Research

 

In science there exists something as serendipity when you discover something you weren’t looking for. There is no procedure, no mathematical algorithm to make that happen. Yet in my work I always try to challenge the powers of coincidence.

It is like trying to make an impossible deal with the three Fates. You cannot tell them where they must lead you to, but with a kind of alert absent-mindedness you may be able to grasp the forces of chance while they are at work so that the dices fall in the right constellation.

 

According to modern scientists the whole universe is a case of organisation of elementary particles. Even life is not something that is added afterwards. Life itself is a complex organization of matter. I can not say it more beautiful than Thomas Mann did in its masterly novel The Magic Mountain: “Self-awareness, then was simply a function of matter organized into life; a function that in higher manifestations turned upon the very matter that bore it and became an effort to explore and explain the phenomenon it displayed — a hopeful–hopeless effort to achieve self-knowledge, Nature turned in upon herself — a project doomed to failure, since Nature cannot be resolved in knowledge, nor can life, in the last analysis, eavesdrop on itself.”

 

Also an artwork is an organization: an organization of thoughts, materials, events,... Drawing a line is the sequence of one point after another. The successive movements of your hand, your arm, your eyes, your mind are drawing the line. I like the image of a line. A line is a thread, The red thread through a story, the thread of history, the thread of life. Automatically it develops itself. The line of ‘what am I going to eat today’ guides me from my refrigerator to the market and back home again. It makes me pass and encounter a lot of people. It guides me through streets and places, through smells and actions. Maybe I take a branch line and I go drink a cup of coffee.

A day consists out of a lot of lines. They are making the tissue of my day, and day after day the abstract body of my life is forming itself.

 

I once wanted to follow the lifeline from a snail. I locked it up in a box. I thought that following the track of its slime I would be able to see the whole abstract line of its life. She didn’t move and had shut herself off from the outside world by a membrane. I guess it is a normal reaction. If someone would like to capture the line of my life I would also escape in immobility and only describe an extensive line within myself.

 

So thread is taking a very important place within my work. I knitted a safety fence in an archaeological site. Through the technological (r)evolution handwork has been replaced by machine work. I on the contrary transferred the industrial process in a slow and traditional movement. Knitting and sewing are still associated more with women than with men, so this was about drawing a female line in history, in art history. It was about a grid, a straight line A and a straight line B, to situate events in space and time. It was about the impossibility to fully comprehend history, so many individual lives, so many forgotten facts. The holes ( in the grid ), the carelessness of time forgetting more than it saves.

 

I also embroider pictures from newspapers. Here also the movement is very important. To embroider is a slow activity. It is associated with female home diligence for purely decorative purposes. When I embroider for example a picture of a bombardment I am not merely interested in the narrative. It is like a psychoanalytical process in which I reveal the inherent structure of violence that repeats itself over time in different forms. I show the underlying slow historical line of what finally has been solidified in the photo.

 

It seems very logical, but it always stupefies me that everything that happens takes on a form. Reality takes place (very literally). Everything happens somewhere and when it happens it exists. Even the virtual is an existing field of reality. What happens is like the actualization of an underlying pattern, an underlying motif. What is the underlying dna sequence of reality?

 

What does it means when one says that something takes place? What is the definition of a place?

 

Is history a place?

Does history take place?

Is light a place?

Does light take place?

Is the middle a place?

Does the middle take place?

Is the body a place?

Does the body take place?

Is thought a place?

Does thought take place?

Is a teacup a place?

Does a teacup take place

Is the dream a place?

Does the dream take place?

Is a molecule a place?

Does a molecule take place?

 

 

This are the kind of questions that I will not solve, but that will guide a visual process of thinking.