ZERO: Jan Henderikse and Jan Schoonhoven
27 Sep 2015

Stedelijk Museum Teijin Auditorium
3 - 5:30 pm
Dutch, English subtitles

Not necessary, free entrance with museum entrance ticket

Jan Henderikse
Jan Henderikse
Jan Schoonhoven
Jan Schoonhoven

As part of the ZERO exhibition, Let Us Explore the Stars, the Stedelijk Museum is presenting two films by documentary filmmaker Sherman De Jesus. Alles is Licht – Jan Henderikse (Everything is Light – Jan Henderikse) will be shown from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m., and Jan Schoonhoven – Beambte 18977 (Jan Schoonhoven – Officer 18977) will be shown from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m.

Alles is Licht (2001) begins with Jan Henderikse’s preparations for a major work, comprised of nearly two thousand “nite lites” (small, illuminated plastic images) shaped like Jesus Christ, which were intended to be placed in the bombed-out St. Georgenkirche in the German Hanseatic city of Wismar. During the film, Henderikse works in Berlin on the preparations for this piece, visiting galleries and talking about his sources of inspiration. His art is rooted in everyday objects that he buys up from all over the place and creates installations with in large quantities: beer crates, coins, discarded advertising posters from supermarkets, and plastic Jesus figurines. The film reveals the multifaceted nature of Henderikse’s oeuvre; alongside installations of everyday objects, for example, he photographs all four corners of Broadway, and makes a bronze cast of a hole in a Berlin bridge, left behind by a grenade during World War II.  “Too much is not enough,” as Henderikse himself says.

Beambte 18977 (2005) reveals an unusual side to artist Jan Schoonoven. His mysterious white reliefs made from cardboard and papier–mâché are currently being auctioned at Sotheby’s and Christie’s for thousands, but Schoonhoven himself was a modest and austere postal service official. Who was this man, who voluntarily allowed himself to be painted naked by the world-famous Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama, only to appear quietly the next morning at work? The filmmakers discover that one of Schoonhoven’s most important works that was displayed in the post office in Delft has disappeared. In the film, artist Jan Henderikse, a friend of Schoonhoven’s, goes in search of this missing piece. Gradually, an impression of Schoonhoven’s life, his enigmatic personality, and the meaning of his art emerges.


Sherman De Jesus is a filmmaker, writer, and director. He was a founding member of the Netherlands Film Festival, and was its director for the first five years, during which he set up the first Netherlands Film market and the Cinema Militans Lecture, and was also a jury member for the Golden Calf award. His latest film, The ZERO Revolution: Henk Peeters will premiere at Amsterdam’s Stedelijk Museum on September 24, 2015.


Alles is Licht – Jan Henderikse
Documentary | 2001 | 53’ | DVD | Color

A co-production between Memphis Film & Television and NTR, made with thanks to the Mondriaan Fund.

Jan Schoonhoven – Beambte 18977
Documentary| 2005 | 53’ | Digibeta | Color

A co-production between Memphis Film & Television and VPRO, made with thanks to the Mondriaan Fund, the Dutch Cultural Broadcasting Fund, and the ThuisKopie Fund.