Created with Sketch.
Created with Sketch.

Trick or trait

Gestures on social status by Maartje Folkeringa

Onomatopee 99

Maartje Folkeringa’s work plays the non-verbal forms of communication in our social interaction, our behaviour and the symbols we use to express our worth. It plays with power relationships and discusses the status wherein we postulate our social hierarchy, often unconcious. The work entices us with familiar images of this interaction and with the totems people use to furnish their value.

This sculptural reality, however, does not identify or point a finger at anyone in particular but quietly strips away all decoration, thus exposing and neutralising the facade of human interaction. It reveals how our private allurements can transform us into wannabes, jerks or cowards, or how others fall prey to temptation: man in his trivial megalomania. By articulating and acting upon these symbols, she touches upon the whole unconscious kit and caboodle of social interaction. Her poking around allows us to laugh at ourselves.

Maartje: ‘During the making process, I never try to bend the work to my original intentions but rather enter into ‘negotiation’ with it. In this contra-intuitive game I gradually act more associatively; one turn in a certain direction leads to another. I strive for “air” in my work: playfulness and humour; a balance between sketchiness and accuracy, dark and light, and figuration and abstraction.’

In her games with non-verbal communication as manifested in our behaviour and in the objects we dress and surround ourselves with, we can sense what is going on without words. These are the unwritten rules that colour the spectacle of life itself. We use them to accentuate our power relationships. They provide colour because they form a grey area within our social interaction. Exactly because they are being applied unconsciously, they reveal more than we like them to.

As we familiarise ourselves with our demeanour, social relationships are ingrained only deeper. Non-verbal communication disciplines our interaction and covers our social fabric with a fine hue of repression. Civilisation is rooted in traditions, and conditions our behaviour: it can be understood as the forms and codes of conduct pertaining to a conservative Cultural Capital; a status that is historic and sticks to our unconscious behaviour for a long time. Decency here is moving between the facade that evolved from following tradition and the dynamics of our heart as it tries to adapt to social changes. Enough reason to put this on the map of our cultural horizon.

Production and presentation
In March, April and May, Maartje will be working at artists’ workshop Beeldenstorm. Simultaneously, an open studio space annex author’s exhibition will unfold itself in Onomatopee’s project space. In March we will continuously show a short documentary made by Jennifer Petterson in response to an acquisition by the Jan Cunen museum. In the basement we present images of her sources of inspiration. In April the exhibition will expand with works while the latest challenges are presented in parrallel. Existing works are shown while new works evolve based on the available sources of inspiration, on stories contributing their outlines and on public dialogues with invited speakers.

Folow her blog here

Al these activities will contribute to a publication we hope to realise, describing Folkeringa’s work that will put her challenges on the agenda and will be distributed as a source of inspiration in its own right.


March 1 – May 18
Open Sat. and Sun. 13:00 – 17:00 and on appointment

Finisage May 18, 15:00
Final opportunity to see Maartjes’ exhibition at Onomatopee plus an amazing visit to Beeldenstorm workplace at 16:00, offering the opportunity to see and experience Maartjes’ work in progress. Here, we will have a small talk on the process and the work. Drinks are, evidentley, to follow in Onomatopee after the tour.



Onomatopee 99, Maartje Folkeringa, 2014

Trick or Trait

€ 20

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The double-faced features of bling-bling. This is the first monograph on the art of Maartje Folkeringa (1978), a mid-career, upcoming Dutch artist, whose sculptural work sets out for the non-verbal forms of tactile communication in our behaviour and social interaction. Through the choice for specific materials and the way they are processed into totems of status, this physical body of work humanises the popular and high-end finery with which we rank ourselves and others through the lens of art. It plays with the totems by which we (un)consciously postulate our social hierarchy, allowing both the positioning of the art-object and the signalling of our status.

This book is a must-have for those who wonder what they must have. Both suggested and framed as a cut-and-paste sourcebook full of inspiration and proposals towards artistic endeavour, this book is designed with colourful respect for grandeur and subversive exclusivity, featuring enthusiastic lively texts that explore qualities in life and sculpture simultaneously.


Texts by Renske Janssen, Sarah Bay Williams, Freek Lomme and Lucette ter Borg
Graphic design by Raw Color
Chief editor and production: Freek Lomme
Made possible thanks to the generous support of the Municipality of Eindhoven, the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds / Josine de Bruyn Kops Fonds, the Mondriaan Fund and Stokroos Foundation.

240 x 170 MM / 9.5 x 6.7 inches portriat
Freek Lomme
Renske Janssen, Sarah Bay Williams, Freek Lomme, Lucette ter Borg
Raw Color
threat-sewn and glued
Maxioffset white 300 gr (cover) + 120 gr (inside pages)
half duotone, half full-color
Lecturis, Eindhoven (NL)
Image specs
42 full color images, 18 duotone images.
pink confetti foil (Colorit 949) on cover.
Nanne op t' Ende
Freek Lomme
more specs