Alien Invader Super Baby (Synchromaterialism IV)
Solo show
Radical aesthetics #1
Onomatopee, Eindhoven
May – June 2015


L: Migration is a Sacred Right, Collaboration with designer Huda Smitshuijzen AbiFares. Lettering in Arabic (Moroccan style calligraphy) and Tifinagh (Berber script) saying “migration is a sacred right”. The quote was taken from Abdel-ilah Salhi's poem Thanks Gilles Deleuze. R: Made in China, Oil painting of the ubiquitous sticker, painted in China. Photo: Peter Cox


In a setting somewhere between a market stall and a museum display, Jim Ricks pairs up found, bought, borrowed and ‘knocked-off’ objects, and advances a synchronicity based on politics, aesthetics, history, and philosophy.

We live our lives amidst a multitude of images and narratives: experience and economy are the twin-engine of our culture. But what kind of stories do these images convey: what do they introduce and what do they contribute? Is retro a foxy do or a fusty don’t? Is local a wayward hot… or a backward not…? It would be a interesting idea to check this out and perhaps use it to our advantage.

Through suggested and captured weavings of object-scenarios Jim Ricks extracts symbolic bits and pieces of history and everyday life, destined to be re-worked, splintered and re-imagined. New narratives arise in which the economic globalisation of goods crosses paths with the rapid and ephemeral circulation of cultures and icons. Placed in a context of display, viewers are invited to devise their own connections between the objects on display: to play the cultural clash of the local and the global, the individual and the collective, and investigate new relations through identification.

Starting from a (possibly faulty) position as an American expat presently residing in Dublin, he has developed a sensitivity to the geographic import and export of images and narratives. By revaluing the popular and re-defining its elements, Jim Ricks endeavours to address our cultural knowledge with us. As admirers of his visual scrutiny Onomatopee invited Ricks to Eindhoven to share his insights with us. During an initial exploration of the city, Ricks has made inquiries into meaningful objects to engage our identification.

In conjunction with the resultant narrative of spatial objects, Onomatopee presents various other visual stories: a short film that shows Jim ruminating on visual culture with critic Max Bruinsma, as well as some other background information that we hope will be useful for those keen to put their views on their own visual culture to the test. By interrogating our experience of the visual culture we surround ourselves with, we might grasp the option to participate in an era of cultural populism. Hail to the populus!*

*In her book Pop or Populus Bettina Funcke defines populus as ‘…the totality of citizens of a state as a unified political body–as well as the lower classes of the poor, the dispossessed, the excluded, those not included in the conversation’.

Producer, curator and editor: Freek Lomme
Project assistance: Harvey Herman
Graphic design: Glamcult studio
Spatial design: PeLiDesign
Made possible with the support of the Mondriaan Fund and the municipality of Eindhoven
Photography: Peter Cox


Photo: Peter Cox

Top video: Propoganda video of ISIS destroying plaster casts of statues in Iraq. Bottom video: Scene from Zardoz in which plaster casts are destroyed and then undestroyed by reversing the film. Photo: Peter Cox

Photo: Peter Cox

Nazi Church Mural, This is a reproduction of a mural painted by a Van de Boomen in 1951, found in the attic of a fake church built by the Nazis near Eindhoven airport. Photo: Peter Cox

Flag bought on eBay of King William III from Northern Ireland. He was born William Henry of Orange in The Hague in the Dutch Republic in 1650. He became Dutch stadtholder in 1672. Later he took over England in The Glorious Revolution, and then Ireland at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690. The Northern Irish and Scottish Loyalist 'Orange Order' is named after him and continue to celebrate his victory over Catholics.

Gypsy Moth LP, Extremely rare Bay Area Doom/Stoner Rock album self-released in 1993. The band name derives from the Lymantria dispar dispar, a North American invasive species. The gypsy moth was introduced into North America in 1869 from Europe with the intent of interbreeding gypsy moths with silk worms to develop a silkworm industry. The moths were accidentally released and have become a major defoliating pest in the North East.

Photo: Peter Cox

Back: Vinyl 'Apple' Sticker. Knock-off logo made in Afghanistan, these types of car decals adorn most vehicles in Kabul. Every car in the country is a Toyota. Front: Afghan War Rug, Hand tied wool rug from Afghanistan. In the 1980's rugs from the region began to incorporate imagery of the military equipment used in the Mujahideen insurgency against the Soviet regime. Later the Russian withdrawal became common subject matter and after 9/11 the Twin Towers were introduced. Photo: Peter Cox

It's a Sing Sing Thing, Collaboration with New York City's DJ Dirtyfinger. 18 minute looping sound piece tracing nearly four decades of samples from the disco-funk band Gaz's 1978 hit Sing Sing.






I Find This Attire Appealing, Performance. During the opening on May 2, Harvey Herman dressed up as a banana and walked around the exhibition silently drinking beer. The piece refers to 3 things: The artist's actual experience earlier in the year at Eindhoven's Carnaval celebration before Lent; The Instagram #fooddoodz tag and @fooddoodz account (run by the artist) in which anthropomorphic food is celebrated and documented; and the history of the banana itself based on the short article Banana Drama by Jason Mills, which will also feature in the exhibition publication.


Research Room:

Photo: Peter Cox

Photo: Peter Cox

Photo: Peter Cox

Photo: Peter Cox

Jim's Romanesco Piccalilli Recipe
By Chef Jess Murphy of Kai Café + Restaurant, Galway, Ireland

Piccalilli is the English interpretation of Indian pickles.

This recipe makes 3 x 340g jars 


1 kg of washed and peeled Romanesco cauliflower, yellow tomatoes, carrots, silver skinned onions, tomatillos, nasturtium seed pods, red peppers. 
50g sea salt 
30g of cornflour 
10g ground turmeric 
10g English mustard powder 
15g of yellow mustard seeds 
1 tsp crush cumin seeds 
1 tsp of coriander seeds 
600mls of cider vinegar (with mother)
150g Granulated sugar 
50g of Honey


Cut the vegetables into small bite size pieces. Place in a large bowl and sprinkle with sea salt, mix well. Cover the bowl with a tea towel and leave in a cool place for 24 hours, then rinse the salt off the vegetables with ice cold water and drain thoroughly.

Blend the cornflour, turmeric, mustard powder, mustard seeds, cumin and coriander to a smooth paste with a little of the vinegar. Put the rest in a sauce pan with the sugar and honey and bring to the boil. 

Pour a little of the hot vinegar over the blended spice paste, stir well and return to the pan. Bring gently to the boil. Boil for 3-4 minutes to allow the spices to release the flavors into the thickening sauce. 

Remove Pan from the heat and fold in the well drained vegetables in to the hot, spicy sauce. Put in clean sterilized glass jars and seal with vinegar proof lids. 

Leave for 4 to 6 weeks before opening. 

Real memes.


Poppies were grown in the space.