Felix &Foam is an exciting new collaboration: it will see St-W Magazine and the photography publication Foam joining forces to create unique programmes and exhibitions for the building in Amsterdam. Located along the scenic Keizersgracht canal, the Felix Meritis building has been a bustling centre for art, culture and science since the Enlightenment era. Now conceptual artist Willehad Eilers (who also goes by the pseudonym ) will showcase his work as part of Felix &Foam in the St-W Store. Eilers was educated at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie and the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam. He continues to live and work in the Dutch capital today. He combines drawing, performance and installation to produce playful and expressive works. His short film The Illmannered Milkman (2013) won the Best International Film award at the WDNX festival in Canada. A recurring narrative in his oeuvre revolves around the somewhat contradictory attributes of human nature.
One of his older works, The Unharmonious Dome (2012), is an artistic reaction against metropolitan governments, in particular their attempts to rid the streets of homeless people and drug addicts. Eilers focuses on the deliberate use of classical music in public places, which is meant to make these “socially undesirable people” feel unwelcome and vulgar. He built a temporary refuge that visitors could enter, where they would be subjected to an unpleasant miscellany of imagery and sounds. The installation made its rounds of different locations in Amsterdam, garnering attention from onlookers who were both bemused and curious. The Unharmonious Dome demonstrates Eilers’ serious interest in the powerful forces of social decorum and how they shape unspoken boundaries.
Eilers’ interest in the negotiation of boundaries hasn’t changed, although his new subject matter revolves around the creative process of making art. His latest works that will be shown at the St-W store at Felix &Foam include “blind drawings”, which showcase unrestrained linework on wood. These drawings, which Eilers has been making for the past year, celebrate the visual and cognitive immediacy of allowing one’s hand to roam free. Eilers says of these new developments: “I like to think of myself as an “adventure artist”. I want my work to take me to places where I do not feel fully comfortable. These blind drawings are never exactly how I envision them to be: they are edgy, they annoy me sometimes, and often make me strive to create more works. I feel that making blind drawings encourages a particular attitude that applies not only to my drawing practice, but also to the other aspects of my work.”
Felix &Foam&St-W will launch tonight at 6 pm, featuring performances by the band My Baby, the Amsterdam Andalusian Orchestra, DJ Gauche Caviar and a live set by Saux. Eilers’ show will open at the St-W Store at 6 pm and runs until May 17th.
, St-W, Foyer and Friends, Keizersgracht 324, Amsterdam,
Images courtesy of the artist and Mink Projects, Amsterdam.