Apprentice Master #8 2017 | by Riet van Gerven

Apprentice Master #8 Bas van den Hurk

Bas van den Hurk, Non-lineair war, Apprentice Master #8, SEA Foundation 2017
Non-Linear War – Bas van den Hurk, Christina Cushing, Melle Nieling and Liselotte Pollaris installation view KunstpodiumT, Tilburg

24 February 2017
by Riet van Gerven



Non-Linear War |
Apprentice Master #8
with master Bas van den Hurk

24.02 – 13.03.2017

Noordstraat 105
5038 EH Tilburg
The Netherlands

Exhibition review | Blog

Apprentice Master #8

Bas van den Hurk is the master and Christina Cushing (1995 UK), Melle Nieling (1992 NL) and Lotte Pollaris (1994 BE) are the students in this Apprentice 2017 Master edition titled Non-Linear War – master-apprentice #8 at KunstpodiumT. During the opening reception I enter through the front door. I feel hopeful as for the purpose of this exhibition the windows are blinded. This time no peeks through windows from passersby or from the visitor before entering KunstpodiumT this time.

There is a short exhibition introductory text available and I scan over it before entering the hallway that connects the exhibition rooms. It reads: “This exhibition unites four international artists whose emulous works are in constant struggle, meeting one moment, then pushing away, colliding, overlapping and shaking hands”. I read the word emulous twice. Emulous as in antagonistic, at odds, combative, following, copying, mimicking, deceptive, echoic, reflective in connection to the title of the exhibition. The short explanatory text reads further: “Putin’s right hand, Vladislav Surkov, employs a political strategy of maintaining control through constantly destabilising reality. The Ukrainian unrest, as a prime example of such perception management, has been dubbed a non-linear war.”

‘Validate Me’

Indeed, Surkov is credited with inventing the system of “managed democracy”. The meaning became clear to me as soon as I entered the exhibition rooms at KunstpodiumT. At first, I was struck by the light. Blue and pink tube lights are mounted in their casks on the ceiling. Normally there were daylight tubes fixed and in other circumstances, they are meant to enhance the works of art instead of obscuring them as they do now. The blue and pink light transpires each of the exhibition rooms and blurs the vision, and likewise, the perception of the artworks in their circumferences.


The coloured light ostensively denies all but one work their existence: the film projection ‘Validate Me’ (2017) of the Nottingham based Christina Cushing. This work celebrates the rivalry within the show. The projection declines to be eaten, as in the linear-war tense so to speak. It demonstrates that denial is just a formal recognition of hostilities. While the animation is shedding light on the natural colourful forms and surrounds it with a smooth voice-over, the morphing and fluctuating animation remains expresses an essential tool for the continuation of politics stretched by the ambiguous meaning of the other artworks in that are in hiding.

I noticed that in all three of the other exhibition rooms one or two of the Master’s works in conjunction with the apprentices were exhibited, but in the room where Christina Cushing’s work was displayed, his works were absent. Maybe it was the killer instinct of Melle Nieling’s screens on which was echoing The Master’s deceptive aptitude? Or maybe it was just simply the derivative yet colourful projection of Validate Me that was captivating? Or maybe it was the group’s dynamics, intending to cover up and dispersing within that was meant to refrain from pseudo-personal chatter. The exhibition certainly resulted in cutthroat friction, embracing the reality of any relationship, if there were any, to be taken into account. The show expresses discomfort and distress. It even imposes and uncovers the killer instinct, that latches on to you while you are inside Non-Linear War.

KunstpodiumT | Apprentice Master Programme
Bas van den Hurk
Christina Cushing
Melle Nieling
Liselotte Pollaris 

On view until 13.03.2017
Noordstraat 105
5038 EH, Tilburg
The Netherlands

Bas van den Hurk, Non-linear War zaaloverzicht, Apprentice Master #8, SEA Foundation 2017
Bas van den Hurk, Non-lineair war, Apprentice Master #8, SEA Foundation 2017