labeling identity - amsterdam - 2016

'In todays daily life, where you're faced with the fact that the terms label and identity seem virtually connected to individual persons and where you seem to be simply pressed into a profile  and you sometimes want to wriggle and squirm in to a profile fit, should an exposure of the subjects are not lacking within the collegeof the university' , thought the artists Gerrie Starreveld and Bart Drost. That's why they developed the project  'Labeling identity', which took place in March 2016 in the heart of Amsterdam at VOX POP, the creative space of the Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Amsterdam.

In addition to the exhibition of own art work and poetry they ran a varied lunch program with lectures and workshops from the world of theater, science and professional practice. With this they presented a surprisingly new concept at the Binnengasthuis!

Contributions by Bart Drost:

'Bob, Bep, Bass and the others'

'Selfie - no selfie '

'Mirror, mirror speak to me...'

a summary of the events and the exhibition is contained in a small catalog


bill, betsy, bob and the others

Between 2006 and 2015 Bart Drost made more than one hundred and eighty portraits of people with a psychiatric and/or personality disorder. What surprised him as art therapist while working primarily was the discovery that patients who were actually with him in therapy seemed to be not different from 'just the neighbor next door'.
The question arises what determines a person's identity: the deviation, the disease diagnosed? Or is it the way you / this one about?

Throughout the duration of the project 'labeling identity' all the portraits were present. Sixty-four were hanging on the walls, the remaining hundred or so twenty portraits remained in the storage box. On this occasion it was
exhibited in a small room on trestles, without lid  . In the background you could hear a voice monotonous speaking a series of more or less well-known psychiatric disorders.


selfy - no selfy

1979, a weeknight. Bart Drost, 24 years, only in his dorm with his tripod, Yashica and a black / white roll of film. Pulling funny faces, little drama, he captures it all in rapid succession. The shadow of a bottle of beer in the background. 'Selfies avant la lettre'. But the prints remain indoors.

You have so that phases in your life: clean up and discard. The series of self-portraits from 1979 has survived time and again. No idea why. They were 'very important'? The negatives been thrown away, but not before they were digitized. 2015 Drost - more than thirty years later - Drost decided to make the series again. Together with photographer Sanne Willemsen he mirrors the pictures of 1979. This time without beer.

At 'labeling identity' he shows the two series and they - intentionally or unintentionally? - enter into a relationship with the painted portraits of Bill, Betsy and Bob.


mirror, mirror...

21 hand mirrors, standing mirrors 21.
In the hand mirrors are texts engraved

I love you
You looks a bit depressed
You are strong
I hate you

Look in the hand mirror, read the text.
Please check out and read your face in the mirror.

What impact do the comments of another have on your self-image.
And are the comments of others correct?

How do you see yourself actually?


what about the boy - 1979-2015

a photo project in two parts

Part 1-1979

On a weekday evening in his room in the Bronsgeest Straat in Nijmegen. There where no selfies, no digital world.  A tripod, his yashica and a black/white film. The big discovery. Pulling funny faces.  Showing
yourself. And then the next day develop the roll and print the photos by yourself. Bart Drost than 24 years and he is conveinced that this is all very important.

Part 2-2015

Each one has so that phases in life: clean up and discard. The series of self-portraits from 1979 has survived. No idea why. Did they remaine 'very important'? The negatives have been discarded, after first being digitized. In 2015 Bart Drost (he is 60 years at that time) asks photographer Sanne Willemse to make the series over again.

Back to archive.


Bart Drost

free artist

Graafseweg 183a
6531ZR Nijmegen
The Netherlands