There is not much going on in the garden these days. That is why I will tell you about the exhibition of Jordan Wolfson at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam I visited last week. It moved me a lot, so I have to get it off my chest ....
As I arrive at the Stedelijk climbing up the stairs I hear a horrible noise. I walk into the gallery with some anxiety. I see a big doll on chains hanging from a frame. These chains are connected to a mechanism, which can move the doll around. To my astonishment the doll is first lifted up by the chains and then, with a lot of noise, brutally thrown to the ground. Over and over again. The chains lash the doll while it is tossed around.
I wonder, "Can someone please do something nice with this doll?" I find it too horrible to watch and walk away from it.
I continue my visit to the museum and get into the next gallery. A long white bench is placed over the full width of the room. I sit down on the bench and wonder why does this doll touch me so much. Why do I look upon the doll as a human being? After all it is only made of plastic.
Looking up again, on the wall next to the bench I see a notice. It says: “Shoes are not allowed in the next gallery. Please take out your shoes and place them underneath the bench. Thank you for your cooperation.”
I hesitate and return on the bench. I simply do not want to enter the next room on my socks. I look under the bench. No shoes there. Ugh, hardly 15 minutes in the museum and I already feel so much conflict within myself.
I return to the gallery with the doll. The doll is now being drawn in varying poses by the chains. The doll’s eyes blink and look at me quizzically. Meanwhile, I think about my shoe dilemma. What a “bitch” I am, I want to go inside but I do not.
As the doll has to undergo his scourging again and the chains fall on it with a deafening noise, I walk away. I could cry.
I make up my mind. I walk to the other room, sit on the bench, take off my shoes and place them underneath the bench. Next I open the white door ......
The exhibition runs until April 23, 2017 (stedelijk)
The doll is bashed.
Or in more likeable poses.
The chains draw unusual patterns.
What is the doll saying: help?
In the next gallery, the bench. I see no shoes underneath it.
The note on the wall.
I open the door......