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born in 1971, Etten Leur, The Netherlands, currently lives and works in Amsterdam, The Netherlands
HB IV Lower East Side 2009 Artist
Within his multidisciplinary practice, Willum Geerts takes on the role of the court jester, whimsical and funny perhaps but the razor edge truth is never far off. With a background in fine arts, music, television, advertising and activism expect him to be firing on all cylinders. Intent on failing to entertain for all the right reasons.
He deploys various instruments to disect where the extraordinary can be found in what we deem ordinary around us. Geerts, through playful observations, sketches a world where significance is also found in the trivial and where the significant may be truly trivial. Through these types of gentle juxtapositions he asks of his audience to question the world around us. A world in which melancholy, social criticism and the profound go hand in hand with satire and a happy-go-lucky approach to life.
Geerts presents his multidisciplinary work all around the world, in- and ouside the regular art context. Bringing him, amongst others, from the Van Abbemuseum and Kröller- Müller Museum to Nhasan Studios in Hanoi. And from Makan Art Space in Jordan to New York where he attended the LMCC studio program and Art Omi International Artist’s Residency. And as lecturer he teaches at the Fine Arts Department at the HKU University of Arts in Utrecht and as guest lecturer regularly at various other universities.
Description of work created at HB IV Lower East Side 2009:
OPERA#2 ( Once Size Fits All )
Site-specific performative installation about uniformity and structures of the everyday. Consisting of a [ Stage ], [ Performance ] and [ Libretto ] / [ Poster ]
Opera#2 is a direct response on its location. Its function (clinic), the uniformity of its structure and desolate atmosphere inspired me step by step to this performative installation. First idea was to open up the space above the modular ceiling structure. How to get up there? Starting from scratch, building the stage from the left-over furniture of the clinic. There has to be a hidden sound: create a soundscape in the hidden ceiling space. The uniformity of places like this and the people that work in these surroundings inspired to write a libretto for two singers about folding a paper head: an instruction in 18 steps. Each crease of the paper formed a line in the libretto. The poster of the piece became an image of the structure of a ceiling tile. How to conduct the two singers who’s heads were stuck in the ceiling? By connecting my own head to the ceiling through a flexible tile, and producing 20 crunches per instruction line.