10 Sep t/m 01 Nov 2020

No Hope for Sisyphus

ned / eng

`The struggle itself towards the heights is enough to fill a man’s heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.’ – Albert Camus, Myth of Sisyphus

A Greek myth tells the story of how the gods punish Sisyphus. He must repeatedly push a boulder up a mountain. As he reaches the top, the rock rolls back down and he is forced to start all over again. The myth usually emphasizes his ‘punishment’ in that the futility of his task is seen as the ultimate torment. Albert Camus (1913-1960) one of the founders of absurdism, offers a different perspective.

In the Myth of Sisyphus (1942) he describes the characteristics of the absurd man. In essence, life is pointless but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth living. The absurd man accepts the situation as it is because the universe remains incomprehensible to us. Even so, his outlook also contains an element of resistance: the absurd man stubbornly resists life’s senselessness  by choosing to live instead of committing suicide, therefore accepting life as it is. Camus suggests that we can imagine Sisyphus to be happy because he accepts the futility of his task as part of life.

In one of the chapters of his book, Camus focuses specifically on the role of the artist. According to Camus, the absurd artist is someone who observes the everyday without expressing hope or passing judgment (and is satisfied with this role). ‘To work and create ‘for nothing’, to sculpture in clay, to know that one’s creation has no future, to see one’s work destroyed in a day while being aware that fundamentally this has no more importance than building for centuries – this is the difficult wisdom that absurd thought sanctions’.

In this exhibition, contemporary artists reflect on Camus’ absurdism and the role of the artist. What significance does absurdism have for art today? How do we observe the everyday, the ordinary and would we be able to accept that a major part of what we do is essentially meaningless.


Groepstentoonstelling met: Feiko Beckers, Willem de Haan, Florence Jung, Hannes Nienhüser


Curator: Liesbeth Visee

10.09.2020 – 01.11.2020

Opening 10 september besloten/private

Listen to our podcast Nieuwe Vide Radio with Willem de Haan and Hannes Nienhüserin conversation with Sietske Roorda.

Luister hier naar onze podcast Nieuwe Vide Radio met Willem de Haan en Hannes Nienhüser in gesprek met Sietske Roorda.


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