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Grossmut begatte mich

Pipilotti Rist

Solo exhibition

25 January – 12 March 2000
Vleeshal (Map)

Curator: Lex ter Braak

Pipilotti Rist, 'Grossmut begatte mich', exhibition view, 2000 | Grossmut begatte mich | Pipilotti Rist

The first presentation of 2000 was Swiss artist Pipilotti Rist’s 'Grossmut begatte mich'. A few years earlier, in 1996, De Vleeshal had been the first arts institution to acquire one of Rist’s works.

In 'Grossmut begatte mich' De Vleeshal became a projection screen. Images were projected on the rear and right-hand walls of the hall, where the typically Gothic niches and sculptures made the projection appear relieved, and from the top of the space onto the floor, making visitors seem to be part of the work.

The images projected were fragments of music videos, mixed with images reflecting Rist’s own perception of her environment. Accompanied by music by Chris Isaak, the images passing by were pervaded by an unabashedly girlish, almost sloppy sentimentality.


Vleeshal is a unique center for contemporary art, not only because of its atypical exhibition space and exciting programming, but also because it has a collection. In the 1990s, under the impetus of then director Lex ter Braak, an ambitious collection of contemporary visual art was begun. This collection was intended for a newly envisioned museum in Middelburg, designed by Aldo and Hannie van Eyck. In 1995 it became clear that, unfortunately, there was insufficient political support for this museum. The impetus of collection building had therefore lost its possible context and visibility and encumbered Vleeshal. The collection had become a storage cost and management issue.

In 2005, the collection was given on a long-term loan to M HKA in Antwerp. M HKA was chosen because of the close historical ties between Middelburg and Antwerp, the museum's collection profile, and the fact that M HKA's director, Bart De Baere, was a member of the committee that purchased artworks for the yet-to-be-built museum in Middelburg in the 1990s.

The collection consists of two parts. One part includes national and local art from the BKR arrangement (the Dutch abbreviation BKR stands for Beeldende Kunstenaars Regeling, an arrangement, which from 1949 to 1987 provided artists with a temporary income in exchange for works of art or other artistic quid pro quo). The other part consists of artworks by international contemporary artists (including Jimmie Durham, Nedko Solakov, Suchan Kinoshita, Cameron Jamie, Pipilotti Rist, and Job Koelewijn).

There has been no active acquisition policy for years. The collection is expanded here and there with sporadic purchases and donations from artists who are part of the Vleeshal program.