Galerie Fons Welters - Amsterdam

How Dare you Scratch My White Delicate Chest?

Galerie Fons Welters is pleased to present new work by the New York based Dutch artist Berend Strik.

Berend Strik’s newest two-dimensional works on view, both large and small scale, comprise two equal parts. The image information from one half of the work continuously influences and changes that of the other. True to Strik style, these unorthodox ‘collages’ are made up of stitching which (brutally) cuts through photographs, but new to these works is the introduction of real drawings. This latest element attaches another reading to the ‘diptychs’; there arises a confrontation not only between the two halves but also amongst the different mediums: a photographic image functions on a different level than a drawing, and a stitched element adds yet another dimension.

Berend Strik will also be premiering his film How did you dare to scratch my white delicate chest? The film is based on the true story of the identical “Atlanta Twins”, Claudia and Carla Huntey, who suffer from Tourette syndrome – a chronic and complex, fluctuating tic disorder. It incorporates a monologue narrated by their mother with intermittent scenes shot on location in Queens. The title is a phrase the sisters repeat constantly; to Strik it carries “the poetic quality and theatricality that contrasts the harshness of the everyday life and language of these women.” Strik’s fascination for this horrific neurotic disease, with all its cruelly disabling results, stems from a belief that we all have our own experience with neurosis, whether on an openly visible or invisible level. Most of us – thankfully – are just able to hide it better.

How did you dare to scratch my white delicate chest? is the first part of a continuing project surrounding the Atlanta Twins. Together with a New York based architectural firm, Strik is also designing housing, exploring the effects and practical needs of those suffering from Tourette. Galerie Fons Welters is the location of the projects’ first presentation; in the future it will also be shown in conjunction with the models of the houses and eventually these homes will be realized.

[Maxine Kopsa]