Aernout Mik
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Through a non-specific narrative, the works of Aernout Mik (Groningen, Holland, 1962) suggest situations which reflect the societal tension and the today´s emotions. In his work, we view images referring to wars, global crises and social and racial conflicts which become familiar to us.

Among the topics dealt by Aernout Mik, he reproduces the inherent violence of the human behavior once in group, many times referring to politics and social events and its reflection in the media: wars, crisis, economic depression, racism and social tensions. From improbable situations and verging the absurd, the artist draws a social commentary with no clear conclusion,  where the characters try to reaffirm their own individuality within the group context they belong to.

The exhibition comprises 4 pieces:  Glutinosity (2001), Schoolyard (2009), Training Ground (2006), and Raw Footage (2006). These 4 video-installations, as in many of Mik´s works, have contact points with film, performance, writing and architecture. The performance dimension of the exhibition in CA2M  will be hence reinforced by an action that visitors will carry out a subtle interplay with the pieces and the exhibition space itself.

Glutinosity, 2001, depicts a stage resembling the context of a riot and social masses as politic actors: uniformed crowd pulls and pushes the bodies of another group which seems to be glued together, presenting a single multifarious human mass. These strength and counter strength create a choreography around the density of the crowd and the weight of the crowded bodies.
Schoolyard is the work Aernout Mik presented in the New York´s  MoMa in 2009.

Through situations which take place in the schoolyard of a High School, he arises the underlying violence in many of the day-to-day behavior. The protagonists are student groups of various ethnic backgrounds who, after been evacuated from school, start celebrating diverse scenes like processions, mournings or ecstatic celebrations, which arise in brief flashes, without clear narrative thread, with an unexpected turn of events. This work blends the media imaginary of the Middle East conflict with the Dutch daily reality.

Two more works which treat the issue of organized violence Training Ground and Raw Footage, 2006, will be on display. In Training Ground, we witness a series of scenes which appear to be military training exercises where two groups of people are focused: guards and detainees.

As in many Mik´s works, this video challenges viewer´s process of interpretation and identification, by using a quite unconventional narrative scenario where viewers find it difficulties to have a single moral interpretation.

In Raw Footage the artist make use of unedited images from Bosnia civil war to approach the violence and daily life issues, combining images of war with others where soldiers are in their off-duty hours. Contrary to most Mik´s production, who usually works with actors and with no audio, this work uses materials filmed by others keeping the original sound of the tapes.


AERNOUT MIK was born in 1962 in Groningen, Netherlands, (1962) and now lives and works in Amsterdam. He was awarded the Sandberg prize in 1997 and the Dr A. H. Heineken prize in 2002. He represented the Dutch Pavillion at the Venice Biennale in 2007. His first solo exhibition Primal Gestures, Minor Roles opened in Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven in 2000. Since then, Mik has presented his work in the fields of video, performance, architecture and sculpture in the Camden Arts Center in London in 2007, the Ludwig Forum für Internationale Kunst in Aachen, Germany, 2008 or at Nueva York´s  MoMA in 2009, among others.  During 2011-2012, the Galerie National du Jeu de Paume in Paris, the Folkwang Museum of Essen and  the Stedelijk in Amsterdam, will hold  most of his outstanding works.


A bilingual exhibition catalogue is published, featuring texts by Ferran Barenblit y Michael Taussig.

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07 February 2012 20:00