SOH Alex Vermeulen /   Alex Vermeulen

Netherlands 1954

Installation, Sculpture, Video Art

SOH Alex Vermeulen
Alex Vermeulen
October 21, 2016
Alias of Jasmina Sevic, a researcher and author for Widewalls. She graduated from the Faculty of Political Science (Department for Journalism) in Belgrade in 2013.

Best known for his Eggy sculptures, film-books and multimedia events, Alex Vermeulen also known as SOH Alex Vermeulen is a highly talented Dutch multimedia artist and founder of the Syndicaat foundation. Born in 1954 in Eindhoven, Alex Vermeulen came to prominence in the mid-80s, when the curators of the Van Abbemuseum, one of the most prestigious museums for modern art in the south Netherlands, noticed his work. They began a strong and fruitful collaboration with the artist that would last for more than a decade resulting in a number of exhibitions and purchases for their prominent permanent collection. In his rich body of work, Vermeulen experiments with hybrids of a wide range of media including sculpture, photography, permanent and temporary installations, theater, film and performances.

opera film made in 2014 by soh
SOH Alex Vermeulen – Eggy, brass, wood, polyester, electric motor, 1998 (Left) / Eggies on Tops, poyester wood, 1999 (Right)

Film-Book Projects

Alex Vermeulen decided to pursue art career in his early twenties after studying anthropology, psychology, philosophy, architecture and design at the Design Academy Eindhoven. Influenced by the art of Claude Chabrol, a Paris-born movie director credited with starting the “nouvelle vague” film movement; as well as such movies as J’irai comme un cheval fou (I Will Walk Like a Crazy Horse), a surreal drama film directed by Fernando Arrabal in 1973; Themroc, an absurdist comedy Claude Faraldo made in the same year; and Querelle, a fantasy drama film directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder in 1982, he decided to produce a series of works that would put a new spin on an old form – film-books. This type of art is commonly made to document an existing film, but his visual scripts played with the space between reality and imagination, a theme often seen in his works. Thus for, his works are often placed in films, staged photography and installations. They do not serve as props but play key roles in the mise en scène.

SOH Alex Vermeulen’s works are often placed in films, staged photography and installations

opera film by soh 2016
SOH Alex Vermeulen – Let Me Be the One to Extinguish the Fire Within You, color print, 120x192cm, 2016

Eggy Sculptures and SOH-States of Humanity

In the beginning of 1990s, Alex Vermeulen relocated to Amsterdam where he founded the Syndicaat foundation, as well as his impressive SOH-States of Humanity interdisciplinary project that questions the mechanisms fundamental to our existence, future direction, as well as the difficulties we face today. Throughout his career, the artist used to create under his own name as well as SOH-States of Humanity and Syndicaat Alex Vermeulen. However, since 2015, he exclusively works under the name SOH Alex Vermeulen. In 1996, his film-book Fuga Futuri, the story of an imaginary city Terra Refrigera, was presented at Stedelijk Museum. The main character of this show was eye-catching egg-like sculpture Eggy that would become the artist’s trademark in the following years. The same year, six Eggy sculptures were presented in New York, where the artist asked passers-by to choose their favorite piece and relate it to their personal life. The result was States of Humanity, a documentary film based on fifty-five of these interviews that was presented for the first time at the International Film Festival Rotterdam in 1997. In addition, Alex Vermeulen has produced numerous multi-media events, directed a series of films, and took part in many exhibitions. In 1999, the book States of Humanity was released. Using New York City as his reference point, this multi-faceted project examines life inside a metropolis. The artist has incorporated sculpture, video installation, photography, and documentary film to depict different aspects of urban experience. It also includes essays by such notable figures as Lodge Kerrigan, Arthur Danto and David Shea, amongst others. In 2006, his SOH19 States of Nature, a large-scale artwork composed of 88 massive black polyester eggs topped with solar panels was installed in a pond at Eindhoven’s University of Technology.

The main character of Vermeulen’s film-book Fuga Futuri is eye-catching egg-like sculpture Eggy

international film by soh
SOH Alex Vermeulen – Fuga Futuri, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, 1996

The Epic Work

In 2012, Alex Vermeulen created his last Eggy sculpture that was quite different than the previous pieces as it had arms that form together with the legs an “X” shape, a symbol that is often used as a reference to the unknown. After traveling frequently to Bali, an Indonesian island, Vermeulen directed and produced an interactive cinematographic iBook, The Epic. The plot takes place in an imaginary Asian metropolis Raksasa Kota (City of the Future) in 2088. Starring a group of young Balinese dancers in a futuristic landscape, the story brings together gods, demons and avatars from the Ramayana, the ancient Indian epic poems, with characters of Shakespeare’s Othello. The original film score, an interactive iBook, will be presented in Museum Puri Lukisan, Ubud in Bali in August 2017 and onwards in Europe, China and the United States. In the meantime, SOH Alex Vermeulen continues to work on his film-books, films, performances, sculpture and installations. In 2014, the artist closed his studio in Amsterdam and set up new ones in both Bali and New York. The opening of his new multimedia studio in Greenpoint, NY, is scheduled for May 2017.

SOH Alex Vermeulen lives and works between Bali and New York.

Featured image: SOH Alex Vermeulen – portrait
All images courtesy of the artist

Upcoming Events

Sep 12th, 2006 - Sep 12th, 2027

SOH19 States of Nature

TU/e Technical University, TU/e Technical University Eindhoven de Rondom 70 5612 AP Eindhoven, the Netherlands

Please select an option to add SOH19 States of Nature into your calendar

Jul 05th, 2019 - Jul 05th, 2020

SOH17 the Mood Rooms, the Mind Carousel

SYNDICAAT, in the public space; place will be announced shortly

Please select an option to add SOH17 the Mood Rooms, the Mind Carousel into your calendar

Ongoing Events

Sep 12th, 2006 - Sep 12th, 2027

SOH19 States of Nature

TU/e Technical University, TU/e Technical University Eindhoven de Rondom 70 5612 AP Eindhoven, the Netherlands

Please select an option to add SOH19 States of Nature into your calendar

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2011SOH17 the Mood Rooms Buro BK, Vlissingen (NL) Solo
2007SOH23 You know why I am so happy?! Gallerie Annette de Keyser, Antwerpen (B)Solo
2006SOH22 We all do itGallery Den Bosch, Den Bosch (NL)Solo
2006SOH19 States of NatureTU/e EindhovenSolo
2005Mijn Domijn, Binnen is niet BuitenZware plaatwerkerij / KSG-terein / VlissingenGroup
2005SOH16 Tour des SensdeWatertoren AK, Vlissingen (NL)Solo
2002Film LoungeNederlands Foto instituut, Rotterdam (NL)Group
2000SOH7 The Urban Fashion Crank LabCerruty New York City (USA)Solo
1999SOH1 States of Humanit y- Architectonic FilmMuseum of Contemporary Art, Antwerpen (B) Solo
1999SOH3 The Mental Urban LabyrinthVan Abbemuseum, Eindhoven (NL) Solo
1999Formule 2Kunstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlijn (D)Group
1998Magritte and contemporary ArtMuseum of Modern Art, Oostende (B) Group
1998Formule 2newMetropolis, Amsterdam (NL) Group
1996the Models public spacesThe New Public Studio, Syndicaat, Amsterdam (NL)Solo
1996Fuga Futuri Stedelijk museum, Amsterdam (NL) Group
1996Muze als Motorde Beijerd, Breda (NL)Group
1995Art for a new SocietyThe New Public Studio, Syndicaat, Amsterdam (NL)Solo
1993Foto Feissthe Scottisch photography Group Galery, Edinburgh (GB) Group
1993Foto FeissInverness Museum,Inverness (GB) Group
1992Keuzemomenten van dubbeltalentenStedelijk Meuseum, Gouda (NL)Group
1992Terra RefrigeraArti et Amicitiae , Amsterdam (NL) Solo
1992New, New, NewAmsterdam (NL)Solo
1991En SuiteKunstRai, Artfair, Amsterdam (NL)Group
1990Beelden in Noord-Brabant : ontwikkeling van de beeldhouwkunst na 1945Kasteel Heeswijk te Heeswijk-Dinther (NL)Group
1990Door het oog van de cameravan Abbemuseum, Eindhoven (NL), Group
1989PassageHCAK, den Haag (NL) Group
1988Meeres BilderGalerie Kaes Weiss, Stutgard (D)Group
1988New, New, NewTorch Gallery, Cologne (D)Solo
1988No one but Onno Truemanvan Abbemuseum, Eindhoven (NL) Solo
1987Metz pour la PhotographyCave Ste Croix, Metz (F)Group
1987New workGalerie Dani Keller, München (D)Group
1987Fotografia BuffaRheinische Landes Museum, Bonn (D) Group
1987innovation TraitionBadischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe (D), Group
1987Ooghoogtevan Abbemuseum, Eindhoven (NL), Group
1987New, New, NewTORCH gallery, Amsterdam (NL)Solo
1986En passant Baltimore KrügerHet Kruithuis, Museum voor Hedendaagse Kunst, den Bosch (NL)Solo
19855/5=2Wandelhalle, Koln (D)Group
1985Het experiment in de Nederlandse filmStedelijk Museum Amsterdam (NL) grpup
1985Het Avond-uur der verwonderingvan Abbemuseum, Eindhoven (NL) Solo
1985Brabant BiennaleHet Kruithuis, Museum voor Hedendaagse Kunst, den Bosch (NL)Group
1984Het Verboden Spelt Hoogt, Utrecht (NL)Solo
1982Het Schoon SchipKunstzaa,l Hengelo (NL)Solo
1980Collage project Lucinda Childs/Philip GlassStadsschouwburg, Eindhoven (NL) Solo