Friday 13 January ’23, starting at 16.00, the exhibition opens in the EXPO room at Corrosia Theatre, Expo & Film Flower beings.
This solo exhibition by the artist Teun Castelein will provide Almere Haven with an interactive flower decoration for three months.
Welcome to Teun Castelein’s photo studio. He built an interior that reflects the many colors of Almere Haven. With gerberas, the flowers that are grown in almost every color of the rainbow in the Netherlands.
The visual artist Castelein is interested in tourist installations, including the sculptures that invite the viewer to stick their head through. They can be found all over the world. Castelein sees it as a form of folk art and makes the connection with the flower parade culture.
Such sculptures create a direct contact between the viewer and the art. Castelein adds a digital layer to this and makes another connection: with social media and selfie culture. “Profile photo art is also folk culture. Everyone takes pictures of themselves, on a horse or a mountain, in this case between the flowers. By sharing it on social media, they hope to get hearts and thumbs up. It sounds flat, but we all crave to be seen and loved. If I can help with that, I think it’s a good idea.”
Let yourself be immortalized among the flowers
The exhibition Flower beings offers Almeerders who visit Corrosia – for a performance or film, a cup of coffee, a visit to the community center or a visit to the library – the opportunity to step out of reality for a while in the photo studio-cum-exhibition room. It is a small intrusion into everyday life, an experiment and a search for something that transcends peephole folklore. A selfie museum for the Almere community.
Everyone is welcome and can shoot their own portrait. Castelein will be present for three days. He will (if desired) immortalize visitors in the flower decoration, freeze a moment in life, with the concentrated attention that prevails in a photo studio.
Also space for corona project
The film of Corona Corsos, which Castelein made during the corona pandemic, will also be shown during the exhibition. With the one-man flower parade, he paid tribute to folk art in the Netherlands and abroad. For example, he commented on one and a half meters of society, the opposite of the connecting power of the flower parade, which is a community work. Corona Corso was also an antidote to the boredom of life during the lockdown, a bright spot in the dark times of the corona.
About Teun Castelein
Teun Castelein (1980) grew up among Roelofarendsveen’s flower greenhouses. In 2007 he graduated from the Sandberg Institute. The art projects he has since realized often stem from outrage at social phenomena, social injustice or life’s inconsistencies. Castelein’s concept art disrupts, questions and confronts projects where ironic humor and bloody seriousness go hand in hand. Perhaps the strongest example is Rederij Lampedusa, which he founded during Sail Amsterdam 2015, an event that welcomes the most beautiful historic ships. Castelein bought two former refugee boats on the Italian migrant island and used them to organize cruises through Amsterdam. The crew, consisting of Dutch people and immigrants from Syria, Somalia, Eritrea and Egypt, tells how the city has been shaped by immigrants for 750 years. It is a reminder of the contrast between rich and poor and the richness that immigration can bring. The project earned him the Peace Pigeon Award. The shipping company Lampedusa still offers round trips every week.
The cultural cuts in 2012 resulted in the Halbe beer, the profits of which should flow back to the arts. Drinking beer for art was the idea. The cut line halfway through the bottle is not a reference to Secretary of State Halbe Zijlstra’s pruning operation in the cultural sector, but to the German habit of ordering ‘eine Halbe’.
Other examples of Castelein’s projects include Wietkaas (two major Dutch attractions in one), MyPolarIce (an ‘authentic’, numbered piece of polar ice in a cold capsule, to keep in the freezer until better times) and The Geert Wilders, a pop band that keeps the news hit with the number Wild, Wilder, Wilders.
With his floral projects, he chooses a lighter tone. As a child, Castelein went door to door selling flowers. The sea of flowers in the greenhouses, the annual flower processions in the street and even selling flowers have shaped him more than he previously knew. He will now delve into flower culture and explore its conceptual potential.
In addition to his creative work, Castelein teaches Branding at the Willem de Kooning Academy and, since 2017, also Social Dreaming at the University of the Underground.
Corrosia Theatre, Expo & Film
1354 AP Almere Haven
Expo open: Tue to Sat at 12-17 and from one hour before the start of the performance. Free access.