30 November 2010

Dar who?

In the mid-80's I was an ambitious angry young artist, studying the arts and all geared up to save the world with my conceptual art - whether the world was ready for it or not. Ah, I remember it well... With my compadre in art, Rob Woesthoff, we formed a new art-group called Nivo Stilo and spent hours/days discussing art and producing the Nivo Stilo art magazine, which we filled with poems and articles and manifestos and drawings and and and (all under different names of course - to give the impression we were a real Movement). Rob was R. Incultejardin and I was Flynn Besoin (Flynn from Errol Flynn and Besoin was, very dada, randomly selected from a dictionary). Rob and I were very enthusiastic about this project. In fact so much, that we even decided to form a band. The band name was Dar Pomorza (Polish for "gift of Pomorza", the name of a boat, Pomorza being a Polish town) and we played guitars (badly), synthesizer (borrowed from the art academy) and sang out of tune. We even produced a tape, a C60 TDK tape called The Dar Pomorza on TDK. One side featured spoken word, the other side featured a couple of our songs, recorded in our rehearsal room in Arnhem. When you are a band, you need to perform to spread the message to the People. Oddly enough, we were asked to play live in Willemeen in Arnhem, when someone from Willemeen heard us rehearse. We were programmed for 28 January 1987 with two local speed metal bands. It was truly a frightening night; our paltry equipment (one guitar, said synthesizer and a rhythm box) was nothing compared to the shiny drumkit, Fender guitars and huge Marshall amps of the speed metal bands. The show itself was something I will never forget; we nearly got killed by the audience, who didn't dig our loverly tunes at all. That's me in the background, playing Rob's guitar and looking desperate. Rob is steady as ever, playing the synthesizer with one finger. Flash forward to 2010. Having lost contact with Rob and haven't spoken to him in over 20 years, he recently sent me an e-mail out of the blue! We met up in a local restaurant and had a truly great evening discussing Dar Pomorza and Nivo Stilo. We looked at old magazins, the old tapes and pondered at how old we had become over ancient photos made at Willemeen at that memorable gig in 1987. I've enclosed one example here. The quality is not that good, but then again, neither were we. It is a testament of what we tried to achieve on that unfriendly stage. It didn't work of course, but what a great time to look back on! Rob is still involved in art and has a great site where you can buy his work http://www.robwoesthoff.nl/

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