Krijn Giezen


My mother wasn’t very much into cooking: in fact she detested it. On Fridays we used to eat fish. She would just put a large piece in a pot with hot water and boiled it until the fish had completely fallen apart. Then she poured everything into a colander and shouted, ’the fish is done, dinner is ready’, but she would never join us.

What a contrast to Krijn Giezen from the fishing village of Katwijk: an artist who knew everything there is to know about fish and how best to prepare it. He even built special ovens and could talk for hours on end about his favourite subject. Giezen also designed beautiful calendars for M. Parlevliet B.V. (a seafood, notably herring, and shipping company); the ‘fish theme’ would vary every year.

During a visit to the artist in 1978, he gave me a print: it explained in detail how to clean smoked herrings. The image was reproduced on grease-proof paper and kept in a plastic folder. Two smoked herrings were included in the package too.

From that moment onward, I received mail from Katwijk regularly: a letter or an invitation for an exhibition. And, of course, every year I also got a new Parlevliet calendar.

Peter van Beveren’s Art Information Centre in Middelburg was also on Giezen’s mailing list. From 1972 onward, van Beveren sent notes to artists and institutions all over the world with the request to supply him with documentation: all the information is listed in our card index.

From Ben Vautier the self-appointed archivist received an A4 with the handwritten text: this is information.

The most beautiful contribution to the Art Information Centre came from Krijn Giezen: an envelope with two mangled archive cards. He had written: one day my dog Juweel interfered with my card index system and from that moment onward I stopped enjoying it.