Doing the dishes       
It all started with a dish rack that I found on the street. It was yellow and had a shape I had never seen before. I took it home immediately. Because of its unusual shape it did not fit next to my sink, so I took it to my studio. The shape is more vertical than horizontal and pleasing to the eye, a combination you almost never see in drainers.
During a visit of the 2013 Royal Academy graduation exhibition for photography, I looked at the table on which all the photographers had displayed their leaflets, cards and portfolios. My gaze fell right on a strong graphic image of a yellow dish rack filled with dishes. The photograph had strong colours and I immediately thought of my own drainer. I recognized something, because I also organise my dishes a certain way. I also do this when I hang my laundry to dry. I consciously hang the laundry a certain way, in the meantime enjoying the structures and colour combinations. The latter is a job I really enjoy and would never want to share.
I decided to seek contact with Luuk Smits, the maker of these dish washing photographs. He had other work in this exhibition, great work, but no photos of dishes. I took his publication “doing the dishes” home and looked at it from time to time, anticipating our future cooperation. About half a year ago we first came together to talk about VITRINE. He was busy with various projects, so it was not at all sure that there would even be a picture from “doing the dishes” in VITRINE. Of course I did not want to be too pushy, since VITRINE is a balanced collaboration between me and another artist. I try to have an open approach and to be flexible. We discussed all options and decided that in any case we would include moving images and decide later on the content. The series VELDWERK (fieldwork) that was in the Royal Academy exhibition, was also suitable. Still I was secretly hoping he would want to show one of his dishwashing photos.
In the meantime, I invited him to dinner with an opportunity afterwards to take a “doing the dishes” picture at my house.
I was delighted when in early April I received an email from Luuk in which he wrote he had continued this project. He was building a website for it, worked as a dishwasher at the Hotel New York, in Rotterdam and would soon have an interview with the Volkskrant, a Dutch national newspaper.
VITRINE 45 has been installed. Luuk provided a large print from his last series . In the corner is a screen on which a plastic bucket under a tap can be seen, continuously overflowing. My dish rack is not on display in the VITRINE. Instead I added a stack of old dish towels. Also beautiful.
Last week Luuk was featured in the newspaper and the next day he was interviewed on national radio. For Luuk everything seems to fall into place nicely, although he hopes to close this project soon. The thing is, he does not really enjoy washing dishes, he actually would like a job at Schiphol airport....

translation by John den Exter