#307 March In F
64x84 cm | Filler, oak frame
This work was created by me marching back and forth over five frames placed on the floor in the shape of an F, wearing a pair of clogs. I tried to do it in triple time.
Fascist and totalitarian movements are growing stronger in many places of the world in recent times. It is no coincidence that this concurs with the expansion of economic disparities. Precarious conditions create a climate of fear which makes people easier to manipulate. Vulnerability opens up for complex responses to the mechanics of power.
Power is an essential component of the subject's autonomy. The ability to make free, independent choices is a prerequisite for its existence. But at the same time, this independence inexorably creates a distance between the individual and the environment. It also creates a gap within, between the self-conscious self and its underlying bodily processes. Out of this alienation arises a desire for belonging that can manifest itself in different ways. One of them is the drive to submit to an external stimulus. To set aside one's rationality and independence in favour of the experience of being part of something greater than one's self, something outside its closed existence. This desire is, in many ways, a bodily response, like how the body responds to a rhythm. There is an attraction here that goes deeper than the subject's self-awareness.
One source of inspiration for this work is Bruce Nauman's "Stamping in the Studio".
But where Nauman wandered back and forth in changing rhythmic patterns, I have chosen to march in a simple triple time beat. The triple time is common in many Scandinavian folk dances. There is a Swedish myth about “the Hårga dance” - a version of the piper from Hameln - about a mysterious fiddler with a big black hat who obscured his face. His music immediately made everyone dance, but then they couldn’t stop. The dance continued all night, and finally, the fiddler led the dancers up to the Hårga mountain, where it continued until the flesh detached from their bodies and only the skeleton remained. A classic piece of music about the myth - “Hårgalåten” - is a hambo which, of course, is a dance in triple time.
The shoes wore to produce this work is a modern variant of clogs, made of plastic. In French, clogs are called "sabot", which is the basis for the word sabotage. Possibly because when automatic looms were introduced in France, the workers threw their shoes into them to protest the machines making them redundant. In another way, you may also call this work a sabotage (in the sense of a collage, or frottage) as it is made by clogs.
This is the shoe of the common people, the shoe of the working class. Historically made in wood for use in factories and on the fields, but today, for example, healthcare workers widely use the plastic version. It is also popular as leisurewear for the mainstream, or the so-called masses.
This work is part of a series called Platform. Works made by bodily imprints in frames with wet filler while placed on the ground. This is inspired by Gutai, the experimental Japanese art group from the 50s, who focused on matter, body and process, and especially one member Kazuo Shiraga who painted with his feet, suspended from the ceiling over the canvas. These imprints can be made by me or others, to document, or record, an event taking place at a certain point in time. The happening is becoming the act that creates a work of art and thus challenging the boundary between documentation of art and art itself.
Res Ipsa is a compilation of works made by an act shaping the filler once it is prepared inside the frame. The works thus function as a recording device and give a statement of the event taking place while the filler was still wet.
Res Ipsa is Latin for "the thing itself" and is part of the juridical term "Res ipsa loquitur" (the thing speaks for itself), used when an injury or accident in itself clearly shows who is responsible, such as an instrument left inside a body after surgery.
See the complete video of the production here.