Alex Vermeulen, sculptor, photographer, drawer, filmmaker, musician, author, inventor, alchemist, visionary, entrepreneur… is an award winning contemporary Dutch multi-media artist who has worked under his own name as well as SOH-States of Humanity and Syndicaat Alex Vermeulen. Since 2016 he exclusively works under the name SOH Alex Vermeulen.
His work includes film-books, films, performances, sculpture and installations. A long time resident of Amsterdam, in the last years Vermeulen has divided his time between the island of Bali and Brooklyn, New York. His recent studio facilities fits in 2 flight cases and functions as a nomadic workstation / experimental laboratory which can be set up anywhere. He collaborates with artists, musicians, composers, designers online or invites them to his “temporary” studio.
Since the early eighties, Alex Vermeulen's work has been characterized by an examination of the relationship between visual art and film. During the period 1980 to 1984 he combined film, visual art (including sculptures, installations) and live performances of music in multimedia projects, such as "Do not title the Symphonies". After 1982 he produced what he referred to as 'filmbooks': film scenarios into which he incorporated film stills that were a supplement to rather than an illustration of the text. In a visual manner, by way of film stills and drawings, the existence of a fictitious film was suggested. This film was never actually produced however. The suggestion of a real film appealed to the imagination; visual art became film.
Vermeulen would first achieve recognition in 1984, when the curators of the Van Abbemuseum, South Netherlands’ most prestigious modern and contemporary art museum began a long period of collaboration with the artist that would last for more than a decade. This would lead to exhibitions and purchases for their prestigious permanent collection Van Abbemuseum: collectie
In 1993 Vermeulen moved to Amsterdam and founded in 1995 “SOH-States of Humanity” and the Syndicaat foundation. A year later he presented his final film-book, as part of a large installation, Fuga Futuri, at Amsterdam’s Stedelijk Museum (1996). The chief character introduced in this show for the first time, was the stylized humanoid “Eggy”, named after his egg-like shape. In the following fifteen years sculptures of various forms of the enigmatic Eggy would appear in a number of projects mounted in public places around the world including New York (1996) where Vermeulen asked those who passed to select their favorite Eggy and relate it to their personal life. These interviews were edited into a 43- minute documentary film, States of Humanity States of Humanity a film by SOH Alex Vermeulen on Vimeo] Vermeulen’s intention was to collect a numerous of “New York” stories and turn them into a screenplay for a feature film. Vermeulen used a small hi8 video camera to shoot the interviews and visuals of street life NYC. Despite his intention, Vermeulen edited the footage. “These talking heads speak for them selfs.” Since the film “States of Humanity” introduced the first six “Eggy” sculptures seen through the eyes of fifty-five New Yorkers, this documentary would become a key work in Vermeulen’s oeuvre. The premier was at the International Film Festival Rotterdam in 1997.
In the following years SOH and Syndicaat Alex Vermeulen produced more than 29 multi-media events including SOH3, the Mental Urban Labyrinth, with curator Jan Debbaut, at the Van Abbemuseum and SOH1, the Architectural Film at MuHKA, the Museum for Contemporary art in Antwerp, Belgium, both in 1999. In the same year he edited the artist edition trailer of American Psycho presented at the premiere in New York. With these two exhibitions, the book States of Humanity (1999) was released.
In 2012 Vermeulen decided to stop producing Eggy sculptures. All Eggies so far did not have any arms. However the last Eggy has arms; which could either express a “Hurray” or form together with the legs a X shape, a symbol that could be seen as a reference to the unknown. At the same time Vermeulen closed his studio in Amsterdam. In 2014 he set up new studios in both Bali and New York.
After traveling frequently to Bali, Indonesia since 2013, Vermeulen began working on a new interactive cinematographic iBook, The Epic. Directed and produced by Vermeulen, The Epic is a multifaceted collaborative project loosely based on the Ramayana Epic written by Valmiki and the Tragedy Othello by William Shakespeare which will be released in 2017
Works of SOH Alex Vermeulen can be found in private collections and several international museums. Please check our agenda on the news page for current and coming projects. If you have any questions about SOH Alex Vermeulen and our projects, please contact us.