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Artist Tijs Rooijakkers and rapper Fresku begin work on new project at Van Abbemuseum
Tijs Rooijakkers at work. Photo: Fieke Berkom, Studio Clack.

EINDHOVEN.- On the first of July, the artist Tijs Rooijakkers (living and working in Eindhoven) will start his project Supertoll! in Het Oog (The Eye), a space in the Van Abbemuseum. For this project he invited Fresku, a rapper who also comes from Eindhoven, to work together with him. The semi-circular wall of Het Oog will be covered with wooden battens on which Fresku has written texts about his personal motivations and ambitions. Rooijakkers will then steam these wooden battens and bend them into the shape of an enormous spinning-top. The artist explains: “The spinning-top is a symbol of the will, power and passion of mankind. Once a top is spinning, it supersedes gravity.’’ From Monday 15 July to Friday 19 July 2013 visitors can see Rooijakkers and Fresku working together. Rooijakkers will then continue to work up to the final presentation on Saturday 7 December. The end result can be seen in the Van Abbemuseum up to 5 January 2014. The motion graphic studio OddOne will make a time-lapse recording of the working process in Het Oog and this will be used in Fresku’s new video clip. Supertoll! in the Van Abbemuseum will be the first stage of a broader project by Rooijakkers in which he wants to involve a number of residents from the Woensel-West district.

Tijs Rooijakkers
Tijs Rooijakkers (born 1975) mainly creates spatial installations, which have also been described as sketches in space. They are often a response to the physical location or context in which he works. In Supertoll! he aims to build a bridge between the museum and the city, between art and urban culture and between the inhabitants and the environment they live in. Like the Van Abbemuseum, the artist thinks that visibility, cooperation and involving the public are important. His Supertoll! project in Het Oog is located in a part of the museum that is accessible free of charge to everyone.

Cooperation with Fresku
In Supertoll! Rooijakkers is keen to work together with Fresku because they both want to inspire others with their work. In this artwork the flowing language of rap and the dynamic image of the curved battens and the spinningtop reinforce each other. The theme of your own strength, finding your flow and creating a work with that flow is deeply rooted in the work of both artists. Fresku is a role model for many young people, and furthermore, he lives in the Woensel-West district where the next stage of the project will take place.

Roy Michael Reymound (born 1986), better known as Fresku, is a rapper from the Woensel-West district in Eindhoven. Fresku started up a whole new movement – the “emo rap” –in the Netherlands. In 2012 his album Maskerade brought him wide recognition. While hiphop is often described as boasting and dissing people (brag 'n boost), Fresku reveals his vulnerability and his fears; with his personal and open-hearted texts he manages to reach a broad cross-section of the public. He is a storyteller and he is looking for new forms of telling stories to get his message across. Sometimes he takes refuge in his alter ego, Gino Pietermaai, and sometime he seeks cooperation with other artists and filmmakers. For example, he worked with the cabaret artist Theo Maassen, and created the video art work The Singing Building together with the designer Lucas Maassen and the musician Woody Veneman. Fresku was recently awarded the prize for the best hiphop artist in the Netherlands.

Going into the district
Following the presentation in Het Oog the project will move to the Woensel-West district in Eindhoven. Under the heading Woensel Supertoll!, Rooijakkers will organize master classes and workshops there together with Fresku, the social design collective Tante Netty and local community and welfare organisations. They will invite local residents to formulate their own drives, aims and ambitions. Rooijakkers will then incorporate these texts in a number of artworks in public spaces in the district. The ultimate aim is to create a permanent artwork at the new bus station in Eindhoven-Noord. This project is supported by Trudo, the Eindhoven Municipality, the Prince Bernhard Cultural Foundation, and the Community Cultural Foundation 2018Brabant.

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