Henri Wolff's Ode to Charlie, artwork by Harald den Breejen; partial installation view at Rijksakademie Open 2010

Installation detail; photo courtesy of Willem Vermaase

Henri Wolff's Ode to Charlie

is an open-ended collection of objects relating to the life and work of poet and self-proclaimed philosopher Henri Wolff (1856-1917, fictional), and in particular his relation to Charlie (an anthropomorphic young cube, possibly made up by Wolff). It was Charlie who may have caused Wolff's famously held belief that everything that rhymes must therefore be a truth. The Henri Wolff collection is an attempt to make sense of this statement.
The objects belonging to the collection are shown as site-specific installations, taking the form of a travelling exhbit. It was first shown at Rijkasakademie OPEN 2010. The images on this page show a selection of that installation, which included a museum style display (featuring a children's educational area, colouring competition, and coffee-corner), a display of geometric models illustrating shadow formations attributed to Wolff, a selection of smoking pipes, a praxinoscope animation played on a recordplayer, and cyanotype sunprints made by the artist in the manner of Wolff. Interspersed among the exhibits are artist-impressions of Charlie.
All known facts about Wolff were collected in this publication; ranging from Wolff's love of geometry, to his stress-related demise following the death of his only son (the death was caused by a non-rhyming taunt and subsequent assault outside the Wolff house).
Henri Wolff's Ode to Charlie, artwork by Harald den Breejen; partial installation view at Rijksakademie Open 2010

photo courtesy of Willem Vermaase

Henri Wolff's Ode to Charlie, artwork by Harald den Breejen; portrait of Charlie (collage)

Charlie

Henri Wolff's Ode to Charlie, artwork by Harald den Breejen; installation detail at Rijksakademie Open 2010

Installation detail

Henri Wolff's Ode to Charlie, artwork by Harald den Breejen; portrait of Charlie (collage)

Charlie

Henri Wolff's Ode to Charlie, artwork by Harald den Breejen; installation detail at Rijksakademie Open 2010

Installation detail

Henri Wolff's Ode to Charlie, artwork by Harald den Breejen; installation detail at Rijksakademie Open 2010

Clay pipes from Wolff's collection: Doric and Ionian.

Henri Wolff's Ode to Charlie, artwork by Harald den Breejen; installation detail (cyanotype) at Rijksakademie Open 2010

Cyanotype solar print of cube.

Henri Wolff's Ode to Charlie, artwork by Harald den Breejen; portrait of Henri Wolff at Rijksakademie Open 2010

Portrait of Henri Wolff

Henri Wolff's Ode to Charlie, artwork by Harald den Breejen; partial installation view at Rijksakademie Open 2010

Installation detail: Praxinoscope

Henri Wolff's Ode to Charlie, artwork by Harald den Breejen; installation detail (cyanotype) at Rijksakademie Open 2010

Cyanotype solar print of cube.

Henri Wolff's Ode to Charlie, artwork by Harald den Breejen; portrait of Henri Wolff at Rijksakademie Open 2010

Portrait of Henri Wolff

Henri Wolff's Ode to Charlie, artwork by Harald den Breejen; partial installation view at Rijksakademie Open 2010

Installation detail: Praxinoscope

For the realisation of this project I would like to thank Christopher Chong, Siobhán Tattan, Sjoerd van Leeuwen, Sanne Beemsterboer, Peter Bloem, Gerard Tahu, and the staff of the Rijksakademie.