Klaas’s grandfather belonged to a generation for whom ‘free time’ should be spent doing something productive. Upon retiring from work, he had his former colleagues at the factory weld together a lathe for him, so that he could take up woodturning. In old age, he was able to augment his modest pensioner’s fee by selling the products of his hobby. When he died, he left his son a cigar box filled with magazine clippings, sketches and blueprints of different objects made by turning wood, with the idea that it might come in handy some day.
The contents of this box have been taken as a point of departure for a self-referential exploration of the notion of artistic production. During the previous year a number of items from Klaas' grandfather's legacy were located in the homes of an extended network of family, friends and former neighbours across the Netherlands. A selection of about thirty of these handcrafted artefacts – including candlestick holders, bowls, lamp bases, stands for houseplants and gavels – have been borrowed from their owners, to be displayed alongside photographs of these objects in their original home environment.
The original machine on which they were made was also recuperated, and put back into operation. Recording their steps on video as they went along, the artists have been carrying out a series of woodturning experiments, connecting their physical actions to the productivity of the retired factory worker. The by-products of this process are incorporated as the supporting elements of the platform on which the original objects are displayed.
In addition three monitors show a corporate film of the Lips Propeller factory where Jos van Gorkum worked before his retirement; the original lathe being used to make some of the 49 legs which support the platform; and the repetitive work of scanning each item from the collection of papers in the cigar box.
The installation was exhibited in MUSAC's Laboratorio 987, between 9 April - 12 June 2011, as part of Amikejo, a series of four exhibitions by artist duos, curated by Latitudes (Max Andrews & Mariana Cánepa Luna).