Back in the seventies, Van Tijen took part in the development of a method to use integrated images and text strips to document social and political realities. He would comment on events which would take place in his direct environment and give them a different context. To this day he uses panoramic horizontal scrolls and vertical banners in the tradition of the classic Greek/Roman and East Asian culture. These scrolls visualize complex and layered subjects in a comprehensive manner while maintaining their narrative structure. This in contrast to the often used computer presentation program Powerpoint which pushes the previous image out of sight with each change of slide.
The images were made as part of civilian activism, historic representations, exhibition projects, representations of libraries and archives and the visual sheet music of spontaneous lectures. They will be presented on meters and meters of rolls.
The scrolls have tens or hundreds of image layers, creating a space where stories are purposely not fixed. With each new lecture they form a new truth and new interpretation, not only for the audience but also for Van Tijen himself. The loose combination of images generates stories only loosely joined and always open for different interpretations. Van Tijen explicitly searches for image combinations that challenge 'official' history.
The scrolls represent an alternative position in the formation of individual and collective memory. Images made many years ago escape the typical 70s and 80s stamp.
This exhibition was about portraying the tremendous historic value and beauty of an oeuvre which has been in the making for decades. The artist's selection of work did not only take the viewer on a journey down memory lane, but also opened a source of social, political and artistic subjects in our contemporary and dominant image culture.
See for more info on scroll: imaginarymuseum.org