Stedelijk Museum Schiedam buys Jeroen Jongeleen video RUNNING IN CIRCLES

Jeroen Jongeleen has been doing running performances for a few years now. Like a kind of human pencil, he runs circles and films this ‘drawing’ in the (urban) landscape with a drone. His diptych Running In Circles has now been acquired by the Stedelijk Museum Schiedam. The work consists of two videos projected side by side in which you see the artist walking from above in a glass and rust circle, a green and a brown circle. Jongeleen runs on the grounds of De Glasfabriek in Schiedam, where the work can be seen in the pop-up exhibition Glashard, Post-graffiti in De Glasfabriek Schiedam until 16th January 2022. As a bonus, you can see the circle with the trampled green glass in the outside area. Then you also experience the size of the round and the not exactly cuddly material. For each circle, Jongeleen ran/drawing something of 4 hours, a small marathon. After that, his running shoes could go in the trash. The purchase is possible thanks to a contribution from the Mondriaan Fund.

Made in, with and about Schiedam

Museum director Anne de Haij speaks of a great acquisition. “As a museum, we focus on both art and history, which is why this video fits so well. Jongeleen left his mark in De Glasfabriek Schiedam, where billions of glass packaging were made between 1853 and 2017. Almost every Schiedammer has a family member who worked there. At the same time, his work is in line with the contemporary art collection.’ The work will become part of the Schiedam collection. These are works of art made in, with or about Schiedam.

Ode and Echo

What is special is that Jongeleen (1967) colored the circles with material he found on the site itself: green glassware and rusty iron. For the latter, think of nuts, bolts and other metal pieces. “My circles are a kind of ode to the place where they were made and in a few years’ time just an echo of that place,” he says. He returns the material and the side he runs on in the title. He named the brown rust circle RUST / running counter clockwise. The green video on the right was named GLASS / runnings clockwise.

hyper alert

Running over glass was exciting and ‘pretty scary’ to do. As with his previous circles, the artist was completely in hyperalert mode. “I paid close attention to what happened to my body; the joints, muscles, breathing, etc. Now my feet and ankles were added. Glass tried to move in through the bottom of my soles and splashed into my socks through the sides.’ Drama was fortunately limited and out of the picture. 


Jongeleen’s work is strongly influenced by Dada and art movements from the 1960s. These artists knocked ‘high’ art off their pedestal in order to give imagination and creativity a place in everyday life. At the end of 2019, he drew his first circle with running. He says: “Previously the path came into being by mere running; as a kind of wear and tear on the (urban) landscape. Now I constructed the circle with material from the spot and activated the circle by running.” 


In the exhibition Glass Hard. Post-graffiti in De Glasfabriek Schiedam you can see work by artists with roots in the graffiti culture. Designer duo Opperclaes chose about thirty artists from home and abroad. They exhibit in various sheds and outside on the site.     25th November 2021