• Ground Breaking
  • 29.08 - 25.09.2015 

“There is always failure, there is always dissapointment. And there is always loss. It is realising that no hole is a vacuum”

Michael J. Fox

'Ground Breaking' is an exhibition developed by Steven van Grinsven for Galerie Gabriel Rolt. The exhibition uses Amsterdam's gentrified urban landscape to explore the site-specificality of Land Art and the possibilities for art works to be understood in absence of their original context, geographic place of creation and the hand of their maker.

Claes Oldenburg made his in the backyard of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Wim T. Schippers created no more than two years later in Princess Beatrix' garden at Drakensteyn, Bob Parks, refuting art school did them throughout all of central London in the early 70's before joining a then starting out artist named Paul McCarthy in Los Angeles. Since, many have been created, and many more have been forgotten. What these artists have in common is that they each made an inversion with a spatial enlargement, in other words, dug a hole in the name of art. The art of digging holes in the name of art lies at the heart of this exhibition that explores this specialised outpost of Land Art or more specifically Earth Works, whilst simultaneously challenging the notion whether art can truly exist beyond its original realm and context.

A hole, we have all dug one, nothing more than an opening into a solid, an excavation of earth. Still, despite their commonality, holes hold mysteries to which only their makers hold the keys. Whilst the underlying act remains the same, the manifestation of the hole varies in its appearance throughout art history and more importantly radically differs from the next when it comes to its conceptual framework. These holes are no longer mere excavations of earth but become a stand in for larger social and political issues determined by their original time, location and maker. By presenting a small selection of historic holes, Van Grinsven alludes to the potential of a much overlooked tradition in art and questions if we can interpret a facsimile with its original intellectual framework in mind or are we left with only aesthetic parameters devoid of their intent.