IN TOUCH WITH THE GREAT RESTORER
PIETER ENGELS AND HIS GOLDEN HANDS
PIETER ENGELS was here. The man with the golden hands. The Great Restorer. Artishock, facing an artistic debacle – the Artishunck exhibition space in the Jodenstraat in Maastricht will be closed down – had brought the EPO – SHOW to Maastricht and that was a very nice idea, which many had been looking forward to with great longing. Engels Day was announced. The big printed invitation read: ,, What Engels does is too much to mention’. That what Engels does is extremely important, for us and for Engels Products Organization, is beyond dispute…..
The invitation also stated that Pieter Engels would provide savory snacks, refreshments and a jukebox to make the big happening a success. But it wasn’t a happening at all, because Artishock, divided enough among itself – a right and a left wing were formed – turned out not to be up to date in terms of organization. The snacks were missing, the refreshments were absent and instead of a jukebox, there was an ordinary pickup with records that Engels thought were unbearable. So the great repairman left, without even handing over a bottle of the exhaled air that we had been promised at the price of ten guilders per bottle. The press interview did not take place either, even though we were prepared to pay seven guilders a minute for it. No, it wasn’t going to happen and that wasn’t helped by Mother Love, not even the corps of thirteen artists that make up Artishock. Engels withdrew, offended, but fortunately he left behind some restored pieces of furniture, which can now be seen until 2 October in the gallery Artischunck, which is threatened with closure and which the Maastricht building police claim is a life-threatening space. So you have been warned if you were planning to visit the exhibition of Pieter Engels in Maastricht.
Willem K. Coumans, 1965.