Canonisation of Vincent van Gogh


Belgian Institute for World Affairs (dpt. E), Antwerpen / Amsterdam

01 April 1990 - 24 April 1990



Canonization of Vincent van Gogh


Around the anniversary year (of the artist's death) the prices for his work reached record amounts (specifically the sale of the 'Irises' was noted, partially due to the anonymity of the Japanese consortium that bought it, but also in terms of the discussion surrounding public inaccessibility) that year the academy in Antwerp saw fit to install a commemorative plaque on their gate, reminding all of the ill fated couple of weeks he spent there... To underline this hypocrisy the Belgian Institute for World Affairs (especially dept. Ear) introduced proceedings to canonise the artist and offer him a posthumous diploma...




The night of the 30 th of March to 1st of April (BIWA-anniversary) the Pope of Halensee ( borrowed from Paul Van Ostayen's excommunication of Joostens) declared the artist beatific in a double ceremony at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam and the Antwerp academy... ( later that day, a sunny sunday fit for a family outing... Assisted by various well-wishers from local and international art-operatives...)

On the 24 th of April there followed a ceremony during a Van Gogh exhibition whereby 15 professors of the academy as well as the director signed the posthumous diploma, thereby making the artist ( finally) professional....

For these ceremonies various works and attributes were made, like the throne of the Pope of Halensee (the throne to make all thrones tremble) as well as an Iris chair, flower arrangements and fake van Gogh paintings, sunflower plantation etc....

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