A Full Catalog for an Exposition

What am I working on? Mostly I’ve been busy with the ‘Dike Mysticism’ exposition. I just finished the catalog. The exposition has 12 works, many of which you – Mythical Reader – have seen passing by here in this blog.

I produced a catalog that describes the exposition, explains what Dike Mysticism is, and shows the works. As I was writing it, it occurred to me that both the works and the combination of works have many contradictions. Which is what makes the exhibition interesting, I think. The description of the exhibition in te catalog:


“It’s a small show, consisting of twelve works, displayed in a single room. Six works are each depicting the same dike temple. Six other works show six basic life themes like ‘home’ and ‘eating’.

An Impossible Structure
Both the dike temple and life themes paintings are loaded with contradictions. The dike temple is an impossible, self-defeating architectural structure. It cuts through the dike in way that no sane architect would allow. The temple is devoted to the dike and at the same time it renders the dike useless.

Van Doesburg and Beckmann
The six dike temple paintings are quite different in their styles. There is one stark rendering reminiscent of Van Doesburg, with a primal and limited color palette. There is another one in a crypto-symbolic style. Yet they all depict the exact same monument from the exact same perspective.

Can a Car be a Home?
The life themes paintings too are self-contradictory. The home is depicted as a Mercedes car. The child is a snow wolf. Can a car is really be a home / Can an animal really be a child? Although, it’s not entirely impossible…. All life themes are labelled twice, always in two different languages. Like ‘BernChild’ combining the the Frisian word with the English word for child.

Stacked Contradictions
All these contradictions and inconsistencies are stacked upon each other and combined against each other. This makes Dike Mysticism an exposition that many visitors will remember and that could change their view on water, dikes and, who knows, even the basic themes of their lives.

About the Author JAAPH

JAAPH is an expressionist painter living in Nijmegen, The Netherlands.