On Saturday the 14th of April opens The Worst Is Yet To Come: relics from a recent past (clock doesn't say 3:46 pm), a solo exhibition of TINKEBELL. at TORCH gallery in Amsterdam. Over the past twenty years TINKEBELL. has made it her personal mission to save the world. To achieve this goal, she initiated diverse and frequently controversial projects, all over the world, not often left undiscussed by the media. The physical remainings of these activities she turned into art objects, called 'relics'. They go from old personal documents, photos, the packages of painkillers she took after her sterilisation, the human bones she brought back from the ground of the collapsed textile factories 'Rana Plaza' (Bangladesh) till clocks (that doesn't say 3:46 pm) and the plants she picked in the affected zones of Fukushima and much more. In this exhibition, a selection of these relics is shown to the public.
The word 'relic' comes from the Latin 'reliquiae', meaning 'remains'. Traditionally the word is used for objects or personal remains of a religious person, preserved as a tangible memorial. While TINKEBELL. is not religious, what she does believes in, is the truth. When the facts seem to be untold, or desperately are tried to keep disguised, this is when TINKEBELL. comes in. You could say these relics are reminders of every time she tries to address a truth to our world. Usually with success.
If you are already familiar with the work of the infamous TINKEBELL., some of the relics will be recognizable and bring to mind her projects in the (recent) past. Others have never been on view before and were selected especially for this occasion. Of course, the objects itself cannot be made, but the form in which it is presented and preserved can. An example is the plants that she picked in the red zone of Fukushima. This is the area with the highest level of radiation and was decontaminated by the Japanese government since 2011, directly after the collapse of the nuclear power stations. To present the plants with the highest radioactive levels, she cast boxes of concrete. This makes them completely safe, though she discovered during her trip that the plants in itself are not that dangerous after all.
When TINKEBELL. was invited to visit Fukushima, she found out that most of the stories she heard there were untrue. She decided to go back and spend in total seven weeks in the affected zones, spread over two years. All here findings can be read in here recently published book Het gevaar van angst – Hypochonderen in Fukushima (Dangers of fear – Hypochondria in Fukushima). Published by Atlas Contact and signed versions available during the show.
To provide a context, with every relic there is a short story next to it, explaining the project (or the situation) it is remaining. Altogether these relics give an insight into the sometimes astonishing and bizarre, but more often incredible life and career of TINKEBELL.
TINKEBELL. (1979, Goes) lives in Amsterdam but works all around the world. In the year 2004, she graduated from the Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam. Since then she published six books, wrote columns for the newspapers Trouw and Het Parool and Oneworld Magazine. Her work is shown at several art fairs and exhibitions around the globe.