In The Hague, De Gruyter will present the slide show Mocha and Vanilla, the real abbey ice-cream (1989) about those Sunday ice-cream sales at the abbey. The enigmatic situation she encountered at the abbey led to an extended project incorporating spontaneous discoveries and chance. For example, when she went in search of a childhood friend Jos van de Put, intending to ask him to do the voice over for her slide show, she came in contact with another Jos van de Put by accident. Both Jos van de Put’s did the voice-over together.
De Gruyter also presents the premiere of Secret export of stories / Historias exportadas en secreto (2011) a 12 minute video documenting visits she made to two cigar factories in Havana. Workers in those factories are treated to live readings of books and newspaper on a daily basis. De Gruyter read the cigar rollers a personal letter that she wrote to them: ‘Two times a year you vote for a reader with the right kind of voice and you choose the books and newspaper articles that you like. Well, the words that glide out of the mouth of your favorite reader hit the factory walls and are rolled into the fermented tobacco leaves by your experienced hands. These words speak again when the cigars are lit…’
De Gruyter will also exhibit a tv-fragment derived from regional RTV Oost that tells the story of how a hubcap rolling into Herman Ket’s front yard inspired his hubcap collection.
Events like the current exhibit in 1646, are, for De Gruyter, part of her work process. She describes her works as ‘self-operating things’. Reactions to and occurrences around exhibits are themselves incorporated in the work.
Voebe de Gruyter lives and works in Brussels. She was educated at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, was resident at the Rijksakademie, ISP New York and and Cité des Arts in Paris.
Coming spring Roma Publications publishes a monograph on De Gruyter, image edited by Roel Arkesteijn, with an extensive interview by Maria Barnas.
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