#414 Long Stick Drawing
64x84 cm | Filler, oak panel
This work was made using a 5,2-meter long stick. The method is inspired by photos of Henri Matisse who sometimes used long sticks to draw with, both to be able to draw from the bed and to have oversight over large drawings while drawing. I, on the other hand, was instead of facilitating the drawing process, trying to make it physically harder to draw. Because one of the reasons why we sometimes admire children's drawings is that there is a gap between intention and ability which create tension in the drawing, and this method tries to set up the same conditions.
At the same time, the works deal with the crude and harsh nature of language. Signs and symbols always contain categories of meaning rather than the often subjective and specific statements we´re trying to express. It's like shooting mosquitos with cannons. No matter how hard we try to transmit a message to the receiver it always comes out distorted on the other end. And the growing contemporary use of emojis, symbols and predefined responses instead of letters and individually formulated sentences might be easy to use, but perhaps doesn't increase understanding in communication.
The heart is the symbol of love, an entity we need and expect to be part of our interactions with others around us. But it can´t even begin to grasp the complexity of this concept. The distance between what we mean and what we say when we use this symbol is great. But on the other hand, things we cannot understand we might better stay silent about, and using a symbol like this can be a way of speaking without really saying anything. And sometimes that's exactly what we want.
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 coincidence that many of the first examples of texts are curses, prayers, laws or inventories — different ways of trying to influence and master reality.
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.