Salon Pièdestal

Salon Pièdestal

february 2019

Exhibition by Thorben Gröbel, Mark Grootes, Jonathan Paepens and Martijn Petrus

At Care Wormerveer, by Sylvia Grootes van Ingen and Anniek Böhmer Grootes

First exhibition in a series of four located in the workspaces of the parents of the participants


Neue Füße – Thorben Gröbel 
Godtowels – Mark Grootes
Remark #3 and #4 & Decay of stability – Jonathan Paepens
Living jewel, swimming flower – Martijn Petrus


A fungus forms itself usually in dark and moist places, where they feel comfortable and relaxed.

Just like the fungus a feeling of degeneration can also place itself on a dark place and slowly grow into an uncontrolable painful monster. Degenerating is something an arist does for sure, they look at society while asking questions without even once returning back to that society. They hoover around in musea, galleries en they only talk with other members of the so called art world, which functions as a comfortable blanket around the artist. They uncomforteble world has been kept out en we, the artists, watch it with heavy eyes, and from a distance, forming out critique on it.

The strong bond an artist feel to be drawn out of this context is within it’s parents. They represent the reality of the profane, their existence is grounded in reality while ours has long be dissolved into utopia. Their workplace exists. It is not a white cube, a virginal box, but a place in the world with a shape and imagery. A place where everyone can visit and exist. A place where people are and where they talk about what happened in real life instead of a crafted future. These places we want to search, make interventions in and visit. We want to open them and make them ours.

Salon Pièdestal is the first of four exhibitions which takes place at the workspaces of the parents of the artists. For the first exhibition the artists take over pedicuresalon CARE Wormerveer owned by Sylvia Grootes van Ingen, mother of Mark Grootes.

Jonathan Paepens

decay of stability”

Fungus on the feet is annoying, uncomfortable en nasty. It reminds us of something dirty. Why then should something like that be glorified in a watercolor painting? It’s not that my paintings are glorious but I paint them from a memory of what they are: They eternal failing of mankind on the possible victory of nature. We try endlessly to banish the natural out of our environment. The only thing remaining in our houses and lives are the mimetic memories to what once was natural. Plants are remnants to our natural environment, although as a result of years of breeding, they have lost some natural status as well. More so the are just as synthetic as a landscapepainting with a view on some mountain somewhere in Greece. The ones that amuse so many of our livingrooms. In this work the plea isn’t about reïntegrading men and nature. It’s more about the beauty of the memory. A mimetic memory of nature. They show something that should be pushed to the background, and results only in a memory of its image. The memory of the fungus that should be kept away as far as possible, just like all the other natural things in our life and workworld.

remark #3 & #4”

Everything that is incomprehensible as an idea can only be stated as question. The series “Remarks” is about these notes that should fill in the unanswered questions as placeholders. For how long is unclear. Both for the questioner as the viewer they remain open. The questions are unaswered and they answer to nothing. They are empty just like the thoughts about the questions are empty and unanswered.

Thorben Gröbel

Neue Fuße

Exhausted, sopping, filthy and uncomfortably disturbing. Inconsiderately hidden in the darkest corner of it all. Highly repulsive but undoubtedly practical, useful and even extremely hard to do without. For once recognized, credited and taken care of. Purified, sanded, drizzled, and the dead relics buried. Transformed and raised into a new light of previously unknown singularity.

Mark Grootes


Having taken inspiration from the Chinese Godpaper, Mark Grootes introduces Godtowels within Salon Pièdestal. Chinese Godpaper or Ghostmoney is ritual paper used to honor the ancestors. Within the exhibitionspace the Godtowels will work in two ways.

The Godtowels are a replacement for two specific prints on canvas which decorated the walls of the workspace of Care Wormerveer. They represented anonimous Buddha figures in vague nature surroundings. Within these two prints lies an idea of Western healthcare aesthetics of tranquility and peace in Eastern (Asian and/or Oriëntal) religions, shapes and objects. The Godtowels are designed to duplicate this function, also using these ‘oriëntal’ aesthetics. They are in fact nothing more than abstractions of their predecesors, their shapes less known to the Western viewer.

Towels in general and also the Godtowels are clearly objects, related to the function of the space, but more important is the bond between the artist and the local of the space: mother and son. Thus, the Godtowels maintain the Chinese Godpaper function of ancestor worship.

Martijn Petrus

Living jewel, swimming flower

In the salon of Care Wormerveer is a chamberscreen with upon it an enlarged image of a pile of pebbles, water and plants. The image on the screen is a typical Western interpretation of Japanese zenbuddism. In the West these kind of image have become synonymous with words like wellness and mindfullness. The pebbles aren’t functioning as spriritual symbol anymore but as a commercial idea of piece and balance. Spirituality has become a luxury product.

For Living Jewel, Swimming flower, Martijn Petrus kept the format of the chamberscreen. This screen showes an enlarged image of koi carps. The colorful nishigi goi is a split off of the wild Japanese koi, created in the 19th century when Japanese farmers started breeding with only the most colorful specimen. The fish were thus transformed from food to decoration. Today the koi is also in the west a symbol of luxury and status.

The chamberscreen is both an aestetic and a functional object en plays the role of an artwork. The image on it plays with the iconic imagery of the koi. Koi are often displayed alone or as ying and yang in a serene environment. The chamberscreen breaks that visual language with an image of a crowded violent pond of koi, dominating the space it stands in.

The original chamberscreen of the salon has been used as decoration, placing it ouside the context of it’s original function as a seperation wall. The chamberscreen of the artist is used as part of the interior of one of the treatmentrooms of the salon.

Within his installations Martijn Petrus is often referencing to shapes of displays and decor and the human framing of nature.