Why programmer Aukje Dekker is at home in a toilet − and not just any toilet


Aukje Covers the toilet in the bar Blou Rooftop in Arnhem.Picture Jordi Huisman

Why did you choose a toilet as your favorite place?

This toilet was voted the most beautiful toilet in the Netherlands in 2020. In recent months, I have never spent so much time in toilets and my appreciation for these small spaces has increased. It has everything to do with recording Moon Riders: a youth series from VPRO about art. Together with children, I break into museums at night. In the toilets we hang works of art that the children have made in order to get more art from children in museums.’ (Moon Riders was shown on TV from 27 November to 18 December and can now be found via NPO Start, ed.)

WHO? Aukje Dekker (39)
Where? The toilet in the Blou Rooftop bar in Arnhem.
What is she doing: Programmer, visual artist

Why do you hang the artworks in the museum toilets?

‘In the first season of Moon Riders we broke into public space. We placed artwork outside at night in places where the kids felt they could use some more art. It is more difficult in museums. That’s what the second season is all about. We started with the toilets, because there are no cameras there. In addition, a toilet has great potential as an exhibition space. It is a place where you can retreat for a while and take the time to experience a work of art.’

What makes the Blou Rooftop toilet the most beautiful toilet in the Netherlands?

‘The glass floor with the lighting effects. When you sit on the toilet, you look 18 meters down. The entire design of the toilet revolves around that floor. The room is quite dark, but the shaft under the floor is brightly lit to the bottom. When you swipe through, all the lights turn on and change color. It’s a party in this toilet. Way over the top. I wouldn’t mind so much if the door wasn’t unlocked again’.

Aukje Dekker wears clothes from the series.  Picture Jordi Huisman

Aukje Dekker wears clothes from the series.Picture Jordi Huisman

Do you see similarities between the design of this toilet and Moon Riders?

‘Yes. It’s a little psychedelic attraction, and it fits well Moon Riders. Like the series, this toilet makes big moves in the margin. For example, I walked through the Maas tunnel with a saddlebag, saddled Shetland pony, I cut the electrical cables of the Kröller-Müller Museum with the young ceramic artist Anemoon On Fire, and we saw well-oiled wrestlers from the American Wrestling Association (AWA). ) at the Verbeke Foundation. Like this toilet, it could all have been simpler, but we didn’t.’

In the pictures, you are wearing clothes from the series. What makes this outfit a Moon Riders dress?

‘To Moon Riders I didn’t want to dress like Aukje. I put together this outfit with stylist Ogènda ter Haar. The jacket was a golden find from Ogènda in the Asos webshop. In this coat, in fashion designer Ninamounah’s clothes and with my grandfather’s hat on, I feel like a crafty cowboy. It was just what I wanted Moon Riders.’

Floor

‘Does my pee go down there? Through those pipes 60 feet below the floor? The floor in this toilet is amazing. I like the attention and time that is put into a space that you only spend such a short time in. A toilet is usually not the small room in a bar, museum or house where you start designing’.

The floor of the toilet in the Blou Rooftop bar.  Picture Jordi Huisman

The floor of the toilet in the Blou Rooftop bar.Picture Jordi Huisman

Suit

‘This suit belongs to Ninamounah, a Moonrider herself as a designer. Her clothes are what you think you know, but then you don’t. She pushes boundaries. She made this suit using the Japanese tie dye technique Shibori. She boiled a thousand balls in the cotton fabric to get those balls.’

Ninamounah's suit.  Picture Jordi Huisman

Ninamounah’s suit.Picture Jordi Huisman

Boots

‘These boots were made by Ninamounah together with shoe designer Naomi Hille. They are made from the leather of old motorcycle suits. If you look at the ribbed knees of the boots, you recognize the knee and arm protection on a motorcycle suit. Not sure if I like them. But what is beautiful? Beautiful is just so boring. These boots are badass.’

Earring

’19-year-old artist Anemoon On Fire made this earring from porcelain ceramics. From the crown at the back she made a pearl at the front. In this way, the crown becomes part of the design. I like Anemone (Fokkinga, ed.) one of the best ceramic artists in the Netherlands. She goes strong with her designs, which is why she is also one of the artists in Moon Riders.’

Aukje Dekker with her grandfather's hat and an earring designed by Anemoon On Fire.  Picture Jordi Huisman

Aukje Dekker with her grandfather’s hat and an earring designed by Anemoon On Fire.Picture Jordi Huisman

Hat

“This hat belonged to my grandfather. He was a musician. When I think back to him, I think of Rotterdam, parties and music. It was never ‘normal’ for a while. His life was an amazing adventure, and that’s why i love wearing this hat Moon Riders to carry. When I start acting crazy again, I feel the long family tradition, you can’t buy that’.

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