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A few days ago I was invited to do an interview with Willem De Ridder at his homeplace in Bussum, near to Amsterdam, The Netherlands. What a nice guy! He was the chairman of FLUXUS for the Northern Europe, worked together with Misja Mengelberg, Dick Raaymakers, Louis Andriessens, Nam June Paik,George Maciunas,Wim T. Schippers, Andrew Mc Kenzie (from The Hafler Trio) and many more. Started SUCK (The First European Sex Paper), SAD MOVIES, HOLLANDIA INTERNATIONAL,.....
There will be 3 episodes of about 1 hour each.The first one will be on Tuesday the 14th January at 8 PM. It will be in english.
Herewith the bio of Willem De Ridder.
After finishing the Academy for Art and Design in Den Bosch, Willem decided to stop painting altogether. He took the white paper from his easel and crumpled it into a PAPER CONSTELLATION (PK). He presented this crumpled PK ball as his art and introduced also PK THEATRE, PK MUSIC, PK FASHION, PK SCULPTURES, PK INSTALLATIONS, PK ENVIRONMENTS, PK ARCHITECTURE and PK PHILOSOPHY. This led to PK PARTIES, PK TRAFFIC, PK SHIRTS and a PK WORLD CONCEPT.
He was the co-founder of the MOOD ENGINEERING SOCIETY (MES), with Dick Raaymakers, Louis Andriessen, Peter Schat, Ton Bruynel, Rob Dubois, Jaap Spek and Misja Mengelberg (all composers of new music). The resulting 'concerts' of the MES included his visual music events: F 1960, 4B & 1O, BALLET and others.
George Maciunas made him chairman of FLUXUS for Northern Europe and in that function he organised several concerts and Fluxfestivals. He cooperated with Nam June Paik and presented his Piano For All Senses in Amsterdam in his gallery AMSTEL 47. He founded the EUROPEAN MAIL ORDER HOUSE AND FLUXSHOP and started the SOCIETY FOR PARTY ORGANIZING (SPO) to introduce audience generated theatre.
Together with Wim T. Schippers he founded the ASSOCIATION FOR SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH IN NEW METHODS OF RECREATION (AFSRINMOR INTERNATIONAL).
AFSRINMOR organised the MARCH THROUGH AMSTERDAM and STOCKHOLM. He participated in FLUXUS EVENTS in different European countries.
His RCAS (RESEARCH CENTRE for ADMINISTRATIVE SYSTEMS) (part of AFSRINMOR) created creative confusion in big industry. His SEO (SOCIETY for EXHIBITION ORGANISING) introduced art in the home.
With photographer Sanne Sannes he worked on a WITCH IDENTIFICATION PROJECT. Together with Wim T. Schippers he created in 1963 a historic television documentary that for the first time introduced Pop Art, New Realisme, Fluxus, Zero, AFSRINMOR and PK's to The Netherlands. His PK's where exhibited in the Museum of Modern Art in The Hague. In his view the 'museum' was a left over from the court system and 'art' an excuse to surpress a natural creativity in everybody. During the official opening of his PK exhibition he announced officiallly that he would stop using art as a medium or even using the word 'art' for any of his upcoming activities.
Together with Wim van der Linden he introduced SAD MOVIES, which were shown in several film festivals in Europe. He was co-founder of HITWEEK, a reader written newspaper for the baby boom generation. This national paper became a youth movement. A new generation of journalists, illustrators, comic strip artists, radio makers, critics and politicians started their careers in that publication. He got a state prize for his ground breaking design and lay out.
He introduced one of the first disco's in the country (DOUBLE WOW), an experimental ballet group (ART IS POWER), a new intermedia show (HONK HONK IT'S THE BONK) and was co-founder of intermedia clubs PARADISO and FANTASIO. Although he continued his specific research into the transformation of perception that started in his 'art' period, he refused to use that word anymore and avoided museums at all costs. PARADISO and FANTASIO which he 'artistically' directed inspired 150 similar clubs all over the country. FANTASIO became a unique international non-stop Fluxus Festival generated by the audience that came from all over the world. So many people visited, that the formula had to be changed to attract a smaller crowd. He designed plans to change the club into an 'Academy for the New Sexuality', which created too much confusion in the beginning of the 60's. Together with the co-founders Fantasio became the country's first New Age Centre KOSMOS instead.
Together with William Levy, Jim Haynes, Germain Greer and Heathcote Williams he started to work on SUCK (The First European Sex Paper). The paper became a cult item from New York to Tokyo, which led to the very first Erotic Film Festival in the world: THE WET DREAM FILM FESTIVAL.
He started an esoteric organisation HOLLANDIA INTERNATIONAL, changed HITWEEK into ALOHA and decided that the era of the printing press was over and moved to Hollywood. In the mansion of Al Jolson (the moviestar in the very first talkie) he started RADIO CADILLAC, a series of radio shows for Dutch National Radio.
He studied Chinese Medicine, Shiatsu, Zen Macrobiotics and Taoism. He invented and experimented with AUDIO DIRECTED PERSONAL THEATRE. Test-persons walked with headphones and sizable 'portable' cassette recorders through Hollywood following his directions and instructions.
Foto van Willem de Ridder in his Recording Studio
He transformed FINGER (made by Paul and Shirley Eberly and Maximilian ans Susan Lobckovicz into America' s First Reader Written Magazine. The contributions of the readers were all about their sexuality and became so outrageous, that he started GOD, the ultimate sex magazine. The first issue was sold out in three hours and had such an impact, that after three issues death threats were made by the Manson Family, who sent an audio tape to all local TV stations, stating that the maker of this magazine would be killed by them. The Federal Police got involved and De Ridder decided to continue publication from Europa. He moved with his partner Prince Maximilian Lobckowicz di Filiangieri and his family to Italy. From there they published two magazines HATE and LOVE for America.
With William Levy he produced the magazine FANATIC (special Low Mindedness Issue). He introduced Radio Directed Theatre for Dutch National Radio. ESCAPADE and the GREAT OTO DERBY (GOD) brought 30.000 listeners on the road in the middle of the night (following his instructions). (www.n8rit.nl). He produced a series of horror radio plays (DEADLY FEAR THERAPY) which became quite successful and controversial. The first SOUND MAGAZINE in which storytelling transformed images was introduced and sold out in one night. He started telling stories for children on radio with Elsa Del Puerto, Rita Dolce Vita, Hans Claessen and Peter Pontiac about PRINCE WILHELMUS.
When he produced a special magazine about the diaries of America's famous pornostar Annie Sprinkle in Rhodes Island, he got arrested for producing pornography and chained to Annie Sprinkle. They fell in love and started living together in Italy to work on new forms of radio and the art of transforming energy. From his villa in Italy he produced a television show for the Netherlands announcing his return to 'art'.
He started a weekly radio concert in which each listener could send taped sounds (THE RADIOLA SALON) and they got guaranteed air time. Everybody who recorded sounds was a composer and the listeners heard De Ridder open the mail right on the air, prohibiting all censorship and taste. The Radiola Salon became so popular that he organized concerts all over the country where everybody could bring a cassette that would be guaranteed part of the concert if it had the accompaniment of a visual act with it.
As soon as the Walkman was invented De Ridder introduced his first Audio Directed Theatre Event (THE WALK) starting from Gallery De Appel in Amsterdam (a journey of three days if you followed the instructions on a cassette). He started a radio station in San Felice Circeo (Italy) with Prince Maximillian, that every week presented the MICKEY AND CAVALIERI Show in which the local population improvised radio plays. A PAPER THEATRE opened its doors at the local piazza of San Felice Circeo. The RADIO ART FOUNDATION was founded. The SONOR THEATRUM in which the audience was lying down on beds in the dark, surrounded by sound, was introduced in the Arnhem Municipal Theatre. De Ridder became guest of honor of the Holland Festival.
Alternative lip sync soundtrack was transmitted on radio in SOAP TRANSFORMATION to accompany soap opera Dynasty on television, transforming the plot completely. Walkman Directed Theatre Events were installed in Vienna, Berlin, San Francisco and Munich. He presented PORTABLE VAUDEVILLE in the Royal Theatre in Amsterdam with Veronica Vera, Honeysuckle Divine and Betty Pearl. Introduced RADIO ART with shows such as BLIND RADIO which brought many blindfolded people on the streets. He filled several theatres with audiences who brought their portable transistor radio's, listening to a theatre piece in which they were the main stars. His WALK-O-RAMA fun fair attraction with walkman aided adventures travelled fairgrounds in Europe. VIRTUAL REALITY IN THE DARK was introduced through radio for three simultaneous locations in the Netherlands, later it featured in Austria at Ars Electronica in Linz during the first Vitual Realy Congress.
He introduced the CASSETTE SAFARI in which car drivers followed the instructions and stories from a cassette, which transformed the entire landscape. De Ridder produced the ALL CHEMIX RADIO SERIES which was transmitted by many college stations in America, Canada and Australia. With Han Reiziger and Hans Claessen he presented MUSIC SPEAK (storytelling as a concert). He introduced the WALKMAN THEATRE (instant plays without any rehearsal) which were performed in Germany, Danmark, Sweden, America, Japan, Korea, Italy and The Netherlands.
He experimented with MAG GUIDING CASSETTES which made old magazines new again. He created RITUALS on cassettes, a guide for personal private performances without any preparation. For one year he presented the NATIONAL RADIO DRAMA ACADEMY on AVRO Radio in which every listener could take part in a radio play. His WALKMAN SCORES made it possible for symphony orchestra's to present a concert without rehearsal.
He installed MUSEUM TOURS on cassette in most of the major Dutch Museums which had nothing to do with the artworks there. The Museum of Modern Art in Groningen presented his RETROSPECTIVE EXHIBITION although he still refused to create any art objects to be exhibited.
With Cora Emens, Hessel and Nicole Veldman he was a musician in FANATIC. The BEVERLY HILLS MOTOR TOUR was installed. His EXPLANATIONIST WORKS explained everything. He started a weekly radio show for Amsterdam in which his CRIMINAL RECORD SHOWS made many listeners confess their crimes.
De Ridder became MASTER STORY TELLER, telling ancient tales in many sold out theatres, some of them lasting more than six hours. He presented the SPRINKLE SALON on New York Cable, an experimental TV-show in which the cameraman was handicapped. POST ART ART, and SOUND SUCK were some soundmagazines that were produced with her.
He directed Annie Sprinkle's one-woman-show POST PORN MODERNISM and was the art director of her book. He tried out THE ATOM CLUB with a walk-in program. Together with Andrew McKenzie he presented the SPIRAL INFORMATION SERVICE and NYX GLOBAL. He presented his story SNUFF on CD in Europe and America. His European Mail Order Warehouse has become a major artwork (and the flagship of FLUXUS) touring through all the great museums of the world.
He had a weekly talkshow on Amsterdam Salto Television. He published a national (oral) newspaper that was called WILLEM DE RIDDER (nobody writes in that paper, but only tells stories that are lierally transcribed). He co-founded the NEW ANCIENT SEX ACADEMY, a study centre for the management of life energy.
Sagen Safari record Cover
The European Community commissioned him to develop a new type of permanent cultural tourism: THE SAGA SAFARI (the voice directs you to forgotten roads where the ancient stories come alive). The GREAT FLUX MOTOR TOUR was being prepared, which would depart from the museums of Santa Barbara, Santa Monica and the MOCA in Los Angeles, but after successful try outs it was never installed. The WDRO was his telephone radio station which was part of a regular publication in which artwork and photographs were transformed by a soundtrack. He helped to start a nationwide TALKRADIO station in The Netherlands, bringing back unconditional support for every listener.
To make clear that the biggest fear in the West is to speak out in the open, he introduced ONE MINUTE PUBLIC RADIO. Every listener got one minute freedom on the air. It created avalanches of curses on the air. WIRELESS DATE was a radio theatre in which the listeners visited their neighbours with a portable radio as a talkative master of ceremonies.
He recreated Queen MARGRETHE'S DRESS in Roskilde Danmark by using two hundred 1000 kroner bills sown together and walked with hundreds of followers in one straight line behind him through that city. Not through the streets but straight through houses, gardens, basements, banks, offices, slaughterhouses, graveyards, over walls, through holes, and town hall.
He recorded INTERACTIVE RADIO ADVENTURES for the province Fryslân and the city Assen. Together with his father he fabricated a completely MECHANIC PAPER THEATRE, which features currently his play GOD IS BACK in two acts.
For many years he presented a weekly 2 hour TALKSHOW on Amsterdam Radio 100 and his HDTV SHOWS on Amsterdam Television. He had five live shows per week on Talkradio. 500 cars took part in the first NEURORIT on that station. Two more night rides followed. Together with Peter J. Muller he started a national TALK RADIO PAPER which included the fifth issue of the Willem de Ridder Paper, a publication with a soundtrack. Comic Strips, articles, interviews, photographs, drawings and mysterious images all mentioned a telephone number. As soon as you dialed the number, the comic strip had a soundtrack, the person who was interviewed could be heard, photographs changed in front of your eyes and drawings came alive.
For the first time in his life he exhibited his OLD HAT TRICKS, early paintings and drawings, in Gallery Spirit in Amsterdam. Visitors got a walkman with instructions to visit the Stedelijk Museum around the corner where they could see his ILLEGAL EXHIBITION. Later he installed an Illegal Exhibition in the Museum of Modern Art in New York that started in the Stephen Gang Gallery in Chelsea.
Since 1990 he gives workshops and seminars on MIRROROLOGY (based on the support groups of Arnold Patent), setting up hundreds of fanclubs all over Europe. He wrote the HANDBOOK MIRROROLOGY, which is still a bestseller. More and more companies and industries invite him for management advice and motivational speeches. Even teachers are starting to use the book in their schoolclasses with great effect.
Museum De Beyerd (Breda) presented a big summer exhibition about HITWEEK and a Hitweek book was being published. The Central Museum in Utrecht organized a memorial MES concert and a FLUXUS Festival. Audio tours were installed in Brugge (Belgium), Amsterdam, Utrecht, Groningen, etc. His installation THE 4 FACES OF WILLEM was exhibited in New York, Odense, Utrecht, etc. His RADIATION CHAIRS are permanently exhibited in the Wolf Vostell Museum in Malpartida (Spain).
When more and more people (in fanclubs all over te country) got used to accepting each other unconditionally, he started RIDDERRADIO. For the first time te listeners started making their own show through the phone. The next step was to install radiomakers at home who started making weekly transmissions to listeners who were able to see them on the webcam and chat with them, so they can instantly respond. Direct contact. More and more chatters are amazed how open and accepting the atmosphere is on the chat.
He started telling weekly fairy tales again on Salto Television. Works on a new book on Mirrorology in schools. He enjoys life with lover and agent Clary Kriek. Although some art historians wrote their thesis on Willem de Ridder, many of his activities are anonymous or misleading. Besides his Old Hat Tricks he still refrains from creating art objects. His older paintings are now for sale on this site. The activities above are just the tip of an iceberg. But one fact stands on top: the love for his daughter Aida, who is designing and building the data base of many radio plays, interviews, tales and other former transmissions. She also designs the covers for the CD's that can be ordered of his stories through this site.
You can find this bio also on his website and a lot of more information of him. : http://www.willemderidder.com/