Lost Tongues Rediscovered

Anna Barham (GB), Harold de Bree (NL), gerlach en koop (NL), Ian Hamilton Finlay (GB), Isabel Nolan (IR), Machiel van Soest (NL), Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries (KOR/USA)

July 1 thru September 9, 2007
opening reception: Saturday June 30, 5 pm
Location: Hogewal 1-9

Click here for photos of the installation of the show.

Stroom Premium is a subsidy for artists in a period of self enforced intensification, condensation and/or acceleration. It allows them to exploit this phase to the full and to attain further deepening and development of their work. In 2006 the first Stroom Premiums were awarded to the Hague artists Harold de Bree, Machiel van Soest and the duo gerlach en koop. In order to focus special attention on this extraordinary award and the work of the honoured artists Stroom invited British curator Francis McKee to put together an exhibition. Under the title 'Lost Tongues Rediscovered' he brought their work together with that of some foreign artists.

Francis McKee: 'All artists find their own language, often retrieving links between words, objects and ideas that have been forgotten or obscured. Take Donald Judd, for instance, who not only constructed a fresh definition of sculpture and form in his essay 'Specific Objects' but forged an exacting and sometimes elliptical language to express it in observations such as 'Nothing made is completely objective, purely practical or merely present' or 'Simple form and one or two colors are considered less by old standards. If changes in art are compared backwards, there always seems to be a reduction, since only old attributes are counted and these are always fewer. But obviously new things are more...'

In 'Lost Tongues Rediscovered' seven artists consider the relationship between word and thing or between the object and its representation.

Harold de Bree -winner of the Den Haag Sculptuur Rabobank Award 2007- the uses simple industrial materials to construct quasi replicas of objects that defy nature.

gerlach en koop demand an attentiveness to minimal detail that refocuses our perception of our surroundings. At times, by showing almost nothing, they change everything.

Machiel van Soest reworks the language of abstract painting to imply a more symbolic reading of the simple facts in paint he seems to present.

Ian Hamilton Finlay constantly produced a series of prints, postcards and books throughout his life that persistently interrogated the relationship between word and thing. Like Harold de Bree, he often confronts nature with the most aggressive fruits of technology and like Machiel van Soest, he is unafraid to consider the polemic nature of art.

Anna Barham traces the reconstruction of a section of a Libyan/Roman ruin, Leptis Magna, in 18th century Britain. Through a dizzying series of anagrams the language of classical architecture morphs into other, unexpected, dimensions.

Isabel Nolan creates an animation that slowly evolves from a sequence of painted forms into a sequence of e-mails - a one-sided conversation on the nature of emptiness where even the language describing the phenomenon is stolen.

Young Hae-Chang Heavy Industries recover the language of 60s jazz and evoke the explosive typographies of Jean Luc Godard in their vertiginous narratives and poetic meditations. Often working across linguistic boundaries, the word momentarily becomes the thing as it simultaneously builds another link in the evolving meaning of the flashing sentences.

The British author, critic and curator Francis McKee is interim director of the CCA (Centre for Contemporary Art) in Glasgow and responsible for the Glasgow International Festival of Contemporary Visual Art. Prior to that he was a teacher at the Glasgow School of Arts and the curator of the Scottish exhibition at the Venice Biennial of 2003. He is a researcher in the field of 'open source software' and 'intellectual property' and the author of books on artists like Douglas Gordon, Christine Borland, Matthew Barney and Pipilotti Rist. He manages an interesting website with essays on contemporary art and culture.
Website Francis McKee

Publications Ian Hamilton Finlay courtesy the Glasgow School of Art.

The Stroom program of 2007 is made possible in part by the Mondriaan Foundation.


Harold de Bree (1966) specializes in paintings, installations and performances. His austere and pure objects create brutal and overwhelming images, like a tank 'TIGER VI' (Pulchri Studio, 2002), a submarine 'TYP XVII' (pond of Haags Gemeentemuseum, 2005) and a manned rocket 'Fi103/FZG-76' with rocket launcher (Theater Zeebelt, 2006). For the upcoming Den Haag Sculptuur 2007 De Bree originally planned to create a helicopter platform in the Hofvijver, but this idea has been abandoned for a mysterious entrance made of concrete on the Lange Voorhout.
website Harold de Bree

Machiel van Soest
(1968) is an installation artist and painter. He researches the moments when modern day-to-day life is imbued with a sense of the underlying political and social forces. He regularly lives and works abroad (Berlin, Belgrade). Together with Ton Schuttelaar he is the initiator of the highly successful artist initiative 'Atelier als Supermedium', one of the best-kept cultural secrets of The Hague.

The work of gerlach en koop is subtle, precise and painstakingly slow. The artists seem to be insecure and in a perpetual state of doubt. This is the driving force behind their work. Their work is best described as an intervention in what already exists. A reversal, s subtle shift or a new order. They are not interested in the exceptions to the rule, but in ordinary and common things. Projects by this artist duo include 'de avontuur bevat/in bibliotheekboeken achtergelaten bladwijzers' (2003), 'kunstboeken (naast de kunst)' (library Van Abbemuseum, 2004) and 'de jouwe, de mijne' (Domeinen Hoogeveen, commissioned by Rijksgebouwendienst, 2005). Recently they curated the exhibition 'plankjes, tak' for ‘Atelier als Supermedium'.
Website gerlach en koop

Harold de Bree, Air to Air, 2007
photo: Rob Kollaard
Machiel van Soest, untitled, 2007
photo: Stroom Den Haag
gerlach en koop, gift, 2007
Anna Barham, Palatine Stage, 2007
photo: Rob Kollaard
Young-hae Chang Heavy Industries, The End
photo: Rob Kollaard
Machiel van Soest, survey
photo: Rob Kollaard
Harold de Bree, Collection, 2007
photo: Rob Kollaard
Machiel van Soest, untitled, 2007
photo: Stroom Den Haag
exhibition survey at Stroom Den Haag (Ian Hamilton Finlay, Harold de Bree)
photo: Rob Kollaard
gerlach en koop: '...uu...'
gerlach en koop: '......cht'