Saturday 23 May 2020

Peter Morrens / James Castle

James Castle
22 x 26 cm  recto/verso
from : James Castle, Show and Store 
Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid ( 2011)


James Castle, a deaf-mute and unskilled artist from Idaho (USA) made beautiful, intense drawings of his rural surroundings all his life: mostly barns and attics in complex perspectives. He made his drawings with coaldust from his stove mixed with his saliva, mostly on found paper. He often populated the barns with his own drawings and with 'friends', drawn schematic figures.

In a run down barn in Diepenheim (NL) I made the installation 'Lichtwit': three wall-filling trompe-l'oeil's of open drawings, painted directly on the wall: full drawings of blank pages. You could look at the installation through a window in the fourth wall while standing on a small podium. The viewer became an integral part of the work.

The repro's come from catalogs: the place where we had most encounters with works of art in the 20th century. Both choices play with duplicity: Castle's drawings are on both sides of the paper. My drawing is a renewed 'cover' drawing, based on the original in situ installation (2014).

Peter Morrens, 2020

Peter Morrens (BE)
lichtwit, 2014
'ik tel 37 tekeningen, ik had er 52 verwacht'
posture editions no 10, 2014 

Saturday 9 May 2020

Charlotte Besuijen / Colijn de Nole

Colijn de Nole
Tomb of Brederode 
Avender sandstone, Baumberger sandstone, hardstone, wood 
388 x 450,3 x 328 cm 
Grote Kerk, Vianen NL

Tomb of Brederode, fragment
Baumberger sandstone
Grote Kerk, Vianen NL

The Brederode chapel of the church in Vianen contains the tomb of Reinoud III van Brederode (1556) and Philippote van der Marck (1536). The Brederode grave monument is an example of a memento mori monument: the recumbent effigies depict Reinoud and Philippote as if they had recently died, in stark contrast to the single transi below it, which depicts a deceased person in an advanced state of decomposition. In the Middle Ages, this type of monument was often designed to remind the passersby of the transience and vanity of earthly life, as well as to instil confidence in resurrection.

In the lecture ‘Subjective Histories of Sculpture’ Lucy Skaer also speaks about a transi tomb, namely that of John de Arundel (1435). Skaer adds an extra phase to the "stages" of the monument by including the mortal remains, which are under the tomb and out of sight, in her observation:
“The tomb can be read from top to bottom; the diminishment of the person from recent death through the transitional macabre decomposition to the actual remains. Or from the bottom to the top; from the corpse to the enduring object of the person as he or she was in life.”

This is different in the Brederode monument. After all, there is only one transi on the grave monument, while there are two effigies on the top plate. Thus the transi is not a representation of the bodies of the couple themselves, but a general representation of impermanence. As passersby we cannot relate to an experience of death, but the monument does reveal the mutability of death.

In my work Transi each of the drawings after the initial one follows on from the one before. As such the work knows several stages. Together, these nine drawings create a space that spans time and encapsulates transience and transformation.

With special thanks to Margreet and Hans Kluit on behalf of the Grote Kerk Vianen.

Charlotte Besuijen, 2020

Charlotte Besuijen (NL)
graphite and papier-mâché on paper, wood
100 x 293 x 270 cm
on display at: RuimteCAESUUR, Middelburg NL