Toos Nijssen - ..biz ..biz kimiz / ..and we ..who are we
Toos Nijssen ..biz ..biz kimiz / ..and we ..who are we
Toos Nijssen (born 1961) explores the universal, yet increasingly difficult question of identity: ..biz ..biz kimiz / ..and we ..who are we The subjects are unknown to the artist before they are invited to participate, either personally or through hand-outs explaining the project. Over the past 10 years, Toos Nijssen has assembled an archive of video portraits of 450 individuals that range from 5 to 60 minutes long. All of these portraits were taken in a specially designed booth that she set up in different places in India, Belgium, Italy and the Netherlands. The latest portraits were made at a weekly market held in an area of Eindhoven predominantly populated by Turkish citizens.
At the Palais de Hollande, the Dutch Consulate in Istanbul, two monumental stills printed on canvas flank the grand Consulate entrance. Nearby, on the same busy street, her most recent series of video portraits are on two monitors in a bookshop’s window. Although all of the portraits were taken in Eindhoven, the national identity of Nijssen’s subjects are deliberately unclear, and makes one question what a Dutch person might look like today, and whether one can even ask this question. The only common feature is Nijssen’s technique of portrayal.
..biz ..biz kimiz is a pleading for difference. It is a new form of portraiture. These video recordings are not idealized, realistic or expressionistic portraits. They do not claim to represent national values. They do not accuse social circumstances, nor, do they investigate psychological patterns. They are straight forward portraits of men and women of all races, yet taken in specific places.
During three weeks, Toos Nijssen will be adding to her archive of portraits in Istanbul. Operating from a booth with recording facilities in the courtyard of the Dutch Consulate, Toos Nijssen will invite people walking in Istanbul’s busy streets to participate in her project. It is the process, more than finishing and completing the project, that drives the artist. The potentially never ending labour of communicating, recording and showing is the contemporary and humanistic answer to the aristocratic and bourgeois portraits of the past.
The archive of Toos Nijssen will grow through the video portraits taken in Istanbul. At a later date, the project will be presented in Eindhoven in special presentation at the Van Abbemuseum.
Locations video-project Toos Nijssen:
Palais de Hollande
Istiklal Caddesi 393
Istanbul , Turkey Robinson Crusoe Kitabevi (Bookshop)
Istiklal Caddesi 389
The video-project ..biz ..biz kimiz / ..and we ..who are we has been made possible by:
Dutch Consulate General
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Robinson Crusoe Kitabevi (bookshop)