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Unusually ordinary

  • 10 April 2021
  • 13 March 2022
  • Kunsthal Helmond

Unusually ordinary

Jan Dirk van der Burg

‘Good ideas are rarely found alone. In art, people often search for the Holy Grail. This can be something that has not yet been thought of or created. However, a huge amount of art is based on works of art that came before. In other words, artists essentially stand on the shoulders of someone else.’ These thoughts were photographer Jan Dirk van der Burg’s starting point for the exhibition called ‘Ongewoon alledaags’ (Unusually ordinary), which can be seen in Kunsthal Helmond. The museum invited him to choose around 35 works of art from the museum depot for an exhibition.

Taxidermy dog surrounded by miniature dog figurines

Humorous commentary and associations

As of 2018, Jan Dirk van der Burg proudly holds the title of ‘Fotograaf des Vaderlands’ (Photographer of the Fatherland, an unofficial title awarded to a person acting as an ambassador for Photography in the Netherlands). To him, the ‘Unusually ordinary’ exhibition represented an opportunity to evaluate works of art from the museum collection on originality and authenticity. He provides an appropriate visual caption to most paintings, images, photos, and drawings. Van der Burg chose photos from his own ample archive of photography for this purpose. This results in humorous and unexpected commentary as well as associations which offer us a moment of respite in these occasionally trying times.

‘Unusually ordinary’ features works of art by Alphons Freijmuth, Sjef van Schaijk, Dick Verdult, Klaus Hoefs, Jan Knap, Frans Franciscus, Maria Roosen, Esther Janssen, Twan Janssen, Elise Tak, Merijn Bolink, Rob Verf, Sven Kroner, Geer van Velde, Bert Sissingh, Gé-Karel van der Sterren, Martin Voorbij, Frank Breuer, Martin Parr, Mattijs van den Bosch, and Ulla-Stina Wikander among others as well as modest inclusions by Jan Dirk van der Burg himself.


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