84x64 cm | Filler, oak panel, cable, stone
A 20kg stone on the floor is connected to the painting through a thick black rubber cable. I used the same cable to make the imprint in the image.
Images and language are attached to matter even if they solely exist in a dimension of their own. The fundamental property of language is that it is transferable; its content can be manifested in multiple ways. Still, it needs matter to be materialised and communicated. Matter, on its part, is experienced through perception, which uses language to operate, and can not be discerned as it is in itself. The two dimensions are fundamentally divided and yet paradoxically mutually dependent on each other to have meaning.
It is not a matter of what came first, language through a divine "word" opening up the space for matter, or matter evolving into living and language-using organisms. Still, the primordial quality of language - transferability - is already present in matter itself through the reproductive structures governed by the laws of physics.
The question is if there is any difference between language and matter. Is it not the same thing? Maybe the notion of language existing on its own is merely a fantasy. But where does that leave the subject in a psychological sense? The self-consciousness seems to be intact even if every cell in the body is exchanged. Maybe the mind exists in the body like the laws of physics applies to matter. It's just the way things are. Apples fall to the ground. Planets orbit the sun. Minds apply to matter. But minds wander and have a will of their own. There is no such thing in physics—only regularity and perhaps randomness. Without free will, there would be no human subjects. We would be automatons. That can't be right.
So what are the independent, self-aware human subjects connection to language and physical matter? What is the shape of the cord connecting us to reality?
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.
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.