Democratic Republic of Congo. With this enterprise, Martens wants to make the committed art machine, from artist to consumer, profitable in one of the most impoverished areas in the world. Martens presented his plans and held a discussion with a number of thinkers and artists about how art can influence these global value chains.
Barbara Visser programmed an evening entitled The End of Fear, subtitled Who’s Afraid of Red, Yellow and Blue III – revisited. Fifty years after this famous painting was created, Visser examined the question: What is the importance of art and who decides that? Who is still afraid of red, yellow and blue? In a kaleidoscopic programme based on her personal perspective, Barbara Visser guided the public along the ‘Big Bad Wolf’ in the painting’s title and the anger and resistance that the work evoked, and held a discussion with a philosopher and insurance agent about how they define the value of the work.
Ronald Ophuis transported his studio to De Balie for one evening. In Ophuis’s work, the central point of focus is the emotionally charged relationship with violence, pain and suffering and the behaviour of modern man under extreme conditions. Ophuis’s paintings display violent scenes of sexual abuse, executions and war. With Ernst van Alphen (Professor of Literature at Leiden University), Caroline Nevejan (researcher, linked to Delft University of Technology), Teun Voeten (photographer) and Natasja Kensmil (visual artist/painter), Ophuis showed the audience what inspires his work. Thibaud Delpeut, film director and artistic director of Theater Utrecht, dramatised a number of the writings that inspire Ophuis. With a musical contribution by Arend B. Blue.
In ROAST Van Lieshout Joep van Lieshout was put through the mill by three women of different generations. Film-maker and writer Ine Poppe, journalist Tamar Stelling and bioethicist Dr. Ellen ter Gast approached his creative process, in which work, automation, agriculture, industry and ethics play a major role, from different perspectives.