Every year the TodaysArt Festival transforms the city centre of The Hague into an inspiring stronghold of creativity and audiovisual experiences. In just six years TodaysArt developed into one of the foremost art festivals in Europe.
Its growing success is showed by the expansion of its annual line-up of events and worldwide co-operations. TodaysArt has provided an annual setting for artistic and creative encounters with cultural phenomena that are the upshot of social change. Concerts, exhibitions, performances and interventions carry these inquiries beyond the confines of conventional festival spaces and cultural venues and take them out into the public sphere and throughout the cityscape.
In this process of pervading public spaces and staging festival activities in interesting and appropriate physical settings, TodaysArt has consistently displayed extraordinary imaginativeness. From the train station to the clubs, from churches to the City Hall, unusual locations have repeatedly served as sites of performances and interventions, and have, in turn, been reinterpreted by them.
TodaysArt has, since its inception, been focused on amplifying the new and mapping out barely existent forms of – and transdisciplinary relations between – art, music and technology. Despite battles with finance, ambition and scale, 2010 promises to be another exceptional year: TodaysArt will, in the style its notorious for, plug in to the social possibilities of art, sound and technology in The Hague’s urban and public spaces and further to national and international contexts. This edition will bring together widely varied perspectives; a clamour of different voices that address the issues of how we shape our future and what we want our city to be, and that ask fundamental questions about the context of our urban experience: Who has claims on an authentic and creative cultural life in the city? What is a truly creative city?
TodaysArt will take place on Friday September 24 and Saturday September 25, 2010.
More information: TodaysArt 2010
Especially now that Anton Corbijn has agreed to give an overview of his work in a Q&A on October 12, while his second feature film “The American” With Mr “Nespresso” Clooney drew many well visited opening screens in the USA, this 6th edition of the 2010 Shoot Me Film Festival in The Hague will be a promising one.
BTW did you know that Anton lives in The Hague from time to time?
And did you know he designed the Logo of The Hague Marketing? Here you see him together with Frits Huffnagels and another stand up comedian on a cold First of November evening at the occasion of the unveiling of that logo (I won’t show it in this post though).
Also posted on Hofstijl in Dutch (there you can see the logo if you want:-)
The third Tuesday of September is Prince’s Day in the Netherlands. It signals the start of the Dutch parliamentary year and is one of the most important days in the Dutch royal calendar.
Schools in The Hague close so the children can watch the procession as the Queen rides a golden horse-drawn carriage from the Noordeinde Palace to the Hall of Knights in the Binnenhof, the seat of the Dutch parliament in The Hague.
As Head of State, the Queen delivers the “Speech from the Throne” before a joint meeting of both chambers of parliament, members of the cabinet, the Council of State and some other invited guests. The Queens’ Speech outlines the government’s plans for the coming year. The Finance Minister presents his symbolic briefcase, containing both the Budget Memorandum and the National Budget to the President of the House of Representatives later in the day.
The Dutch Royal Armed Forces line the road as the procession returns to the Noordeinde Palace. The Royal Family appears on the palace balcony to address the huge crowd waiting for them.
The Prince’s Day celebrations date back to the 18th century when a holiday was declared to mark Prince Willem V’s birthday.
In present times, the occasion has taken a more pragmatic significance and is not a national holiday. The scenes of royal traditions in The Hague however are not lost on an adoring public that lines the city’s streets to witness the pomp and glory of the occasion.
For my very first 52 cities’ guide I made a walk through the centre of The Hague. Start along the leafy Lange Voorhout with the Palace where Queen Emma lived from 1901 to l934. Nowadays it is a museum  tributed to the Dutch artist Escher. The prestigious Hotel Des Indes  built in 1858 had many royal guests, aristocrats and celebrities. Enjoy an afternoon tea in the lovely lounge area. Every Thursday and Sunday from May until the end of September you’ll find the antique market on the Lange Voorhout. Pulchri Studio  is an artist’s society, established in 1847. In this building the artists show their works of art (free entrance). The history of the Kloosterkerk starts around 1400 AD. Every last Sunday of the month a cantata service is held in collaboration of the Residential Bach Orchestra and the Residential Chamber Orchestra. In 2009 the Indonesian restaurant Garoeda  celebrated its 60th anniversary. You can enjoy either a light lunch up to a complete Rijsttafel (ricetable). One of the most famous clients of De Graaff Tobacconist  in the Heulstraat was Churchill himself. Palace Noordeinde built in 1533 is Queen Beatrix’ work palace. Every Wednesday morning foreign ambassadors arrive here in horse carriages. Not only Princess Maxima loves to shop in the boutiques at the Noordeinde and Hoogstraat. Enjoy an Italian cappuccino at Deluca, situated on the corner of the oldest shopping centre in Holland, the Passage, built between 1882 and 1885. The Dutch government is located in the Binnenhof, built in the 13th century. On the third Tuesday of September Queen Beatrix holds her speech in the gothic Ridderzaal. The office of the Prime Minister is in the so-called Torentje next to the 17th century Mauritshuis . In this museum you’ll find a collection of paintings from the Dutch Golden Age, Vermeer, Rembrandt, Jan Steen and Frans Hals.
Amsterdam isn’t the only city with canals. Find out more about the rich and fascinating history of The Hague during the Ooievaart Canal Tour.
Canal Tours are not just limited to Amsterdam. Since 2003 the Ooievaart Canal Tour has offered a unique glimpse into the 400+ years of hidden history along the canals of The Hague. It reveals little gems such as the home of Dutch painter Jan Steen, the location of the smallest church in The Hague, the residence of author and native son Louis Couperus, famous Dutch dancer turned WWI spy Mata Hari’s residence, and the beautiful holiday mansions for Dutch/Indonesian merchants on the Mauritskade. The Ooievaart Tour also provides a wealth of information on the former uses of the canals, their original role in the security of the city, the trade routes and the goods The Hague exported, and interesting landmarks for the city that flourished near the water’s edge.
The tour guide is very knowledgeable and the tour is conducted in Dutch; however, you can request a guidebook in the language of your choice when you arrive at the boat. The English guidebook was filled with interesting information and offered a map to all 21 points of interest. The tour is an hour and a half and was a great way to introduce the city to new visitors and residents alike.
Of note: The boats are uncovered, but with good reason – during its development The Hague did not create bridges over the canals, but rather built roads directly across the water. This makes some of the tour more interactive – be prepared to duck quite a bit!
Queen Beatrix looking at a Regina Statue of Manolo Valdes
Two Regina Statues by Manolo Valdes
In summer there is an open air sculpture exhibition at the “Lange Voorhout”, The Hague Sculpture. Melinda posted about it already. When the exhibition was opened by Dutch Queen Beatrix, I took this lady in green’s portrait while entering the Klooster Church for the opening ceremony. Hats are en vogue during such official venues. I believe such classic ladies with chic outfits are typical for The Hague.
Today the statues of Manolo Valdes will be taken away. The Kim Ruysenaar sculptures will be on display until September 12.
I really wondered whether Manolo was inspired by Beatrix, who is a sculptor herself, time permitting, or whether his Regina series that could reflect Beatrix caused the organizing committee to invite Manolo for this year’s exhibition and to ensure Beatrix would do the opening ceremony.
For those of you interested in the actual sculptures featured in The Hague: I’ve uploaded several sets of photos to my Flickr account: 2010, 2009, 2009 opening, 2008 and 2007.
On September 11 Plastic Deformation (Plastische Vervorming), the invisible life of trams will premiere as a theatrical evening on site in the HTM tram depot.
Sophie’s father her best friend dies in a tram accident. One year later everybody is telling her she needs come to terms to the grief and be bereavement.
She does this in her own way by reconstructing the last days of his life in detail. She maps his last footsteps and reconstructs every conversation he had before the accident and she finds out things about him she would never have known otherwise.
Plastic Deformation/distortion is produced by Theatre Group in association with The Arsenal jetzt. The play was inspired by the location itself, Jonathan Safran Foer’s book Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, BBC’s In Treatment and the 1977 Tenerife airport disaster.
The play is in Dutch.
Thu, Fri, Sat from September 9 through October 23. (Try-outs Sept. 9 & 10)