#277 Bite The Hand
84x64 cm | Filler, oak frame
This work should be installed at some extra height, slightly over eye level.
Language introduces a clean cut into the impenetrable swirl of chaotic matter. It structures and make sense of the indivisible Real and opens up a space for the self-conscious subject to exist. This work also might raise questions about the power of art. Can art as an instrument of illusion, of imagery, of investment, of entertainment, in short - of pure language, really make any change? Can it make the transgression from the safe sphere of viewing, reading and interpreting to be an agent of transformation? Can it matter? Or is it just pastime?
It is up to us. An artwork has as much power as we give it. To make actual changes, and not just adjustments and additions to what is already there, we must be ready to question the things we experience as the foundation of our existence. What makes us feel safe. The very master signifiers that give meaning to the complex of our world view. The title is a slight alteration to the saying "Don't bite the hand that feeds you". But this is exactly what we must do. To achieve real change we must challenge what provides the basis for our existence. Because that is where power resides. In the material circumstances for our daily lives. We must be ready to take a risk, to put something at stake, in order to free ourselves of the status quo.
When will the bile fall? When will we be ready to let our dreams, our visions, our ideas, and vaguely formulated hopes crash into reality and shatter it, to expand our understanding of what is possible? When will language, a new language, enter the realm of matter and create a new order of things?
To the mind, a word is always also an image. In that sense, understanding words function no different than normal perception. When we see, images are constructed inside the mind. We never perceive reality objectively or in itself. Perception is an interpretation and thus consist of language, in the same manner as understanding words.
However, to use language, we have to speak or write it. We have to realize it. Nothing ever communicates without being inscribed into a matter of some sort. But how words are inserted into reality affects how we perceive them. Thus reality itself seeps into language. There exists no clear or unmediated communication. Matter adds to the message. Because which matter we choose to communicate through, and how we shape it, reflects on who we are, it can reveal unconscious or hidden meanings.
Humans inscribed the first written words in stone or clay. One of the purposes was to save them for the future, to protect them from the volatility of time. To speak, or to write, is always to some extent, an act of power. The receiver must initially submit his or her attention to the message. No matter how insignificant, its meaning will always in some way change the receiver forever.
There is a constant tension between language and reality as matter. The human subject is defined by an individual will, as opposed to the strict causality of nature. This will strive to be expressed through language. Maybe self-awareness is a result of language at use. Language as a way for the ego to invent itself, to inscribe itself into the world. It is no coincident that many of the first examples of texts are curses, prayers, laws or inventories — different ways of trying to influence and master reality.
Tablet series is part of Template, a compilation of works made by using pieces of wooden plates as templates. They function as a mould or matrix for the finished work.
Reminiscent of Richard Serra's Verb List I try to use simple and clearly defined actions to shape the filler in my works. This method ensures there is always non-cognitive aspects of the production process.