Despite revealing our soul and bliss on Facebook and Instagram, naked nipples remain strictly taboo. Perfectly photographed bodies on television, in magazines, and online make us insecure, uncomfortable even, about our own bodies. Image-maker Thomas Widdershoven (thonik) is the guest curator of the exhibition NAKED, which takes a closer look at our body image through our relationship to being naked.
To be naked is to be oneself
John Berger, the well-known British writer and artist, perhaps put it most aptly when he said: “To be naked is to be oneself. To be nude is to be seen naked by others "(Ways of Seeing, 1972). Widdershoven uses Berger’s quote as this exhibition’s leitmotif, addressing the challenge of “finding a grey area where classifying in terms of good or bad, sexual or non-sexual, or shocking or not, becomes almost impossible.”
The exhibition occupies the entirety of Museum Kranenburgh’s new wing and includes works by more than fifty contemporary artists and designers. Not all the works show nudity, but they all convey a contemporary confusion about the naked truth. The condition humaine – our individual inconveniences and vulnerability – are exposed in all their openness and honesty. Kranenburgh is also developing an extensive exhibition programme, especially for schoolchildren and students.
Atelier Van Lieshout | Anthon Beeke | Herbert Behrens | Caspar Berger | Eva Besnyö (HU/NL) | Alexandra Bircken (DE) | Melanie Bonajo | Yi-Fei Chen (TW) | Lois Cohen en Indiana Roma Voss | Matthew Day Jackson (USA) | Michèle Degen (CH) | Rineke Dijkstra | Hans Eijkelboom | Mandy den Elzen | Kim van Erven | Alicia Framis (ES) | Lucy Glendinning (GB) | Daan van Golden | Olivier van Herpt | Bora Hong (KR) | Fleur Hulleman | Ata Kandó (HU) | Billie van Katwijk | Laetitia Ky (CI) | Duran Lantink | George Maciunas (LT) | Thomas Mailaender (FR) | MAISON the FAUX | Reineke Otten | Nam June Paik (KR) | Antje Peters (DE) | Bas Princen | Deborah de Robertis (LU) | Maria Roosen | Fernando Sánchez Castillo (ES) | Sanne Sannes | Viviane Sassen | Wim T. Schippers | Jan Schoonhoven | Yinka Shonibare (GB) | Giulia Soldati (IT) | Elisabet Stienstra | Berend Strik | Julius Thissen | thonik | Oliviero Toscani (IT) | Ulay (DE) | Ari Versluis en Ellie Uyttenbroek | Roy Villevoye | Hongjie Yang (CN) | Mickaël Wiesengrün | John Berger (GB) | Wim Crouwel | Max Kisman | Richard Prince (PA) | Hans Wolf | Butt Magazine | easy. (CA) | Extra Extra Magazine | Fantastic Man Magazine | Glamcult | Permanent Food magazine: Maurizio Cattelan & Paola Manfrin (IT) | Tijdschrift Gandalf | Toiletpaper Magazine: Maurizio Cattelan & Pierpaolo Ferrari (IT) | Yoni
Thomas Widdershoven (1960), together with Nikki Gonnissen, has led the thonik design agency in Amsterdam for 25 years. Thonik has developed numerous advertising campaigns, identities, and house styles for Museum Kranenburgh, Centraal Museum Utrecht, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, the VPRO, and the Holland Festival. Widdershoven was the Design Academy Eindhoven’s creative director and curated several exhibitions at the Van Abbemuseum. He developed NAKED together with assistant curator Marie Stel and designer Tariq Heijboer.