#446 The End
84x64 cm | Filler, oak panel
Like all my works, this is about the relationship between language and matter. All semantic activity is based on the possibility of dissecting, of distinguishing one from the other. But where the image as an expression of language is bound to a spatial delimitation, a frame if you will, the text is, to a greater extent, limited temporally. It is dependent on a timeframe, a beginning and an end. You may call it a narrative.
But what's paradoxical about this notion is that it is simultaneously impossible without a continuation. We must presuppose a new narrative that picks up where the previous one ends. The ultimate end, death as the end of time itself, is impossible to fully grasp and comprehend in a cognitive, semantic way. Language is thus limited to what exists physically because the "non-existent", before and after the beginning and end of time, is outside the temporal domain of language. The constant division, where one narrative replaces the other, must continue forever.
This level can be described with psychoanalytic theory as the Imaginary. An absolute semantic register without ground in the physical matter, i.e. the language as existing before it is used. The use of language introduces the cut itself, the division of physical reality, where one is separated from the other, and the temporal division of a before and an after. This does not exist in the matter before language enters. The purely material dimension outside of language is described by psychoanalytic theory as the Real. The Symbolic, where the conscious human subject resides, is thus closest to being described as a TV series or soap opera, forever To be continued...
Perception is an interpretation and thus consists of language in the same manner as understanding words. To the mind, a word is always also an image. In that sense, understanding words function no differently than normal perception. When we see, images are constructed inside the mind. We never perceive reality objectively or in itself.
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 in 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.