© Céline Berger, 2018

Drops on a hot stone (working title) | 2018

A project by Mercedes Azpilicueta, Jacco van Uden, Céline Berger, and Mieke Moor

In March 2017 visual and performance artist Mercedes Azpilicueta and professor of Change Management Jacco van Uden swapped positions. For a full month, they each took over the other’s work and everything that came with it: Mercedes became the Head of the Change Management Research Group at The Hague University of Applied Sciences, while Jacco took over Mercedes’s practice in a studio at the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten in Amsterdam. Their experiences were closely followed by video artist Céline Berger and philosopher of organization Mieke Moor. Céline coordinated the documentation of the exchange project and acted as a mediator between Mercedes and Jacco, while Mieke took on the task of critically reflecting on the project from more of an outsider’s perspective.

“The Take-over”, as the job swap project was referred to, marked the beginning of a long-term collaboration between the four of us. Together we compiled a rich archive of expectations, encounters, dialogues, discussions, critiques, personal impressions, fears, migraines, drawings, photographs, videos, embodied texts, visions, revelations and performative gestures. This material presents us with many points of departure and we have decided to explore different paths. There will be an essay, written by Mieke, and a video piece, on which Céline, Mercedes and Jacco are currently working.
And other forms are emerging along the way: PowerPoint presentations, lecture-performances, embroidered diagrams, healing songs, and glass objects. These different works are our “drops on a hot stone”. Each of them contributes to an investigation into the complex relationship between art and organization.

The video essay connects on-site footage with the interplay of three different narrations of the project: a lyrical narrative, an assertive narrative, and a fictional/personal account of embodied experiences. The whispering voice of Mercedes lures one into a world where boundaries have become blurred. Words tumbling out after each other, a frightening and rhythmic dance begins between meetings, workshops, studio-based practice, and casual events.

Our project is generously supported by The Hague University of Applied Sciences, Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten, Andrea von Braun Stiftung, and Het Pauwhof fonds.

Mercedes Azpilicueta
Jacco van Uden
Mieke Moor