press release

Jeanne Moreau stars in film 'Club Mama Gemütlich'

At the moment the Kröller-Müller Museum presents a retrospective of the Dutch artist Christiaan Bastiaans (Amsterdam, 1951). Club Mama Gemütlich is not only a retrospective of Bastiaans' oeuvre of the past twenty years, but also a total work of art. The exhibition runs until February 21 2010.

The exhibition's structure is based on the architectural layout of the classical Japanese Noh theatre, in which the relationship between the world of the dead and the world of the living is embodied symbolically. Visitors will be guided past thirteen sections to the main stage, where the film Club Mama Gemütlich is showing. It is also the source of the exhibition's title.

The film was shot at the fictional 'Club Mama Gemütlich', which is part field hospital, part mission post and part nightclub podium. The film's leading lady, La Vivre, played by Jeanne Moreau, ensures that it is a place of hope, consolation and warmth.

The "human condition" is the consistent theme in the work of Bastiaans. His subjects are derived from the political and social reality. He seeks out situations in which people find themselves in an unfamiliar environment, through circumstances beyond their personal control, and are forced to survive somehow. He travels to conflict areas and war zones, refugee camps, former leper colonies; regions where terror reigns. There he meets child soldiers, refugees, psychiatric patients, victims of the human organ trade, the elderly, transsexuals. The stories these people tell him form the basis of his art.

The Kröller-Müller Museum began acquiring work by Christiaan Bastiaans in 1994. The museum focuses on the interaction between the margin and the centre, and particularly appreciates those utopias and artists who connect aesthetic notions with social issues in an unconventional way.

The film is produced by Rudolf Evenhuis with support from the Netherlands Film Fund and the Netherlands Foundation for Visual Arts, Design and Architecture. The Kröller-Müller Museum purchased the film with the support of the BankGiro Lottery. A book with a detailed visual essay will accompany the exhibition.

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Christiaan Bastiaans
Club Mama Gemütlich