In the eye of the hurricane

  • Johannes Kronenberg / fine art / honours programme

Johannes Kronenberg graduated from Fine Art at Arnhem in 2015. In addition, he completed the Honours Programme with his research project Art in the Eye of the Hurricane. Contemporary art in a transitional phase. Johannes is interested in art’s social dimension; he is specialising in Critical Practice. Johannes is closely involved in the Met Andere Woorden project, an organisation which he also co-founded and will develop further in the future. Its mission is to address social, political or local issues.


The artist’s position in a changing world
“The research for the Honours Programme was a necessary consequence of my personal quest for my positioning as an artist. Right now much is expected of you both as an art student and an artist. You must experiment as much as possible with all kinds of materials. You need to consider how you relate to society and be aware of the latest developments in your field. You should ensure that you know your art history while also expanding your network. What will you be doing in five years time? Why do you stay stuck in your studio? Is your focus national or international? When I met Jan Rotmans, Professor of Transitions, at an Honours Programme lecture, I was struck by the similarity between his ideas and my view of contemporary art in a changing world.


“Rotmans argues that we are experiencing a change of eras rather than in an era of change. This involves a fundamental tipping point in terms of, for instance, energy usage, raw materials, food, urban development and population growth. He also argues that this transition will affect our entire society. In my research, I’ve used the idea of transition so as to reflect a change in art. My starting points were: How is the idea of transition conveyed in contemporary art? And how can I deploy the concept of transition so as to reveal a changing movement in art?” Johannes is charting this transition by studying both academic literature and current art practice.


Responsibility beyond the arts
“I’ve investigated not only artists, who are involved with themes concerning transition issues, but also those seeking new methods for shaping their work in an era of fundamental change. These two ‘types’ deal with the subject of transition in their individual ways. For example, an artist such as Daan Roosegaarde uses his artistic skills so as to facilitate the world’s sustainability. On the other hand, Renzo Martens questions the well-trodden paths of art while exhorting artists to assume responsibility beyond the arts’ ‘free zone’. My research also includes my own work, an example being the Met Andere Woorden project. Here, my objective was to expose and boost a period of change at ArtEZ.”