From September 27 until December 31, 2015, Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art presents the festival “Peekskill Project 6” at the HVCCA, public parks, and storefronts in Peekskill, NY. Two Dutch artists participate: Saskia Janssen and George Korsmit.
The Peekskill Project
This year marks the 6th edition of the Peekskill Project, a public art festival devoted to bringing contemporary art out of the museum and into the community, specifically in spaces that are usually not used for art. “Peekskill Project 6” will engage the urban environment and its inhabitants, while presenting site-specific art exhibitions, performances and workshops. The Peekskill Project attracts thousands of visitors each year and offers both children and adults the opportunity to explore the city’s history through the lens of contemporary art. This year’s edition will feature a range of art from sculpture to photography, installations, videos, and performances by approximately 60 international and local artists. A public program accompanies the festival and includes workshops, film-screenings, public performances, and a talk series.
Visual artist Saskia Janssen works on the border between documentary and performances. Her projects are often on-site collaborations with groups of non-artists, such as builders, drug users, sailors, and night club singers. The works are often created with a certain social goal in mind and try to engage the society around them. Janssen works and lives in Amsterdam and teaches at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy. With her project ‘the other’ is a central component. She is always trying to find what is normally hidden, because according to Janssen nothing is what it seems.
George Korsmit is a Dutch artist living and working in Amsterdam. Together with Saskia Janssen he founded the Rainbow Soulclub which involves weekly meetings and collaborative projects between artists, art students, and clients of Stichting de Regenboog (Rainbow Foundation) to provide shelter and care for homeless people and users of hard drugs in Amsterdam. In his artwork Korsmit usually reduces his role of author to that of intermediary. His part in the creation of the work is limited to establishing a set of rules to follow, for example, using dice to determine the dimension of a color field or blind fold to select a color. The outcome of his work is often unknown and unpredictable.