Kind Mijn Kind

Willem Jansen, curator of Child my Child


The exhibition ‘Kind, mijn Kind’ (Child my Child) questions the human capacity for being a perpetrator or a victim. In different contexts people are capable of filling either role.

In their work the participating artists address a number of paradoxes. Seeming contradictions. The paradoxes of power and powerlessness, of victims and perpetrators. In different situations people will experience the degree to which they are powerful or powerless, are victim or possibly even perpetrator. In the exhibition the aforementioned paradoxes are expressed in photographs by Theo Derksen and paintings by Jos Wigman.

Through projected photographs and paintings we see how the images of victim and perpetrator fade into each other. These morphing images, are accompanied by a penetrating music composed by musician/composer Ernst Jansz.

The history of the Gesamtkunstwerk Child my Child and the question-raising paradoxes are extensively discussed in the essay The Fine Print.

During the development of the exhibition we also encountered opposition. Opposition against simultaneously showing victims and perpetrators in the exhibition space.

More specifically: 36 photographs of victims of the Holocaust and 12 paintings of Joachim von Ribbentrop representing the Nazi perpetrators. Is it acceptable to do this? One of the most important answers to this question is the following statement: All, victims as well as perpetrators, are children of parents and potentially parents of children. The Child, my Child project is about more than just an exhibition. It has led to an ambitious art event. The exhibition and the catalogue that can be ordered.