The Stedelijk Museum Schiedam has purchased work from Susanna Inglada. The grasping hands, arms and legs on the drawn collage refer to sexual violence and unequal power relations between men and women. Crowd IV was founded in Rome at the beginning of this year. There, the artist was inspired by sculptures by 17th-century Bernini. Among other things, he carved the Greek goddess Proserpina in marble, just as Pluto abducts her to the underworld. She tries in vain to free herself.
“The monumental drawing collage by Susanna Inglada (1983) is a nice addition to the installation Y Ahora Qué? which we bought from her earlier this year, “says Catrien Schreuder, Head of Exhibitions and Collections. “Inglada’s powerful and intense work has a topical message, which is especially gripping in this turbulent year. Many people will recognize that. “
Violence and power
Susanna Inglada lives and works in the Netherlands. Its roots are in the Spanish (Catalan) Banyeres del Penedès. With Crowd IV, she also refers to a high-profile trial in her native country over a gang rape last year, in which the perpetrators were initially acquitted. Violence and power intrigue her. She takes inspiration from the ideas of the German-speaking writer Elias Canetti.
Mass and power
In his 1960 book Mass and Power, the Nobel Prize winner describes how people feel relieved in a dense crowd, pressed body to body. At that moment, people can let go of the painstakingly kept distance and feel equal to others, he says. The masses become a gigantic body that constantly wants to grow, feels threatened and sees everything outside as an enemy. That makes the masses more dangerous than the individual, according to Canetti.
Inglada (1983) studied visual arts in Spain, the Netherlands and Belgium. Initially she opted for drama training in Barcelona. You see that first love in her work, which is often three-dimensional. This also applies to her installation Y Ahora Qué? (And now what?) That the museum purchased for the NOG Collection. The museum managed this corporate collection until it was donated in October 2020. With that purchase, Inglada places cut-out figures in the room as actors on a stage. That representation of a struggle also looks oppressive.
Last year Inglada won a biennial incentive prize from the Vereniging Dordrechts Museum for young visual artists: de Scheffer. The prize consisted of a purchase and exhibition, where she showed work on the role of women in painting. She did this with a wall painting of Susanna and the elders, a Biblical story about two judges trying to seduce her. When Susanna refuses, they try to convict her for adultery. Just before her death sentence, the truth comes out when Daniel proves her innocence.
In the visual arts, the story is a popular subject because of the image of the naked woman and the moral message. It is remarkable that Susanna is by no means always portrayed as a chaste victim, but also as a temptress. Susanna Inglada sets the gaze of those male (yes, surely) painters right. In her version, her namesake looks shocked and dismissive.
In addition to the works of Susanna Inglada, the Stedelijk Museum Schiedam was able to purchase approximately twenty works in 2020, partly for the NOG Collection. At the beginning of October it was announced that the museum had been donated this corporate collection of nearly six hundred works. Purchases included Jenny Boot (Black girl with pearl), Navid Nuur (made with smoke bombs), Theo Gootjes (sculptures), oil paintings Esiri Erheriene-Essi, drawings by Nour-Eddine Jarram and Hamid El Kanbouchi and photos by Perrine Phil Deal. , Meryem Slimani and Margi Geerlinks. The last photo series – Behind the silence of corona – was realized at the request of the museum.
The works often deal with major themes such as the refugee problem (Jarram) and boxes and prejudices (Slimani / Philomen, Boot, Essi and Kanbouchi). And then there are subjects such as nature and vulnerability (think of Nuur, Gootjes and Geerlinks). “You see that artists don’t live in an ivory tower, certainly not in a drastic year like this,” says Schreuder. “Like a sponge they absorb the world around them and translate it into art.”
Just like everywhere else, corona had a lot of influence on the museum in 2020. Prime Minister Rutte’s decision to close the museums in mid-March was drastic. Only after 11 weeks, from June 1, 2020, visitors could return. That was not allowed just like that, it had to be with a pre-booked ticket for a specific time slot. Capacity was limited. The museum closed again in early October, this time for a planned municipal renovation expected to take a year.
The year also brought good news. On Prince’s Day, the cabinet announced that the Stedelijk Museum Schiedam will receive a government subsidy for a period of 4 years. On February 1, 2021, Anne de Haij will take office as director of the Stedelijk Museum Schiedam. Museum director Deirdre Carasso said goodbye at the closing in October.