GlogauAIR resident from July 2019 to September 2019
In my painting practice I investigate the impact of history and remembrance on an individual level. I use the medium of painting to build a new structure for the reflection of memory and the impact of images on the way memory is conceived. I look at how major historic events, such as the Second World War or nuclear bombing, affect society on the level of imagery; certain images stick with us through time and become icons in the collective memory.
In my paintings, human figures are cut out brutally from their surroundings. Portraits are formed of collected images and the surface of a painting becomes a façade. Working with these different layers, I question the complexity of the real in an age of manufactured copies. I draw parallels and create juxtapositions between historical facts about war and the notion of (my own) family history, historical traumas and contemporary problems of the trustworthiness and value of images.
FUTURE MEMORY is the name of the project I would like to realise during the residency.
The project started in 2018 and is based on one image: a nuclear reactor container from 1950 in the USA. Dividing this one image into smaller parts reflects the way in which the process of nuclear fission, a heavy unstable atomic nucleus, divides or splits into two or more lighter nuclei. This releases radioactive radiation that can have a lethal effect on organisms. The project is an illustration of the way in which the trauma of nuclear, and other, wars in the post-war era are still felt all over the world.
Because the paintings split up and live in parts, the work itself functions in a similar way. The smaller works, each with a painting of a detail of the photo, have been separated from the large painting and exist independently of it, and independently of each other. Other paintings are created by using the residue of cut outs to reflect on the aftereffect of the radioactivity. Like nuclear fission, their information spreads like energy, unrecognisable as separate parts, but with the story of their origin as a reminder for those who choose to tell the story. The information is distorted in this way, and its reliability is called into question. A tension arises between the factual information of the cropped photograph and the information that is transmitted via memory and stories, where neither the factual information nor the memory leads to a reliable image.
The residency at GlogauAIR provides an environment in which I can deepen my research into the historic background of the Cold War and specific themes like manufactured copies, repetition, fragmentation and the representation of the image as a proof of truth. My aim with the project would be to question the value of the image as remembrance within the field of painting and specifically within the project FUTURE MEMORY.
Acquired Works, De Nederlandsche Bank, Amsterdam NL (group) (upcoming)
Golden Series by O-68, Art The Hague, The Hague NL (group)
Souvenir, Galerie Dudok De Groot, Amsterdam NL (solo)
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