Ruisdael Stipend, exhibition opening, 7 July 2013, 2 pm, Bad Bentheim, Castle

Dutch artist Saskia Noor van Imhoff (*1982, Mission, Canada) is the first person to be awarded the Ruisdael Stipend. In her previous work, she has regularly referred to existing collections and their classification systems. Questioning the status of originals and copies as well as the relationship between past and present, her deliberations have spawned aesthetically outstanding installations. She is a worthy recipient of the Ruisdael Stipend, which is dedicated to cultural exchange between Germany and the Netherlands and was set up in connection with “Residual”, an artwork by Willem de Rooij for the 2012 sculpture project kunstwegen raumsichten organized at Bentheim Castle.

Saskia Noor van Imhoff has developed a new site-specific exhibition in the very same part of the castle. Inspired by the “Golden Urn” of Gölenkamp, a precious archaeological find dating back to the Bronze Age, she has produced a copy of the replica on display in another building of the castle. The newly made cast of the urn encourages us to consider the same objects transferred to different media literally from a different angle and in various ways. Other installations in the gallery rooms of the former royal stables present casts along with wisps of colour and pieces of material on low plinths. They refer for example to Jacob van Ruisdael’s painting in the next room entitled “North-west view of Bentheim Castle” (c. 1655), for which Willem de Rooij created a new context last year. The awardee departs from this to create a multi-piece floor installation. The incisive manner in which she deals with materials, forms and replicas explores the boundaries between the systematic and associative order of items and their categories. The title “#+12.00” is part of the consecutive numbering system used for all her exhibitions so far.

Saskia Noor van Imhoff consciously employs existing mottos and elements from painting, sculpture and their materiality to target the apparent originality of objects, be they finds or artefacts. In the exhibition funded by the Ruisdael Stipend, she has created a three-dimensional situation in which the two most precious historical treasures of the Earldom of Bentheim – Jacob van Ruisdael’s original painting (c. 1628/29–1682) and the cast of the Golden Urn – are not only displayed together for the first time but also artistically interrelated. An artist’s book (# +12.01), likewise being a slightly modified replica of a former artist’s book (#+02.01) of hers, and accompanying the exhibition consistently transfers her associative method to other media such as letterpress printing, text and photography.

Curator: Dirck Möllmann, Institut für Kunst im öffentlichen Raum Steiermark, Graz, in collaboration with: Dr. Thomas Niemeyer, Städtische Galerie Nordhorn, and Veronika Olbrich, Ministerium für Wissenschaft und Kultur, Hannover.

Source: Ruisdael-Stipendium


Saskia Noor van Imhoff

Zooming in and out, resizing, translating and unfolding: this is only a short list of formal systems and associations which Saskia Noor van Imhoff applies to existing artworks and artifacts. Allocating them a new place in her installations composed of sculptures, found objects and photographs, which are gathered online and culled from archives documenting previous exhibitions. The resulting individual works, assemblages and environments form new ‘constellations’ or self-referencing systems.