#499 The Crystal Palace
128x175 cm (each panel 64x84cm) | Filler, oak panels, stones, dried flowers, cardboard rolls, coffee, glass containers, cigarillo butts, string
In this work, stones, rolls of cardboard soaked in coffee and glass containers with cigarillo butts are placed on the panels. Dried white flowers sit in small holes at the top. Stones in strings hang in front of the panels, which are attached to the back.
The drawing on the piece is a simplified sketch of the Crystal Palace built in London for the Great Exhibition in 1851. I see it as a metaphor for today's globalised capitalism. This is not the open, free market it claims to be, but a closed system for a minority of the world's population. Its borders are made of glass, invisible, i.e., we on the inside have complete visibility of the brutal reality outside, and those outside it can also see the prosperity of the privileged part.
This condition can also be compared to a greenhouse, where artificially heated consumption on the inside depletes the earth's resources and leaves its waste on the outside. They say people living in glass houses shouldn't throw stones, but that's precisely what's required to create a more equitable and sustainable world.
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.
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.