kunstluis - valkhof museum nijmegen - 2020

Museum Het Valkhof in Nijmegen conceived the plan to annually invite an artist, under the name 'Kunstluis' ('Art lous'), to respond 'like a louse in the fur' to the collection and/or the museum with short-term interventions. The artist receives carte blanche. Content and timing are entirely up to him/her. Everything in and around the museum can be a reason to intervene: current exhibitions, objects from the collection, news about the museum, ideas about presenting art, et cetera.

In 2020 Bart Drost will provide the first edition interventions, in which he will put the different aspects of 'exhibiting art in the museum' in a new light. The immediate reason for the recurring Kunstluis was Drost's unannounced installation "Mind your step" last year, which surprised many visitors and employees of the museum.

With every intervention, Drost always makes a business card, a kind of extra entrance ticket.
All interventions will be collected with explanations where necessary in a robust booklet: 'laus & fur'.

intervention 7 - November 2020 - art lous takes the opportunity

The contract stipulates that Valkhof Kunstluis may carry out a maximum of seven interventions in 2020.

One intervention is not the other. Sometimes an intervention is so minor that you cannot really speak of a real inervation. Then again the intervention is so extensive that it looks more like a mini exhibition. In recent months, Kunstluis has casually carried out a few small guerilla campaigns here and there in Het Museum, which have not (yet) been made public.

During Intervention 7 he reviews them where possible.


intervention 6 - October 2020 - art lous and the plinth ladder

From the very beginning, Bart Drost has been annoyed by the plinths in Het Museum. Sometimes the skirting boards are formed by "gaps", at other times they are "edges". It's a mishmash. In any case, they are disturbing elements.

At Intervention 6, he turns his head and enjoys the same ugly plinths: he arranges fourteen plinth slits as small shop windows and displays objects and trinkets that inspire him, and he makes mini-presentations of earlier work.

The exhibition can be viewed through binoculars or on your knees for Arts sake. Make it a family spectacle ...


intervention 5 - September 2020 - art lous hits

seven bullets hit!
In 2019 Museum Het Valkhof acquired a beautiful wooden statue of Saint Sebastian. Unfortunately, the picture is not complete. Exactly what makes Sebastian Saint Sebastian is missing. Nevertheless, the statue is now showing off in the beautiful room "Nijmegen and the Middle Ages" of the museum. You could say more naked than naked.

Kunstluis decided to restore the statue in honor at its 5th Intervention. He also immediately invited 6 fellow artists to come and do an intervention in the room: Marcel Bors, Pim Steinmann, Joos van der Zanden, Ans Verdijk, Frank Ter Beek, Hanneke van Broekhoven.


intervention 4 - July 2020 - art lous alert

mind your step

Time and circumstance repeatedly appear to have a major influence on the experience of a work of art and the impact that work of art has.

If in 2012 a work by Bart Drost is refused by the CEAC in Xiamen because of its "subversive and controversial nature", he responds with placing the artwork mind your step at CEAC: Watch your language!

In 2019, Drost mind will use your step on its own initiative and in an adapted version at the staircases of Museum Het Valkhof, which many consider impassable: Watch out, don't fall!

In the first week of July 2020, Kunstluis will give the message mind your step out loud through the museum rooms, remembering the call regarding the corona policy: Watch out, keep your distance!

Already on the first day that Kunstluis has drawn up his Intervention 4 - Bart Drost's installation mind your step - in the museum, angry visitors complain about the volume of the megaphones and the tempo at which the texts follow each other. It even goes so far that a visitor switches off the megaphones with his own hands. In order not to run the risk that Intervention 4 should unexpectedly be stopped prematurely, Kunstluis was forced to work on the installation specially adapted for this presentation.
So as of Wednesday, July 8, the message mind your step no longer sounded as loud as the artist wanted and the lyrics could be heard at greater intervals. Those who visited the museum with a visit and who thought 'what a tame installation': they were absolutely right. Kunstluis invited them through a wall text to reinforce this weakened installation by loudly saying "MIND YOUR STEP!".


intervention X - not executed - art lous confesses

art lous confesses

When the museums were allowed to open their doors again on 1 June 2020 - after the obligatory corona closure - it was buzzing with action, discontent and disbelief. The Black Lives Matter movement loudly denounced the frameworks within the relations and power relations.

Museum Het Valkhof announced its new presentation as a "feel good" exhibition?

I thought it was an empty and inappropriate gesture at the time and I craved a sound of involvement from the museum. In my role as Kunstluis I wanted to take action! When I told my action contribution - in a movie I tell a childhood memory while I painted my face black face - I did not show any harm to friends with the remark 'this is entering the museum' I was strongly advised against: "This is possible today the day really isn't, Bart ". So I decided not to include this intervention in the series of the museum, but to put it on my website. Because I do not fully understand the commotion about it.


intervention 3 - June 2020 - art lous keeps going!

visual art doesn't need a museum

Musing during one of his many walks through the Ooypolder, Kunstluis came to the philosophical thought "art does not need a museum". He intended to put this text on the outside wall at the entrance of Museum Het Valkhof as of 1 June 2020 - the day the museums will be open to the public again - as part of Intervention 3. To underline and celebrate the independence of the visual arts.He intended to put this text on the outside wall at the entrance of Museum Het Valkhof as of 1 June 2020 - the day the museums are open to the public again - as part of Intervention 3. In order to underline and celebrate the independence and resilience of the visual arts.

The museum was not amused to this intention so Kunstluis decided to refrain from this intervention, with pain in his heart.

Inspired by and using the painting with the red dragon and the knight, which is located on the wall of the museum, Kunstluis nevertheless still portrayed Intervention 3 through filmic adaptation.


intervention 2 - April 2020 - art lous as easter rabbit

Art louse as Eastern bunny !
Museums are judged on visitor numbers and do the craziest things to get young and old in.
Kunstluis conceived as Easter activity for Museum het Valkhof: 'the egg hunt'. Works from the depot and colorful nits of his own hand exhibited between the art in the museum rooms.

Due to the corona virus the museum will be closed untul Junu 1st, so this second intervention will only be available virtual.

From the museum depot
In the run-up to Intervention 2, Kunstluis went looking for 'art with an egg' in the museum depot. Only 3 works were found there: 1 print, 2 glass egg cups and 1 small ivory box in the shape of an egg. 2 Egg works from Roman times are permanently on display in the museum.


intervention 1 - March 2020 - art lous attacks!

The first intervention stems from the displeasure of the Kunstluis that exhibition space in the museum is not always fully utilized. "It's crazy to see that the print room at Museum Het Valkhof has been empty for two months ..." says Drost, "... as if there is not a depot with countless works of art, as if there are not hundreds of artists in the city who present a beautiful presentation in want to (and can) make this space ".

That is why the Kunstluis squattered this space during its first intervention and made it available to colleagues Elvira Duives and Tonni van Sommeren. The hijacking of the print room is a message to all museums to fill in all corners and gaps. Drost's first intervention took place on Tuesday 3 to Sunday 8 March 2020.

Bart Drost added a sound piece to intervention 1 and argued this as follows:

"The work of Elvira Duives and Tonni van Sommeren is delivering an intense feeling of happiness. And also a happy recognition. Because I know that, that fumbling. That cut and paste. That obsessive, yes, almost maniacal working on a project. That consistently implementing a style, a method, a thought. And nobody's waiting for it ... The works of Tonni and Elvira take me back to 1997, to a working period in India. My material existed there from children's toys, squeaky animals. I cut it apart and I composed new - impossible - animals from it. They were brightly colored in all sorts of nuances. Just like the portraits of Elvira. From this working period the "innocent india" project arose,
that at the end of 1999 in the then new project space of Museum Het Valkhof have shown. One day a procession passed by in the distant, strange Trivandrum. Because of a holy elephant. Promptly I followed the procession for hours - tape recorder ready. This sound recording now sounds from the megaphone."

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Bart Drost

free artist

Graafseweg 183a
6531ZR Nijmegen
The Netherlands