#473 In Situ
84x165x40 cm (painting 84x64 cm) | Filler, oak panel, drawer, vase, bowl
This is a painting installation with a drawer, a vase and a bowl - all from IKEA. The Latin phrase” In situ” means “in place” and is used in various fields. In art, it often describes a photo with an artwork manipulated into a home interior, usually to promote sales.
Artworks as commodities are a complex matter to an artist. On the one hand, you want to create an experience for the viewer, but you also need to deal with art as a commercial object (material or immaterial). And even more, art as home decor. I don’t doubt that art can be experienced at home, but it is possible to question whether artworks are” at home” in a private interior.
The position of the artwork between an object of experience and of function and value is reminiscent of the divided individual between being an experiencing subject and being subject to labour. As labour, the individual is reduced to function and value, but” at home” - or as a subject - it has an individual and irreplaceable perspective. The two modalities might be inseparable to most of us, but they are not the same.
Home is a loaded concept, and this work also deals with refugees having to leave theirs behind, attempting to establish a new one elsewhere, temporarily or permanently. The text on the painting is deconstructed from a particularly cruel and hostile anti-immigration poster from the Australian authorities reading “No way you will make Australia home”, showing a small vessel struggling at sea. I’ve tried to switch the perspective in the image, showing a distant shoreline from the ocean. And the title of the painting, when exhibited on its own, is - You Will Make It. Because the will of the people is mighty. If they want or need to move, they will.
Being a resident is not necessarily the same as being at home. To some extent, non of us might ever be entirely at home. There is always a tiny residue that we can’t seem to familiarise. An uneasiness at the bottom of the soul, even if unperceivable. Or at least in a temporal way. Now is always fleeting, so in a sense, we are all leaving home.
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.