Saturday, December 1, 2012

Only 9 countries voted against recognizing Palestine as a state!

Results of the 29 November 2012 U.N. election recognizing Palestine as a "non-member observer state." Image is from wikipedia Click on the image for a larger view.

Brown indicates the nine countries which voted against:
Canada, Czech Republic, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), Nauru, Palau, Panama, and United States.

Yellow indicates the countries which abstained.
Green indicates those for and blue indicates those absent. Grey: non-UN members.

Yesterday 138 out of the 193 countries who are members of the UN (United Nations General Assembly) voted to recognize Palestine as a state, giving it the status of “non-member observer state” and so now with this recognition Palestine can apply to join the UN as a member state and therein lies the potential for more rights for its citizens.

To quote Juan from his blog,
Informed Comment - thoughts on the middle east, history and religion
"The UNGA vote will not have a big immediate effect on the lives of Palestinians toiling under Israeli occupation. But over time, if the Palestinian leadership deploys it wisely, the new status could have an incremental effect, especially affecting Israel’s relationship to Europe."

and further

"Many European countries have elevated the Palestine mission in their capitals to the status of full embassy. Palestine’s new status as UN observer state could well become a basis for it being given further embassies in Europe. Being an embassy rather than a mission strengthens the legal status of Palestine, including in national courts and EU tribunals."

Read Juan Cole's blog for more about these implications or see the wikipedia entry.

A few responses to this were:
"After the resolution was approved, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu went up and gave Abbas a hug."

"There were celebrations in the West Bank and Gaza with people waving the Fatah and Hamas flags respectively."

"In response for the statehood vote, Israel authorised the construction of 3,000 Israeli settlement houses in a Palestinian area of East Jerusalem."

Accessed on 1 Dec 2012 from the wikipedia entry.

See also: "Israel to build 3,000 settler homes after UN vote" BBC 30 Nov 2012, news report which has more details.

See also this article:

"UN vote gives Palestinians new diplomatic powers"
...Palestinians see the scale of the vote as clear evidence that a tide of opinion is turning their way. Whether they can translate that sentiment into some sort of concrete political progress is hard to determine. ....
(BBC 30 Nov 2012, news report)

Of kijk op de NOS website: "VN verhoogt status Palestijnen"

For the next few months I am involved in a few art projects which have their own blogs. See:

I've recently written a review of the Ai Weiwei documentary here and a few Bahai related blogs here.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Our travels for 21 August - 30 September 2012

Big blobs indicate where we slept
21: Vuren + de Waal + Reed roofed houses (about 50 km south of Utrecht), Bemmel (dinner at Sonja's cousin's place), Nijmegen

22: Lineke's place, Indonesian dolls, Oploo haystack + camel, Deurne (to visit Sonja's 98 year old aunt), Venray (Mindmap exhibition at the St. Anna psychriatic complex)
23: motorway stop about 10 km north, Venray: 19th century shrine (St. Annakapeltje, monumentje van devotie nr. 47 (St Anna Chapel)), Odapark + Mindmap exhibition).

21 Aug: Parked at Vuren, a village beside the Waal river about 50 km south of Utrecht.
22 Aug: At Oploo, Sen + Ans photograph a Monet-like haystack before we encountered the camel in the field.

24: Germany: motorway stop about 200 km east of the Dutch border, then a sprinkling of small villages:
Meerhof, Oesdorf, Westheim, Arolsen, Wolfhagen, Ehlen. We slept in a forest about 20 km south-west of Kassel.

25-27: Documenta, Kassel. (About Documenta)

26 Aug: Sen is asleep in our tent in de D-Occupy camp in front of the Fridericianum

27-28: 30 km east of Kassel, villages, Eisenach, forest 30km nth of Bayreuth And that's it folks! No time for more.

Friday, August 10, 2012

11th Aug: Our final and 4th jam session inside a sculpture

Photo: 4 August, Koen on clarinet, Toroa on book, Sen in thought.

Jam session between 2 and 4 p.m. on August 11th at Breestraat 46. This will be our 4th and final jam session in the gallery.

Watch a 5 min video clip of the July 15th jam session. Besides the sculpture "House of Worship" (more photos) you see in the image above there is also a 6 min video, 50 small drawings (along the windows) and a relief sculpture as well as work by 41 other artists in the gallery. >> Galerie de Pieter
Breestraat 46
Last weekend, Saturday + Sunday, 11-12 August
1 - 5 p.m. (On Sunday work is removed from 4 p.m. onwards)

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Another jam session on 22 July in our sculpture

Watch the 15th of July 5 min video on YouTube

Come and go as you please between 3 and 5 p.m. and bring your instruments. Galerie de Pieter, Breestraat 46 (voormalig postkantoor), Leiden

Our works in this exhibition are the 9 seated sculpture, "House of Worship", "Conversations" drawings on the windows, "Hidden Words" a wood relief and the video "Essences and Particularities" are also in the group exhibition. More about the exhibition and the gallery

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Jam session inside our sculpture @ Breestraat 46, Leiden

Sunday, 15 July 2012,
3-5 p.m. in
Galerie de Pieter (voormalig postkantoor). Bring your own instruments or come and listen.

Location on google maps

We are in Aalmarkt 15B from 14.30 to 14.50

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

new sculpture for 9 people to sit inside - on show at galerie de pieter, Leiden

Photos taken in our OpenMakers studio, 2 July.
New sculpture made in nine moveable parts for sitting inside. Our 'house of worship' is on show along with 3 other works by us in the "Zomergasten" (Summer guests show) at Galerie de Pieter, Breestraat 46 (old post office building), Leiden (see googlemaps)

42 artists are participating in the show and we are lucky to be able to have such a large work here.

The show will be opened by Bartel Brussee on Friday July 6th at 7 p.m. and all going well, Toroa McGlinn will do an hour long performance during the opening.

The Gallery is open on Saturdays and Sundays, 1 - 5 p.m. and I will there on July 8th.

The show closes on August 12th.

And we (Sen, Tama, Carmen and myself) will continue working in the Openmakers Studio until September 1st.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

"OpenLuchtHotel" was a great success despite the storm

Detail of Room of Memories by Sen McGlinn + Sonja van Kerkhoff  
Scroll down this blog to views of our bed for the Fields of Wonder (this links to their website), Plein Air Hotel event (theatre, music, dance followed by a sleeping in a bed in the open air).
Most of the 36 beds were situated in the Leiden Hortus Botanicus gardens (about 10 minutes by foot south-east) and ours was in the courtyard flanked by two 15th century buildings from the days these served as part of the Aalmarkt school for the poor as part of the "Sint-Catharinagasthuis" complex for the poor of the city of Leiden. See my blog for June 18th for more about the history of this location.
Detail of Room of Memories by Sen McGlinn + Sonja van Kerkhoff

"Room of Memories" by Sen McGlinn and Sonja van Kerkhoff ( is a house-like structure inside which a double mattrass was fitted. It was made out of wood and old furniture found on the streets of Leiden in May 2012 except for the suspended window which was made from sticks engraved with texts from wood Sonja collected in Romania in 2002. The text which could be read from the front read: "Trees that yield no fruit have been and ever will be for the fire."

The mirror swivels around and we made some hooks for hanging clothes and there was a small platform for glasses.

We had a few hiccups in building this work because we didn't get permission for the actual location in this courtyard until 10 days before it had to be finished and then we could only begin construction on site 4 days beforehand. However the construction went very fast and it was so easy to work in the OpenMakers studio, so in retrospect it all went very well and we discovered that our work could also be quickly relocated as well.

The weather forecast was for heavy heavy and wind and so we needed to make a plan B.

The four of us easily lifted the whole house and moved it to underneath the concert hall verandeh and then we made covering for the south-westeries that were expected.

Because these were paying guests (100 Euros per couple) we felt they needed to have a plan C and so we made another double bed inside the OpenMakers studio as well should they decide that sleeping outside was too cold.

Then it rained and rained. Everyone got wet and many beds were soaked at the Hortus Botanicus but the rain stopped by 11 p.m.

Our guests wanted to sleep under the stars and to take the risk of getting wet, so the four of us quickly moved the bed-house back into the middle of the courtyard.

Meanwhile our 'reserve' bed was used by another couple because some beds were too wet to sleep in at the Hortus Botanicus. They slept between a piano and a park bench in the studio and Sen even mopped the floor to make it a nicer atmosphere for them.

<< We put plastic coverings over the front and side and they were needed. Just as we finished the rain poured down and so Sen's clever angled shelter for the front proved to be necessary to stop the rain beating into the interior.

>> A new view from underneath the verandeh. Carmen and Tama 'in reflection.'
<< And earlier that afternoon Tama and I did a performance which Carmen and Sen filmed. More to come about this in July. First we are now working on our next sculpture, a 9 part dome-like temple for reflection.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Open Lucht Hotel - Open Air Hotel, Leiden

June 21st: Binnenplaats LCV / Gehoorzaal / OpenMakers.

The Aalmarkt School courtyard flanked by a Leiden pop theatre, the Leiden Concert Hall and the Openmakers studios. More information about this location is in the June 18th entry.

This is one of 36 beds made by artists or designers in various locations around the the historic city of Leiden for the Fields of Wonder, Open Air Hotel event.

More information about the OpenLuchtHotel project in Dutch is here >>

I've also put a summary of this and the programme in the Hortus Botanicus
in Dutch here >>

Monday, June 18, 2012

"Room of Memories" on location

18 June: Robbert Pauwels (sculptor in another of the OpenMaker studios) helped and Jennefer took photos. First we worked without ladders and with 3 directors.

After we had the first eave in place, a manager from the Concert Hall emerged, worried that we might be silly enough as to put nails into the wooden terrace.

He then lent us a ladder and gave Sonja a mini-tour of the Concert Hall Chambers while we looked for the ladder. A truly impressive building (see their programme on this website (in Dutch only).
The front entrance dates from 1826 (see photo of this on wikipedia) and the terrace at the back is a later extension. Next to this is the "Gasthuiskerk" (visible in the photo on the left - the church was part of hospital and poorhouse in the middle ages but these days serves as part of the concert hall chambers), and while we were working we heard an organ being played which was from either this church but more likely from the one next to this, the Waalsekerk which has amazing organ which Tama played on once a week in 2008-9. The two buildings (see photo on left) on the northern side of this courtyard also date from the middle ages and were part of what was known as the Aalmarkt school which in turn served as part of the "Sint-Catharinagasthuis" complex for the poor of the city of Leiden.

And now the framework for our "room of memories" is almost finished we will work on the bed and bed covering, which will fit exactly into the inner space. The window that hangs above bears engraved texts: "Trees that yield no fruit have been and will ever be for the fire." and "Possess a pure, kindly and radiant heart, that thine may be a sovereignty ancient, imperishable and everlasting." (these and the other texts you can see in part if you stand underneath the window and look up, come from the Hidden Words by Baha'u'llah, and on the left there is a mirror which turns reflecting the inner and outer memories :)

"Room of Memories" tryout in a studio

Try-out in the "OpenMakers" studio in the centre of Leiden (an old shop building at Aalmarkt 15).

June 15th: The mirror swivels and makes a nice "trick of the eye" play with the oval on the opposite side of the structure. Beyond you see the roof which will be added on top.

We then dismantled it on June 17th for rebuilding it on location on the Leiden concert hall terrace in a courtyard at the back of Aalmarkt 15.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Our "bed-sculpture" for the OpenLuchtHotel in Leiden

12 June 2012: Change of plans now. We cannot build around the tree as planned so we chose to mimic the forms of some of the 15th century houses in the courtyard instead. What you see in the photo here is a church building from the 16th century. All going well we can start putting it together on Friday.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

New Temporary Sculpture in Leiden

Room of Memories 2012

Our proposal for the OpenLuchtHotel for 21 June 2012

We will change this photo or add another underneath as we work on this project.

We will post the days we will be working on location here as well as any information or progress.

Our plan is to work on this between 3 June > 21 June and we will organize a few events for volunteers and friends, including a sleep over and possibly other events in consultation with the surrounding neighbours (the LVC (contemporary/pop music theatre), gehoorzaal (Leiden concert hall), OpenMakers (artist studios), residents).

We are still waiting to hear word from one of the neighbours, the Concert Hall (gehoorzaal) before we actually start building anything.

1 June: 4.30 - 6.30 p.m.: 15 Aalmarkt, Leiden, All Welcome (directions)
4 artists + a cultural advisor will give presentations in Dutch (Nederlands >>).
I will give a presentation in Dutch of our plans, a showing of a few past projects we have made and possibly a short film clip from footage Sonja took at the OpenLuchtHotel 2011 opening of performances and bed sculpture.

1 JUNI 2012
16.30-18.30 uur in Aalmarkt 15

iedereen welkom
* Michaël Roumen, de nieuwe cultuurmakelaar over plannen voor Leiden
* vertelt zwitsers kunstenaarsduo Van der Plas en Albrecht alles over de “braun Cube” in Aalmarkt 14,
* Bram Schrijnen laat zien en horen hoe ver ze zijn met het kinderboek.
* Diane Lepelaar vertelt waarom zij vandaag al die lege glazen potten in OPEN heeft neergezet
* Sonja van Kerkhoff over de nieuw skulptuur dat komt in de binnenplaats te liggen voor de open-lucht slaapplaats.

Daarna is er genoeg gelegenheid om elkaar informeel te ontmoeten met een drankje. Meer info op de OpenMakers website

Monday, May 7, 2012

A herd of elephants in a Leiden park

Photo: Sonja herds elephants into
the Yuchengco Museum,
Manila, The Philippines,
Nov. 2011.
About the "Nothing to Declare" art event

Performances: 10, 11 May 2012,
starts at 8:30 p.m.
Bos van Bosman, Leiden, along the path opposite the Roodborst street entrance.

This "caravan" of origami elephants, first aired in Istanbul as part of ISEA Istanbul are made out of print material collected in the countries the artist, Sonja van Kerkhoff, travelled through to get to Istanbul. Then she took the herd to the Philippines, New Zealand and then Australia. New elephants were added en route while others were retired from the herd. They will be aired for a walk for the first time in her home city of Leiden as part of Fields of Wonder's Vergezichten I open air theatre project.

Vergezichten I
Bos van Bosman (entree tegenover de Roodborststraat), Leiden
10 t/m 13 mei 2012
aanvang 20.30 uur
gratis entree

More information and more photos

Monday, April 9, 2012

New video: Transit in a green landscape

"On this plane, the traveler meeteth with many a trial and reverse. Now is he lifted up to heaven, now is he cast into the depths. As it hath been said: "Now Thou drawest me to the summit of glory, again Thou castest me into the lowest abyss."

Baha'u'llah, The Four Valleys

Music: "This Is Not All There Is" by Mark Laurent