ART ON WHEELS or: the social contextualisation of the keet
A ‘keet’ is a small accomodation for outdoor workers to be sheltered on the job during breaks for coffee or lunch. In my country (NL) it is a familiar artefact to be encountered everywhere where outdoor work – such as construction jobs, maintenance of woods – is going on, in cities as well as in the countryside.
The keet is both a funny and interesting object for several reasons.
First, the keet is a remarkable kind of minimalist vehicle, a form of comfort stripped to its bare essentials. Second, in all its simplicity it is a material form of care in labour relations. Third, in the course of use these modest vehicles become movers of art, thanks to immediate appropriation by local artists for demonstrating their decoration skills. The colorful urban style exhibited these artists challenges the functional nature of the cabin. Encountering a virgin (untreated) keet on the job is an exceptional event. Once decorated, the cabins being moved around to the next job starts the applied art to circulate.
During the last five years, collecting pictures of these cabins while wandering through cites and the countryside, became a project, more or less in the style of what members of the Becher school did (see Frank Breuers work on trailers), though in my project bare functionalism is counteracted by the artists decorating the verhicles. Here I show a number of telling examples selected from my collection of pictures.