Modernizing public space - a portrait

00:02:56 218 Museum Jan Cunen
In this film, De Hoop demonstrates how he modernizes and brightens up a series of bronze sculptures in public space by covering them with balloons, birthday streamers and stickers.
Harmen de Hoop

Harmen de Hoop (1959) is a Dutch artist known for his anonymous and illegal interventions in public space. They are small, yet very direct actions that react to the manner in which urban space is used and the regulations that have been laid down for those who use it.

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This short film was directed by Harmen de Hoop himself, following his solo exhibition at Museum Jan Cunen in 2012. Harmen de Hoop (Utrecht, 1959) doesn’t create his work in a traditional manner. As an interventionist, he anonymously rearranges and modifies everyday objects or locations in public space. In doing so, he wants to confront us with the unspoken rules and cultural codes of our society. De Hoop describes his own work as various options for the use of a certain object or location and likes to characterize his interventions as suggestions for human behaviour in urban areas. De Hoop’s seemingly small and simple interventions often have a confusing effect on the unsuspecting passers-by, leaving them puzzled. By incorporating humour into his work, De Hoop adds a certain playfulness to the mundane of everyday life. Yet De Hoop doesn’t shy away from the serious aspect of his work: It’s not just about being funny, I’m referring to the absurdity of human existence. 

In this film, De Hoop demonstrates how he modernizes and brightens up a series of bronze sculptures in public space by covering them with balloons, birthday streamers and stickers. Through these interventions, De Hoop also comments on our so called society of spectacle: Art doesn’t have to be difficult and austere. On the contrary, it should be fun, cheerful and easy to understand for everyone.

Video credits

  • Film by Harmen de Hoop
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