A Collage from the Past and Future

The exhibition in the New National Gallery (neue National Galerie) in Berlin puts seventeenth and eighteenth centuries perceptions in today’s world. The artist Willem de Rooij (1969-) combines images from the Dutch painter Melchior d’Hondecoeter (1636-1695) face to face with a group of Hawaiian ceremonial objects from the 18th century.The installation can be viewed as a three-dimensional collage that brings a group of eighteen paintings in juxtaposition with objects from the new world. The goal is a visual examination of the triangular relationship between early global trade, conflict and mutual attraction. Today, we look differently to paintings, we see colonial exploitation, plunder and ‘incorrect’ behaviour. Contemporary spectators had a different perception. The exhibition is a collega of history, art and ethnography.