Work by Ronald Ophuis will be shown at Kunstenfestival Aardenburg between June 29 and August 18. The theme is Vrijheid Vandaag! (Freedom Today!) and it's curated by Hans Theys.
Following the celebration of the liberation after the Second World War, this edition of the biennial Arts Festival Aardenburg was devoted to freedom.
For Baruch Spinoza, a so-called Portuguese Jew who had the right to speak in the free Netherlands, freedom consisted in accepting necessity. He is free, who does not fall for the immutability of the world or, as Nietzsche put it a little more pathetically, dares to embrace his fate. In that sense we can see freedom as a redemption from unreal desires or excessive urges.
Man's greatest prison, however, does not seem to exist in the limits of his or her possibilities and those of the world, but in being constantly absorbed by a habit of thinking that prevents us from seeing that some things can indeed change.
Humor and poetry show cracks in this habit of thinking. The smile and the emotion work liberating. They show our thoughts again in their true form: as conventions that have once been active, but may today prevent us from dealing with the unknowingly driven way of dealing with the ever-moving reality.
Artwork removes our blindfold. They place us in an exposed present, where old thoughts have less control over our minds and actions.
Similarly, original artists come to new works of art by ignoring or transcending conventions, by discovering more possibilities through an exercise approach to things, by looking at themselves as honestly as possible, by overcoming their feelings of shame and being vulnerable to being vulnerable. set.
By doing what they do, artists demand the right to be who they are, as they are, where they are, today. In this way they make room for themselves, for their way of acting and being, but also for us. And due to their mutual differences, they also make way for diversity, for conversation, for real thinking and free acting.
Art is an actualization of freedom: exploring the limits of the attainable and eagerly awaiting the unattainable. Exploring the boundary between the possible and the real. A true standing in the world, with an open mind.
Image: Ronald Ophuis, Iraq, 2003 (2018), oil on canvas. Photo: Gert Jan van Rooij.Publication date: 18 Jun '19