STATION 7. Jesus Falls for the Second Time

Paul van Dongen:Judgement, 2012, pen and ink, 35 × 25 cm. Rising, 2013, pen and ink, 35 x ×5 cm. Photos: Ton Hartjens. paulvandongen.nl 


In these two drawings by Paul van Dongen, we see human beings in all their nakedness: vulnerable, without any concealing facade. Judgement shows people who are falling, perhaps because they had been given too heavy a burden to carry, just like Jesus, who was the ultimate victim of an ultimate injustice. The artist: “This drawing is part of a series which has the fall of man as its main theme. I did not want to portray the fall literally as in Genesis but rather, as a choreographer, to make a composition with naked male figures who together express the fall, an existence without solid ground, being lost beyond redemption. In an ornate whirling, the men turn, fall and tumble over one another.”

However, people can get up again, as did Jesus after he fell this second time. In Rising we see him pictured at the top, as crucified. “This drawing is about human figures who, after falling down into the depth, are being pulled up by a single person who initiates the upward movement. It is about getting up again and being pulled up.” Both movements exhibit the raw honesty about an existence full of temptation, the protest against injustice and the longing for a better world that are often expressed in rock music.

Location: The Small Museum, Paradiso, Weteringschans 6-8. In 2016 the music venue and cultural center Paradiso, housed in a converted former church building from the nineteenth century, opened The Small Museum. The smallest museum in the Netherlands, it is located in one of the cabinets where the Vrije Gemeente (Free Congregation) used to display its announcements. The exhibitions regularly link to the religious past of the building. thesmallmuseum.nl

text: Marleen Hengelaar