64x84 cm, stones appr. 5x5x5 cm | Filler, oak frame, stones
For this work, I placed seven stones in the wet filler and let it dry. The same stones should be placed on top of the panel in corresponding positions.
Pareidolia is the tendency to see shapes and figurations where they don't exist. Such as in clouds or in the grey fields of the moon. It also includes the ability to hear hidden messages in music or random noise. Both tests for interpreting subconscious signals - such as Rorschach images, or various techniques of foretelling or reading signs, use pareidolia. The phenomenon is probably a result of the perception's constant process of interpreting and understanding visual stimuli. The linguistic concepts we perceive are not part of the material reality itself. They exist only in our minds. In a way, everything we see is a form of pareidolia.
One of the shapes easiest to perceive for the brain is the face. Being able to read the emotional register of the surroundings in the smallest detail is an essential ability. Faces are important. Simple renderings of them, like smileys, or emojis, can even be written with characters and have become a complement to the written language. They can substantiate or undermine text in the same way that body language does with speech. Small, almost imperceptible shifts in facial expressions or the use of subtle emojis can change a message from friendly to threatening. In the same way, animation of dead matter or objects can be perceived as both life-giving and frightening. Perhaps this duality reminds us that the perceptive conscious self also consists only of flesh - raw matter.
The face on the picture may appear slightly vicious. When we project supernatural evil on nature and the physical environment, it is perhaps to hide the even more frightening fact that nature is utterly indifferent to us. This void can be described by Jacques Lacan's concept of the Real. A register outside language where the subject dissolves. A kernel, closed and hard as stone, where nothing can be understood or even experienced. Where meaning no longer has relevance. Nevertheless, it is the only thing that really exists in a physical sense.
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.
Watch a video of me presenting this work in its premiere public appearance here.
The series features works with an appendix placed on top of the work or close to it. This object is exterior to the image plane, the illusionary "window" in the picture, but is still an intrinsic part of the whole. It connects or makes visible the two dimensions of an artwork - its inner logic and the relation to its surrounding.
The title references both the famous campaign by Coca-Cola and Immanuel Kant's notion of the thing in itself. It means that subjects can only experience the phenomenons as they present themselves, through perception. It is always fundamentally different from what the things are outside the barrier of language - in themselves.