A project completed in 2007, entitled Portret(net)werk, commissioned by the Van Doorne law firm reveals the tension between the way a person wants to be portrayed and the response the portrait evokes. Asked to make a temporary installation for the building's lobby, Aardse began a series of fast acrylic portraits of the firm’s staff in October 2006, which were then shown as a growing series of slide projections. Although each of the separate paintings was interesting as a character sketch, the work took an unexpected twist when Aardse made two simple additions to the ritual of portraying.

After the completion of each portrait, she asked the person portrayed which person should be next in the series and to write in a few sentences on a sheet of paper (to be kept absolutely confidential) as to why the image of this person needed to be captured. Thus during Portret(net)werk a process emerged in which not just the different lawyers, but also their 'secret' mutual dynamics were being captured. From Portret(net)werk the permanent installation Portret(net)werk 24/7  came into being: 24 separately framed portraits, and behind every portrait, unseen, the confidential note of the person portrayed. By adding these invisible notes, Portret(net)werk 24/7 becomes more than a series of individual portraits. The work also portrays the “institutional unconscious” of

Van Doorne, the secret network of unspoken mutual preferences and irritations.



Artist: Machteld Aardse

Technique: Frans van Heiningen

Art Partner: Sandra Boer & Robert Tordoir
Van Doorne: Vanessa van Alkemade, Annemiek Kolkert

Fd. financieel dagblad, Kunst op werkvloer brengt reuring met zich mee, 15 Aug 2011 ill. cover & p.12


4 x Hasselblatt slide projectors
24 slides