Arne Hendriks

The Red Dot

During the opening of the Amsterdam art fair Mediamatic presented its first Red Dot to the Dutch artist Arthur Kleinjan for his short video work Skipping.


Ron Mandos and Arthur Kleinjan in front of Skipping -

Skipping, an apparently engaging little film about a girl rope skipping while her father enthusiastically jumps along on the sidewalk can be seen and bought at gallery Ron Mandos. In an edition of 10 it has the rather stiff price of 2.500 euros but it’s worth every penny. The shot was made in 2004 during a visit to Beijing. The sunlit street becomes the stage for a perfect moment between a father and his little daughter. It’s unclear wether the artist just happened to stumble upon the scene or if it has been staged. The beautiful music perfectly complements the dreamy image and creates another puzzle since it’s actually a Japanese song. To the western ear this may all sound the same but don’t tell that to the Chinese or Japanese. And that is not the only paradoxical ingredient Kleinjan adds to the work. For the paranoid viewer fear and desire go hand in hand here. In the subtlest ways imaginable the treacherously simple scene deals with western clichés of Chinese contemporary society as an industrial monster by substituting them with equally powerful clichés of youth and playfulness. Because it is such a worryless moment something very worrying might creep into the back of your mind. But that would be a very particular reading indeed. To most it's just a pleasurable scene not to be talked or written about but to be enjoyed while it lasts.

11-16 May 2005