May 2022, New Steps
To me a foot is a kind of sculpture in itself, it has this particular triangular form, similar to the rhythm a conductor draws in the air, with his baton.
A form which closes upon itself in a very natural way. I discovered feet could be turned upside down, stand, lay and be distorted in every way and be expressive even with a few touches.
A piece turned out to be a refugee’s foot; a foot that had walked thousands of miles, tired and hardened and marked by the many steps taken under heavy burdens. Apparently, it was not necessary to make a whole body, let alone a face, to express a condition or situation; it could all be contained in there, abstract and yet recognizable at the same time.
Lately I am making ballet feet. Hence the optimistic pink color.
As they can’t stand on their own tip toe, I had to make their better half and they became a pair - etudes.
The fact they were a pair, suggested some pretty wild compositions and sculpturally that's where it started to get really interesting, because something new, which I hadn’t expected, came up due to the pure necessity.
I showed the first series of feet at Gallery Klein on Bornholm in Denmark during the summer of 2020, and was supposed/invited to show a continuation of the series later in Copenhagen last year. The pandemic made sure this and many other things didn’t happen. I think we all got a bit used to a life of events that didn’t happen. But my husband, Jorgen Haugen Sorensen’s death happened and it is only now, half a year later I have started to touch clay again.
I am thankful of the challenge to start to work again and I am finishing the series with two bigger pieces that will complement the exhibition.
There is a phrase which says “To take a step in the right direction”. I hope this event will be a next step into a new life, a possibility to turn the arrow in the air and retrieve the delicate balance I once had between two people, now on my own.
November 2018, Perspective.
I have always been fascinated by the perspective - of being able to accelerate or slow down a movement by modeling a shape larger or smaller in relation to the other parts of sculpture - it is a small pocket of time in itself.
The perspective is also fascinating in relation to the role it plays in human history, and we can read our perception of the world by looking at how the perspective has been applied.
From the bodily lines of the cave paintings to the ideals of the Greeks, and perfect proportions to the lack of perspective in the Romanesque age. At the end of the Renaissance, the Mannerists began to exaggerate the perspective and pull out the shape to reinforce the movement. The cubists completely abolished the three-dimensional space by describing objects from multiple sides at once, contradicting perspective theory. Mondrian began to use squares, stripes and surfaces to describe his landscape, and one day the visual language stood alone, with no recognizable shapes in an abstract space. With Einstein's theory of relativity, our perception of space changed yet again, and spacetime expanded the perspective to the extreme.
- The perspective inevitably comes along as a shadow, long or short.
In the perspective of the big picture, one can also follow what significance sculpture has had for us. The need to describe ourselves, we have always had - we use man as form and narrative, to express who we are.
The very first artists were animists. In deep caves they drew on the walls large, important animals and themselves as hunters, the same kind of animals in all four corners of the world. It was then that man experienced that everything in nature had soul and spirit - both dead and living things.
With agriculture, we slowly became more civilized and at the same time developed a moral doctrine, and with it a power structure began to take shape. The teachings of the priests were enforced in many ways, but one of the most important was the sculptures, which were magical objects that reinforced faith - the sculpture was God.
It was this power that the physical sculpture possessed, from the Sumerians to the Egyptians, from the Greeks to the Romans, but which was eliminated at the beginning of Christianity. The iconoclasts found it necessary to destroy all the gods to overcome idolatry. There should now be only the one true God, the one who died on the cross for our sake, and all images of former gods should be destroyed. This is why there is a gap in our cultural history for hundreds of years, after the fall of the Roman Empire in the third century and into the early Middle Ages.
Christian iconoclasts succeeded in starting a new imagery with the rigid Jesus figure in long robe and royal crown. In time, the crown became a crown of thorns and the robe crept over the knees, and in the Renaissance man assumed the role of God in the arts. This development has only been further enhanced and within the last 50-60 years the sculpture has lost much of its symbolic as well as its artistic significance in the Western world. But for the Hindus in India and several other places, the sculpture has retained its powerful role and they are unchanged as gods. Also within Islam, the sculpture has the same status and is therefore still banned.
The sculpture has difficulty finding space in our digital world, where physical objects are becoming increasingly redundant. Like everything else, art is also digitized and no longer expressed by the ability of the analogue hand, and the language used by analog art so far has difficulty finding a foothold and new expression in contemporary times. We no longer have to express the temperaments of gods; landscapes and portraits are sharpened with the lenses of the phones, even in laymen's untrained hands. If we want to describe our contemporary, it will be in the form of fragments from a lost time, pieced together into a new splintered reality. We use irony and provocation to make room in the zapped world where nothing lasts longer than the next click.
It is a new virtual world that has opened up its landscape to us with endless possibilities, but we are in the early beginnings and still walking. We must learn to master the new tools before we can again retell the story of who we are as human beings in this new constellation. Until that happens, we make use of ready mades and casts put together in new "poetic constellations", which for me to see, intellectual exercises are told 1 to 1 with the instruction manual attached to the work, and it is my impression that much contemporary art with benefit could be better told in words, whereas analog art just makes words superfluous.
The analog work of art speaks directly to us, we can feel it physically - and it has the ability to speak to us through all times. As humans, we are inevitably analogous. Certain links in our system make us react the same way we always did, and when a work of art resonates within us, we are redeemed - without words.
Therefore, it is of the utmost importance to find new analog expressions for contemporary art that can keep the language alive during this transitional phase. We must do our best to develop the language of sculpture and not be paralyzed by the progress of digital art, which is a language that we have difficulty understanding and where quality often diminishes in the number of artists when everyone can join without real prerequisites, without many years of practice and skill in a craft.
But it is not only for the sake of sculpture that the craft should survive, it is far sadder if the joy of creating is lost. Through the combination of hand and mind we develop ourselves on a personal level, as well as on the general human, and if we do not keep this ability alive, we will forget a great deal of ourselves.
Therefore, I still make sculptures, to keep this ability and joy of the craft alive. It is still very satisfying to be skilled, to have your hands buried in clay, to work with wax or to cut in stone. It is redeeming in itself when in the work process one succeeds in taking the quantum leap and being present the step further ahead than where one actually is when the words land right in a sentence, or the expression in the clay arises - as by itself.
August 2009 - Our Reality, Their Illusion.
The installation is about illusions and therefore both types of figures had to be made in a material that contained the illusion. Thus, one party was drawn and the other cut out and pieced together by X-rays. Both parties believe that they have the right to know what reality is on their side and that it is the other party who is the victim of an illusion. Black on white and white on black - different and similar at the same time, we and the others.
August 2007 - The Eternal Now.
The witness of nature and the eternal moment, for an eternal now. This was how the sand had settled as the water washed over it - this is how the wave from the boat reflected, in its own element as she sailed through the wilderness.
The composition of the picture frame forms the movement in the picture. The shape of a mountain or the graphic traces of bird formations as they drew towards the white sky.
A photograph will always be a subjective slice of reality - a fact Kirsten Klein reinforces in a very graphic expression. She is pointing out her presence and choice at the moment, not aiming for the glamor of the perfect landscape - it would be against the nature of nature.
From these choices we can read her attitude, which is a story of our history, seen from nature.
She shows us the world in the microcosm, and the world found in the microcosm.
Her pictures tell of endless time - the landscape is a picture of the patience of the earth - in a very slow change. Heavy shadows share mountains and valleys - nature has its own time dimension, it began long before we arrived and will be here long after - its unaffectedness, could be called indifference, if the word was not too emotional.
Time weighs heavily when standing still, getting it moving requires a lot of energy.
Photographers are witnesses, Kirsten Klein is one.
On the other hand, it runs easily when it is first in progress - in the cities, we have to go straight to keep up, but when one dies - time stops completely and the world stands still.
One night I saw a picture of time, or closer to the sound of time - it was the sizzling crowns of the anemones in the stream of water - the pure silence of water.
In the present time and place merge into one. But since the present, according to science, does not really exist, the self disappears at that very moment - it must be the ultimate form of being - at all times and at all times - a void to long for and at the same time fear from, as a child who are afraid to let go of the day and fall asleep. I imagine death as a long now.
Since we climbed down from the trees and out onto the savannah, great things have happened in humanity's cultural evolution.
Homo Sapiens, the thinking man, learned farming, formed urban communities, invented mathematics, writing and science. Great, wonderful symphonies have been written and art in all shapes, forever set minds - and in science, understanding our world is constantly evolving. Therefore, one might wonder that certain characteristics of us are unchangeable.
Immutable is our survival instinct and with it, a well-preserved instinct to kill. Sexual drive and love are the same as always, even though the idea of the one and only one came to romance a few hundred years ago. And obviously man's need to submit to a greater power - a belief in a god, or an idol who can show the way, is unchanged - it has brought with it rituals that have become traditions that give us a sense of identity and belonging.
These concepts have followed man, as faithful little dogs for millions of years.
The story can tell us how we were. - Moss finds show a bestial process in which some of us had the power to sacrifice any other, less fortunate specimens and throw them hanged or decapitated in our bogs -
Countless examples of bestial cruelty find testimony everywhere. In Egypt, where life after death was given greater importance than contemporary and from Greek mythology, we can read about bloody revenge, where heroes prove their invincibility on countless battlefields. But you don't have to go back in time. There are thousands of examples of daily cynicism and heartlessness - evidently a behavior that lies to us, a fundamental lack of empathy - a terrible blindness.
That's why I modeled the hangers - big nude figures, wearing gas masks, protective boots and gloves. For their feet lies the shadow, our black mirror image, revealing like a fingerprint and at the same time only a black plamage nothing, the light around a subject - a subject in front of the light that excludes the light right there.
It is a fleeting imprint, but at the same time a complete picture of a reality - a blacked out picture of any reality.
Shadows do not discern, they are without morals, they do not condemn the reality they reflect in their black fleeting moment.
They line up when there is light. They follow the laws of plans, up steps, along walls - long when the sun is low in the sky - short and denser when the sun shines high from above.
Like a cut out black-painted photograph - a silhouette, a profile. I let the hangman's shadow become a picture and give it the place of reality. - A photo frame stretched into the shadow of a shadow, with pictures of the real world, from newspaper clippings and photos of people wearing safety equipment and a gas mask, because we want to protect ourselves and distance ourselves from the misfortunes and disasters of others.
From newspapers and other media, we have been able to follow how ordinary soldiers turned into monsters in the Abu Graib prison, and many other places. Evidently, it is a recurring phenomenon that occurs to most of us when we get into stressful situations. It's like the brain is turned off and instincts, hormones, or our genes - take over and control us.
In a given situation, we set up and act on the basis of common norms that belong to that time and place, to a much greater extent than to act individually. Evidently, we are just as forced and distorted as shadows that spring up every time expected of us.
Therefore, the title of eternal now - that is the unchangeability - is the repetition of the same fragile moment in which we succumb to the hate and forget the opportunity to act humanly and not the power to look forward and imagine the situation, seen with tomorrow's eyes.
Civilization is a very slow and even questionable size. Just over two hundred years ago, prisons were introduced - the first was in England. It was a deed of mercy, put in place of a short process, in the form of direct violence or killing. A judicial system has slowly been formed and a power of order has been deployed to comply with the laws.
I have grown up with a worn-out rhetoric about the good and the bad - usually we are the good and the others - the strangers, the bad guys. A black and white version of reality and a very simplified version of the truth. Instead, we are far more similar than most would know, if nothing else, genetic technology can confirm.
No injustice, justifying a new injustice - without exception, if not the basis for calling himself human, must be lost.
It's about the victim's ethics, as Herbert Pundik put it. Even if you end up as a victim, the same ethical rules must necessarily apply. To kill can be understandable, it can even be forgiven, but whoever does so loses his innocence - the victim and executioner are both losers - there are no survivors.
Even in situations where you have been commanded to do so - no matter what good service. All the soldiers who commit suicide upon their return seem to be proof that man should not put himself in vulnerable situations, because we cannot stand that. Many people would think the opposite can be done, but should they be the Ideal?
Meanwhile, the media fills us with fears about terrorism and disease, while advertisements encourage us to consume as much as possible, to soothe the mind and to keep the wheels rolling. Repeating images of disasters freeze on our retinas and blur the limit of our tolerance threshold.
Faith moves mountains, is a saying. But a belief or an ideology can easily develop into fanaticism, under conditions that today seem to have no end, which cause us to cross boundaries we would normally never do and accept actions that should never be accepted.
The last thing we have left when everything else is taken away from us is our will, but the last choice between two evils is very expensive and it often turns out that you are going to pay an overly high price in a good case service, for your God, for your country - yes, even for your own survival.
The exception to the rule is therefore a miracle and this operation is also unchangeable.
November 2005 - Fragile Moments.
I already got the idea for the decoration when I first saw the courtroom in the Maritime and Commercial Court. This is how it is with ideas, they are quick sizes.
But it was not the idea of the theme that emerged, but rather a picture of the four elements of transparent glass, their size and location, their mutual rhythm and movement. It is this idea that I have developed and reinforced ever since.
Back in Italy, I started drawing and at the same time exploring the democratic and Western world legal symbol, the goddess Justitia. She is often described as blind, with the scales raised in her left hand and the sword resting in her right. For me to see she is waiting and listening, not only to the charges and defenses that may be, but also to her own instinct. She is smart, knowledgeable, experienced and strong.
I can understand that you have chosen the female figure for this symbol, for she is also the educating mother, both loving and understanding, even indulgent, but at the same time the one who sets boundaries and who inexorably cuts down on all injustice.
Crime and punishment is a theme that humanity has been dealing with since the dawn of time, so I am no exception. It is possible that it is because of my own background that the theme of justice and wrong - about the judge and the convict has always occupied me and latent lies in everything I have done.
A sculpture I called Justitia dates back to the early 1980s. She probably looks somewhat tight-toothed and right-handed, because it seemed to me that it went wrong where the individual claimed the right to judge another, either because they felt threatened, because of prejudice, or in situations where he simply had the power to do so.
The trial of Ceauşescu and Elena in Romania made a big impression on me, as did the trial of Chairman Mao's wife from the Fireband several years earlier. They were screaming and crying and begging for mercy - a grace they had not given themselves as they sat in power. They tried to explain and made good excuses which, as an old saying goes, it was the damn grandmother died of the lack of. They cried with anxiety, but also with resentment and disappointment, full of wonder at the reverse situation, and I am sure they felt unfairly treated.
I couldn't help but get hurt by them - there's not much revenge on me. I looked upon them as guilty innocents, and regarded them as mentally ill and the calamities they caused most as natural disasters. That is why I made the sculpture "A Murderer's Murder" a description of man as a hangman - for me to see the saddest condition a human can enter.
From all the horrific events that I witness in this more peaceful corner of the world, only through the flow of media, it is clear to me how dangerous it is when leading politicians put people in situations that are so complicated and stressful that they, like most of us in the same situation, are most likely to commit terrible acts. As T.S Elliot says in "Four Quartets": "Human kind cannot bear very much reality."
I have called the glass decoration Fragile Moments to describe the situation a person for whatever reason can get into and choose to commit a crime, but also to tell about the fragile moment when a judge has to decide another person's further life course.
I have come to the realization that no injustice justifies a new injustice, but also that it is about having an attitude, without being judgmental. I see the need for an independent judiciary and understand the importance of keeping the legislative, judicial and executive powers sharply separate.
Therefore, today I am much less judgmental of Justia than when I last portrayed her and have more understanding and more sympathy for her conditions.
I show her as blind as the eye can easily be seduced where the ear is more objective - and hovering because she is a goddess.
Facing her on the opposite wall is the "Movement" and next to her "Chaos", which she must decide on. The guilty innocents, whom she will have to judge and put in place, because only the few of us own self-justification. She is not tough and very patient. She is alone and turns her back on what is happening, tormented by her responsibilities. Physically large, but frail of mind. The face is turned upwards, as is typical of the blind, listening to both sides, to the accusations and defenses of man, and to his instinct that is like a tone - the horizontal tight sculpture on the wall to her right.
Four elements in transparent glass: the movement, chaos, Justitia and her instinct.
The glass decoration is done by the glass artists Jørgensen and Mørch Design.
Oktober 2005 - Short Cuts.
An iron structure travels the room like a drawing, its course involving the walls, ceiling and floor and makes connections with the elements of the room - the closet, the table, the window sill and the flooring as it passes by.
The construction is a picture of the house. An open house that can be perceived from the outside as well as from the inside.
On the construction, white plaster sculptures are mounted on vertical and horizontal shelves.
The sculptures are the residents of the place, stuck where they once landed.
The shadows of the sculptures and the construction are painted on the wall behind, together with a drawing - a banal pattern that shows perspective where it strikes the construction, the sculptures and the wall.
As rings in the water, expressions change from a concrete object to image - from reality to illusion.
The pattern is the anonymous memory that remains in us when what we remember with conscious thoughts, words and actions has been recorded. Anonymous because this part of our memory is not necessarily personal or individual, but rather fragments of a cultural heritage.
Jørgen Carlo Larsen and I are based on Raymond Carver's short stories "Short Cuts".
What I find fascinating about his books are his descriptions of how poor we are at understanding and explaining to each other. He makes it clear that we stop seeing - which everyday makes us blind and which can ultimately make us lonely.
The maze can be a picture of getting lost in the language. The longing to be listened to, understood, ends where the power of language begins. An abstract thought with just a less philosophical content can quickly fall into the wildness of clichés and plunge into banal abyss that can lead to superficiality or isolation.
Welfare calculations, transparency, integration, spin doctors, quotas, lifestyle, inequality, Danishness, viewership and opinion polls. I listen to the radio and marvel at all the new words in the language and the concepts that change meaning.
Words like idea and concept are often used in all possible contexts. Is it because we are moving from a physical world to a more spherical one where the idea of the world is given more space than the concrete one?
August 2005 - Pattern, the anonymous memory.
Two years ago, I saw a Roman mosaic in Merida, Spain, which fascinated me because I couldn't solve the system it seemed to contain. It took me a good deal of the summer to find that it behaved like a fractal growing from the middle out to all sides.
This strange mosaic caused me to start painting my sculptures and painting them with patterns.
Later I called the weaver Trine Ellitsgaard, who throughout her life has been working on patterns that we have known for many years and through the last talk about making an exhibition together. Since we are both resident abroad - Trine in Mexico and I in Portugal, we have many common experiences. But based on the summer breaks, it seems obvious to do so now and that's why we met later in the year in Copenhagen and talked about what a pattern really is:
Trine: I see patterns everywhere - in nature, cracks in rocks, plants, the skin of animals, butterflies and insects have amazing patterns, the wind making signs in the sand, snow crystals - there are also patterns that are not figurative like life patterns, music etc .
A pattern is a context and a repetition of a figure or movement. This is what you as a human can discover and then transfer to another material. The very technical process of weaving appeals to repeat a pattern.
Eli: The interesting thing about patterns for me is their abstract language - as characters they have always been humanity's anonymous memory. No matter where in the world they are created, they can be read by anyone at any time.
Rehearsals, arabesques, systems or lack of the same - however they look we can see what culture has created them and follow their development over time.
You can see the Zapotek's footprints in the scarves and baskets of the Oaxaca population and in the prespanic ruins and even get inspiration for your own rugs, picture and sculptures. This summer I myself have seen the Moors' azulejos, which means small colored stones, found in Seville and in the Portuguese city of Tomar Manueline seamen's nodes, carved into stones in the walls of the monastery - knots which now go back to some of the sculptures I exhibit at Veggerby.
Trine: Just as you refer to in the art of building, patterns have been used as ornamentation to complete a wall or frame or emphasize part of the building.
A work rhythm is probably also a pattern, something I unfortunately lack.
Perhaps it is fundamental for man to use patterns in some way, it can be soothing or explanatory to repeat a pattern, whether it is to weave a fine blanket or drink 5 baths daily.
The large figures I have made in dishwashing mushrooms are more of a simplification of a well-known figure, like the chain that has association with a necklace or anchor chain but with a completely different material has a surprising effect.
In Danish, the word pattern has many meanings. In Spanish, there is a new word for each of the allusions we have worked on. Therefore, patterns become a very broad concept in Danish.
Trine Ellitsgaard and Eli Benveniste
November 2003 - Shape is volume, movement and content.
I create movement in the sculpture by making a difference in the proportions so that the eye moves around the figure. There is always movement in my sculptures even though the movement is minimal. When the difference in proportions fluctuates relative to each other, the sculpture becomes spatial and will therefore relate to any space.
I have worked a lot with an enlarged / diminished perspective, for example. one part of the sculpture is considerably larger than another part with which it is proportionate. This interest in the exaggerated perspective, I think, comes partly from photographs taken with a wide-angle lens, and from various cartoons where the sizes shift in relation to each other, but also from Romanesque church art, which I saw so much in Barcelona when I lived in my time. there. Here the lack of perspective in the frescoes and in the polychrome sculptures created the same effect.
The relative in the relation between sight, size and motion can be made visible by imagining an object in motion: first, as a small dot on the horizon that gets bigger and bigger - then, when it has passed one, to become small again in the distant. It is neither the object nor me that has changed, but the relationship between the sight and the object.
This is related to the time spent in a movement; when you see a movement, you can read the time in it. Some movements also have music in them, and you could say that time unfolds in the sculpture, that time lies in the sculpture as a rhythm.
Michelangelo is to have said that a sculpture must be able to withstand rolling down a hillside. In fact, all the details and limbs can be missed as the information about the missing parts is read in the movement and rhythm left in the core of the sculpture.
The same is clearly seen when I share a clay sculpture to hollow it out before burning - each cut part must be a sculpture in itself. This is what archaeologists use when putting together a broken vase, each cut telling its part of the story of its original form.
I have worked with several different materials - clay, cement, stone and glass, but regardless of the material, always with a logical, organic structure of the sculpture. When I first started modeling, I was advised to model organically and it taught me about the movement. Working with the movement, I discovered that there is a logic in the construction of a sculpture, a logic that can also be seen in nature's own productions. I have used this, especially when working with glass. -
When the glass begins to melt, nature and the case occur. A rhythm, a fall - the glass's own being, becomes more clearly proportional to the time the glass is melted. I am the one who builds the basic form that the glass then breaks down in its own way. I can only prepare for the incident, which suits me well, because the case is of great importance for the making of the sculpture.
Time stops in the middle of the movement - you can read the story in the melted glass, all the information about what happened, freezes - like the insect that was moving from one flower to another and was enclosed inside a lump of resin a thousand years ago.
There is a logical context, a common language that everyone has had to follow through the ages. What we see must act on our senses. The language is contained in all terms regardless of time and place.
When we are captivated by a work of art, it is because we recognize it in ourselves. What works for us is general - we become aware of a page within ourselves that was already there but which we had not yet seen. Like when I hear music - so of course and clear that it reminds me of the stars in the night sky, as if it, like them, has been there "always".
The subject itself is not my driving force, it is to a greater extent the form, the relationship or the expression. It can be a movement, a detail, combined with the inner image of a state I seek. The idea is the spark - the shocker that initiates the creation process. The content, my attitude, comes of its own accord, it is in shape and is therefore not necessarily my starting point.
Every human being has its own DNA, a code that can also be made visible in a form or in the movement and rhythm of a sculpture. The sculpture then becomes a picture of this person's attitudes, thoughts, choices and choices.
You will always be able to see what ideas the artist had about the world in which he or she lived. Whether the artist felt greater or less in relation to the person (s) for whom the work was made.
Likewise, one's time will always be readable in what one has made - I do not think at all that one can escape one's time. An artist is doing what is missing, I think that is the way the art is being renewed.
My code is a contraction of a movement. A growing up and down, a code that wants to show something but not postulate. This code explains my fundamental doubts. I look at the world through nature's eyes and believe in phenomena more than individuality.
I see people, myself inclusive, reacting in certain ways in certain situations and do not think that we are so different neither from each other nor from people who lived a thousand years ago.
The younger we are, the more whole we are, intact and full of walking. Omniscient and free without a burdensome experience. We tear something down so that there can be room for something new - a new chance for one's ego, which like any other plant will upwards and forwards. Evidently, there is something very creative about being destructive. In my work, I use both, not as a balance, but as a game between two opposing and very different forces.
When modeling, it is a form of meditation, I like to work in light backlight, so I see the profile better, it stands out as a silhouette - the profile is the shape drawing. The brain is set in neutral, so that thoughts and images run as they please. At first I think of the sculpture, but then I try to let a different kind of consciousness work with it. Of course, I am present - yes, perhaps I am more present in that situation than at any other time. It's the pure being, to take the plunge into nothingness - every time, to create something that has never been there before - it is eerie and fantastically interesting. To create a picture of a state or situation, to be in the process and to learn from the material. There are no rules, it's just about doing or not doing.
I bought a big block of marble four years ago - I wanted to make something that was smoother and simpler.
Usually I do not get ideas in foreign materials, as I must first know the nature of a material. Therefore, I took a model in clay, which had the characteristic that I could imagine it in all sizes. Getting to know a new material is fascinating and initially frustrating. And it can take a long time. Everything I thought I knew I had to discard - the stone, the glass, the cement will something else, it will itself - and always on its own terms.
During the periods when I threw myself into the stone carving, it seemed to me that I made the same sculpture six times before reaching the place where I imagined the stone holding up and the sculpture to begin. So different from clay - it helped when this time I put the clay model away and stopped trying to copy the clay features. I was intoxicated by the work - the sound, the direction of the stone, the different resistance. It crystallized during the battle and jumped off into small flakes depending on which iron I used.
The stone began to open to me and I slowly got the shape moving - the stiff, thin, slightly silly hard compared to the stubborn, gentle, soft. An organic logical movement that grows out of the ground and forms an arc. The hard one pushes the soft out of balance, but the soft gives in and uses its greater density to pull the hard down with it. I follow in an alternation between what I know and what I do not know, a dead passage, a living course, depressions of strokes on the smooth surface, like the distance between the first raindrops.
What I do not see, I jump into the uncertainty that I will be able to see later when new angles show the way. Italians say there is always enough stone. If you cut too much of a place, you change the curve accordingly. When I work with clay it has always wondered how much clay needed to fill a mold. Conversely, I can now say about the stone that it is amazing how much it takes to achieve the same volume.
When I was younger I thought there was only one solution that had to be the best and killed a lot in this endeavor. Now I think differently and mean to see many solutions in the work of sculpture, and often more that are equally good. This insight has given me more freedom.
Some years ago I moved south, but since I have been coming back, I have traveled many times over and through different mountain ranges. The mountains were never the goal, I was going from flatland to flatland and had no special relationship with them for many years - I simply could not perceive them - they lay like foreign heights, intersected by roads and rivers.
When traveling by train or car, time is given a different dimension and one's life, as it seems at that time, can be turned around. Since then, the brain is set in disarray, and images from a distant past that, for more or less incomprehensible reasons, have been stored in memory, emerge glimpses or in whole stanzas and are re-imagined and re-experienced by the one created. The landscape sweeps past, in the field of view close by and slowly sailing away in the far horizon. It is all cut into two parts of the road that meander forward.
The eyes follow the shape of the mountains, which revolve spatially before one's gaze, the contours draw in new constellations and show that the formations are connected in a different way than first assumed.
The creature of the mountains slowly began to ascend to me, rising from a plain of mouse-waves, and gliding across it in the blazing sun. In Switzerland they lay, as big as nothing else, in all its heaviness and impressive mass, with sky-reflecting lakes where their shape made it possible. Threatening in the beginning of darkness or brightly illuminated by daylight.
Wet and tarnished in spotty autumn colors as the forest's vegetation gave them age. I came to love them for their stability and faithful being. There is something touching and melancholy about them like big heavy animals that are stranded and have to accept what's coming. Millions of years leave its mark on their surface. The wind, the rain, the frost and the sun do their utmost to shape them according to the geological composition they are made of. The only movement that can be said to be their own is their weight, the constant downward pressure of gravity.
Involuntary witnesses without the right to vote and therefore a picture of a situation in which one, as a human being, often finds it difficult to choose or find out what is right or wrong - be it the war in Kosovo or the conflict in the Middle East when all solutions seem equally bad, giving a feeling of powerlessness.
November 2000 - This Room is About
Clay, glass, light, water, gibs and shadows
Sculptures in clay - like earth, a body a thought of transit
Lighting houses - an atmosphere formed by the size and lightness of the room,
as the walls throw back.
Direct light - like dazzle
Indirect light - which can enhance a thought
Darkness - like memory, like black sculptures
Glass - like liquid water, of the same shape as shadows
Water - in motion, the memory brings with it in its flow
- Aqua Passata, lets go undone
Black sculpture - a dead without owner, colored by the water that drives by
Light - as now, as seeing, being conscious of one's thoughts
Glass sculpture - in the form of a reverse mountain filled to the brim with water
lets light pass through it,
to gather its shape into a single luminous point
Shadows - make even dead things come alive,
Do not discern, do not judge, forget no one
bound to the light, long for the darkness that will overshadow them
Light shadows - which cast diffused light on black living sculptures of dead
Dark water - reflecting the light
Water in motion - which blurs its reflection
White shadows - like inverted sculptures
White sculptures - casting black shadow
Oktober 2000, Natura morta.
Yesterday An I
Three sculptures in a room.
The first shadows for the third, a mouth twisted in pain, from surprise to loud laughter.
A spiral movement, the symbol of the beginning of all life.
The viewer who turns his back - a potential killer.
A death without an owner, a body that has become a thing, laid on the floor along the wall, to fill as little as possible -
a dried body, most of the bone, which has taken the form of the substrate he or she was laid on long ago.
A back, on the way away, yesterday an ego.