by Josée Thissen-Rojer
Until March 31, 2021, The Curaçao Museum will be showcasing the work of 5 contemporary artists in the exhibition titled ‘2020 Ekstremo – Pa koroná e obra’, which translates into ‘2020 Extreme – to crown the achievement’. This exhibition is organized by the manager of the museum, Judaline Cyntje and supported by the chairman Neeltje Timmers, and boardmember Mariëtte van Soesbergen.
Visual artists Bianca Berends, Herman van Bergen, Carlos Blaaker, Yubi Kirindongo, and Evelien Sipkes have been selected by the museum to participate. The title of the exhibition refers to the extreme character of the year 2020. A year where Curaçao was affected by the global pandemic and consequently, extreme measures were taken, which led to an economic crisis, taking a dramatic toll on the lives of the people.
Van Soesbergen shares that the cultural-historical museum wanted to conclude 2020 in a meaningful manner through this exhibition. Due to limited space in the building, only a select group of artists was invited to participate. The selection took place internally. Van Soesbergen also explains that all the artists who were approached by the museum had created work this past year and in particular during the lockdown. After being invited, Bianca Berends created a special piece for this exhibition.
The exhibition commences in the hallway of the museum with the work of Bianca Berends (Netherlands, 1971). A four-meter-wide creation on paper is titled ‘Remember that beach day?’. It was specifically made for this exhibition and features a beach filled with kids playing.
The work is mainly executed in black-and-white and the observer looks from the water onto the land, to the beach where the kids are playing. The base of the sea at the forefront is created with a collage of written postcards. At the top, postcards are also incorporated into the sky. In between, in the center, kids are playing. It’s a colorful scene, where the kids are immersed in their game, completely unaware that they are being observed.
For Bianca Berends, postcards symbolize distance in travel and time. It is a recurring theme in her work. Now, during the pandemic, it is a nostalgic reminder of the time before ‘keeping distance’. Simultaneously, it offers solace and the hope that we can bridge the distance in the near future and can soon come together again in a carefree manner.