BAS JAN ADER AND HIS ARTISTIC RECEPTION

Maike Aden, doctoral thesis on Bas Jan Ader and his Contemporary Artistic Reception / Promotion über Bas Jan Ader und seine gegenwärtige künstlerische Rezeption
Bas Jan Ader: In Search of the Miraculous (One Night in Los Angeles), 1973, detail

 

Maike Aden received her doctorate with a thesis on Bas Jan Ader and his contemporary reception by artists such as Elke Krystufek, Jonathan Monk and Haegue Yang. Below a selection of projects, presentations and contributions which were carried out within the framework of this research.  

 


A FOOTNOTE RIGHT AT THE BEGINNING 

 

Maike Aden as a three-year-old child with her mother during a holiday stay in the parsonage in Drieborg (NL) of Bas Jan Ader's mother, Johanna Adriana Ader-Appels
Maike Aden as a three-year-old child with her mother during a holiday stay in the parsonage in Drieborg (NL) of Bas Jan Ader's mother, Johanna Adriana Ader-Appels

Maike Aden's interest in Bas Jan Ader evolved not solely but at least partly also due to her biographical background. Her father Menne Aden was a friend of Johanna Adriana Ader-Appels, the mother of Bas Jan Ader. In newspaper reports, Menne Aden had tried - in vain - to make known in Germany, at least in the Dutch border area, the dramatic experiences of the family Ader during the German occupation in the Netherlands. Johanna Adriana Ader-Appels had written them down in 1947 in her remarkable book "Een Groninger pastorie in de storm", which is known to everyone in Holland but not in Germany. Deeply moving she describes in this book the underground activities of her husband, the pastor Bastiaan Jan Ader, in the Dutch resistance and his execution by the German occupiers.

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Known in the Dutch underground as "Domie" (the Groninger dialect version of the word "Dominee"), the reformed pastor Bastiaan Jan Ader travelled tirelessly by bike and train all over the country, working on behalf of hundreds of Jews and others persecuted by the Germans. He provided them with addresses of hiding places. Betrayed by a Dutchman to the Germans and taken to the infamous Gestapo prison on the Weteringschans in Amsterdam, he suffered physical and mental abuse at the hands of the Gestapo. In 1944, shortly before his planned release, he was executed together with other prisoners by the Germans in retaliation.

The eldest of the two sons of the family Ader, Bas Jan, was two years old at the time.

Taking into account his biography, but mainly in view of the artistic work of Bas Jan Ader, Maike Aden analyses in her book "In Search of Bas Jan Ader" amongst other thematic areas also the repeatedly presented equalisation of Bas Jan Ader's dramatic life experiences with his dramatic art experiments and confronts this far too simplistic interpretation with specific evidence to a more differenciated approach.


LECTURES ON BAS JAN ADER AND HIS RECEPTION TODAY

Various international venues

 

Maike Aden: Lectures on Bas Jan Ader
Bas Jan Ader, Bulletin 89, Amsterdam: Art & Project, August 1975

Allmost all works of Bas Jan Ader, including his last project In Search of the Miraculous, involve the letting go of self-control. Those moments imply an equilibrium between inhaling and exhaling, between holding and falling. For Jochen Vogl, they evoke a kind ecstasy, which give rise to a kind of "drunkenness of the will". The dissolved ego refuses anything to do or to be, and this “with increasing efforts”. All reality is suspended, all resistance is gone. Body and mind are provisional. Everything happens in the subjunctive. Everything seems possible. The sky is the limit. Or the horizon! To speak with Albert Camus, to whom Bas Jan Ader referred not only once, we must imagine him happy there, far out at the wide endless sea...

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Bas Jan Ader als absurder Held. Die Moderne im und als Fall. Essay von Maike Aden

NEUERSCHEINUNG / NEW RELEASE

BAS JAN ADER ALS ABSURDER HELD. DIE MODERNE IM UND ALS FALL

BAS JAN ADER AS ABSURD HERO. MODERNITY IN THE FALL AND AS A CASE

In: NEUE kunstwissenschaftliche forschungen: Utopien der Moderne, Oktober 2014

Online...

 

 

"... Bas Jan Ader is often seen as a melancholic and tragic figure, who performed his own experiences in extremely risky self-presentations without making any distinction any more between his art and his own life.

In this essay, the exciting and complex œuvre of Bas Jan Ader will not be reduced to this myth. Instead, it will be complemented by some mostly neglected, but crucial aspects. In doing so, the repeatedly emphasized assertions of his biographical and life-negating tendencies are contrasted with opposing considerations. Against this backdrop, Bas Jan Ader's works are presented as an extension or questioning of overly-rigid modern utopian concepts..."

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Doctoral thesis by Maike Aden on Bas Jan Ader and his artistic reception by Elke Krystufek, Jonathan Monk, Haegue Yang
Maike Aden-Schraenen: In Search of Bas Jan Ader

NEUERSCHEINUNG / NEW RELEASE

IN SEARCH OF BAS JAN ADER

Berlin 2013, 312 Seiten, ISBN 978-3-8352-2295-7

The book is published in German

Buch / E-Book (DE): Logos Verlag

Leseprobe:  In Search of Bas Jan Ader 

 

Having spent many years in the shadows of the artistic mainstream, Bas Jan Ader (born 1942, missing since 1975) was rediscovered in the 1990s by a young generation of artists who were inspired by him to create their own works. Meanwhile, his admirers are no longer limited to insiders of the artists' scene. Numerous solo and thematic exhibitions as well as publications have contributed to the fact that he is in the limelight of an unparalleled cult of the artist that is second to none. In this book, the mystified artist's figure Bas Jan Ader, his exciting oeuvre, and their current status undergo a careful revision in order to question the romantic legend of the eccentric artist, in whom art and life merge into an art of failure, from an art-scientific point of view. The reflections are based on current artistic approaches to Bas Jan Ader's work by Jonathan Monk, Elke Krystufek and Haegue Yang. But the general trend of recycling existing names, motifs and styles of so-called "undiscovered artists" in art is also critically examined.

Auf Deutsch...

 

 

NEUERSCHEINUNG / NEW RELEASE

JONATHAN MONK UND SEINE BECK'S-TATISCHE HOMMAGE AN BAS JAN ADER

JONATHAN MONK AND HIS BECK'S-TATIC HOMMAGE TO BAS JAN ADER

In: M. Glasmeier (Hg.): Künstler als Wissenschaftler, Kunsthistoriker und Schriftsteller. Köln 2012

Buch (DE): Salon Verlag

Download essay: PDF

 

Jonathan Monk's Hommage an Bas Jan Ader. Essay von Maike Aden
Schriftenreihe Künstlerpublikationen Bd. 6

Anyone who undergoes a frenzy experiences a kind of being beside oneself and moments of timelessness. In a stimulated state, be it by music, dance, alcohol or whatever, the consciousness creates a separate world of experience beyond the everyday-perception. This can be a wonderful source of inspiration, stimulation and imagination, of which - according to their reputation - especially artists make excessively use. In his exhibition-homage "Ocean-Wave", curated by Susanne Pfeffer at the Künstlerhaus Bremen, Jonathan Monk invites the visitors to an alcohol- and music-stimulated experiment. A lot of beer is offered while listening to the wonderful song "Perfect Day" by Lou Reed. Jonathan Monk uses the exhibition space as a space of experience for the more or less intoxicated visitor who can develop his own 'reception performance' in view of works by Bas Jan Ader. The inner fetters which suggest a sober and rational art experience can thus be released. Art-historical generalizations can be literally brought to dance. The ecstatic state may transform the myth of Bas Jan Ader upon a concrete, personal level. The to the point of boredom emphasized dramatic, tragic aspects of Bas Jan Ader's aesthetic experiments can finally be relativized to realize also their lustful and ecstatic moments. By letting loose the self-imposed apparatuses which coerce us might paradoxically bring a more precise reflection on Bas Jan Ader's art. Perhaps it might even make mysterious disappearances a little easier to bear...

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Main research fields by Maike Aden
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