De stad is mijn vijand sowieso Dorian Hiethaar

Courtesy of the Artist Photo: Aad Hoogendoorn

These 10 works on paper are a selection from Dorian Hiethaar’s series of 100 collages: The city is my enemy at any rate. Using ink, gouache, crayons and photocopies on paper, she gave shape to her feelings about the city. Her series of works were a contribution to the travelling exhibition under the same title, ‘The City’, which was commissioned by the Stichting Beeldende Kunst Gelderland.

Hiethaar graduated in 1974 from the Academy of Visual Arts (now ArtEZ University of the Arts) in Arnhem. At that time, she immediately decided never to make the kind of work she had made there again: rational work. After a temporary stop, she started painting personal things, and incorporated her own experiences into a new visual language. This period coincided with the commission for ‘The City’ – a time in which she said she wanted to address the lesbian issues that were then up for discussion.

For her, the city represented a grey mass, where she encountered very few unconventional perspectives. As she said in an interview in feminist periodical Vrouwentongen (Female Tongues) in 1982: “It sometimes makes me sad that there is so little impropriety, except for myself. I wish for once that I could go somewhere and fall off my chair because someone’s doing something entertaining, or is telling something because she’s really been thinking this time. (...) One thing overwhelms the other, people should take more breaks, work out more things for themselves, because in a city where so many things happen, you don’t have the time to think about things more.”

Since 1988, Dorian Hiethaar has been painting only the favourite forest of her childhood, leaving her enemy, the city, behind.