Works

We create interactive art works that invite the public to be curious, to operate the work or to enter it. MakeFactory wants to wonder people, invite them to contemplate and to think about the other sides of normality. What do we think is true? and what is not?

Meet the Ferengi

Showing from 5th March to 24th October in the exhibition “Ferengi” in Museum Villa Mondriaan. While we wait for the museum to open, we can meet with the Ferengi from the exhibition right here:
 
What part of ourselves are we really, what part do we want to own? And what part of ourselves is made by others, or are we because we are expected to?
That is what the exhibition “Ferengi” is about, the desire to be an outsider.
The desire to be something other than ourselves. The desire to have nothing more to do with it and to hide ourselves completely in a stranger.

Rolliebollie

Dienke Groenhout, The Netherlands

This costume was introduced in the previous newsletter in the blog “stuff stuff stuff”. Nothing was bought for this ‘costume’. It is too heavy to walk with and thus it tells its own story. All the things we collect, all the stories from the past, memories, souvenirs are incorporated into it. They are precious materialized thoughts and sentiments until they become ballast. The ballast of a life became its own entity.

Ferengi Hollandinye

Dienke Groenhout

These two costumes are made entirely from material from my immediate environment. While I was wondering what it means to pass off as a Dutch citizen abroad, I wandered through my own soil. To begin with, my garden. There was a dead pine tree in it that had to be removed. And bamboo also grows there (an exotic by the way). While I was busy sawing and cutting the tree and the bamboo, I wondered which part of the Netherlands I wanted to represent if people call me Dutch. Maybe the nature? The ability to incorporate something exotic, something new and strange as part of our own identity? This is how the Ferengi Hollandinye (the Dutch stranger, because it looks like the first Ferengi, an Ethiopian stranger) was created, made of bamboo from the garden, grass from the floodplains and ‘test grasses’ from the WUR trial fields.
While Debek Ferengi (Hidden Stranger) has antlers from our fir tree, and is made of the wool of Grebbeveld Schapen &zo, where our Magirus is parked.

Debek Ferengi

Dienke Groenhout

Zaliwa, a midnight sun

Valerie Amani, Tanzania

A sea creature, Valerie wrote a poem to accompany this costume that has everything to do with her motto “Definition belong to the definers, not to the defined” (Toni Morrisson)

A midnight song
 
To be born in the ephemeral 
A water birth 
Holding balance between the seen 
And unseen  
A cleansing 
Or a drowning and reincarnation  
The many things that are felt 
But not understood 
We have become the contradiction of living as nature 
But not a part of it 
Placing home in the periphery 
We became observers of ourselves 
 
A water birth 
Is a breaking birth 
A limitless birthing occurring 
And reoccurring 
Until we understand 
What we really are 
Is nothing like we wanted to be 
 
A midnight sun 
Moving mysteries 
Inhaling and transforming 
Like the texture of our skin 
And the hypocrisy of humanity
Always changing
Hybrids today 
Hybrids tomorrow 
I try and relocate myself 
Hold on to a fluid identity 
A history I did not ask for 
But one I must claim 
And re-texturize

Ecosapiens

Tamrat Gezahegne, Ethiopia

“My Ecosapiens was born from my desire to see the urban and the rural coexist in symbiosis. Where the one strengthens the other, and both can live together in harmony and biodiversity. That they understand and share their cultural values and knowledge for a better future…”

Fjállkonan

Gígja Reynisdóttir, Iceland

‘Fjállkonan’ is a mythical woman who symbolizes the people and nature of Iceland. Traditionally, the lady, usually played by a famous actress, recites poems during Iceland’s national holiday. She is then dressed in a splendid, traditional mountain woman regalia embroidered with gold thread and flowers. In the twenty-five years that I have been living in the Netherlands, I have come to miss the rugged Icelandic nature and in particular the mountains more and more. It was therefore a logical choice for me to make my own personal ‘Fjállkonan’ for the Ferengi exhibition.

Watch below how the the Ferengi move around in their habitat. With special thanks to Jessie van Vreden, Pauline van Tuyll en Tania Romero.

And visit here the website of Museum Villa Mondriaan.

Ferengi (stranger)

From the 5th of March until the 19th of September the exhibition Ferengi is showing in Museum Villa Mondriaan.
You can visit the project “Ferengi” (Stranger) the first few weeks online and hopefully from April in a live visit!

The exhibition is showing costumes in a broad sense of the word, meaning: you can wear them but they are much more than just a decorative function for the body. 
They communicate the identity of their makers. Dienke Groenhout, the initiator of this project, made three of the costumes. The other costumes are made by Tamrat Gezahegne from Ethiopia, Gígja Reynisdóttir from Iceland and Valerie Asiimwe Amani from Tanzania, all artists that Groenhout met during her travels. Videos of the performances in which the costumes are being worn provide insight into the functioning of the costume as an extension of the identity.

The artists wonder what an identity actually is, which part of it is just a coincidence, which part is allocated and which part is a personal achievement. According to the Ferengi project, identities are located in a symbolic time and space in an imaginary geography. Fictional, so to speak. Partly by oneself and to a large extent by a group, an entire society or a political idea. 

Please also visit the site of Museum Villa Mondriaan.

Child Of Freedom

Exhibtion Child Of Freedom in the “Nationaal Onderduik Museum” in Aalten is open.
From 01-07-2020 until 14-02-2021
Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday 13:00 – 17:00 uur, Markt 12-16 Aalten

Please be warmly welcomed in this fascinating museum where the people in hiding were literally sitting right above the office of the German Wehrmacht. The original hiding places are kept exactly like they were and you can touch everything. This place drags you right into the intens history that happened here.

The special exhibtion room shows the exhibtion “Child of Freedom”. Three artists have made work for nine personal stories about freedom. What is freedom? And when do you feel it?

In the part that MakeFactory did the question about freedom was connected to the question “where do you feel at home?”. An interesting one for us, since we travel a lot and regularly live a life on the road on the search for freedom.
That’s why the question was asked to Ate Meijer (16) who traveled with the MakeFactory last year and switched her home and friends for a nomadic life. She made a wonderfull short film compilation that shows what a home-feeling means to her while being on the road.

The other two stories that where the starting point for MakeFactories work where the stories of Joseph Tetelepta from the Moluccan Islands and of the Dutch/German Rudolph Ostermann.
Joseph came to the Netherlands as a young child with the governmental programm that brought the Mollucan KNIL soldiers who had faught with the Dutch army in Indonesia to the Netherlands. The Mollucan families where housed in the former concentration camps from WO II. The idea was that they would stay temporarily, that’s why they didn’t learn to speak Dutch, didn’t get passports and lived with a packed suitcase at the doorstep, so they where able to leave at any moment. But slowly temporarily turned into forever. How can you feel at home if you’ve always been told that home is somewhere else?

The German Rudolph Ostermann already lived in the Netherlands with his family for generations when WO II started. Right after the war the Dutch government started the operation “Black Tulip”.
It meant that all Germans were ordered to leave the country regardless of their story or background. During the war the family had helped people fleeing the country but it didn’t matter, they were evicted relentlessly. How to feel at home if someone else says your home isn’t here?

Ferengi

Performance, 2019 Addis Abeba

When we arive to new places we try to connect immediately to what we know. We try to give the strange a familiarity. Do we need a similarity to connect? While I traveled many continents I was always categorized immediately and given many names even though I was there for the first time. I wondered what will happen when there is no category for me yet and no context to refer to? How do people face the strange? The suit was made with the help of Gennet Hussein, presented at Guramayne Art Centre and now in possession of The National Theatre, Addis Abeba.

Floating Home

Performance installation, 2019 Nafasi Art Space, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

“Staying is not the same as coming back”

“How did we get here?” was the theme of this international exhibition. The question aimed to acdress our identity seen in a global perspective. MakeFactory created the performance installation ‘Floating home’. A landscape of paper furniture that seems to have fallen apart. People can enter the deranged room that invites them to a moment of reflection. Voices are whispering questions to wonder about. In cooperation with the dancers of Muda Africa, who created a special performance for this work. Sponsored by Safmarine.

“There is no connection between time and improvement”
“To go away is to see where you stand”

Pecheur de Plastic

Performance
2019 Centre culturel Le Chateau
Saint Louis, Senegal

Pecheur de Plastic was a participative performance connecting the fishermen’s traditional rituals of hauling in the nets to modern dance. The dancing school le Chateau culturel in St Louis is situated in the middle of the fishermen’s quarter on a peninsula that is slowly being eaten on one side by the sea and on the other, the river side, by enormous amounts of plastic pollution. The performance was participatory. In invited the public to join in the movements of the dance and to collect plastics together with the dancers while they carried the nets through the streets.

Some gorgeous pictures made by Abdoulaye Toure in sequence of the performance: 

7 Houses

The MakeFactory visited 7 countries. The 7 houses in this exhibtion each represent one of the visited countries. You are invited to enter the houses and to listen, watch, feel and experience them for yourself.


More and more people are on the move. People travel for their work, tourists travel further away, and huge numbers of refugees leave their countries. Not only data and goods are covering larger distances, also people move more frequently and further away. What is everyone looking for?

For refugees we might think it is clear: They need to leave from where they are. They are not so much looking at the place they are going to, as they are wanting to get away from where they are. Any place is better then the home location. Sometimes you hear people say: ‘We don’t want any fortune hunters’. But why actually not? Is some one who is going to search for happiness not a good contributor to society? Would we rather have people showing of their misery so we can be sure that they are not just here to get happy? And why is that any different for the massive amount of tourists that walk all over Thailand or Venice each year? Aren’t they fortune hunters too? You might argue that they are paying for their stay. Maybe, yes, but does paying for your visit make it a better visit? Tourists are paying to change local environments into a showcase. Into an environment that has become unavaillable for the local residents and isolated from its surrounding.

Contact with ‘home’ is not always clear anymore. Poeple work in other cities, their social contacts are being maintained via social media, you congratulate via WhatsApp. And if you by chance walk the street you are lokking at your phone. Are people still feeling enough at home in their neighbourhood? Maybe the new being at home is now being on the way….?

Living Doll

Living Doll started up a long long time ago: a giant baby of polyester. I was supposed to make twelve of them, out of a big mold. Twelve giant babies turning slowly around on a old merry-go-round. A grown-up could easily sit on it’s lap. The baby has a buddha-like position, why? Babies are a special kind of people. The find almost everything okay. Everything is enormous to them and new and a potential danger. But they seem to have the least of trouble with that, as long as they are not too thirsty, or too hungry or too cold, they are pretty much okay with everything.

Living Doll was shown at Gallery Art on the Move, Arnhem.

The Living Doll finds a perfect spot in my investigation of the relation between the 2- and 3-dimensional space, and the relation between the ‘real’ world and the virtual or imaginable world. Also part in this investigation are Spatial room and Cardboard life. The living, laughing, talking childs face is projected on the static doll. Sneak preview of this installation was shown at the World Travel event.

Below some extra pictures of living doll at my studio.

@dienkegroenhout
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Traffic Jam!

“Around 63.000 people rush themselves every morning in their cars to the highway to join the line and then stand still.
They rush themselves, and go nowhere.

The defenition of a highway is ‘a conflictfree road for fast motorised traffic that doesn’t have to stop or wait at junctions’. 
Every morning though, the highway transforms into a gigantic roadblock.

Discription:
‘Traffic Jam!’ is a 4 km long installation that resambles a ‘normal’ morning rushhour in the Netherlands, on scale.
The installation consists out of 80.000 white porcelan cars and lorries like we see them every day driving on the Dutch roads. Or actually standing still on the Dutch roads.

The installation ‘Traffic Jam!’ means to give the audience an insight on the scale of the traffic jam problem the Netherlands has. Where other countries have usually traffic jam problems around the big cities, the Netherlands is practicly all jammed up. Because the cities are so close together, it can happen that the entire route from one to another is filled with still standing cars.
If you want to build an entire morning rushour on, let’s say, a scale of 1:87 (standard scaletrain), you will see a ‘Droste effect’ appearing. The installation itself becomes this long that it has the size of one pretty large jam.

In order to see the whole amount of cars at once there needs to be made a special construction of ‘scaleroads’ that turns and twists around itself and can be connected on walls and ceilings, and should maybe even go out of the building and come in again through the back to fit the 4 kilometers.
The installation will be supported by usefull, interesting or bizarre information about the traffic jam problem. Ranging from the economical loss for employers per traffic jam minute, to irritation by the traffic jam drivers, and from how much money is being made with traffic jam, to how it can deliver the traffic jam drivers  a moment of relaxation and time for oneself.

File was shown (in parts) at Art Aalsmeer, Otto and at Boxxshop, Lloyd Hotel, Amsterdam.

Small Worlds

Small Worlds was shown at Pluk de Nacht Festival, Amsterdam and at Fringefestival, Amsterdam.

Small Worlds is an installation made in asignement of ‘Pluk de Nacht‘. The outdoor filmfestival on the pear in ‘het IJ’ in Amsterdam.

For this installation Dienke Groenhout en Gigja Reynisdottir collaborated together just like they did for the installation Pocket Garden. Small Worlds is a small bluescreen studio. One camera films the person in the caravan. Another camera films the miniature world under the plastic dome. These two images are being mixed and the ‘actor’ appears in the small world. The public was invited to operate the first camera and people invented quite alot of new fun stuff! Check the films and pictures.


Small Worlds came to exist as the outcome of some funny expiriments with miniature filmsets that Dienke was showing on TV’s. When Gigja saw them she thought it would be so cool to actually be ín those sets. Together they invented a way which made this possible. Beam you up Scotty!
Pictures of the filmsets:


Pocket Garden

Zoem Zoem

“If you see its silver gleaming armor you may expect something hightech inside, maybe a cockpit with flashing lights. 
But nothing could be less true! Once you step inside you will be outside again.
With this Pocket Garden you are not bringing your house on wheels, but you’re bringing your camping spot. With this caravan you can easily camp in the middle of Shanghai, or any other spot where the urbanization is an unstopable fact.”
Inside of Poket Garden is a sweet romantic flowergarden, complete with pond and fountain! Roll out your sleepingbag on the grass and you will spent the night in your own private garden under the stars.
Grow your own fruits and vegetables and you will have healthy food for on the road!”

Pocket Garden was made by Dienke Groenhout en Gigja Reynisdottir in assignment of Pluk de Nacht 2007.
Pocket garden was shown at: Robodock, (Amsterdam), Witte de With, (Rotterdam), Camping Rotterdam, (Rotterdam), Noorderzon, (Groningen), Kunstvlaai, (Amsterdam) Gogbot, (Enschede) amonst lots of other locations.

Peephouses

socialmedia installatie 'gluurhuisjes'Social media is hot. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram… If you do it well you can present an entire new avatar of yourself on each one of them. But does it make the world more social?
In the Peephouses you can check out one’s profile through the camera’s en tv’s first. Like what you see ? You can directly meet ‘live’.

Peephouses was made in assignment of Pluk de Nacht 2010, Outdoor filmfestival on the pear in ‘het IJ’, Amsterdam.
Twelve wooden boxes are grouping together like the buildings of a small town. In six of them there are large looking holes. If you peek in them you will see somebody’s face really close by. Is this me? you wonder. Is this being filmed?
But soon enough you will find out that it is live and that face, might be the person standing next to you peeking in that other hole!