portrait 07
nick j. swarth

Nick J. Swarth made his debut in 1997 in the Flemish literary magazine Yang. In 1999 he won the Literary Prize of the Province of Gelderland. In 2005 the DVD poetry collection ‘De Napalm Sessions’ was published and in 2020 his debut novel ‘1980 – De Plasserparadox’. “Poetship does justice to the absurdity of existence, because it is as meaningless as existence itself.” The same goes for his ‘literary’ performances.

plea for the unknown  
pleidooi voor het onbekende  

“language is the basis”

starring artist: 

nick j. swarth 

text notes: 

pedagogical academy*) 
training to become a teacher 

working-class children*) 
traditionally, tilburg as a textile city was seen as a typical working-class city, a characterization that still has its effect 

literature list*) 
list of compulsory literary works for students to read before the exam 

willem frederik hermans*) 
the writer willem frederik hermans (1921 – 1995) belongs to the so-called ‘big three’ post war 

writers of the netherlands; the other two are: gerard reeve and harrie mulish 
‘the preserved house’ (het behouden huis) this novel is published in 1952 by willem frederik hermans and is set during the second  world war (1940 – 1945) 

in the netherlands and flanders (belgium), the official spelling – the correct way you write  words – is prescribed by law for education and government 

‘yang’ was a flemish literary quarterly magazine (gent 1963-2009) with ample attention to  contemporary poetry, prose, criticism and essays. in 2009 it merged with the magazine  ‘freespace nieuwzuid’ (new south) to form the new magazine ‘ny’ 

city poet*) 
the city poetship was established in tilburg in 2003. nick j. swarth was the second in line to  become the city poet of tilburg for a period of two years (2005-2007) 

tom pijnenburg*) 
the dutch filmmaker tom pijnenburg made a series of programs for the pay channel djazztv  – paradox-live, regularly made recordings for luycks gallery, park – platform for visual arts  and pop podium 013 and is involved in the realization of internationals art © channel

columnist’s site (2004 – 2012) initiated by tom pijnenburg. columnists: jan doms with black and white lino cuts by graphic artist paul bogaert, a.h.j. dautzenberg with illustrations by bandirah, ko de laat with illustrations by linda van erve. later the blogs of politicians were added, which heralded the end. the follow-up was ‘schuimt !’ (it rubs and foams) live in jazzpodium paradox; recorded by tom pijnenburg with short films of the tilburg city poets.

frank crijns*) 
many only know the tilburg musician frank crijns (nl) as the guitarist and co-founder of the group ‘blast’ and as a band member of ‘betonfraktion’, but composing for ensembles and  soloists for contemporary and improvised music is in fact his main focus. 

virginia woolf*) 
the english writer virginia woolf (1882 – 1941) is known for her innovative way of writing.  she published novels and essays and was successful with both literary critics and the general public. eventually she committed suicide by drowning herself in the river. 

‘to the lighthouse’ *) 
‘to the lighthouse’ is virginia woolf’s most autobiographical novel and is regarded as her most important work, about the inadequacy of human relationships and the elusiveness of time. 

‘1980 – de plasserparadox’*) 
the ‘plasserparadox’ (penis paradox) is the first part of a trilogy, written by nick j. swarth  and takes place in the first four months of the year 1980. it ends on the day of the disturbances in amsterdam at the coronation of beatrix as dutch queen. the novel paints the group image of a young generation that found its way in the early eighties in a still  stale and bourgeois netherlands, including tilburg.  
(quote review magazine neerlandistiek [dutch language and literature] – jos joosten) 


projects shown by nick j. swarth 

‘little bug blue tries to mount an orange’ 

on-site poetry | landscape festival woest & bijster 2018 
sander neijnens & nick j. swarth 

picture 1: 
‘my action assessment report’ 
nick j. swarth 

picture 2: 
‘rev charlie butlight’ 
nick j. swarth 

picture 3: 
‘collecting memories (w/smell-o-rama)’ 
nick j. swarth

picture 4: 
‘schlampi_pic tímea kovács’ 
nick j. swarth 

picture 5: 
‘wear dead people (french kiss)’ 
nick j. swarth 

‘down the drain’ 
live at club solo breda (2021) 
paintings: by aaron van era 
performance: swagemakers swarth 

live poetry ‘vertel vertel’ (tell, tell) 
location: campus university of tilburg 2023 
part of the manifest ‘de reit’  stichting straat (street foundation) with a focus on architecture and urban planning 
initiator:  berry van oudheusden focussed on de reit as a post-war residential  area that has been developed in tilburg-west since 1958.  south-west  of it is the jewish cemetery. 

on site poetry ‘lange tenen’ (long toes) 
nick. j. swarth and sander neijnens 
created with 207 painted wickers  
on the occasion of ‘kunst op stapel’ (‘art in stack’) boxtel 2015 

‘dans de orang tilbo’ (dance the orang tilbo) 
text and performance:   nick j. swarth 
composition:   jeroen strijbos and rob van rijswijk  
backing vocals:   marylou weijmans 
sound and music:   sam 
video:    tom pijnenburg – gilaworks (2005) 

‘in between songs & whirls’ 
location: theater de nieuwe vorst (2020) 
festival ‘murf / murw in the hut’ 
performance:     betonfraction
nick j. swarth (performer), frank crijns (gitarist),  provocase (drummer) 

‘dear diarrhea’ 
from the album: ‘i changed my sex’ 
blowpipe records bp101 (2016) 
performance: betonfraction 
nick j. swarth (performer), frank crijns (gitarist),  provocase (drummer) 
live cam: agnes g. 
picture: frederico c. 
thanks for: occii, bugs and free footage 

‘schmuddelsprudel’ – ‘shabby art that falls apart’ 
expo assemblages: nick j. swarth 
location: metropolitan museum tilburg (2019) 
production: buro dorit 
curator: sir bertrand russell 
many thanks to: sjon brands 

from the expo assemblages: ‘schmuddelsprudel’ – ‘shabby art that falls apart’ 
nick j. swarth 
location: metropolitan museum tilburg (2019) 
production: buro dorit 
curator: sir bertrand russell 
many thanks to: sjon brands 

adaptation city poem iii a.h.j. dautzenberg (city poet) 
performance: nick j. swarth 
drama: suwāsu j. nikku 
video: tom pijnenburg 
location: film theater cinecitta tilburg (2019)

portrait 07 nick j. swarth

portrait 07
nick j. swarth

camera and video editing: tom pijnenburg
research, editorial, text titles: jan doms

graphic design: jan doms
opening sequence: pieter reijnen & tom pijnenburg
sound: aspa petrov – prefuse 73 dvořák
ernst bonis – composition taksim

music end credits:
‘dans de orang tilbo’ (dance the orang tilbo) 
text and performance:   nick j. swarth 
composition:   jeroen strijbos and rob van rijswijk  
backing vocals:   marylou weijmans 
sound and music:   sam 

portrait 07
nick j. swarth

is made possible by:

lef urban dynamics 

production and distribution:
internationals art channel foundation 
tilburg – heart of brabant
the netherlands

portrait 07
nick j. swarth

art © channel


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