Labyrinth of Memories Museum Singer Laren
Starting 26 March 2024, visual artist Levi van Veluw (1981) will be taking over Singer Laren. What started out as a modest presentation in connection with the biennial Singer Prize, has grown into his first large-scale retrospective in a museum setting: Labyrinth of memories. In six galleries, visitors will be able to stroll through Van Veluw's astonishing oeuvre – a journey capped off by his newest installation, an ‘obsessive’ and room-filling finale.The Singer Prize is an oeuvre prize awarded every two years to a contemporary Dutch artist by the Friends of Singer Laren Foundation. The prize includes both an exhibition and the acquisition of a work by the museum collection. In this case, the new acquisition is a sculpture which will be unveiled during the course of the exhibition and given a permanent place in the sculpture garden. Van Veluw was selected for this year’s prize thanks to the unique and authentic manner in which he uses meticulous care and craftsmanship to depict his own childhood memories.
Levi van Veluw
Like much of Levi van Veluw’s work, the installations at Singer Laren are fully-staged ‘worlds’ that the viewer can enter. His work reflects tremendous power of imagination and is often made entirely by hand. It is therefore unsurprising that he is a favourite at Singer Laren. Museum director Jan Rudolph de Lorm: ‘Van Veluw’s work is unique and striking, in terms of both concept and execution. The end result displays a high degree of craft and refinement. We are extremely pleased to be devoting broad attention to this multidisciplinary artist in our fully renovated museum.’
Labyrinth of memories
In Labyrinth of memories, Levi van Veluw presents a range of two and three-dimensional works, including five large installations. For this exhibition, and based on his intuition, Van Veluw has selected a number of highlights from the Singer collection. By doing so, he has placed items from the museum’s collection in a new light and incorporated them into his own narrative.
The final work is a room-filling installation which took Van Veluw an entire year to complete. For this artwork, Singer Laren’s largest gallery has been converted into a spiral-shaped space containing a dizzying number of shelves. These neat rows of blocks gradually give way to a heaped and chaotic mass of 1,500 sculpted heads – each one apparently made and then rejected in the artist’s unceasing quest to reproduce his own likeness. The visitor literally finds themselves caught up in Van Veluw’s obsessive urge to create.
This is the first time that a winner of the Singer Prize has been granted so much space within the museum. Levi van Veluw: ‘Along the way, a special chemistry emerged between Singer Laren and myself as an artist. What started out small has grown into an ambitious project. It took courage on the museum’s part to rearrange the schedule and free up six exhibition spaces, all without knowing exactly where we were headed.’