64x180 cm, painting 64x84 cm | Filler, oak panel, fresh white flowers, stones, string
The top edge of the panel has holes for five flowers. Small water containers attached to the flowers on the back are included. When the work is exhibited, the flowers can be left to dry or watered and replaced as desired. The bottom also has holes for strings attached to five stones (included). See a videopresentation here and of the production here.
I wanted to make a work about the tragedy of life. When consciousness enters, life's fragile innocence and sensitivity are transformed into an image, an expression of language with its categories and boundaries. Only to eventually be pulled under and disappear, leaving only memory and dead matter.
But I can also see how the work resembles a kind of instrument, and I have decided to call it Elegy, as in a sombre piece of music. Perhaps there is no chronology here, only the hope and aspiration we inhabit, coexisting with the mute forces of body and materiality. We play out our lives between these polarities. We shape it with the strings stretched across two impossible conditions.
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.