March 29, 2020 – May 9, 2020

Martin & Inge Riebeek

All the World is a Stage

Time & location

March 29, 2020 – May 9, 2020 | Pennings Foundation

Opening exhibition and book launch: March 29 from 15:00 to 17:00.

More info

The artist duo Martin and Inge Riebeek became known for the video portraits they shot in various places all over the world and presented under the name The Essential. Over the years they made 500 video portraits in 23 different countries. At every location, they also made recordings of performers. At Pennings Foundation, films of performers are shown in 8 installations. The title All the World is a Stage refers to a line of poetry by Shakespeare.


The intriguing aspect of the films by Martin and Inge Riebeek is that they were recorded in one take from a fixed point of view. That brings a great concentration to the person portrayed. He or she walks to the camera, tells his or her life story, does not allow himself to be bothered by any commotion in the street and disappears from view again.


The central question that Martin and Inge Riebeek ask those who they want to portray is: "What, to you, is the essence of life?" They also ask the performers that same question. Among others, a poet, an actor, a singer and a freakshow artist come into the spotlight. When asked what their motto is in life, they give a surprising and often philosophical answer.


Also the video installation Art doesn’t earn money, art only burns money is on show again. This film, which was previously shown at Pennings Foundation in the group exhibition Preview in 2018, fits in nicely with the stories of the performers.


Art doesn’t earn money, art only burns money

This video installation is about the importance of money. The real value of money in a variety of lives and worlds. Twelve conversations with people from all parts of the world. Coffee seller Irina Litvinenko, who would love to have a beautiful smile. The story of the American prepper Malcolm Allred who is preparing for the end of time. Mirza, who grew up in children's homes, is now,  for the Indian railways, looking for passengers who have fallen off the train. He gets two dollars for every death. Survive, that's what life is all about. That is why the Chinese Man Chui Yan must, from her mother, also choose a course that offers a future. Instead of being a dancer, she becomes a nurse. Because: "Art doesn’t earn money, art only burns money."



The performers express their vision of life. For example, the actress Karelle Prugnaud (Paris) proclaims that the free will of man is an illusion; everyone has to adhere to rules and assignments. According to the poet Prince Enoch Afful (Accra), physical perfection does not matter in life. Singer Jian Xinping (Shanghai) has the message that whoever seeks a higher goal, mainly meets loneliness. Thomas Nealeigh (Dayton) claims that physical pain is something you can endure and that real pain is the struggle for existence.


Book launch

During the exhibition, the book "The Essential" (published by The Eriskay Connection) will be presented at the Pennings Foundation.


Martin and Inge Riebeek

Martin Riebeek (Haarlem, 1957) studied monumental art and painting at AKV|St. Joost in Breda. Inge Riebeek-van ‘t Klooster (Wageningen, 1964) studied sculpture and ceramics at AKV|St. Joost in Breda. They live and work in Breda. They have been working together since 2001. "Encounters" are central to their work.


This year, Martin and Inge Riebeek get a lot of attention with their work. From February 15 to August 23, 2020, video portraits from The Essential are on show in the exhibition "Save Me From This Cold" at Stedelijk Museum Breda, followed by participation in “Kunst in de Heilige Driehoek” in Oosterhout.

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Pennings Foundation

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