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In The Great Human Impotence of Marian Smit and Meriam Windmeijer, the tragedy of our inability to be deeply connected with the other lies in the reaching hands that cannot (barely) touch each other. Although the video was made jointly by the artists, all the people who figure in it are locked up in their own framework.


(Un)seen, a video installation by Marian Smit and Meriam Windmeijer. Two existing video works by both artists are brought together in a new setting. The videos are projected on net curtains that hang freely in the room, with a shadow of foliage drawn on the wall in the background. A video of a forest in the morning is projected on the side wall. The airy net curtains, the shadow without a source and the fog rising from the ground reinforce the idea that we cannot fully grasp or fathom something. Light and air are ephemeral media that – just like sound, smell and fog – disappear from our reach over time.

The videos that are projected on the net curtains in (Un)seen are Utopia by Marian Smit and Speling by Meriam Windmeijer.

In Utopia we see a young girl spinning around self-consciously, endlessly trying to make a beautiful pirouette, her arms up, followed by her long hair. She has a strong will to succeed and she does her utmost, but every now and then a hint of despair appears on her face, although she persists with determination. Will she succeed?

By projecting the video on canvas, the artists reinforce the immaterial character of the film medium. The canvas moves through the air, the air and the canvas catch the light. The moment when the recording was made has passed, the child may already be an adult.

Related to the pirouette in Smit’s video is the empty swing in Windmeijer’s video Speling. In this video the child is absent, at least invisible. The swing swings in the shade and squeaks skimpy, but who or what causes the movement is missing. Meanwhile, dark shadows and distorted people’s voices slide over the picture and sound of the swing. Somewhere very close it is apparently busy. However, the void of the swing does not seem to be noticed, although the child longs to be seen. The absence of the playing child gives way to the loneliness of the unseen absent one.


Within and beyond restraint puts the spotlight on the possibilities and limitations of body and mind . Eroticism plays a major role in this. Eroticism as the motive for human action and thinking. “Within and beyond restraint”, the first theatrical installation by visual artist Marian Smit, is inspired by the simultaneously liberating and limiting effects that eroticism can bring about. Against the backdrop of the limited space in theater Zeebelt, this is illustrated with the help of dance, (live) music and video images.

For this performance, Marian Smit collaborated with musician Ghasem Batamuntu, dancer Anita Breeveld and video maker Machteld Blom.

Honor your father and your mother


Honor your father and your mother is a video installation that was made as part of the Estafette project (1994), organized by Achterstraat in Hoorn.

A video film is projected on the wall of an old machine factory in Hoorn. The video is an edit of super8 films  transferred to video. They are excerpts from family films, images from vacations, memories and staged scenes. In a voice-over fragments from a diary and other texts are read out.

In front of the video projection there is a bench, made of  Plexiglas, it is transparent and one cannot sit on it. The words “HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER” are written on the backrest. The words are visible in the video projection.

Ulysses now

Ulysses Now

An empty beach. A man lies on the tide, soaked to the bone. Did the sea throw him on the beach? The man hears a woman’s voice in his head. The voice speaks to him, whispers to him, shouts, sings. The voice tries to seduce him. Who is that man?

Wants to tell Me oh Muse, of the wanderer, the resourceful one who kept wandering ….

This is how Homer starts his Odyssea. In the show Ulysses Now, Marian Smit wants to create a modern Odysseus. Not fighting like his predecessor in wars and against the Gods, but against himself, against voices from his past, his own decisions and its consequences.

Ulysses now is a multidisciplinary show in which video images, music and texts from world literature paint a picture of a modern Ulysses.

concept and direction: Marian Smit
music: Ghasem Batamuntu
vocals: Angèle de Jong
video: Machteld Blom, Marian Smit
technique: Frits Erkens


Harbour loyalty


In a sea container, black and white images are projected on the back wall and on the side walls. Images of people who invite the viewer to come into their arms.
This installation was specially made for the Art Container Terminal – Haven Trouw 2008 in Vlaardingen. For Marian Smit, the port is “the other”. One feels safe with his loved ones, haven is where one is loved.

Many visitors came out of the container with a smile on their face. It’s nice to come home.


The kiss


The kiss is a video made for “Die letzte Butterfahrt”, a German-Dutch multimedia project, in which the private world of experience is connected to the social and historical lifelines of the Lower Rhine.
Just as in the late 1950s, visitors from Germany are transported by bus across the border to Venlo. This time not with the intention of buying cheap coffee, cigarettes and butter. In contrast, visitors to an exhibition space await a wonderful world with butter as the central theme. Butter is initially presented as a surprising visual material. Shapes seem fixed, but on closer inspection they can be changed and shaped. In addition, visitors’ own memories of Butterfahrten can be exchanged here for a butter postcard and visual artists, actors and musicians let visitors experience that butter is more than just sandwich filling. For the background of the collective memory, memories will melt in this way with unusual new images and impressions.

A girl tries to make a pirouette, she turns round and round. Will she succeed, will she be able to realize her dream?

Utopia in the bunker, Westbroek park, Den Haag

De profundis

De profundis  is a collaboration between Quub  (sculptor) and Marian Smit (painter and video artist).

In the relentless search for minerals beckons a virgin territory: the deep sea. But while the first parties seriously focus on mining, the resistance grows. Because it becomes more and more evident how important this vulnerable ecosystem is for the preservation of life on earth and because the ocean floor is one of the last wildernesses of the earth. Besides, who does the deep sea actually belong to?

With the skeleton of a sponge animal (the pioneers for the rest of the animal kingdom) as a starting point Quub made a sculpture.

The deep sea as a source of life, this enormous dark space reminiscent of the collective consciousness and the ‘primordial’ form of Quub’s work evoked the image of a baby with Marian. In the video she tries to visualize the feeling she has that babies know the essence of existence. A knowledge we seem to lose during our lives. For Quub, the baby embodies future generations who will also live on our earth. The projection creates a shadow that also fits beautifully in terms of content: our way of life casts a shadow ahead.

Both Quub and Marian are convinced that we, as individuals and as humanity, have to reconnect to our base, to nature.


De profundis in Beelden in Gees


Nostalgia consists of two videos. The left video shows the shadow of my mother. She rummages around at the kitchen table. In this image the poem ‘Weemoed’ (Nostalgia) by Meriam Windmeijer appears . The video on the right shows shadows on the wall of plants that move in the wind.

It seems as if the physical has already disappeared, only the shadow remains of what once was.


Nostalgia in the Haagse Kunstkring, Den Haag