Fare Thee Well!
In the installation Fare thee Well! the viewer is invited to say farewell to parts of the world, civilisation, convictions and personal possessions that disappeared a long time ago, or are destined to disappear someday in the future. The work thereby responds to the bleak future scenarios envisaged in times of crisis. Should we seriously question how these scenarios influence our personal life or should we take them with a pinch of salt?
The spectator looks through a telescope and sees a continuously flowing text, 2 km away, stating things and thoughts to which one day we might have to bid farewell. Through the headset, the spectator hears an opera aria by Handel, creating a visual requiem of our times, a lamentation of dystopias in times of crisis.
Looking through the telescope, an optic instrument with which the viewer normally looks back in time, creates the feeling of being in contact with an oracle, a medium existing beyond time. The texts appear to subtitle the outside world, which is also visible through the telescope.
Passers-by in the city see the projected texts too, but upside down. With this, the work poses the question of what distance is required to be able to reflect on the time and environment in which we live in.
"They are the powerful moments of the world exhibition, in which the special space fuses with that which is shown. This Fare thee well! by Dries Verhoeven does this is a genial way. (…) A magical entanglement of distance and proximity, of openness and privacy and a melancholic swansong and derisive political incorrectness."
‘Ort und Kunst verschmelzen lassen’, Matthias Weigel on Nachtkritik.de (01-06-2012)read the review (in German)
"You have no choice: you have to keep watching these hypnotic messages."
‘Verslag Over Het IJ’ ('Report on the IJ'), Simon van den Berg in Het Parool (17-07-2013)read the report (in Dutch)
"Verhoeven is partly playing with classic philosophical ideas of the sublime in having us survey --and be unsettled by-- the accelerated history of development and privatization in our urban surroundings."
‘PuSh 2015: Fare Thee Well!’, Peter Dickinson for Performance, Place, and Politics, a blog about the local/global interfaces of audience and event (02-02-2015)read the review (in English)
Background and public reception
report from Rio de Janeiro
An interview with Dries Verhoeven prior to the edition in Rio de Janeiro (October 2012).
watch the interview (in English)
Edwin Stolk wrote a lengthy article – ‘Call of the mall and wake up to a better world’ – about his visit to the visual arts manifestation Call of the Mall: “It gave me the personal touch I was looking for and it felt as a layered and daring visual meeting in time and space. One of those meetings I will not easily forget…” (17-09-2013).
read the article (in English)
Before the version at STRP Eindhoven (March 2015), local fractions of the LPF and PVV [Right-wing political parties] in Eindhoven had trouble with the sentence “Welcome Islamic State”. This led to parliamentary questions. Verhoeven responded on Omroep Brabant (radio).
listen to the audio clip (in Dutch)
Student Master of Arts, Public and Society at the University of Tilburg, Robin Verleisdonk responded to the outcry with his opinion piece ‘Kunst mag bang maken’ (‘Art may scare’) (25-03-2015).
read the article (in Dutch)
concept Dries Verhoeven
artistic assistance Cindy Moorman (2013) and Bart van de Woestijne (2015)
technicians Kas van Huisstede (2013) and Roel Evenhuis (2015)
photography Colin Griffiths and Saris & den Engelsman
version Berlin (June 2012) co-commissioned by HAU Hebbel am Ufer