Exhibition Overview and detail, Kunsthuis SYB, Beetsterzwaag, The Netherlands, 2019

Leaking sensitive information to influence power relations//the balance of power is a strategy as old as time. What changed is the scale at which it happens and the speed with which geopolitical relations shift as a results of these interventions. The risk of confidential information send through popular communication channels such as email or WhatsApp being intercepted is bigger than ever.

These contemporary issues echo questions first raised over 150 years ago about the life of the controversial Dutch diplomat, historian, and publicist Lieuwe van Aitzema (Dokkum, 1600 – Den Haag, 1669).

In the eyes of many historians, Van Aitzema is seen as a spy and a traitor. Though, by others he is seen as a zealous defender of the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands. The fact is that Van Aitzema passed on sensitive state documents to Oliver Cromwell, giving England a strategic advantage over his homeland during the First and Second Anglo-Dutch War.

For six weeks, Hannan studies books and document by and concerning Lieuwe van Aitzema, and through that lens revisits contemporary issues of conflict between state and individual interests, on the role played by spies or whistleblowers, and the changing ways in which we distribute, share, and consume information.

‘Studies in Constructive Secrecy and other Historic Failures’, compressed charcoal and inkjet prints on paper,167 x 330 cm, 2019

‘A Patch of Darkness’ (detail), Engraved mirrors, cast-iron, light, dimensions variable, 2019
(private collection)

‘Return to Limbo’, acrylics on wooden panels, sealing wax, 2 x 89 x 61 cm, 2019

‘Return to Oz’, Acrylics on wooden panel,                                                         ‘Return to Oz’ (detail)
sealing wax, 148,5 x 105 cm, 2019

‘The Guardians’, Bronze, various fabrics, Server Cabinet, LED lighting, 60 x 45 x 37 cm, 2019


‘The Guardians’ (details)


Generously supported by: