Eef Veldkamp is a young Dutch artist(-ic researcher) (1993). In his work he researches the systems and structures that dictate life: “We share just one world with about 7.000.000.000 people, but I think we don’t really know how to do that...” According to Eef Veldkamp (1993) this causes a lot of our present-day problems, but that does not strike him as odd: “we do live on one world, but not ín one world.” Besides, he argues, we have only been “living-together [Dutch for society]” for merely 12.000 years. In contrast to more than 2.000.000 years we have been living as hunter-gatherers, “we humans as societal beings are still taking our first baby-steps”. Therefore, Eef searches for handles which offer support to get a grip on the elusive complexity and absurdity of our ‘living-together’. Hence, he researches the systems and structures that intervene on our world and that dictate our world, us and all relations we have; from socio-political institutions to the logistics of information. He uses his findings as the allegorical material for what he calls ‘counter-systems’ – systems that are designed to designate other systems in a subversive way. His intended goal: “strong consequences […] with all certainty I try to prevent becoming just an ivory tower-artist that make petrified reflections of those problems”. Eef makes transgressive practices. With these counter-systems – which take the shapes of companies, initiatives or events – the artist is trying to enhance engagement with the constitution of our lives which we have been alienated from by millennia of institutionalised power. Correspondingly, he tries to reclaim a certain agency over our highly artificial lives, which he argues is very possible: “everything that is made can be changed. Society and we in it has been made – let’s now remake it”.
Marjolein Linders. Official Portrait of Eef Veldkamp. 2015. Acrylic on canvas.