Mouth of the Sky, 2015 - 2016
Mouth of the Sky is an installation where the table takes on a central position. For someone who draws a lot, a table is an extension of the body. It is a place that is mainly viewed from a bird’s-eye view, an archaeological site where you can map out fragmented thoughts that drift to the surface. A table has multiple perspectives: if you work on it, it is a flat surface, if you take more distance than the object becomes spatial. This simultaneity of different perspectives formed the starting point for every work. Recurring topics are the act of drawing, cartography, reproducibility, and the multifaceted and changeable nature of identity.
The works in the installation are presented on a big floor drawing made in collaboration with architect Anne Dessing. The drawing is based on lines that were created by refolding a map. You could consider them as lines of a network that connect the works, or even as a map in itself. In this installation, I approach the object of the map as a membrane: a map stands in between the reader and the landscape. We can oversee the landscape, but not experience it. The maps in this installation are no longer serving their intended purpose: the scaling and the representation of a place.
The starting point for many works in the series was a map that was folded in a particular way. In 2007, I folded the map for the first time in this way. By folding the map, I wanted to connect places that in the physical world would never come together. The two-dimensional map that usually represents a three-dimensional space had now become three-dimensional itself.
Another version of this work titled One to One was shown at the Van Gogh Museum. With One to One, I wanted to map the drawing process. It was a large mural of 3 by 4 meters, in which I drew a schematic floorplan, based on the refolded map. I drew a pattern referring to the elevation lines on topographic maps, over a period of two weeks. I made a rule for myself: when the two weeks were finished, I had to stop working. In this way, I wanted to make a map that does not represent a place but rather the time spent at a place. Time determined the composition of the work.
Prism (Pseudonyms) is a series of photo transfers of the same image. Each time I show the work I repeat the transfer. As a result the image is transformed, disappearing slowly, because with this technique, imperfections in the surface leave holes in the image.
A cyanotype print can fade, but it has the unique property of regaining its original colour if left in the dark for a time. Cyanotype is a photographic process, often used to reproduce drawings without the use of a camera, which after developing produces a cyan/-blue image; hence its other name, a blueprint.
The folded map Untitled (Map) gave me the idea of making a camera with multiple lenses. I quickly arrived at the simplest of all cameras, the pinhole camera. I made one with ten apertures. This image is the first good exposure of the window of my studio at the Rijksakademie. The object photographed was duplicated ten times by this camera. Now you can experience one object in ten different places at one time, by looking at this photograph.
For quite a while I didn’t know what I wanted to photograph with the new pinhole camera with ten apertures. Finally I bought a stuffed, mounted cobra and photographed it. A living snake sheds its skin at regular intervals, and thus can see itself from a different perspective. See also the documentation.