RSVP at Billytown

Artists: Peter van Beveren, Hans Bellmer, Melle de Boer, Wim Gijzen, Kim David Bots, Eliane Bots, Afra Eisma, Marnix van Uum, Katherina Heil, Alexander Heil, Sam Hersbach, Vita Soul Wilmering, Robbin Heyker, Ma Jia, Paul de Jong, Sjuul Joosen, Maja Klaassens, Christofer Degrér, Rik Möhlmann, Gijsje Heemskerk, Bernice Nauta, Juan Pablo Plazas, Robbert Pauwels, Tim Breukers, Iede Reckman, Derk Thijs, Jiajia Qi, Fumi Takenouchi, Marieke van’t Zet, Machteld Solinger

Exhibition title: RSVP

Curated by: Katherina Heil and Robbin Heyker

Venue: Billytown, The Hague, The Netherlands

Date: January 28 – March 19, 2022

Photography: Charlott Markus / all images copyright and courtesy of the artists and Billytown, The Hague

On January 28th Billytown opened its doors with an exhibition showing the work of 30 artists.

After almost two years of shuffling between togetherness and isolation, we recognize the importance of connections, conversations and working relationships as a necessity for any artistic practice. Artists don’t exist in a vacuum, they are part of intricate networks of colleagues, friends, teachers, and family. While we may not yet be able to bring people together, we can bring works together. For this exhibition artists from within Billytown each invited a guest to show a work in parallel with their own.

Within this collection of fifteen duo shows, we find artists who collided overseas and ended up living in the same city, and others who passed each other once and never again. Some saw the artist first, others saw their work first, even years beforehand. There are people who have never met, years-long collaborations, provocative challenges, or simply guests who provide encouragement and inspiration. Theoretical connections, material connections, and connections between the present and past.

In Billytown, we feel the generative intimacy of working together, but also the chaos it brings. While the connection between each pair is the primary focus, new and unexpected connections appear between other works in the space. As such, each duet provides a guiding voice within the often chaotic context of a large group show. From the wide variety of motivations and impulses behind each artist’s invitation, questions arise about the nature of invitation and the potential of collaboration.

-Maja Klaassens

RSVP, 2022, exhibition view, Billytown, The Hague

RSVP, 2022, exhibition view, Billytown, The Hague

RSVP, 2022, exhibition view, Billytown, The Hague

RSVP, 2022, exhibition view, Billytown, The Hague

RSVP, 2022, exhibition view, Billytown, The Hague

RSVP, 2022, exhibition view, Billytown, The Hague

RSVP, 2022, exhibition view, Billytown, The Hague

Jiajia Qi, Somewhere Else, Anywhere But Here, 2021-2022 and Fumi Takenouchi, SOOT, 2021

Jiajia Qi, Somewhere Else, Anywhere But Here, 2021-2022

Paul de Jong, Untitled, 2021 and Sjuul Joosen, Physikos Doryphoros, 2021

Sam Hersbach and Vita Soul Wilmering, BAÄL, 2020

Gijsje Heemskerk, Meersoortig 2021 and Rik Möhlmann, okhluddibm, 2022

Christofer Degrér, 25/6, 2021 and Maja Klaassens, Wall mount for Eternity Moment by Calvin Klein, 2022

Melle de Boer, The Story, 2021 and Wim Gijzen, Untitled, 1989

Peter van Beveren, The Western Boy or The Road to Success, 1970-1971 and Hans Bellmer, Rose ou Verte la Nuit, 1960

Marnix van Uum, I Have Never Felt Completely Lost, 2021 and Afra Eisma, Primordial Mother Stomach, 2021

Ma Jia, Untitled, 2021 and Robbin Heyker, Untitled(Male Duck), 2016

Robbert Pauwels and Tim Breukers, Polyamoureustyreen, 2022

Alexander Heil, Singing Sculpture-A Silent Instrument, 2022 and Katherina Heil, Verschiedene Umdrehungen, erweiterter Horizont, Zenith, 2021

Iede Reckman, Pavilion, 2022 and Derk Thijs, ou!, 2021-2022

Marieke van’t Zet, Niquel, 2021 and Machteld Solinger, Onion, 2021

Bernice Nauta and Juan Pablo Plazas, Meeting Time Viewer, 2017/2008

Kim David Bots, Taking Stock – Nothing Left, 2020-2021 and Kim David Bots and Eliane Bots, The Speaker, 2022