Basic Principles of Art-Confrontation

Art-Confrontation gives active and purposeful support to changing processes in the society and fits in with groups who insufficiently get a chance in expressing and solving their problems. Art-Confrontation offers individuals from this group the opportunity to concretize a common interest, need or desire in to the social reality, with the aid of their own chosen possibilities of expression.
Art-Confrontation includes basically the entire process; from the very first expression of this need until the moment that it is actually realized.
The demand may not always be formulated clearly, but also can be experienced half consciously as an unsatisfied feeling about a situation in which one exists.


In the night of 4th till 5th of December young people from Diemen take off their shoes in front of the town hall, with their greatest desire for Santa Claus: a Youth Centre of their own. Some months later, after continued actions, their wish is granted.

With an art-confronting project the active imagining is of essential importance, because with it, a common need can become concrete. Art-Confrontation first of all fits in with the individual. Each person has his own idealized image regarding to the situation that must be changed. This has to be expressed first, to be able to produce a contribution towards the common goal aimed for. In this common imagining an enormous power will surface. Because everybody likes it and stimulates each other to new fantasies, people are crossing old boundaries and dare to take new courses to realize the fantasies as a group, trusting each other.

The presence of the accompanying artists gives an additional dimension to the (sub) cultural expressions of a group. Starting from their own visual experience they are able to stimulate the imagination of the persons involved and they can realize the process from fantasy to reality. They know to remove the boundaries of what is considered feasible to the persons involved, by giving them the experience that their activities to be undertaken can lead to concrete results.

Inhabitants in Diemen unexpectedly block their street because of inconvenience of the truck traffic and give a smashing party. Students create a “crosswalk for cyclists” on a dangerous traffic crossing in Amsterdam.

To be able to give a well-considered guidance to a particular target group knowledge of the (sub) culture of this group is necessary. This knowledge alone is not sufficient. Most important is a form of solidarity with the target group. It is essential to be receptive to their problems, their wishes and needs, their possibilities and restrictions - as well as a group as individually - in order to stimulate and accompany such a group with the realizing of their needs.

An art-confronting project only will produce the desired result if the desired
changes will be realistic attainable and be supported by a greater group of people. Often the desired change may not be accomplished in reality through the action group directly. Their visual activities may have more effect, in an indirect way, by visualizing the issue. The group has to bring and keep on bringing the issue into the publicity in such a way, that nobody will be able to get around it anymore. The visual expression has to be directed clearly to the ones who really are able to answer to the specific needs of the group.


A “Still life” of cleaning products in the administrational head quarter of the University of Amsterdam, as a protest against retrenchment in the student houses. The shop specialized in recycled goods in Amersfoort does not have any storage space. That’s why employees paint their stuff on a central square in the city.

The visual expression has to be aesthetically powerful. Only if everybody is able to see immediately whatever issue is involved, the visual language may have power and make impression. Supported by the press and the public opinion that appreciate the symbolic expression of the problem, the visual actions may pressure the authorities concerned so much that they are forced to go and execute the change desired.

Do you also want to make a success of your action with the aid of Art-Confrontation? Get in contact with Rob Schrama!