Never Let a Good Crisis go to Waste

During Museumnacht Amsterdam on Saturday November 5th, Paulien Oltheten, Annelies Kamen and Maartje Wortel will take over the ferry that sails between NDSM and Centraal Station. In collaboration with exhibition space Nieuw Dakota, where the exhibition Never Let a Good Crisis Go to Waste is currently on view, these artists translate crises into visual art and text. As soon as the ferry docks at the NDSM site, you see Nieuw Dakota located on the right. Behind the blue facade, Faysal Mroueh, Ehsan Ul Haq and the artists featured on the ferry are showing works in which they depict a crisis.

Museum Night: November 5, 19:00-22:00


Amsterdam Ferry Festival: NDSM- Central Station

Nieuw Dakota: Ms. van Riemsdijkweg 41b, 1033 RC Amsterdam

Paulien Oltheten To Those that Will, Ways are not Wanting, 2019

In split screen, we see two rivers in different cities transformed into a new public space. You are able to walk on the Volga in Russia because it is completely frozen, and on the bed of the Zayandeh River in Iran because it has dried up due to the climate crisis, among other things.

On the ferry, Paulien uses the spatial dichotomy and contrasts these rivers, but also connects them by mapping the similarities between human behaviour. To those that will, ways are not wanting, is also often put as: where there is a will, there is a way. Small actions, movements and interactions with this landscape show the persistence and sometimes stubbornness in people no matter where they come from.

The images of the film made three years ago in these two countries are in contrast with the images we are currently seeing. Everyday life has now turned to into war and violence. In the film you also see moments when people struggle with implementations of authorities that seem to benefit no one. The awkwardness of a harmless fence in the public space, hinders rather than benefits citizens. Who decides how free you are to move, and what forms of resistance can you implement in your daily life?

Annelies Kamen Is this thing on?

Annelies Kamen presents a sign where the words “Is this thing on?” keep flickering in neon. The work plays with irony: the question raised by the flashing light is already answered by the letters that make up the work: is the thing on or not?

The humor in this artwork is indicative of Kamen’s work. She examines the structure of a joke and wonders why people use humor to navigate everyday life. Among other things, she is interested in slapstick, in which clearly staged and sometimes painful situations have a relaxing effect on the audience. But does it actually solve anything? Does it make the world a better place? Kamen catches you in a loop of awkwardness and exposes the power relationships contained in jokes.

Maartje Wortel Maartje Wortel wrote this text for the exhibition Never Let a Good Crisis go to Waste at New Dakota. The phrases of this text will accompany passengers on the ferry on the windows.

Meetsysteem’s latest album Cr:GO was born out of the magic that chaos and crisis bring.  Measure System will contribute at 8.30 p.m. on the NDSM ferry and can be heard over the ferry’s speakers afterward.