In Kritieke Staat - Willum Deen
In Kritieke Staat – Willum Deen

In 2013, I was initiator and guest curator of the exhibition In Critical State, in collaboration with Patrick Mangnus and on location at the Kunstenlab Deventer.

This idea was prompted by the hardening in the political climate in the Netherlands, the country in which we artists live and work.

In Kritieke Staat - Expositie Kunstenlab Deventer 2013 - Overzicht politiek vervolgde kunstenaars
In Kritieke Staat – Expositie Kunstenlab Deventer 2013 – Overzicht politiek vervolgde kunstenaars

Outside our safe national borders, we often see that when art and artists are cornered, the work they produce becomes more engaged and urgent. In countries where there is no freedom of expression, making a critical illustration is a risky thing in itself.

In this exhibition, I asked myself whether the urgency or the need to make socially critical work is increasing due to changing political climate. Or put very sharply; how committed is the Dutch artist.

To sharpen and clarify this question with this exhibition, work by international artists was shown in a separate room within the exhibition. Some of them were personally invited to make work or show existing work, but we also showed works, illustrations and films by/about artists who were persecuted, arrested and imprisoned in their own country and/or physically tackled and beaten up for making and showing work that was forbidden, for example simple criticism of a regime. Confronting images.

In Kritieke Staat - Installatie Martijn Engelbregt
In Kritieke Staat – Installatie Martijn Engelbregt

Through art prints, internet, films and projections; supplemented by statements, the work of these and the other foreign artists was exhibited alongside the Dutch artists

Participating Dutch artists:

In Kritieke Staat - Jos Deenen
In Kritieke Staat – Jos Deenen

Jos DeenenMartijn EngelbregtMo FazelWillum GeertsStijn Peetersen Robert Pennekamp.

Participating International artists:
Jack Addis, ATYL – Alexandra LeePaul ClayPaul McCormickMad For real – Cai Yuan and jj XxiHarley PriceSophie SandersMaria SevastakiMadeleine Strindbergen Frank Williams.

The exhibition was opened on Sunday 24 February at 4pm by Dr Kiene Brillenburg Wurth, associate professor of Literature Studies. She was currently researching (the function of) satire at Harvard University ( Also a lecture by British artist Paul Mc Cormick and a performance by Robert Pennekamp.

Artist talk
4 April/19.30pm
Led by Rob Smolders, an artist talk took place with me as guest curator and two of the participating artists; Mo Fazel and Willum Geerts.>>

Alexandra Lee, Maria Sevastaki e.a.

Kunstenaars die vervolgd /bedreigd/opgepakt en gemolesteerd worden voor hun kunstuitingen.

Lezing Paul Mc Cormick en Dr. Kiene Willenburg

Poster 'In Kritieke Staat'