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Naturism is a lifestyle in harmony with nature. It is characterised by communal nudity, which aims to promote self-respect, respect for others, and respect for nature and the environment. When they are naked, all people are equal and differences in social standing are no longer visible. In the Netherlands, naturists have their own association: the Naturist Federation of the Netherlands.
Wilfried de Jong
Wilfried de Jong (1957) is well known on Dutch television as presenter, interviewer and sport’s commentator. In addition, he produces theatre programmes and writes books and columns. De Jong has been involved in Boijmans TV from the very start; he is a member of the editorial team and interviews the artists through the hole of Catelan. In this episode, he can be seen as an actor.
If you Google the name Zeger Reijers, you will find three possibilities: 1. The neo-classic architect Zeger Reijers who lived from 1790 to 1857 and whose buildings included Palace Soestdijk for Willem I. 2. The silk-screen printer Zeger Reijers from IJmuiden, who worked with countless famous Dutch artists such as Marlene Dumas, Harald Vlugt and Rob Scholte. The artist born in 1966 in The Hague. This Zeger Reijers is caught by Arie in the hole of Catelan with a food processor. His most recent work is Rotating Kitchen, an installation in which a kitchen, where at first people are cooking, subsequently slowly begins to rotate. At the end of the exhibition (6 weeks or more than 4000 revolutions later), the whole interior is as thoroughly mixed as food in a food processor. In his other work, the soft but continuous and therefore inescapable force of nature is also a source of inspiration.
Auguste Rodin was born in Paris on 12 November 1840 and died in Meudon on 17 November 1917. Despite his enormous talent, he was refused admission to the École des Beaux Arts no less than three times, probably because of his undisciplined nature, which was evident even then. During a trip to Italy, Rodin fell under the spell of the work of Michelangelo and in particular the uncompleted statues, such as the dying slave. From that moment, he began his struggle against the official academic art with all its rules and regulations. His work, and particularly the statue of the romantic author Honoré de Balzac, caused open discussions with avid supporters and opponents. What’s more, Rodin caused tongues to wag because of his relationship with a 24-year-old pupil, Camille Claudel. Her tragic life is known from the film Camille. Rodin had a relationship from 1863 with Rose Beuret and a son with her in 1866. They finally got married just ten months before his death - only two weeks before hers.
The Gates of Hell
Rodin made Eve in the wake of thinking about his first major commission: the entrance to the new Musée des Arts Decoratifs in Paris. He wanted to make monumental bronze doors based on Dante’s Divine Comedy and then, in particularly, the section about Hell. Eve, the archetype of the fallen woman, would flank the doors together with Adam. Rodin designed more than 180 figures for his life’s work. Other famous statues, such as The Thinker and The Kiss, appeared in it. But the new museum of applied arts was not built, Rodin was awarded other commissions and the doors were never completed. Rodin’s studies and a bronze cast can be seen in the Musée Rodin in Paris.
The sculpture Eve before the Fall was made by Rodin in 1881. It came into the collection of Museum Boijmans van Beuningen as early as 1899 thanks to a donation by mr. Jan Hudig (1838-1924), director of a Rotterdam shipping company. Hudig had seen a comparable cast at the Rodin exhibition in the Rotterdam Art Circle (29 June - 27 July 1899; cat. no. 36). But the cast at the exhibition was slightly damaged. Rodin was then asked to make a new cast for the museum. Eve after the Fall was first exhibited in the old Boymans museum in July 1901. The word cast is somewhat misleading. The statue is made up of individual components and joined together with a layer of plaster sculpted by the artist. The statue is hollow. There is a bent metal staff near the left foot as a support. The Italian Adele Abruzzezzi was the model for Eve. In his memoires, Rodin says that her shape changed from day to day. Each time he adjusted his work - until the moment that he realised she was pregnant. Abruzzezzi eloped shortly after with her Russian lover. See: Auguste Rodin: Readings on his Life and Work, New Yersey, 1965, p. 164.
There are some wonderful nudes on show in Museum Boijmans van Beuningen. Voluptuous and rounded, by Aristide Maillol - or muscled and trained by Auguste Rodin. Yet it doesn’t often happen that naked people walk through the museum.
In episode 11 of Boijmans TV, our guide Bregje actually entertains a group of naturists. Next to Rodin’s Eve, dressed only in their birthday suits, they discuss shame, the position of man in creation, and the loss of paradise.
In the meantime, artist Zeger Reijers confides in security guard Arie that he perhaps should be ashamed of ‘Rotating Kitchen’, a performance in which a complete kitchen, with everything you can think of in it, is slowly ground into destruction. Reijers enjoys cooking and compares it to producing art. As chef and artist, he likes to combine ingredients from all over the world. He particularly looks forward to the moment when he can ask his guests or his audience: well...? Well...? Jordi thinks that Reijers’ rotating kitchen looks a bit like the kitchen at home after his father Marco has cooked a meal. And the naturists in the museum make him particularly enthusiastic: nude, nude, nude - art, art art! But who is the severely bespectacled artist who offers Mandy at the desk an art work, for which the working title - mushroom dick - seems much better than the official English name? Mandy doesn’t really know how to react to the compliments about her beautiful red lips. But she has the perfect place for the art work!
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