Upstream Focus: Running in Disputed Territories - No Mans Land
UPSTREAM FOCUS | JEROEN JONGELEEN | RUNNING IN DISPUTED TERRITORIES - NO MAN'S LAND
Upstream Gallery is proud to present two selected video works from Jeroen Jongeleen's recent series Running in Disputed Territories - No Man’s Land in the private viewing space.
Jongeleen’s (NL, 1967) work generally evolves in public spaces. He leaves traces in the (urban) landscape which he subsequently documents with photographs and films. With his interventions, he promotes the free use of public space and questions the way corporate influence, media, advertising, architecture, and regulations limit and direct citizens’ behavior. Jongeleen describes that his motivation to create art is not about 'decoration or making people happy’ but about ‘free speech and movement, about opposition as the essence of a truly vibrant democratic society.’ As such, his politically motivated work sets out to illustrate the power and the dynamics of the street, while offering a utopian vision for the raw future.
Jongeleen’s Running in Circles series originated during the pandemic but has since evolved into a long-term study of the power dynamics of public space, the powerlessness of the individual, and, in his most recent No Man’s Land series, of significant historical battlegrounds. No Man’s Land captures Jongeleen running in endless circles through the landscapes of Northern Europe. Elevating and descending with the landscape’s engraved craters left behind by shells, dodging remnants of explosives, running above old fortifications and alongside WWI memorials - Jongeleen’s performance is engulfed by the history of the land, the same land that was host to events like the Battle of the Somme, one of the deadliest battles recorded in human history.
Jongeleen’s hours and hours of running in circles are documented by a drone. This results in silent recordings of the solitary, intimate action. A performance by the artist who is trapped, stuck in a hamster-wheel of his own making - thereby posing the question: are wars of attrition also hamster-wheels of our own making? We are fighting for our utopian ideals, yet seemingly stuck in the dystopian consequences of our own actions.
Jongeleen’s act is a performance of anarchy in a place marked by power, but what does the uprising of an individual weigh within the wider context of history? Just like the muddy or dusty paths that Jongeleen etches into the landscape, his presence goes almost unnoticed as mother nature continues to exercise her dominance.
The influence of art history is evident in the work, from the anti-authoritarian Situationist International movement, Fluxus and Dada, to Land Art and Conceptual art interventions by Richard Long, Alberto Burri, Gordon Matta-Clark, Guiseppe Penone, and Robert Smithson. As well as the mundane repetitive early works of Bruce Nauman or the endurance performances of Marina Abramovic & Ulay. Jongeleen’s work from his Running in Circles series is in collections including Kröller-Müller Museum, Museum Voorlinden, SMAK, Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, and Stedelijk Museum Schiedam.
1.Schans – Sconce, Jeroen Jongeleen, 2022
2.Boom Ravine, Jeroen Jongeleen, 2022
Upstream Focus | Running in Disputed Territories - No Man's Land
11 March - 25 March 2023