The Adversary, Museum de Lakenhal
Leiden, The Netherlands, 2009
The life story of Marinus van der Lubbe is the starting point of the exhibition in De Lakenhal.
Marinus van der Lubbe, a Dutch communist who travelled to Berlin in 1933, was accused and convicted for burning down the Parliament building (Reichsdag) which brought World War II a little bit closer.
Marinus wanted to unite the laborers and warn them for the Nazi threats by setting the parliament to fire. Another version of the story is that the Nazis made a set-up, burned down the building them self and found an easy victim in Marinus. Which ever version is correct, Marinus was sentenced to death and died at the guillotine.
In our contemporary world we also find people who want to fight (and die) for their ideals. Whether these people are guilty or not, depends on the one who has the power to judge. Terrorists or heroes can have a common ground. Convicted to prison they're sometimes treated like animals - or worse.
It is about this mechanism the exhibition in De Lakenhal is dealing with. Seen from a human perspective, seen from the one who is humiliated.
My sculpture of Marinus van der Lubbe is now on display in the permanent exhibition of Museum de Lakenhal in Leiden, the Netherlands.