Het wordt altijd anders/It always turns out differently...

The story of how Rabobank invited 10 artists-in-residence

What role might art and artists be able to play in a bank’s transition and evolution? Rabobank has explored this question over the past year by inviting Lucas De Man and nine other artists affiliated with the Stichting Nieuwe Helden foundation to immerse themselves in the organisation for a full year and let themselves be inspired by a world completely unfamiliar to them up to that point. These artists-in-residence basically ‘infiltrated’ into all levels of the bank, maintaining the balance between involvement and detachment that the celebrated Dutch poet Rutger Kopland felt is fundamental to an artist’s work. They spent their time becoming acquainted with employees and customers, listening, observing, talking, interviewing, and documenting their findings. They were supported by dozens of committed and passionate employees, who guided and briefed them throughout their stay.

De Man: ‘As outsiders who nevertheless want to feel part of the organisation, we’re interested in learning what makes people tick. So the questions we ask are always open-minded and unbiased. This has elicited some surprisingly interesting and touching responses from Rabobank employees. Our project is concerned with the search on which Rabobank and its employees have embarked: a search for identity – who are we and where are we headed? The strength of that search lies in its vulnerability, and it takes an artist to channel that vulnerability into a meaningful experience.’

New questions

Rabobank has accumulated an extraordinary museum-quality art collection over the past decades. We share the works in this collection – which grace Rabobank buildings in Utrecht, Eindhoven, Zeist, Best and Boxtel – with the public by loaning them to various museums around the country.

At a time when the number of branch offices is dwindling and open and transparent workspaces are becoming the norm everywhere, we also need to take a critical look at the whys and wherefores of our art collection. We explored the following questions: ‘What might be the future of a corporate art collection in this rapidly changing world – is it merely about accumulating property, or could this engagement with culture take on a different form altogether?’ And: ‘What impact do trends in society have on the bank?’

Rabobank has invited the renowned Dutch theatre producer and TV presenter Lucas De Man and the other members of his Stichting Nieuwe Helden foundation to be artists-in-residence and find answers to these very questions. HET WORDT ALTIJD ANDERS/IT ALWAYS TURNS OUT DIFFERENTLY is a comprehensive project that is the culmination of many months of research at the bank. It has resulted in several tangible artistic expressions, including six podcasts, titled De poëzie van het bankieren (‘The Poetry of Banking’), a performance called Sam, and De Grote Familievriendelijke Rabo Kerst Kunstshow (‘The Rabobank Big Christmas Art Show for all the Family’).

‘It is wonderful to see what happens when artists search for the essence of Rabobank and an employee’s beliefs.’

Wiebe Draijer, Chairman of the Rabobank Execution Board and Chairman of the Art Committee

Credits:

All artists affiliated with Stichting Nieuwe Helden: Lucas de Man, Pascal Leboucq, Isil Vos, Michael Bloos, Niels Kuiters, Khadija Massoudi
Produced by: Stichting Nieuwe Helden
Project Manager: Rosa Boon

Produced with the support of: the Rabobank Art Committee
Acknowledgements: Verily Klaasen, Tanja Kliphuis, Danielle Laudy, Godelieve Spaans, Laurean Thomas, all guides, and of course all Rabobank employees!

The Poetry of Banking

'De poëzie van het bankieren' The Poetry of Banking’ is a series of podcasts that invites you into the world of Rabobank’s employees and customers. It touches on the human dimension, passion, and the occasional inability to find answers to questions

Theatre producer and actor Michaël Bloos and fellow artists Niels Kuiters, Isil Vos and Eva Meijering interviewed around 80 employees at all levels of the Rabobank organisation. Their interview subjects include a chief financial officer who used to be a dancer, and the interviewers even made a trip down to the bank’s warehouse facility. Bloos created a six-part podcast documentary based on these interviews called De poëzie van het bankieren/’The Poetry of Banking: a Search for the People behind the Bank’. The six episodes are available on Soundcloud: de poëzie van het bankieren

Credits:

Created by; Idee: Lucas de Man en Michael Bloos
Directed and produced by: Michael Bloos en Niels Kuiters
Research: Tijs Huys en Eva Meijering
Edited by: Niels Kuiters
Music: Niels Kuiters
Produced by: Stichting Nieuwe Helden
Project Manager: Rosa Boon

Produced with the support of: the Rabobank Art Committee
Acknowledgements: Verily Klaasen, Tanja Kliphuis, Godelieve Spaans, all guides, and of course all Rabobank employees!

Sam

A dynamic solo performance about the future of work, money and life, featuring actors Isil Vos or Michaël Bloos, and directed by Lucas De Man.

The audience gets an hour-long glimpse into the life of bank employee Sam, who has been working for Rabobank for more than ten years and is rapidly moving her way up the ranks. Although Sam enjoys her work, she often asks herself questions about the meaning of the bank and its future, culture and values. She sometimes has doubts and wonders what might be improved or done differently. In an attempt to answer her questions and help her in her search, she has started a vlog about the future of work, money and life itself. She interviews inspiring people from Rabobank and beyond for this vlog, involving the audience as part of her performance.

The music composed by Niels Kuiters especially for Sam is based on ‘bank noises’. The solo performance will embark on a nationwide tour in late November, in association with local Rabobanks.

After the solo performance finishes its run at all Rabobank delegates, it will be touring the rest of the country and will be available for bookings for conventions, meetings and business networks. The search for ways to shape our future in this rapidly changing world is a challenge that affects us all. To book a performance, please send an email to rosa@nieuwehelden.nl

Credits:

Directed by: Lucas de Man
Featuring performances by: Michaël Bloos en Isil Vos
Co-Directors: Michael Bloos en Isil Vos
Assistant Director: Mariella van Apeldoorn
Design: Pascal Leboucq
Music: Niels Kuiters
Sound and light: Jeroen van Duyvendak
Produced by: Stichting Nieuwe Helden
Project Manager: Rosa Boon
PR: Claire Beke

Produced with the support of: the Rabobank Art Committee
Acknowledgements: Verily Klaasen, Tanja Kliphuis, Danielle Laudy, Godelieve Spaans, Laurean Thomas, all guides, and of course all Rabobank employees!

The Rabobank Big Christmas Art Show for all the Family

The Rabobank Big Christmas Art Show for all the Family brings Rabobank’s extraordinary art collection to life in a theatrical and audience-friendly way. The traditional museum experience is reversed during this performance: instead of walking past the artworks, the audience is presented with these works while seated in the Auditorium of Rabobank’s Utrecht head office.

In this show, we will tell story of the bank and its employees by mixing works of art from the great Rabobank Art Collection with live music, interviews, stories, theatre, film, humour and even a few flying objects. You will spend 90 minutes in a rollercoaster taking you past the weird and the wonderful, touching images, sincere stories, intense music and a little flying. It’s all about telling the story behind the façade: the story of our employees, as Rabobank is made up of people who deserve to be seen (and heard).

Credits:

Directed and presented by: Lucas de Man en Khadija Massoudi
Assistant Director: Mariella van Apeldoorn
Design: Pascal Leboucq en Manon Veldhuis
Music: Niels Kuiters, Bas van Rijnsoever en de Rabo band
Produced by: Stichting Nieuwe Helden
Project Manager: Rosa Boon
Production Manager: Mariella van Apeldoorn
PR: Claire Beke

Produced with the support of: the Rabobank Art Committee and the works from the collection
Acknowledgements: Verily Klaasen, Tanja Kliphuis, Danielle Laudy, Godelieve Spaans, Laurean Thomas, all guides, and of course all Rabobank employees!

About Stichting Nieuwe Helden

The participating artists-in-residence include: Lucas De Man, Pascal Leboucq, Isil Vos, Niels Kuiters, Michaël Bloos, Eva Meijering and Khadija Massaoudi. Stichting Nieuwe Helden creates art projects and urban actions in public spaces, always with the objective of transforming these spaces into indoor and outdoor meeting places where people can encounter each other in the public realm.
For more information, please visit: www.stichtingnieuwehelden.nl

Contact

Rabo Art Collection

Postal Address UC 075
P.O. Box 17100
3500 HG Utrecht
The Netherlands