Folkert de Jong
The hero, the villain, and the truth - Cancellation or redemption?
Return to overview

As we try to fix our history into narratives and statues, time already renders them outdated. And so, the truths of yesterday become the lies of tomorrow, societies grapple with their past, and once-revered heroes face cancellation while vilified persons are redeemed.

Strange and twisted figures of Martin Luther, Jesus and Mary, Queen Wilhelmina, Picasso, and other historical figures loom large in the former munitions storage of the historical fort. They are the styrofoam and polyurethane statues by artist Folkert de Jong, in the theatrical exhibition “The hero, the villain, and the truth – Cancellation or redemption?”. The exhibition asks questions such as: What is history? Who writes it? What if it were written differently? By playing with truth(s), Folkert de Jong touches upon themes such as morality, colonialism, capitalism, ecology, and feminism. Animated by theatrical staging, lighting, and audio narration written by selected authors, the statues open up alternative histories.

The artist’s choice to use styrofoam and polyurethane, a non-degradable chemical material, raises ecological concerns. What are the ethics of the material permanence of the statues? What contradictions between creation and destruction do they reveal?

The exhibition marks the beginning of a longer-term collaboration between Folkert de Jong and Kunstfort Vijfhuizen. In this collaboration, the artist will explore the fort as a source of inspiration for new narratives, strategies, and materialities within his artistic practice.

“The Hero, the Villain, and the Truth” is initiated by Johan Idema and was also made possible by the Mondriaan Fund, Fonds 21, BNG Cultuurfonds, Stichting SEC, Zabawas, Cultuurfonds Noord-Holland, Stichting Stokroos, De Gijselaar-Hintzenfonds and Stichting Gifted Art.

With thanks to the The Ekard Collection, EY Nederland, Galerie Fons Welters Amsterdam en Gallery Sofie Van de Velde Antwerp.

In collaboration with Brandwacht en Meijer.

Click here for more information about our programme.


Back to top