(The Netherlands, 1962)

Middlemen, 2001
video installation, HD video loop, retro-projection, wooden walls, Courtesy Galerie Carlier Gebauer, Berlin
installation view: Collection, Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt am Main, photo: Axel Schneider, Frankfurt am Main

The video works of the Dutch artist Aernout Mik resemble tableaux vivants that function as mental images, similar to memories, coming to mind again and again in barely recognizable variations, trying to convey some concise, yet intangible message. His video installation Middlemen shows a trading floor shortly after a stock market crash. Through the lens of the camera we get hold of a moment of shock and observe the spontaneous, uncontrolled reactions of individuals. The actors are stock brokers, middlemen, secretaries, but also furniture, computers, telephones, as the boundaries between subject and object, between human and thing seem suspended. The scenes are meticulously constructed and organized according to the principles of repetition and variation. The camera moves through the crowd and returns in circular movements to the same mute gestures and movements. The impression of a time which is endlessly unfolding arises, and the viewer is drawn into a strongly enigmatic situation. The floor is covered with papers. The atmosphere is one of stasis. Only marginal activities occur. With these pictures Mik does not convey a view of human beings shaping actively the world – instead they seem to have become the objects of a process out of their control. The artist focuses on individuals experiencing an economic catastrophe which equates to an existential threat, leaving behind disoriented beings in the middle of their worthless remains.


Luchezar Boyadjiev (BUL)
Marco Brambilla (I/USA)
Marc Bijl (NL)
Fabio Cifariello Ciardi (I)
Claude Closky (F)
Denis Darzacq (F)
Eva Grubinger (A)
Pablo Helguera (MX)
Damien Hirst (UK)
Bethan Huws (GB)
Christian Jankowski (D)
Atelier van Lieshout (NL)
Michael Landy (UK)
Thomas Locher (D)
Aernout Mik (NL)
Antoni Muntadas (E)
Takashi Murakami (J)
Josh On (CAN)
Dan Perjovschi (RUM)
Cesare Pietroiusti (I)
Wilfredo Prieto (CUB)

Palazzo Strozzi