12.04.2019 — 14.04.2019
Presentation Interne 15 Domas van Wijk
Residency moment

Fri 12.04 → 18:00-…     Sat 13.04 → 11:00-18:00     Sun 14.04 → 11:00-18:00


Visually elaborating the peculiar relationship between ‘Free Willy’ and Jean-Michel Basquiat’s persona in ‘Downtown 81’


Despite their distinctive historical contexts and impact on both art and society, visual artist Domas van Wijk reunites aspects from the lives of Keiko (the whale impersonating Willy) and Basquiat. In a meshwork of interrelated meanings and constructions, they clearly not only share common ground like freedom, rebellion and fame, their celebrity status also meant their tragic downfall at the age of 27 – making them both a member of the mythical 27 Club.


Van Wijk clarifies their similar overlapping of different realities (e.g. the movie’s bottom line radically changing Keiko’s life and Basquiat filmically anticipating his artistic career, rise to stardom and departing) via the assemblage of multiple mechanisms and items ranging from graffiti and guitars mimicking the whale’s jump to freedom, to motor boat engines and salt water.

As exemplary for his practice, all those elements are rearranged by interlinking sounds, footage and situations in a seemingly self-operational system. An installation haunted by the ghosts and stories of bygone eras and creating proximity between those parallel universes, a mechanism in which each medium is the message.