Gender: A Universal Language




02.06.2017 - 23.06.2017

Opening: 02.06.2017 - 20:00


Co-curated by:

Julius Thissen



Marijn Akkermans

Jan Hoek

Matthijs Holland

 Roman Strijbos

Julius Thissen



About Gender: A Universal Language


In the exhibition Gender: A Universal Language five contemporary artists will present work surrounding the notion of gender. The show investigates the statement that gender could imply and embody a more general and broader aspect of human life. The ideas about gender are heavily in transition, in a world where self-representation seems to be central.


How can we move towards a more inclusive society that is not entirely based on biased and binary ways of thinking about gender and sexuality?

In Gender: A Universal Language the artists all reflect in their own manner on this notion of gender and its diversity.

Julius Thissen (1993, NL)


Julius Thissen is a visual artist and gender activist. After receiving his BA Fine Art at ArtEZ Institute of the Arts in Arnhem in 2015, Julius has produced multi-disciplinary works that include photographs, videos, sculptures and installations. Julius’ main themes are the questioning of (gender)identity and diversity in society. By the use of masculine stereotypes he explores gender roles and the influence of social expectations on our behavior. Not only is he interested in the identity of the other, his work also functions as a way to explore his own: his graduation project gave him the confidence to come out as a transgender man. Next to his work as an artist he is also active as a member of the LGBT rights federation COC.































Marijn Akkermans (1975, NL)


Marijn Akkermans’ practise is concerned with the human figure, body pose and portraits. He is interested in what a human depiction can recall and evoke in us. To a certain extend we share similar interpretations of body signals and body language due to an internalized collective consciousness. But when does the collective experience split up and take a turn to the personal and individual experience? How do the collective and personal relate? The way in which Akkermans’ depictions are rendered and composed as drawings is equally important to consider in reading his work.


Marijn Akkermans (1975) studied at ARTez Arnhem and DAI, and participated in artist-in-residence program Schloss Ringenberg / Derik-Beagert Gesellschaft (Hamminkeln, Germany).


Since then Akkermans’ work is shown internationally in solo exhibitions at a.o. Schloss Ringenberg (Hamminkeln) , Galerie Karin Sachs (Munich), Galerie Rolf Hengesbach (Cologne), Galerie Gabriel Rolt (Amsterdam) and Kunstvereniging Diepenheim; and in group exhibitions at a.o. Kunsthalle Münster, GEM and Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, Zoya Museum (Modra), Landesmuseum Schloss Gottorf  (Schleswig Holstein), Galerie Lacen (Paris), Centraal Museum (Utrecht), Stedelijk Museum Schiedam, Nederlands Fotomuseum (Rotterdam), De Nederlandse Bank (Amsterdam) and Museum Boijmans van Beuningen (Rotterdam).

His work is included in collections of a.o. Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, Stedelijk Museum Schiedam, Centraal Museum and Museum MORE.

























Jan Hoek (1984, NL)


Jan Hoek is artist and writer. Hoek has photographed amateur models, mentally ill homeless people in Africa, a girl with no arms and legs, a heroin addict who dreams of being a model, or people he has simply found in advertisements on the internet. The photo shoot is never what he expected, model and photographer always have different expectations. The model actually wants sex while Jan Hoek wants to shoot the dog. The model tries to be as glamorous as possible, while Jan wants to picture the decay. Photographing is not just about the image but also the relationship between the photographer and the model. How far can you go with your models? In the accompanying film, Me & My Models, Jan talks about the nasty, funny, painful or touching things that happen around photographing people.

“I believe there is always a certain degree of ethics involved in photography. It is almost impossible to take photographs of people without consciously, or unconsciously, crossing boundaries and with things happening that you don’t want or expect. I feel this is often covered up in photography, while I would like to show it … “






























Matthijs Holland (1989, NL)


Matthijs Holland is a visual storyteller and uses costumes, make-up, props, film, photography, and performance as his primary communication tools. His art originates from a discontent for the human created and dominated world. The work is about creating his own smaller universe within the bigger world. Escaping the reality and disappearing in a self made world form the leitmotif in his work. The need for escaping reality takes shape in his use of miniature, aesthetic, theater, fiction, and performance. These are all tools to construct his own universe with.

The world he creates functions as a personal platform for social commentary on society. Escapism is the starting point of his work, however in the execution the connection between his world and the outside world becomes central.


























Roman Strijbos (1992, NL)


Roman Strijbos is a multidisciplinary artist from Amsterdam. With ‘A New Pop Icon Is Born’ Roman Presents himself as the new pop phenomenon of this time. With his self-produced music, music videos, photography and design Roman investigates the makeability of success in a time of endless possibilities.










Julius Thissen

A Received Notion Of Masculinity



Jan Hoek

New Ways Of Photographing The New Masai


Matthijs Holland

Photo of serie: NormALL

Marijn Akkermans

Man posing in front of an empty Abri, 167,5 x 112,5 cm, ink, gouache and pencil on paper, 2016. Photo credit: Peter Tijhuis


Roman Strijbos

A New Pop Icon Is Born


Van Oldenbarneveltstraat 63-A

6512AT Nijmegen

IN THE PURSUIT OF… is the year program of the Expoplu that (re)thinks our personal position towards the issues and challenges of the 21st century.

Openingshours*during exhibitions

Thu: 17:00 - 20:00

Fri:   17:00 - 20:00

Sat:  13:00 - 17:00

Sun: 13:00 - 17:00