G.A.N.G. was an artist collective founded in 2000 by Hans Jungerius, Rob Groot Zevert, Jur van Diggele, and Melle Smets. Smets was one of the driving forces from 2000 to 2005. As four graduates of the department OK5 Art in Public Space (Hogeschool voor de Kunsten Arnhem), the binding factor was the fascination for the expanding spaces of transit such as highways, business parks, shopping malls and airports. These are no longer singular occurrences but start to form a parallel world of untethered landscapes with the highway as their backbone. If people spend more time here than at their final destination, how can art turn this non-place into something meaningful?
G.A.N.G. grew into an artist’s initiative that operated as a design agency for art in public space. In 2001, P-travels was founded, offering day trips and expeditions to the Parallel World. In addition to these “Out-Door” activities, G.A.N.G. claimed a pedestrian passage under the Langstraat parking garage in the centre of Arnhem. This public corridor, the size of a sports hall, could be closed with a self-designed portcullis of 22 x 5 metres. When the gates were closed, the corridor turned into an experimental place for exhibitions, film screenings, theatre, debating and even had a food market.
Here’s a selection of manifestations and experiments from 2000 till 2005:
2000 ZUMMER: Resuscitation of a blind spot in the city
Somewhere in the sixties, right underneath the parking garage Langstraat, a pedestrian underpass was planned that would connect the city’s shopping area with the boulevard along the Rhine. The ambitious city plan was partly executed, but the underpass never turned into a shopping street. Instead, it became a youth hang-out to smoke blunts, burn garbage, and dump stolen bicycles. G.A.N.G. saw the potential to turn this urban failure into the cultural heart of the city with ZUMMER: The resuscitation of a blind spot in the city.
The ZUMMER-intervention consisted of three weekend events in the summer of 2000. Artists invaded the space with their artworks and transformed the concrete cave into a visual feast of projections, installations and performances. Artists literally crawled into the darkest corners of the parking garage to set up shop. Monday morning everything was gone as if nothing happened. The experiment worked. The media covered the event at large which brought attention to the many back alleys of Arnhem. The city council agreed the underpass needed a face lift.
2001 KXvNX: The dynamic city as a backdrop for experiences
KXvNX (DIY thrills) took place from 3 to 19 August 2001 as part of the Sonsbeek exhibition. Under the slogan ‘the dynamic city as a backdrop for experiences’, artists were invited to design free thrills. The entire pedestrian underpass was filled with a grid made of scaffolding cubes of 2.5 x 2.5 x 2.5 metres. Each cube became a KXvNX-experience and the connecting corridor grew into a city within the city. The event showed the potential of the underpass as an art space and the G.A.N.G. collective gained the trust of the municipality to come up with a more permanent plan.
2002 Portcullis: “Can You Fix Me?”
G.A.N.G. gained control over the underpass in 2002, making this urban failure into an exhibition space. What was officially public space now became an experimental playground for artistic interventions. The underpass could be closed off with an ingenious portcullis, so that temporary exhibitions, markets, theatre and music performances could take place. The first experiment was “Can You Fix Me? beauty clinic Change”, held in the summer of 2002.
Modern man longs for the ‘perfect body’. What this body would look like formed the basis of the multidisciplinary dance and theatre performance “Can You Fix Me?” that took place in the beauty clinic “Change”. The dancers and set designers worked together in the semi-public project space. The dancers interacted with the set props and gradually transformed the space into a beauty salon. Bypassers could follow the developments from behind the fence, which culminated in the festive opening of Beauty clinic “Change” in an evening-long performance.
2003 Showroom G.A.N.G.
After three years, the ‘hole in the city’ grew into Showroom G.A.N.G. The former public space became a site for artistic experiments. The size of the space and the direct contact with the street allowed artists to create large works and try out spatial installation art. The hall was equipped with a video screen of 8 metres by 5 metres that gave video artists an urban screen. In 2008, G.A.N.G. and C.A.S.A. joined forces and developed the project space into a centre for urban culture. In 2012, G.A.N.G. ceased to exist and C.A.S.A. took over the cultural centre.
Location Parking garage Langstraat, Arnhem
Team GANG: Hans Jungerius, Melle Smets, Rob Groot Zevert, Jur van Diggele
Funding Mondriaan fonds, Fonds BKVB, City of Arnhem, Provincie Gelderland, VSB Fonds, Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds, C.S. Oolgaardtstichting
Special thanks Peter Michiel Schaap, Joris Lindhout, Maaike Gouwenberg, Jan de Bruin, Immanuel Sirron Kakpur
Partners Artes, Canvas performing art, Sonsbeek 2001, Museum Arnhem, Wintertuin, Hooghuis
ZUMMER (2000) program & collaborations:
PROGRAMMA WEEK 1: 5 augustus
Casus 66 (spoken word extern), Karel Doing ( filmcurator), Rob Groot Zevert (diainstallatie), Hans Jungerius (sandwichbar), Arjan Keesmaat (video), KROKO ( show/bar/entertainment/art), Rob Pas & Edwin Peters (film preformance), Melle Smets (installatie/poort), Matthijs Stegink (instalatie/waterval), Marten Terpstra (diainstallatie)
PROGRAMMA WEEK 2: 12 augustus
Wim van der Aar ( filmcurator) (i.s.m. Jaap Pieters; 8 mm. film), Michel Boekhoudt (geluidsinstallatie), Cecile Reynaud (diainstallatie), Rune van der Cruijsen (object), Rob Groot Zevert (object), Hans Jungerius (video), Jan Katsma (video), Kingztapaz (tapasbar etc.), KROKO ( zie week 1), Johan Kuipers (video), Jacco van der Post & Dennis Firing (internetdrama), Melle Smets (installatienest) i.s.m. Attila Tonczi (performance), Marten Terpstra (diainstallatie), Ronald Ubbink (feedbackinstallatie), Performancegroupe ‘equaterale triangle” (work in progress experence door Nicolas Primat EDWOOD & P.S.:
PROGRAMMA WEEK 3: 19 augustus
Alphons ter Avest (8 mm. installatie), Kim Boekhout van Solingen (hai’tekartist), Gilles Biesheuvel (performance/act), Casus 66 ( spoken word – live), DJ Paul, Rob Groot Zevert ( beeld), Ineke Kaagman (kaugomgrafitti), Hans Jungerius (beeld), KROKO (zie week 1 & 2), Anand Mahabier (wandschildering/videoloop), Inge Pollet ( 8 mm. loopinstalatie), Willem de Vries (videoinstallatie), UNICPS:PIM & JACK ( act/modeshow/videoregistratie) i.s.m. Jacco v/d Post & Dennis Firing (zie week 2), V2_organisatie ( film/videocurator), Joncquil de Vries (installatie/video)
KXvNX (2001) program & collaborations:
Hans Jungerius (installatie: chin.ind.spec.rest), Melle Smets (object: Karkas (zit-lig element), Hans Jungerius & Melle Smets (installatie: This is not a lifesaving device), Kroko J. Schilte (installatie/performance: Alles Haaks), Rob Sweere (installatie: Portable site for a conversation with a building), Rob Voerman (installatie: Hotel), Marten Terpstra (dia- projectie: op stel), Yvonne Zijp (computerprint: Straat zonder titel), Bob Gramsma (52 koelkasten (gestript) en parkeerpaal), Peter Stel (Sunblock), Jody van Dongen (installatie / klimobject: The Hangout), Bureau Baklicht (installatie/actie: Botsootoos), Jurriaan van Diggele (muziekinstallatie: Muzak), Hans Wijninga (airport), Mieke Gresnigt (Fotografie: camping ‘de Mars’), J.J.J. Atel-J (performance: J-ZUS EN ZO), Marianne de Vrijer (grafisch vormgeving), Kim Boekhout van Solinge (Caravan ruismachine), Remco Packbiers (cineast) & Gilles Biesheuvel (acteur) met De Mars Speelfilm duur 45 min. Video: Jan Katsma, DM projectontwikkeling, Karel Doing, Martijn Oostra, Aldwin Lehr, Pangea films, Dennis Firing, Hans Jungerius, Chrit Veugen, DJ Paul, DJ’s Siegfried & Roy en DJ’s Katsma en de Vries
Can You Fix Me? (2002) program & collaborations:
Showroom GANG (2003) program & collaborations:
Showroom GANG (2003-2005) program & collaborations:
Organisation: Rob Groot Zevert, Factor 12 (Elske Revelman de Vries Lorena Wilms, Eva van Ginhoven), Jur van Diggele, Mariël Hoogeslag, Melle Smets
Artists: Alphons ter Avest, Arno Arts, Helmut Schmits, Kevin van Braak, Marcel Kronenburg, Marcel Smink, Matthijs Stegink, Rob Voerman, Sander Luske Performance: Desiree Hammen, Dj Keu, Hannes van Soest & Jeroen Diepenmaat, Hans Walraven, Harold de Bree & Thom Vink, Josepha de Jong, Kroko J. Schilte, Kutkoks, Marco Grritsen, Melle Smets, Petra Bouwens, Roos Versteeg, Ruben Veenstra, Weltbummler 666
Video: Ada Dispa, Ari Versluis & Ellie Uyttenbroek, Claire Bolt, Floor Adams, Inge Pollet, Jerome Symons, Marieke Scheijgrond, Sandberg Instituut (éénminutenfilmpjes), Sil van der Woerd, Komma 4, Magpie Music Dance Company