64x84 cm | Filler, oak panel, oak rod
A small oak road is placed on the panel, continuing the line in the image.
As a subject, all exchange with the external world is mediated through language. We never experience reality as it is in itself, but rather an internal linguistic construction of it. Yet the environment appears stable and the same to most of us. This is because we share a common underlying and fundamental interpretation - a worldview. What psychoanalytic theory would describe as a "master signifier". You can also call it an ideology. This positions a filter over the inner chaos of images, impulses or voices and unites them into a unified conception of what is happening around us. Without it, we lose our ability to orient ourselves and cease functioning as subjects who can interact with the outside world meaningfully. We get lost in our inner selves and suffer from what others would describe as delusions.
But what often is expressed as paranoia and deep mistrust of the outside world can also be understood as overconfidence in the inner, semantic world. We have lost the common ideological superstructure, our "master signifier". I.e., it designates a remnant of the material reality beyond language. Precisely that within the language which cannot be represented. Which just is. Without this residue, language loses its meaning and ceases to function as a tool for communication.
Communication aims to shape physical reality through language, hoping the recipient perceives these signs as we meant them. This creates a space for what psychoanalytic theory calls the Real to enter the language. I.e., the raw matter or reality in itself. Every semantic statement, in fact, all the sounds and images we perceive, thus contains something that cannot be represented. Without a "master signifier", we distrust the language that comes from outside and unconsciously perceive it as infected by the unrepresentable. Instead, we rely on our inner images, the pure language without contact with "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 its relation to its surrounding.
The title references the famous Coca-Cola campaign and Immanuel Kant's notion of the thing in itself. It means that subjects can only experience the phenomena as they present themselves through perception. It is always fundamentally different from what the things are outside language boundaries - 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.