Madelon Hooykaas / Elsa Stansfield "Vi…

Madelon Hooykaas / Elsa Stansfield "Vi Deo Volente"

Metz & Co., de Rietveldkoepel, Amsterdam
‘On the 11th of May of this year, when Pope John Paul arrived in the Netherlands, many an unsuspecting visitor to the Metz & Co department store was surprised by a video installation by Madelon Hooykaas and Elsa Stansfield. Spurred on by a poster in the lift - placed there by De Appel Foundation - those invited and chance shoppers pressed the top button and thus landed on the sixth floor of Metz & Co., from where a spiral staircase takes you to the Rietveld dome. The Vi Deo Volente installation was constructed within two half circles or ‘spheres’. At both the beginning and the end of the outer sphere, formed by the dome’s glass wall stood a monitor playing a pre-recorded tape. In the inner sphere, a curved closed wall in the middle of the dome, stood four televisions with their screens facing the wall. A very little monitor also showed the pre-recorded program. This program consisted of a series of moving and, from time to time, dynamically returning images: moving human masses, a glaring, floating light, a vortex, scurrying clouds, swaying trees in an all-destructive storm of fire, a gigantic tidal wave. There is hardly a moment of calm. It is as if matter has been absorbed in a cyclone, an overwhelming squall holds humanity and nature in its grip. The same squall seemed to set the human masses into undulating motion, the individual merging in, an insignificant particle. A ceaseless high-pitched tone accompanies these visual elements. It is this tone in particular, which conveys the feeling of fear. Meanwhile, the television sets show live shots of John Paul’s visit to the Netherlands with his plane landing at Eindhoven, the much talked-about kissing of the ground, his arrival in ‘s-Hertogenbosch and the interior of the St. Jan Cathedral.’ (Janneke Wesseling, ‘Vi Deo Volente’, De Appel, 5 (1985) 2, pp. 4, 6.)