Christiaan Zwanikken in ISEA2012 Machine Wilderness exhibition – Albuquerque, NM

October 11th, 2012 by

Christiaan Zwanikken, “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly,” 2008, courtesy the artist

September 20, 2012 – January 6, 2013

516 ARTS in collaboration with The Albuquerque Museum of Art and History present the ISEA2012 exhibition Machine Wilderness, including the installation “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” and a series of “Micro-skeletals” by Christiaan Zwanikken. The exhibition features work that combines art, science and technology, demonstrating the role art can play in re-envisioning the world. The over 100 artists are from 29 countries: Austria, Brazil, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Korea, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Scotland, Spain, the UK and the USA. The exhibition was juried and curated through an international call for proposals, which drew close to 1,500 submissions from artists and presenters around the globe. The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalog published by the acclaimed Radius Books, which will be distributed internationally.

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Convento movie review

March 8th, 2012 by

Date: March 8, 2012

Source: Slant Magazine, by Chuck Bowen

News Item: Convento, movie review

Quote: Convento is an unusual experimental film that conjures the free-floating aura of a dream, only without the stylized, hyper-symbolic imagery that we generally associate with films attempting to convey dream states. The director Jarred Alterman has, in fact, taken the opposite approach: His compositions are gorgeous and surreal in their plainness and rational tactility. Convento captures the casually reassuring pleasure, as well as the potentially disconcerting oddness, of seeing something commonplace anew.


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Screening of Jarred Alterman’s documentary “Convento” about Christiaan Zwanikken at reRun Gastropub Theater – New York City

March 8th, 2012 by

March 9-15, 2012

The SXSW Film Festival* and Factory 25 present CONVENTO, the phantasmagoric fave of SXSW, Edinburgh, and Rooftop Films that IFC News called “an unorthodox doc about an unorthodox family of artists.” Presented in a 68-minute extended cut featuring supplemental vignettes, Jarred Alterman‘s directorial debut about artist Christiaan Zwanikken makes its NYC theatrical premiere with a week-long run, March 9 – 15.

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“Convento” Director Jarred Alterman

November 14th, 2011 by



Date: November 8, 2011

Source: Filmmaker

News Item: “Convento” Director Jarred Alterman makes documentary on Christiaan Zwanikken

Intro: Since I spend part of my year in Amsterdam I’m always on the lookout for interesting Dutch folks to write about. Kinetic artist Christiaan Zwanikken fit the bill and then some. Zwanikken lives most months at his family’s retreat in Portugal, which was once a monastery but now serves as the laboratory for his Frankenstein creations, robots crafted from servomotors and the remains of wildlife he finds on the ancient grounds. American filmmaker Jarred Alterman is also fascinated by Zwanikken’s work – so much so that he crafted Convento, an “art/doc” that follows not just the Dutch artist and his creatures but the Zwanikken clan, including mom Geraldine, a former prima ballerina. I spoke with the passionate director prior to the film’s NYC opening — appropriately enough, at the American Museum of Natural History on November 11. Zwanikken’s sculpture show at the museum opens a day earlier. (Click link to read more)

Link: Filmmaker

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Christiaan Zwanikken screening of Convento and pop-up exhibition at the American Museum of Natural History – New York City

November 11th, 2011 by

Christiaan Zwanikken, Pop-up exhibition at American Museum of Natural History, NYC, 2011, courtesy the artist

Screening: Friday, November 11, 2011, 8pm
Pop-up exhibition: November 11-14, 2011

The Margaret Mead Film Festival presents Convento by Jarred Alterman, a film about the work of Christiaan Zwanikken. About: Prima ballerina Geraldine, photographer Kees, and their two boys, Christiaan and Louis, left Holland in 1980 to take up residence at the Convento São Francisco de Mértola. Strategically situated at the convergence of two rivers in southeastern Portugal, this vacant monastery was left decaying for centuries until the Zwanikken family arrived and transformed it with their eccentric and earthy endeavors. In the airy studio converted from the estate’s chapel, son Christiaan builds kinetic sculptures from discarded electronics and the skulls and bones of deceased wildlife. Combining the family’s home movies with his own observant photography, filmmaker Jarred Alterman casts these fantastical creatures as supporting characters in the film, as they literally move across the landscape, animating the ancient grounds.

Making his debut exhibit in New York, Christiaan Zwanikken presents select kinetic sculptures in the Museum’s Grand Gallery located near the 77th Street entrance. They will be on display through the entire Festival. Free with Museum or Mead admission.

Margaret Mead Film Festival
American Museum of Natural History
Central Park West at 79th Street
New York, NY, 10024
Tel.: 212-769-5606

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Screening of Convento on The Piazza at Schmidt’s – Philadelphia, PA

July 31st, 2011 by

Convento (still), a film about artist Christiaan Zwanikken by Jarred Alterman, 2011, courtesy the filmmaker and the artist

July 31, 2011, 7:30pm

The Piazza at Schmidt’s and Rooftop Films co-present Convento. Director Jarred Alterman and artist Christiaan Zwanikken will attend to lead a Q&A.

Convento is more than a film to watch. Convento is a film immersion. At the convergence of the rivers Oeiras and Guadiana, along what some believe to be a ley line possessing mystical energies, rises the four hundred year old monastery Sao Francisco. Its light earthen walls, marked by the sun and time, house a labyrinth of terraces, courtyards, gardens and fountains, all offering secret places to contemplate. An ancient irrigation system delivers water throughout, a silvery artery connecting all life. The monastery is surrounded by a surrealist storybook landscape, an amalgam of desert palms and cacti and a forest’s darker, cooler life, within which animals of all kinds secretly contemplate. Originally built for an abbot and twelve monks, it is now a home, nature preserve, and artist’s studio.

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