September 2 - October 2, 2005
Han Hoogerbrugge (41) studied painting at the Rotterdam Academy of Arts from 1982 to 1987. After graduating he starts working as a visual artist in the conventional sense of the word, doing paintings, drawings, installations and sculptures. In 1996 he draws his self-portrait as a comic strip for the very first time. In that same year he starts exploring the Internet and starts a website called Modern Living. After posting the comic on his website, he realizes that the Internet isn’t the appropriate medium for a static comic. When he discovers the potential of gif animations he starts making small animations for the Internet: the Neurotica series.
With the installation ZOO, premiering now in MU, Hoogerbrugge embarks on a new challenge. In a style similar to his short internet animations, he is going to create an entirely new work, which will be projected full-scale on eight screens of three by two metres. The interiors projected on the eight screens are reminiscent of a hybrid hospital treatment room, wind tunnel, test chamber and cage. In these spaces, boxed-in, withdrawn people show us their tics, neuroses and compulsions.
Web animations presuppose one-to-one communication. In the ideal situation, the user plays and responds to the animation works on his own familiar computer in his own familiar environment. He decides how long the animation is going to continue and how often an action will be repeated. There’s no-one looking over his shoulder, the user is free to do what he wants, he’s the one in complete control. Via his computer, the user has 24/7 global access to the work.
The visitors of the installation ‘ZOO’ on the other hand, are invited to watch the animations from a suitable distance as if they were exotic ‘species’, rarely to behold in real life. A situation quite different from the home situation, therefore. The user becomes a visitor; the intimacy of the familiar home screen has vanished. The visitor is in an environment that is alien to him, he’s never alone and he has no control over the progress of the animations. The public confrontation with human inadequacies makes the experience all the more embarrassing and heartrending. Still, it’s not going to be a passive spectacle. As the animations are projected on an octagon of screens, it will be impossible for the visitor to view all the animations at once. Driven by the feeling that he’s missing out on something, he will walk around the space: what’s happening on the other screens? This feeling of unease will be heightened by the sound supporting the animations. What kind of sound is that, where does it come from?
A physical tour along the total installation in MU offers an entirely different confrontation with Hoogerbrugge’s work. As the new work is presented in a gallery setting, it has gained a completely new impact and expressive strength. In addition to this large-sized installation, the exhibition in MU will also contain prints and web animations of these images on four stand-alone PCs.