Heerlen’s DNA in personal portraits

Heerlen’s DNA in personal portraits

In a city with so many social problems as Heerlen, such as low literacy rates, long-term unemployment and poor educational attainment, confrontation with art does not come naturally. By joining forces with David Bade, SCHUNCK is operating outside the confines of its museum walls and instead, engaging in a long-term dialogue with the city and its residents.

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Like no other, Bade is capable of establishing a relationship between an uneasily defined public, passers-by and local residents. With his oh-so idiosyncratic style – both disarming and confrontational at the same time - through his drawings and paintings, he reveals the personality of his subjects and creates an urban document in a manner which has no equal. Never before has a museum so deliberately established such an intensive and long-term partnership as that with Bade. As if an archivist, he draws the city and its inhabitants as they are, year-in, year-out. By actively engaging residents in art projects like this, a collection of highly personal portraits of Heerlen’s residents will unfold which will later be added to the SCHUNCK collection and, as such, become an inseparable part of the city’s cultural heritage.

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With the support of the VriendenLoterij lottery, from 2020 to 2023, as part of the project, SCHUNCK will be organising a series of special group sessions and portraits together with Bade. For example, Bade trains with the ladies of the Pink Peril Roller Derby and immerses himself in Heerlen’s dance scene with the help of HFC’s dancers. He also takes part in a Heerlen-based self-help group. For this series, David created portraits and/or sculptures which are now held in Heerlen’s municipal collection, so preserving the people of the city for perpetuity.

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