24th November 2017 - 20th January 2018  

Yvonne Dröge Wendel; Moments in the ThinkTank, The honourable members

Yvonne Dröge Wendel is concerned with the relational and performative abilities of things, a theme that touches on present-day questions about our relationship to the material world around us. She sets up experimental encounters and aims to capture what it is that objects actually do. Rethinking the subject-object distinction and reworking our understanding of what it is for humans and non-humans to constitute a world is the main focus point of her artistic practice.

The drive behind her work is tangible and visible in her playful, philosophical encounters. In 1992, she married and took the name of ‘Wendel’, a cupboard she inherited from her mother. In 1994, she had her Renault 16TL blessed in Rome. Since 2000, numerous performances took place involving Black Ball, a large felted ball measuring 3.5 meters in diameter, that the public moves down streets and alleyways and through gates and doorways. People respond with visible enjoyment to the ball and interact spontaneously with it. This work was on view in Leeuwarden, Amsterdam, Bolzano, Newcastle, New York, Istanbul, Odense, Johannesburg, Rotterdam and will be in Hong Kong in 2018. In 2008, Dröge Wendel set up Item Store: a shop for things that had yet to be defined. Since 2012 she works on the design of her Denk Tank, literally a Think Tank. A large steel object, a building where individuals can consult objects about themselves. Her aim is to create a place that helps to formulate the essential questions when it comes to the future of things.

In her view sustainability and a bright future for humans and objects can only be achieved by carefully reworking our attitude towards the material world.

Based in Amsterdam, she is head of the department of Fine Arts at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy. She publishes art books, features frequently in solo and group exhibitions, and engages on a regular basis with the public in public spaces. In 1994 she won the second Prix de Rome to be awarded in the fine arts and theatre. Presently she is working on a PhD artistic research project at the University of Twente. In 2016, Yvonne Dröge Wendel was awarded the prestigious Dr. A.H. Heineken Prize for Art. The jury unanimously praised Dröge Wendel for her originality, vitality and innovation, and her both playful and philosophical research into the relation between man and things.

Photo by Donghwan Kam