The Detoxification Of UGLD, A Selection Of 25, Series

Image: Walter van Rijn The Detoxification of UGLD, A Selection Of 25 Series, 2018. Installation CAD image.

Key words: human rights, political, interactive, post-conceptual, textual, algorithmic, analogue-digital

The Detoxification of UGLD, A Selection Of 25, is a statement on Human Rights and Art in the form of quotes. It comments on our current cultural-political situation through quotes, or to be more precise, through artwork titles that refer to other artworks.
The full series contains 25 titles from exhibited artworks and they have been sampled based on artwork titles containing key terms of the Convention of Human Rights. After this first selection, it is up to the viewer to create a narrative, to interact, to contemplate.

The individual panels are placed on shelves and the viewer/ curator/ collector decides the order or arrangement and the narrative these snippets of texts create. Because the individual panels are not fixed, they can be re-arranged if and when needed to create another narrative. The works are placed in groups of 3 on 8 shelves. This leaves one work “of the selve”. To find a place for this work on one of the 8 shelves, means changing the arrangement and changing the narrative.

Each work in itself refers to an artwork that exists somewhere else and might be found through an online search. It is a doorway to be opened and multiple links to be explored. Links from facts or meta-data printed at the bottom of the image, such as artist’s name and exhibition titles, are one way to start exploring linked artworks. Or associations from reading the main text and it’s inferred narrative, might lead to highlight other issues, such as the key terms from the Convention of Human Rights.

The background of each image shows random computer generated stripes and refers to the digital screen this work was originally shown on. The font is called Being Human and it is created by the artist for this project. The artwork is related to a continuously changing digital database of artwork titles. It solidifies digital data into a tangible visual object and by doing so it bridges both the analogue and digital world.

Artwork details

Walter van Rijn The Detoxification of UGLD, A Selection Of 25 2018. Installation with 25 panels and 8 shelves; Each panel: Digital print, face mounted on plexiglass, aluminium subframe. 40.5 x 30.5 x 2.5 cM. Limited edition of 1 unique copy. Signed on the back. Shelves solid aluminium, painted. Each 5 x 10 x 99 cm.Total size of installation Width 451 cm, Hight: 151 cm. Each work is placed on one of the aluminium shelves in groups of 3, in a changing configuration.
This work is made with museum quality hi-definition 12 colour printing, certified for 100+ years. It is face mounted on plexiglass, with a solid aluminium subframe. The 5 mm crystal clear plexiglass with polished edges creates a smooth contemporary work. The back of the image is sealed with a white backing layer to protect it.


The Detoxification of UGLD, A Selection Of 25 is part of the installation Unconsumable Global Luxury Dispersion, commissioned by John Hansard Gallery, Southampton UK. It was shown in the exhibition ‘Time After Time’ in 2018, with work by Caroline Bergvall, Victor Burgin, Hamad Butt, John Latham, and Charlotte Posenenske.
In 2019 it was shown at The Other Art Fair, London.


Carter, R. (Ed.) (2018). Time After Time. Southampton: John Hansard Gallery.
Walter van Rijn (2019). A_Selection_Of_25 From_JHG _By*:bot (Artists book). Godalming: VVVR.


One response to “The Detoxification Of UGLD, A Selection Of 25, Series”

  1. […] Imagine a robot visits a gallery. The robot goes to the gallery’s database, looks up the artworks and reads the title and other metadata. On this occasion, the robot selects artworks with titles that have keywords of the human rights declaration. It then generates a display and reads the title as text. (The original meta-data connected to this work is shown at the bottom of the image). This work “He Thought That UGLD” is one of the 25 unique works that I made from this sequence. This sequence was shown on a digital screen and in print form at the exhibition Time After Time. The series of 25 printed works can be seen individually or grouped together in a changing arrangement, creating different narratives from the titles as texts. After the exhibition Time After Time I developed the series of 25, named The Detoxification of UGLD, as an interactive installation. Click here for more info. […]

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