#461 Language Matter
64x84 cm | Filler, oak panel
"There is no such thing as society" is a quote from Margaret Thatcher. The neoliberal ideology presents itself as the result of natural laws, not as a strategy created by will. The causal is a register that existed before life and language possessed it. But language is interesting because it can transcend the natural and find new and unexpected solutions. Language can be creative, whereas the causal register can only use the already given.
Still, language must be manifested in physical reality to communicate. A thought is as fleeting and shapeless as a dream before it is uttered. In encountering matter, the strict field of consistency and consequentiality (which appear both ungraspable and chaotic with its unlimited number of parameters), language usually expresses what has already been said to reinforce what already exists. But sometimes, compelled by what can only be described as an inner will, language can shape matter into something new and previously unseen. It is in this free will that the core of the subject is found. Something within the self that transcends nature's dictates of survival, reproduction and need satisfaction. This indeterminate core can be described as a pure linguistic unit. A word before it's said.
What exists between humans is just as fleeting and difficult to define. Relationships. Community. Society. Its descriptions in the form of laws, promises, injunctions and norms are always, at the same time, less and more than what really binds us together. A collective will - the sum of what we are and do together. It is also a pure linguistic figure in a register beyond the material. A dream we dream together.
We can create a society that has never been seen before. Another world is possible. But a solid collective will is required.
Speaking Stones is a compilation of paintings made with imprints of ordinary stones.
I see the stone as a metaphor for popular struggle and protest. It is the closest available weapon to the powerless. Throwing stones is a symbolic form of violence. The aim is not to overpower the opponent physically. It demonstrates defiance in the face of power by expressing concretely that the premises of the situation aren't acceptable. The stone speaks but not in a language open to negotiation or dialogue. A conversation means accepting the context in which it takes place and is thus always, to a certain degree, a form of submission. The language of stones is the language of mute matter. A form of silence that nevertheless speaks clearly and directly. The stone represents the resistance in itself from a place outside of language.
The stone is an entirely exchangeable and ordinary object that exists everywhere. At the same time, each stone is unique and has its own beauty and unfathomable mystery for anyone open to seeing it. This duality fascinates me. A stone is perhaps the closest we can get to a thing-in-itself, bound as we are to language. Sealed around itself, oblivious to the outside world. Simply existing. In a way, we can never truly understand. Infinite in its everydayness. Specific and concrete in its presence.
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.
Press is a compilation of works made by pressing down the filler with a horizontal plane, thus expanding it outwards.
Reminiscent of Richard Serra's Verb List, I try to use simple and clearly defined actions to shape the filler in my works. This way, there are always non-cognitive aspects of the production process.