JOHAN VAN DER DONG
Lives and works in The Netherlands
As an artist Van der Dong is always busy in creating things you’ve never thought of. His (imaginary) world often touches the real one in order to make people aware of certain matters such as religion. His work is all about the tolerance people should have about each other. He asks many questions about the way people react on rituals and symbolism they used in daily life when set in unusual customs. In his work people are challenged to reconsider their thoughts about certain matters. In 2007 he offered to wash the feet of people curious as he was about way they would behave. In last year’s P.O.Box of Allah he washed the feet of a Muslim member of parliament while talking about the role of religion in modern society. Lines of Dutch history were made up in relation of the integration of Muslims in Dutch Society. In his conceptual work he often asks people to participate in it by explaining the purpose of the project in relation to our modern community. An example of such a project is his world famous concept ‘The Hotline of God’ which got more than 350.000 calls from all over the world. Many languages were spoken, one voice in Dutch. It was by all means his most successful project ever.
2011 Allah’s P.O. Box. A project about being together and willing to live together side by side.
2009 God’s Hotline. God is being made available on the phone. How do people cope with this new ritual, especially when you compare it with the old habits. The installation about our changing culture surrounding religion in our modern day society was placed at Noorderstation Groningen.
2007 The burning of the letters from God’s P.O. Box at Paessens Moddergat. Several art performances in a setting of crosses with letters on Silent Saturday. The letters were given back to God or the natural forces who decide what we do, or being influential in our lives.
2002 Footsteps of Freedom, warmuseum in Overloon. Theme: The installation visualised all footsteps to freedom who set ground since 1945 in holland. Prior to this exposition a gathering of Shoes took place, they were later used in the installation.