RoXY (2022)

Moving image installation, 19'28"

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”Adam Curtis eat your heart out!”
Cleo Campert, RoXY photographer

Artist Peter Giele, DJ Eddy De Clercq and publisher Arjen Schrama founded the Roxy at the end of the 1980s. The birthplace of house music in the Netherlands and a springboard for a new generation of musicians, artists and designers, it was a place where clubgoers delighted in transforming their appearance or gender identity. Freedom and imagination reigned supreme.

New Babylon
The infectious cocktail of music, dance, eroticism, theatre and design was part of a longer history. New generations of post-war artists had used the city as a creative space and so changed society. The Roxy has often been compared to the visionary project New Babylon by the artist Constant. From 1956, he had worked for years on the design for a city that spanned the entire earth and where machines would do the work. People would be free to roam and play.

The Provo anarchist protest movement was another forerunner. Playful artist resistance was linked to an outspoken political and social agenda – against consumerism and for an ecological way of life. Provo became an inspiration for the squatters’ movement. Young artists saw how they could claim a place for their work, ideas, studios and encounters.In an Amsterdam squat, Peter Giele initiated the galleries Amok and Aorta, both run by artists. They turned out to be try-outs for the Roxy, which opened a few years later and where there had to be room “for developing relationships, fantasies and ideas for encouraging and indulging the creative mind.”

RoXY is on view at Het Nieuwe Instituut until 2024.