Page 13 - Studio International - July August 1973
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very clearly historically and see the differences   not as artists, but as members of the town who   but you are making the film. These people say
           in the situation. There is, however, much   are interested in these problems. We are not   what is wrong and then they film it, the film-
           criticism. They say, what do you want, do you   involved as artists who paint and things like   maker is just helping them.
           want to have Mao here or what ? I say, of   that, it would be silly and we would be in their   This is the problem we had in the union - as
           course it isn't Cuba but at the same time we are   way. It is clear we must come as people   long as we come along as an artist there was still
           not walking human goods. It isn't the Cuban   involved in their problem.            a barrier, which was partly the fault with the
           situation yet, today we work another way.   They are putting the underground through   Goddard situation. He came along initially as
             The whole educational system for young   where the working classes live in the centre,   Goddard.
           people is part of the ideology of the elite, the   and through the old parts with low rents. I'm   The same with the Russian situation where
           capitalist elite. It is-very difficult to get changes   for the underground and a better transportation   the artists couldn't exploit the capitalist system,
           here, which is shown in the fact that few artists   system for the people but you must have good   that is work through it, as we can.
           are allowed to teach in schools. There is little   alternative houses and rents which they can   BM: There is something about film making
           art taught, and what there is, is not taught as an   afford. We don't want to do what they are   that usually demands that several people work
           activity for the child itself. They never say you   doing in a suburb of Amsterdam called   together as a group at the outset. Do you think
           have to do it yourself, that you can be creative   Bijlmermeer. A terrible thing; cages for the   that equally in the architectural context of this
           in a way you want. They teach the whole   people, where rents are four to five times the   country, the artists should be there from the
           Rembrandt drama. There are other parts of   original rent. This is why we fight the   beginning ?
           education where they do not give people   underground. The people who own property   BB: Yes, that is what we are trying to get in
           their freedom. They are pushing people like   through which this underground goes are   these regulations as an official policy. I think that
           cattle, to be used later on for the benefit of the   compensated. The working class people here   in the near future this will be a more or less
           system. That's the same in England.       have never worked together in an organization   common thing. The organizers of the new
             There is no way of changing this overnight,   or together to make a protest. They are not   Hague headquarters for the administration of
           although there is artists' representation at   experienced in writing letters to the Town   southern Holland, although they have been
           Government level.                         Council nor do they know anything about the   democratic in recently asking their 1700
             In the beginning we were disappoint ed with   law. It took a lot of time to do all these things.   artists to show an interest in the spending of
           our results, we didn't reach our goal in a short   At the moment the builders have run out of   the 1% of the total building cost allocated to are
           time but always thought we would in a month   money.                                design aspect, started the actual project four
           or two. After a while, we could see we were   As an artist I am in this system, I am   years ago. The plans for the basement were
           silly to think any reaction would grow out of   captured in it and am part of this whole art   done twelve years ago. This is not really what
           our action. So we have to continue in many   business. There is no mystique or drama about   we want.
           different ways.                           it, I have to make money. I have a family and   Now I am working for a complete new town;
             This small recently composed action group   need money. The way to get this money is just   there was nothing there except a small farming
           is connected with factory workers and is a   to sell these pieces of art. In one way I am part   village and flat land. In 1980 it will be a town of
           political organization. Only artists who have   of the system and I am forced to make a product   100,000 as large as Leiden or Delft. It is
           clearly stated that they want political action   which is accepted in this society as a work of art,   Zoetermeer, about 3o kilometres east of the
           are part of it and this is the big difference   otherwise I would have to stop the whole thing   Hague. I was commissioned by the minister of
           between it, the BBK and the 69 Union, which   and start working in a factory. However, I am   culture to give advice about getting artists
           are not political groups but normal unions.   far more effective at making money through   involved in the work. Next week there will be a
             In this union we have clearly stated that we   selling art because this making of art does not   talk between the ministry and the town people
           want to reach a socialistic society, but that you   take t00 much time. I am now more or less   about how to continue. The town is composed
           can have socialistic society in many different   well known in this country so I get a lot of   of living quarters and official buildings for
           ways. For instance, Sweden is a socialist society,   commissions. This gives me lots of time for the   transportation systems, station, hospitals,
           so with that word you don't say too much. We   class fight. Factory workers do not have enough   schools and so on. Most of the people will come
           want a socialist society which includes the   time for this.                        from the Hague. Once a week there is a special
           working class.                              Mart Stam tried to do something by building   meeting where the people can come and see all
           BM: Did you know that there was an artists'   houses for workers in the Hook of Holland, but   the plans and discuss them. The people can
           union formed in England ?                 later became partly bourgeois and built for   make whole new lists about how they want to
           BB: I knew this. Not so long ago I was in   Shell, etc., but he also became frustrated and   have their homes, their playgrounds, whether
           London and some of my friends talked to me   left Holland.                          they want larger kitchens, in discussion with the
           about it, but I have no direct contacts. They   Joris Evans, a Marxist, and a film-maker, had   Town Council. Do not get me wrong, the
           sent me some papers without an address for any   a big conflict here and went to Paris to make   communist party in Holland at the moment is,
           reaction I might have had.                Marxist films. He wanted to film how people   we think, part of the system. We (this new party)
             I remember when I worked in the union   were exploited in the factories.          are against the communist party to which the
           office in Amsterdam for several years people   Goddard, around 1968, tried to make a film   central committee of the BBK belong.
           from England came to see how we had set the   where the technicians and cameramen, etc. had   Also, one of our group has completely
           whole thing up, but I never heard anything   a say in the organization but found it so   finished with art and is now only working on
           from them.                                difficult after several months of arguing that   the organizing of action against pollution near
           BM: What sort of reaction have the workers   they gave up.                          Rotterdam. You cannot really say he is an
           shown to your involvement in architectural   The problem for all the creative people is   artist in the way we are talking about. Another
           planning and artists' designs in building   that they are trained to work as an individual,   man in Rotterdam is working completely in the
           centres ?                                 as a one-man show, in their own factory, and   service of local action over housing and his art
           BB: In Rotterdam old town the people have   when you are working in a group things have   is an art these people can use - posters, design,
           trouble with the Town Council because they   to be changed, the whole way of production   this kind of thing. I don't know how far these
           want to break down the houses to make way for   altered.                            are possibilities for the larger group, but I am
           a highway, and in Amsterdam to construct an   Some political film-makers have succeeded   convinced that these things are for the future.
           underground. We have tried to do some     by going to the factories and saying that this   What is important is the fact that we want to
           practical work for them, to organize protests,    is a camera, with it you can do this and this,    rearrange the environment. q
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