Slow Accident

We've all been watching an obsolete building collapsing under the brute force of simultaneously ignited hi-tech charges. The proud statue-like presence the building maintained for its functional years, suddenly suffers from a shiver, dust comes out fiercely from the foot of that high rise, fast travelling upwards. A bang rolls over the cityscape like the unhurried unrolling of a self-inflating hiking matt. Dust everywhere, jamming sight, not unlike a rocket-launch, but the building moves downwards. Slowly.

The tragedy already lies in the meticulous construction of the building, the careful designed conditions to fulfill the necessary purposes and above all, to construct the dream to an improved future. A more luxurious setting, more in balance with the questions of the time, an attempt to excel in efficiency, would serve the user to build up a prosperous economy and a secure and happy life.

Now, the building became archaic, not be able to meet up to the new questions of style, standards of technology, of climate control and soundproofing. It smelled of old buildings, with its rugs and carpets and Bakelite telephones, when the general breeze is fresh and digital. We now know the violent destruction of the building was already meant for, since the first line of the design.

At the current axis of time, standards and values are being changed. We observe traditional systems become obsolete and new systems need to be invented, as new challenges become serious and call out for new, immediate solutions. Yesterday's aid is not working for today’s trouble. Its useless reacting upon emerging problems, a solution is always behind, by definition. The status quo is the absence of a status quo; a constant flow of change, thrust by forces in politics, economy and technology colour today's civilization. And changes accelerate, fast. Its good to know the experience of time can be put in a perspective.

Seventeen months of silence. Only the laid back breathing sound of the organ’s bellows is to be heard. Then a chord, the sound of three notes bounces between the walls and beams of Sankt-Burchardi's interior and it would sound for 30 months: A4-C5-F♯5. This is the beginning of the slowest performance of John Cage's Organ²/ASLSP (As Slow as Possible). The custom made organ is playing the score of eight pages in a time span of 639 years. Cage never set the duration of the piece, only the indication that it needed to be extremely slow. This interpretation exceeds generations. We could measure the change of time to our existence; As Slow As Possible is measuring us purely because of its magnitude. It shows our diminutive being and perhaps saves us from the frantic carrousel.

This publication is offered at the exhibition 'Start-up: Slow Accident' at Nieuw Dakota, space for contemporary art. The work of nine debuting artists from the Fine Arts Department of the Maastricht Academy of Fine Arts and Design is presented at the floors of this institute and at these pages.

The young artists start their practices where global changes create the context, where data traffic explodes, where the mass migration of people and goods and the shift of power within constitutions ask for a reflection.

Consequently, the wheel needs to be reinvented. Perhaps the error of today is within the dropped stitch of a long time ago. The artists choose position towards this in every possible way and distinguish its particular value: or it is within the explicit contrastive, or the critic position is more hidden, or the failure is embraced and the ruin celebrated. The multiformity is explored and the value reinvented.

I present to you: Simon Weins, Eline Kersten, Joep Hinssen, Sara Bachour, Gladys Zeevaarders, Thomas Hütten, Maarten Davidse, Dennis Muñoz Espadiña and Miriam Sentler. Also featuring Shao Jie Lin and Cas Banierink (short story).

Paul Devens, Maastricht, February 9, 2017

Thanks to: Brand Cultuur Fonds Limburg Huis voor de Kunsten Limburg MaFAD / Maastricht Academy for Fine Arts and Design POLIS / Artistic Practises as Debating Laboratories Nieuw Dakota, Amsterdam

Simon Weins

Eline Kersten

Joep Hinssen

Sara Bachour

Gladys Zeevaarders

Thomas Hütten

Maarten Davidse

Dennis Muñoz Espadiña

Miriam Sentler


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Start Up:
Slow Accident
Nieuw Dakota, Amsterdam (2017)
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