willem de haan
text by Vanessa van 't Hoogt & Anna-Rosja Haveman
text only in written language
site-specific pool = site-specific artworks
De Papiermolen is a cherished and frequently visited outdoor swimming pool, designed by the architect Jacobus Koolhaas, that officially opened in 1955. Koolhaas referred to the pool as the jewel of Groningen. The official name derives from the paper mill that was located there in the 18th and 19th century. This is not the only connection with the history of the place, architect Koolhaas drew inspiration from the surrounding areas for the design of the pool. For example, the form was inspired by the bastion of the Helperdiepje and the tribune was placed to function as a sound barrier for the neighbouring graveyard.
The three artists in residence at De Papiermolen, Théo Demans, Elise Ehry and Willem de Haan were asked to create site-specific works, just like Koolhaas created a site-specific swimming pool. The artworks they made during the residency had to withstand the weather and water conditions and the artists had to ensure safety in anticipation of the interaction with visitors.
The artworks of Demans, Ehry and De Haan are so well made for the swimming pool that they immerse in their surroundings. 30 cm, Various Sizes created by De Haan leans on the diving boards as if the rulers were placed there in the 1950s; the sculptures Embodiment at rest by Demans melt in the heat like the regular visitors on the tanning tribune. While Demans and De Haan got inspired by the characteristics of the pool and its visitors, Ehry got inspired by the people who make a visit to the pool possible. She investigated the daily jobs of the pools’ employees and in A Pool Cosplay she shows their habits, connections and tasks in a new perspective. Who makes the swimming experience possible? Who keep the pool clean and safe, the grass fresh and green, and what happens behind the scenes?
'A Pool Cosplay', Elise Ehry, performance video
content: swimming pool staff, multiple perspectives (cashier, lifeguard, gardner, snackbar chef, cleaning staff)
form: video, time-based, waterproof costumes, neoprene, artist=performer & designer
location: changing rooms (women and men), nudist viewing experience possible, no running please!
ingredients: neoprene, lycra, bath towel, various jerseys
'Embodiment at rest', Théo Demans, installation
content: fleshy, sensual, modes of behaviour, bodies on a pedestal
form: biomorphic, abstract, spatial, performative, haptic
location: tribune (monkey rock), testosteron, bright: bring your sunglasses & suncream!
ingredients: styrofoam, concrete, paint, ceramic, swimuit, polymer resin, towel
'30 CM, various sizes', Willem de Haan, sculptures
content: measurements, swimming competitions, nostalgia
form: 30 cm ruler made in Germany, faux wood on real plywood, youtube search bar
location: Diving boards, adventure, adrenaline, show-off spot
ingredients: wood, varnish, digital print on wooden frame
Academie Minerva Kunstraad Groningen
NNT + Club Guy & Roni