Clan

CLAN consists of a group of porcelain busts. They form a present-day variant of the busts of national heroes that were produced in the Loosdrecht factory at the end of the 18th century. The figures by Bastienne Kramer have been compiled from casts of various masks that came from shops selling party objects. The busts consistently wear a different carnival mask. The face underneath is always the same but it, too, is actually a mask, that of an anonymous man, sold as ‘the criminal’. Read more

The assortment of available masks clarifies today’s (anti-) heroes: the ‘bad’ and the ‘good’ politicians ridiculed and idealised celebrities. Their standardised appearance conceals every human expression. The Loosdrecht busts also functioned primarily as a symbol and only to a lesser extent as a portrait. The presentation of this type of figures was a (modest) political ‘statement’. Kramer’s busts are life-sized and arranged at a conference table, a setting referring to the private meetings of the world’s leaders. The busts are the representatives of a clan whose identity and motives are not always clear.

Clan exhibited

Clan

Flashforward, Kunstvereniging Diepenheim, NL 2019

Clan

Portretten van de 21e eeuw, Gorcums Museum, NL 2010

Clan

Nieuwe Liefdes, Princessenhof Leeuwarden, NL 2009

Traditional porcelain busts wear a carnival mask—a time-honoured way of assuming another’s identity for a while. Mask-wearing offers a playful way to imagine what it’s like to be in someone else’s skin. But Kramer disrupts this custom too by using caricatures of powerholders and stereotypes. Yet again, the composition of the disguised busts lined up on the conference table underlines the contradiction inherent in different kinds of power display. The imagining of the human body and our physical relationship with sculptures and objects is a recurring theme in Kramer’s oeuvre.

Familieopstelling / Family Constellation

Some have fate written on their foreheads, others relate intimately or aloof to this or that and together they form a group of relatives. The whole is called FAMILY CONSTELLATION, consisting of 20 scurrile porcelain portraits, white as the wall on which they hang. Read more

ZUS, KUT, GOD, STRAIGHT, MOM, FUCK, NO, FATHER and unnamed uncles, concealed loved ones, half-bleeds and mongrels, oldest daughters, nieces and never-born sons, cast-off great aunts, unknown mothers and stepfathers - they all look at you as or they are the spectators, as if they sit in a grandstand for the performance of life. The basis for all images is printing in a limited number of templates. By exchanging and adapting physiological characteristics, they together form the portrait of a family. They hang together in clusters to emphasize relationships and isolations within kinship. Set-up and title are derived from a contemporary, popular form of psychological therapy, in which representation and arranging for family members play a crucial role.

Familieopstelling / Family Constellation exhibited

Familieopstelling

Flashforward, Kunstvereniging Diepenheim, NL 2019

Familieopstelling

DubbelBee Gallery, Amsterdam, NL 2007

Familieopstelling

Gallery Loerakker, Amsterdam, NL 1999

Home Made Energy

In her series WARMTEBEELDEN / WARMTH SCULPTURES Bastienne Kramer investigates the transmission of warmth both in a technical-formal and material sense, and in its conceptual meaning. HOME MADE ENERGY addresses the hidden geography and explores present-day structures and qualities of spaces. Read more

Amsterdam – Berlin, gas stations along the A1 and A2 in Germany: on hundreds of toilet doors between Hannover and Berlin a German company advertizes sophisticated stoves, fire places, heaters and other equipment that, belying their high-tech character, are able to realize home-made warmth in every living room that. The installation HOME MADE ENERGY highlights the things that represent homeliness and warmth. Through countless processes of reproduction that are inaccessible to the end user, the grid, material and shape of the heaters’ elements refer to the construction of ceramic tile stoves traditionally used in Southern Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Eastern Europe to distribute warmth ‘democratically’ across several rooms. Kramer metaphorically translates heating systems into monumental installations that generate public warmth. The stove-like ceramic objects, moulded on upholstered panels of artificial leather and finished with a high-gloss glaze, are reminiscent of the plastic coated seating elements from the low-end furniture industry. The installations arise from the private and cultural necessity of heating while simultaneously realising warmth as a social and public affair. Contrary to expectation and in spite of their logical arrangements the objects do not consubstantiate with their purpose. According to Bruno Latour things can be understood as contentious issues: they keep us in check by various means to mark public conditions in a differential manner.

WARMTEBEELDEN / WARMTH SCULPTURES exhibited

WB#9

Flashforward, Kunstvereniging Diepenheim, NL 2019

WB#2

The Daylight Show, Landgoed Zonnenstraal, Hilversum, NL 2014

WB#2

Home Made Energy, EKWC, Den Bosch, NL 2013

WB#2

WB#2 #3 #4

Home Made Energy, Project Space Ozean, Berlin, DE 2012

WB#3

HOME MADE ENERGY shows how, with the addition of warmth, sculptures can suggest a sense of physicality. It is an invisible energy that we perceive with the body not the eye. For instance, in the form of radiating heat or when we are touched. The vast WARMTEBEELD IX / WARMTH SCULPTURE IX commands attention by virtue of its presence in the space. To all appearances, the work seems cladded in soft cushions, but these turn out to be ceramic tiles, like those that cover the projecting cube. This element is heated and may be gently touched. But physical contact doesn’t go unnoticed—fingers and hands leave traces.

Sphere exhibited

Sphere and Lonely Nature

Flashforward, Kunstvereniging Diepenheim, NL 2019

Sphere and Lonely Nature

Lonely Nature

Sphere

Blind Image, circa...dit Arnhem, NL 2014

Sphere

Home Made Energy, EKWC Den Bosch, NL 2013

Sphere

Sphere #4 #5 and Warmth Cubes

Home Made Energy, EKWC Den Bosch, NL 2013

Sphere #4 #5

Warmth Cubes

Home Made Energy, EKWC Den Bosch, NL 2013

In the works SPHERE # 1 to # 4, I use a digital 3D construction drawing of a cushion to mill the polystyrene mold. I can put dents or bumps on the mold, just as if someone sat on it. I use a special glaze for the surface, which, when charged by light or heat, emits fluorescent light for four hours. This visually transforms the heavy ceramic works into transparent, almost extraterrestrial, spongy forms. They radiate energy – literally and figuratively – and therefore heat.

Idols XL-XS

IDOLS XL and XS are two series of expanding monumental and minuscule images, respectively. They provide a commentary on images of women, ranging from today’s cigarette lighters and souvenirs to ancient figurines, some dating back as far as years, that are carved in stone or ivory and on display in museums. Read more

The object’s original purpose, whether we are talking about today’s kitsch or a prehistoric artefact, is not relevant to me here. I appropriate these images by focusing on their visual features, and then breathe fresh life into them by casting them in different materials and formats. Ignoring an item’s original context, such as its material, and its historical or political significance, will enable us to explore, both individually and collectively, the significance of the ‘Venus phenomenon’.

Idols XL exhibited

Venus of Falkenstein XL

Flashforward, Kunstvereniging Diepenheim, NL 2019

Venus of Breda XL

Concepts of Time, Rijksmuseum van Oudheden, Leiden, NL 2018

Venus of Langenzersdorf XL

Venus of Breda XL

Publication spread Idols XL-XS

Venus of Breda XL

West Wednesday, Tetterode, Amsterdam, NL 2016

Venus of Frassasie XL

Museum Garden, Pergola, La Marche, IT 2014

Venus of NYC XL

Landgoed Anningahof, Zwolle, NL 2013

Venus of NYC XL

ParKt, Amsterdam, NL 2011

Venus of NYC XL (made in China)

Guangdong Shivan Ceramic Museum, Foshan, CN 2007

S[UZI]

Kunstpunkt Berlin, DE 2002

IDOLS XS exhibited

Venus of Nicosia Mirrored +Venus of Nicosia XL

Cyprus, National Museum of Antiquities, Leiden, NL 2019

Venus of Nicosia Mirrored

Flashforward, Kunstvereniging Diepenheim, NL 2019

Venus of Nicosia XS

Gallery Dick Meijer, Amsterdam, NL 2018

Idols XS 85,5% (Made in China)

De Nederlandsche Bank, Amsterdam, NL

Pink Idol

National Museum of Antiquities, Leiden, NL 2018

Isis, Nehanalias, Holefels/Wien

Le Bon Coût, Gallery Samy Abraham, Paris, FR 2018

German Myth

Künstlerhaus Stadttöpferei Neumünster, DE 2017

Roll Idols XS 85,5%

Clay-Body 2.16, Aktuelle Positionen der Keramik, Stadtgalerie im Elbeforum Brunsbüttel, DE 2016

Roll Idols XS 85,5%

Idols XS 85,5%

publication spread Idols XL-XS

Idols XS 100%

Open studio, Atelier Holsboer, Cité International des Arts, Paris, FR 2016

Roll with Idols XS 85.5% and 100%

Using imprints in porcelain or rubber of prehistoric Venus figures, I search for information in different directions. I set out to investigate how the representation of a woman may have affected the maker’s decisions about form and size, and distinctions between images of a god and those of a mortal. Why do most famous Venus figures have no face, while their jewellery or hairstyles are modelled with great precision? Is an item of jewellery a hierarchical sign, a mark of respect, or a pre-sexist expression of a ‘pin-up’ model? Read more

I constantly encounter different reproductions of the same figurines in which each one highlights a different aspect. Sometimes it is the skin, the size, the colour, and sometimes it is the mode of presentation: on a stick and a small pedestal in a museum, as a souvenir in the form of a key ring, or processed into a piece of jewellery. Who decides about the representation of the object? Who interprets the subject? What transformation takes place when I make moulds from the impressions and cast them in porcelain, apart from the fact that porcelain shrinks by a factor of 15% in the kiln? As a series, these figurines represent yet another re-use of a thing, in this case of a significant artefact. cast in the same porcelain or rubber, if we omit the lighter function the figures are scarcely distinguishable from ancient figurines of Venus. Some lighters are adorned with jewellery similar to those seen on images of Venus. Here too, questions arise regarding the client who commissioned the object, and the producers and users. It is conceivable that someone actually commissioned the item, for instance the designer/stylist of a company that supplies tourist shops around the world with knickknacks, but who made the original, and what were the examples or criteria according to which it was modelled? It seems unlikely that the Museum of Natural History in Vienna would have sent its prehistoric Venus collection to China to have casts made of the figurines there. However, it is quite likely that Chinese women, men and children have made casts of female figures en masse in synthetic materials and used them to make lighters. Sociologically speaking, we can only hazard a guess as to what kind of cultural exchange such activities represent. Besides the Venus figures, IDOLS XS also includes images of women from the ‘fun industry’, here mainly sexist designs of lighters with fire-breathing tits, women with their pants down, women with noise-making, luminous genitals, preferably women without a head or face and usually without arms and legs. When these images are

Idols XS Paris

Kramer finds her inspiration sources in everyday life. Like a researcher, she notes how we interact with mundane objects and sheds light on the absurdity of household items we take for granted. Like cigarette lighters and salt and pepper shakers in the shape of women’s bodies, ovens or carnival masks. Read more

She translates found objects into a different, often valuable medium such as clay and porcelain and then amplifies or resizes them, producing them in series, such as the work Idols XS Paris. The miniatures combine a wild array of female figures in everchanging compositions. The constellations flirt with different references. Art historical tropes such as a pieta, a reclining nude reminiscent of an odalisque or romantic scenes from ordinary life. The variations seem an unending transformation process of possibilities.

IDOLS XS Paris

Flashforward, Kunstvereniging Diepenheim, NL 2019

Idols XS Paris

National Museum of Antiquities, Leiden, NL 2018

Idols XS Paris

Le Bon Coût, Gallery Samy Abraham, Paris, FR 2018

Idols XS Paris

Francis Boeske Projects, Amsterdam, NL 2017

Archive

Archive of sculptures, installations, works in public space and participatory works from 1992 till now.

Archive 1

G8, Ugly Speed II

Flashforward, Kunstvereniging Diepenheim, NL 2019

G8, Ugly Speed II, Pink Memory

G8, Ugly Speed II, Pink Memory

G8

G8

Pink Memory

Pink Installation

Casco, Utrecht NL 1995

Ugly Speed

New Balance, Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius LT 1996

Ugly Speed

Herein, Künstlerhaus Bethanieen Berlin, DE 1994

Ugly Speed

W139, Amsterdam, NL 1995

Archive 2

Cocoon (under side)

Welcome Stranger, Amsterdam, NL 1992

Cocoon (topside)

Bad (Bath)

Archipel 98, Nieuwe Meer, Amsterdam, NL 1998 (in collaboration with Beata Franso)

Vlot (Raft)

Kunstpunkt, Berlin, DE 2002

Gothic Tent

The Other Self, National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi, IN 1995

Gothic Tent

Sanskriti Kendra, New Delhi, IN 1995

Welth Detector

Bollywood has Arrived, Passengers terminal Amsterdam, NL 2001

WB #1, Curtain

Gallerie Dubbelbee, Amsterdam, NL 2007

Scupture of Fame (body 2)

Usable artwork for the young offenders’ institution De Maasberg in Overloon, NL 2009 in collaboration with 60 young detained people (girls and boys 12-18 years old)

Sculpture of Fame (body 5)

Scupture of Fame (body 4)

Space Chalet (outside)

Courtyard prison for female prisoners, Heerhugowaard, NL 2000

Space Chalet (interior)

Archive 3

REMBO

Rembrandtpark, Amsterdam, NL 2006

REMBO

Art Police

ARTIS, 's Hertogenbosch, NL 1992

Art Police

Agenten en Benzinepompen (Police officers and Gas pumps) Paviljoens, Almere, NL 1996

Taxidriver suit 1993

Taxidriver suit, 1993

Bandit girl, Su[zie], Friese Vriendinnen

National Ceramic Museum Princessehof, Leeuwarden, NL 2001

Bandit girl

Bandid girl

Friese Vriendinnen (Friesian Girl friends)

Kunstpunkt, Berlin, DE 2002

Friesian Girlfriends

Frisian Girlfriend

Frisian Girlfriend

Baby 2000

European Ceramic Work Centre, 's Hertogenbosch, NL 2000