Stories behind more than 190 verbals and UFO’s from the Remains Of Today series.
For Dutch stories see: https://www.maritotto.nl/remains-of-today-75-100/
Printed characters and white acrylic paint on canvas on a wooden frame
These random placed characters are spelling the words Create and Art. Those two words are important to me. To create is to exist and to leave traces of your presence. Men create and men destroy. Destruction is a negative while creating is a positive. Creating art is a superlative in creation as such.
According to some, the highest form of creatism, or should I say creationism, is in the hands of an almighty God. According to me, God means incomprehensible nature. Creatism included.
Plastic bag characters and white acrylic paint on canvas on a wooden frame.
This is a small, slightly humoristic artwork that spells the words Oooh well, Oooh God, Oooh no, Oooh yes. The shout, Oooh is an artful shape in itself. Images speak louder than words. But what if a word becomes an image?
Plastic bag characters, part of plastic product wrapping and white acrylic on canvas on a wooden frame
Gibberish is meaningless speech or writing a.k.a. plain nonsense. I think it is a nice word that covers the meaning of the word well. The term fake-news is gaining popularity since Donald Trump has entered the White House. Every unwanted and unsuited fact presented to this politician is put aside and is classified as fake news; gibberish. This arouses suspicion in the gullible follower, with all the consequences that entails. In this case I randomly placed characters, vowels and consonants, and somehow they seem to make sense. Behold the strange inimitable way how our mind works. Language is really nothing more than an
agreement. If we agree to grant value to a group of characters, it has value.
Kuwayt Rad 24/7. What would you make of these characters?? I think it is gibberish
Plastic wrapping foil and transferable characters on a wooden frame.
Plastic represents convenience and hygiene. This was once a genius revolutionary invention by Alexander Parkes in 1841.Today, we drown in it. ‘Plastic People’ is addressing the plastic in and on us. What once started out as toy dolls and plastic iconic gimmicks developed into a tad vulgar but yet actual and desired beauty ideal? Who would have guessed?
That leads me to the question; have we become plastic in a plastic world?
The Nose Have It,
Characters from magazine and newspapers and white acrylic paint on canvas on a wooden frame.
Inspired by recent developments concerning Brexit. Especially inspired by the images of the British House of Commons and the chairman when he, after the counting of the votes, proclaims the historical words ‘The No’s Have It’. This political situation was stuck and jammed and was quite unsatisfactory at the time. But the image of the chairman calling out as loud as he could to shout down the buzz of arbitrary arguing politicians in the room, is also quite comical.
Certainly if you suddenly seem to hear “The Nose Have It’ instead of….
The American Dream,
Poster text and white acrylic paint on transparent fabric on a wooden frame.
The American Dream is an iconic concept that manifests itself in the phrase ‘from paperboy to millionaire’. This is the basic principal of what (Northern) America is and wants to be. Bare in mind; the country is made and created by immigrants from all over the world. Each American, except the Native American, is non-native.
The dream is an invitation to everybody who wants to chase it. If you make it there, you can make it anywhere, right? Of course there is some cherry picking involved.
The American dream is the narrative of the winners, not just everybody can claim this dream. Or can they?
Revolution Will Not Be Televised,
Paper cut typeface from magazine and newspaper and chalk on blackboard paint on a wooden frame.
This artwork is inspired by a famous and influential music-art -piece by Gil Scott-Heron, made in 1974, ‘The Revolution Will Not Be Televised’. I deleted the word ‘The ’at the beginning to make the revolution he is referring to more universal and still to come.
Still Sparkling Still,
Six caps from still and sparkling water bottles, lacquer paint matte white on canvas on a wooden frame
Meet verbal no 7. A bottle of water is, or should I say 6 bottles of water were the inspiration for this piece of art. Sparkling and still are such common words when it comes to the choice in water. Not even worth giving it a second thought after you have made your choice. Combined it’s a statement that seems to say; I am still here, very much alive and still sparkling!
To Avoid A void,
Plastic wrapping foil and white acrylic painon canvas on a wooden frame.
This readymade is cut from a plastic protection sheet or bag. I can’t recall the content or use of it. Many of these bags and wrappings end up in our streets, waters and eventually in our seas. The original product wrapped by this bag probably came all the way from China. I presume this, and excuse my stereotyping, because the Chinese companies often send products accompanied with so called English warning notes. These warnings are freely translated into Chinglish, filled with harmless and funny mistakes. When it comes to these lines on this piece, the message seems clear: Avoid a void!
‘Makes a man take things over’
Canvas bag of – Bowie IS- promotional material by the Groningen Museum, NL and found and cut typefaces shaping the word Fame on a wooden frame
Inspired by the eponymous song – Fame- by Bowie. The sub sentence: “Makes a man take things over” is a quote from a chorus line from the same song. This is a combination of images, text and has a parallel to pop art artist, and Bowie friend, Andy Warhol. Warhol’s statement “In the future everyone will be famous for 15 minutes”, seems spot on in hindsight. Was Warhol a visionary?
Did he have any idea of the magnitude of this concept in the here and now? Do we, really?
Paper characters from magazines and newspapers on wrapping-paper on a wooden frame.
The word Gutmensch is on display here. This must be read with irony. It is a sarcastic typecast of a politicly correct person. Are we talking about the Good Samaritan who seeks approval? Is gutmensch a word, claimed, used and maybe invented by the rivals of the gutmensch? I dare you all to embrace the word and act like it, until a gutmensch is truly embedded and merely a mensch, as most men are, striving to do good!
Black and white screen-printing and red acrylic paint on plastic on a wooden frame
Faith -Trust, the word religion is founded on. It is a universal word but is divers in its interpretation. Whom or what do we have faith in? That’s the question more than ever!
The Numbers That Show ,
Numbers, barcode and label on remains of commercial flag.
The Numbers That Show shows some random picked numbers. These numbers mean something within a certain context. Taken from the context they are just numbers. In our world of diagrams, exit polls, statistics, term results, interest, index, and quota, we connect emotiononal or rational choice and (re)action to these figures. But figures can be stone-cold if they concern notation of victims of disasters, wars, stable fires, disappearing biodiversity, deforestation and natural disasters.
On the other hand the numbers can also suggest everything is just hunky dory! Who are we? Are we merely a number that shows?
Extra Blond ,
A beermat, some correction tape and white acrylic paint on canvas on a wooden frame.
Extra blond is referring to my own hair colour and all prejudice about blonds. Either we are dumb, sexy or sexy and dumb! In my case I state with some irony; Hey guys, I might be good looking but I am not stupid. I am more fun though ; )
Cotton and stitched label on a wooden frame
I found this label next to a traffic light in Zwolle nearby my workshop. This piece of art is addressing both our convenience society as well as modern slavery. Modern slavery takes place in 3th world textile factories and cotton fields. While some are ‘cheap’ in fashion, others endure and suffer a life with no, or hardly any value at all. In other words, slavery still exists.
Found plastic bag and gaffer tape on a wooden frame
This artwork only contains one found object, a plastic bag found near central station Zwolle. Plastic waste and other trash on the streets shows how much we treasure our environment. Mankind soon will be able to travel to an alternative planet, and is dreaming of colonizing it. How can it co-exist: this great wisdom and immense stupidity?
Concerning the word Leftie, I think it suits me well!
This Aggression Will Not Stand,
Characters from magazines and newspapers and red acrylic paint on a wooden frame.
This is a quote from the cult film The Big Lebowski by the brothers Coen. The character Walter Shobshak (played by John Goodman) is a Vietnam veteran who thinks he’s Jewish. He consumed with repressed aggression. He uses this phrase ‘ This aggression will not stand’ at any opportunity, with rather aggressive intonation. This character stands in great contrast with, movie character, Jeffrey Lebowski, alias the Dude (played by Jeff Bridges). He is the friendly, but lazy, pacifistic hedonist that encounters the world peacefully and who is permanent under the influence of weed. This film has reached a cult status, but this statement, adopted by the gentle Dude, became iconic as well.
Unidentified found object black and white, on garbage bag on a wooden frame.
The object, placed in minimalistic composition is found nearby my studio at the Rieteweg 10, Zwolle. It is a piece of plastic, part of? Or does it surpluses a bigger item? It probably hit the streets after an unwrapping routine. Ever since I am focussed on small, strange but often graphically beautiful objects, I spot them all the time. Because of my intervention it is staged and approached aesthetically. But what it really reveals is the amount of trash we leave behind on the streets. Sometimes it concerns big waste items like fast-food remains but as this object proves also numerous non descript plastic anonymous items.
Trash, noticed by no one, sprawled around like it belongs there. As pieces of sandstone planned by Mother Nature, moving from location to location. Are these the same pieces of plastic found in stomachs of fish and seabirds?
Unidentified found objects black and white, on garbage bag on a wooden frame.
These objects, placed in minimalistic composition are found nearby my studio at the Rieteweg 10, Zwolle. Are these pieces of plastic, part of? Or does it surpluses a bigger item? It probably hit the streets after an unwrapping routine. Ever since I am focussed on small, strange but often graphically beautiful objects, I spot them all the time. Because of my intervention they are staged and approached aesthetically. But what it really reveals is the amount of trash we leave behind on the streets. Sometimes it concerns big waste items like fast-food remains but as these objects proves also numerous non descript plastic anonymous items.
Trash, noticed by no one, sprawled around like it belongs there. As pieces of sandstone planned by Mother Nature, moving from location to location. Are these the same pieces of plastic found in stomachs of fish and seabirds?
Found characters from magazines and newspapers and plastic wrapping bag on foam board and a wooden frame.
Buy a machine with multiple parts and you are getting a box filled with smaller boxes and all kinds of plastic bags filled with all kinds of, easy to lose, small items. On these bags you often find guidelines like: ‘plastic bags can be dangerous. To avoid suffocation, keep away from babies and children’.
Followed by ‘made in China’.
Again,I don’t want to blame just China for the plastic soup, the size of France in our seas, but we can’t get around the fact that they are one of the most producing countries.
Besides manufacturing products they also ship millions of totally unnecessary items to the rest of the world. Big piles of idle plastic objects crossing the world. The real issue here is; they sell, we buy, they sell more and we buy more, or vice versa, and so we end up in an endless plastic spiral.
Found and cut characters from magazines and newspapers text on (self) reflecting tinfoil on a wooden frame
Hedonism, a philosophy, (within the school of ethics) it states that the pursuit of pleasure and lust are the primary goals of a human life. Maximize pleasure; maximize happiness, pleasure over pain. Philosopher Nietzsche thought that hedonism reduced moral or ethical behaviour to merely a pleasure experience. The 21e century appears to be a hedonistic era, so far. Where does it lead? And what’s that saying again? “Idle hands are the devil ‘s playgrounds?”
How To Use This Pump ,
Identified and unidentified found objects on a used and washed shower curtain on a wooden frame
A composition of plastic forks in various sizes, a (soda) cap, two black rubber unidentified items and finally a white hook of some kind. It made me think of a toolkit for unknown purposes.
My Future Is So Shady, I Have to Wear Brights,
3 broken-sunglasses on tinfoil and foam on a wooden frame.
Sunglasses are functional.
They are protecting your eyes from the bright sun
They hide the windows to the soul. in case of a sudden attack of shyness, coolness or (in) famousness.
They come in a variety of colours.
The pink sunglasses have a special feature; they reflect a rose colored future and make it look optimistic and bright. I don’t want bring you down, but this might come to in handy when the sun expires.
These specs are worn throughout the years, becoming unusable due to broken support or lost nose aids. They are pinned like rare butterflies
Plastic Money Me,
15 cash cards on blue XL garbage bag on a wooden frame.
15 cash cards from the past, my past. I collected them or never got rid of them over 20 years. What do they represent? Is it my alliance with the bank that provides (and takes) me with money on any given moment? My unique Identity captured in numbers. My credibility? My freedom?
Our lives are not only flooding with plastic, we are in many ways plastic personas in a digital world.
Plastic tas en elastiek op een houten frame
Plastic bag and elastic band on a wooden frame
We all got a space to fill
But life, it ain’t real funky
Unless it’s got that pop
(Lyrics Prince: POPlife)
Transparent white acrylic paint on a brown Marqt- shopper on a wooden frame
In this piece of art I blend in with the name of the company Marqt. With this fusion I‘d like to show how all brands appeal to your personal need of recognition and sense of belonging. ‘Be a success, be sexy, be forever young, be sensible, be wise, be funny, be spontaneous, be what you have always wanted to be, make all your dreams come true……….buy our product, become the real you’!
Even subconsciously we all relate to products and brands. It penetrates deeply into our lives. We are even becoming brands ourselves, a personal brand that endorses brands. Maybe it has all gone too far by now and with this artwork I stretched it just a little further.
Characters from a plastic bag and tiny homemade paper boat on a plastic bag on a wooden frame.
‘The Earth can be any shape you want it
any shape at all
Dark and cold or bright and warm
Long or thin or small
But it’s home and all I ever had
and maybe why for me the Earth is flat’
These lines are from Thomas Dolby’s Flat Earth song,
In the dark ages a sailor could tip over the edge of the earth and never return.
Columbus disputed the flat earth theory and that was’nt without consequence.
Back then a huge shallow surface suddenly got dept. Some might say it turned flat again.
Found red tie-wrap like plastic object and yellow textile paint on semi transparent cotton on a wooden fram
A red ribbon placed in the centre of a yellow square; using two of the 3 primary colours, add a little Newman flavour to the title and a new artwork is born. Using this title makes me much aware of the original ‘ Who’s Afraid of Red, Yellow and Blue. This artwork created a dispute on the issue on the essence of art. An artwork, where only form and colour matter and where classic craftsmanship or tradition is not revealed at first sight, which makes looking at art confusing for some people. The original Who’s Afraid…triggered some controversy.
As for this small artwork, it is what it is. It has no pretence. Frankly, I do not know what the red ribbon is or was. Found on the street with no particular purpose to be there.
Your No -Thing/Nothing,
A few plastic characters from a bag called ‘Yourz’ and an unknown plastic object on a see a through lace-curtain on a wooden frame.
I started playing with the meaning of the word nothing. Maybe the word nothing is rooted in the idea that we don’t want to be treated as a thing. Apparently, we treat things and objects much worse than we treat each other. In a world of winners and losers, being unheard and unseen thus being nothing is probably the worst that can happen. But I can imagine it also something close to absolute freedom?
Found carton box, seal ribbon and a plastic hotel toilet seat seal on a wooden frame.
The combination of the word ‘disinfected’ and the repeating vertical stripes calls for an association with oppressing politics and prison bars.
In any system, unwanted thoughts can be disinfected for several reasons. The argument here could be that complex situations require complex measures.
It is a complex world.
The Eyes Have It,
Found characters and images of eyes from newspapers and a plastic bag on a prepped cotton T-shirt on a wooden frame.
Earlier in this series I made The Nose have It. If the nose has it, the eyes must have it too. The sentence ‘The Nose Have It’ got me by surprise, like a sudden cheerful epiphany. The Eyes Have it (Aye’s have it) is more of a logical follow up, as it was already in line with the previous.
Nevertheless, it is a light and cheerful way of looking at a sad thing, the break up with the UK, the Brexit.
Party Ribbon, yellow paint residu, carton box and gaffer tape on a wooden frame
The arty zone is an imaginary zone where art is taken seriously.
The potential value of an arty zone is in the eye of the beholder.
Black unidentified found objects and acrylic paint on canvas on a wooden frame.
Strange worthless black objects used and or attached to something bigger before. Put it in a rigid black square and it suddenly represents the safekeeping of something worthy.
Found grey plastic object and characters from a plastic bag by Schoenenreus on a blue garbage bag on a wooden frame.
In a performance society everyone wants to be on top. Even when it means you can only go down from there.
Bigger Fish To Fry,
Found plastic black and white objects and acrylic paint on canvas and a wooden frame.
A beautiful expression that states you are having other and bigger issues than the one at present. It also suggests some determined solving of that same issue (bigger fish need frying) or is it just a lack of interest in the smaller fish…
Moon In Scorpio,
Found plastic, black object (ripped sock-holder size 34>46) and white acrylic paint on canvas and a wooden frame.
I borrowed he title Moon In Scorpio from a song by the band Family Stand. They, before me, took it from the cosmos. The Scorpio constellation, when the moon was in Scorpio. How can something so cosmic become so earthly? We are all stardust; ashes to ashes, dust to dust, what comes up must go down and so on.
When we are long gone my Scorpio will still crawl and linger around. This piece of plastic trash, becoming art and all, desires to be immortal and will succeed.
Found plastic black question mark shaped object, round metal object and acrylic paint on canvas on a wooden frame.
In case of sudden oblivion, Question Mark.
In case of unexpected curiosity, Question Mark.
In case of a search for Mark, I Know Mark
Found part of electric device and plastic flower-
like object on wrapping-foil and a wooden frame.
This era will be booked as the era of the energy
issues. We’ve got quite a few.
Text from found plastic bag on red-white part of the Dutch flag on a wooden frame.
This is the age of exposure.
Without exposure there’s no presence.
Without presence there’s no exposure.
What if everything and everyone is already over exposed?
Red White District,
Found barrier line, paint and text on a pillow cover on a wooden frame.
The title sounds like a person with a speech impediment. The red-white barrier line, prolonged by stripes of red paint, separates the reds from the whites. That sounds like segregation of reds and whites. None of the above is at hand here.
A coincidental converge of accidental combined materials is leading to the Red White District, where, contrary of its sound, nothing ever happens.
Draw The Line,
Blackboardpaint, transfer characters and gaffer tape on transparant garbagebag on a
I keep a close watch on this art of mine
I keep my eyes wide open all the time
I keep the ends out for the tie that binds
Because art’s can be fine, I draw the line
‘Geïnspireerd op I Walk The Line van Johnny Cash’.
Original lines below/ originele tekst hieronder
I keep a close watch on this heart of mine
I keep my eyes wide open all the time
I keep the ends out for the tie that binds
Because you’re mine, I walk the line
(Johnny Cash ‘ I Walk The Line’)
Produce Of India,
Blue acrylic paint on part of a cardboard box with tape remains on a wooden frame.
Produce of (product of)………. These words are found as print on boxes and cargo vessels help them travel the world. In this material world there are countries that could be labelled the Walhalla of cheap products. Unfortunately it also means that the lives of the workforce in these cheap production chains are cheap too. So, at every new purchase we can gladly say; ‘It is a real bargain! Almost a steel’, which it was, really…
3 found plastic green tubes (ex ‘grass’- cigarette tubes), whereof one is filled with dirt and a tussock of grass on white acrylic paint and transparent disposal-bag on wooden frame. This is an artwork to water once in a while.
‘The grass is always greener on the other side’, is a well-known saying. In this particular case it might be true. Whatever opnion this represents depends on the point of view.
Let Op Kabels,
Yellow plastic barrier line with ‘Let op Kabels’ written on it, few undefined objects, 2 black shoelaces and part of an yellow envelope on the backside of canvas on a wooden frame.
Mind the cables and the cable guys these days; they connect everything that needs connecting and probably even more.
Unseen, but most wanted in the age of connection.
Don’t Fence Me In,
Found unidentified white object, blackboard and white acrylic paint on rough unbleached cotton on a wooden frame.
These famous words; “Don’t Fence Me In” are written by Cole Porter,
It says it all; we do not want to be framed and boxed, we don’t want to be a one trick ponies yet we frame and fence our selves in to others all the time …
Left over characters from earlier magazine and newspaper cutting and white acrylic paint on canvas on a wooden frame.
For months I’ve been cutting and saving characters from newspapers, plastic bags, magazines and so on. Finally, a hand full of characters remained with no particular goal, but a character would not be a character if not for a strong will to be seen and noticed. So here they are, naked, not dressed up in a word, but casually piled on together because they look nice.
It happens all the time.
Divers metal and rubber parts, a tie wrap and acrylic paint on a plastic trash-bag on a wooden frame.
A buzz is a gossip or a rumour. The whispers of many make a buzzing noise. We love a buzz and we thrive on it. But if anything irritates us, it’s the buzz of a regular and original buzzing creature. A light weighted and fragile, flying creature that has no choice but to buzz.
Not seldom buzzing around a picnic crowd means sudden death for the smallest flying trooper.
Groove Tubes (vintage Sovtec- electronic tubes) and text on a foam board on a wooden frame
Not sure how I got hold of them. But I do like the look of them. They came in Soviet boxes with Soviet guidelines. These bulbs are rooted in the Soviet era; they are what you might call vintage. ‘когда Восток был еще.’
Think Coca Cola,
Cola-can, bar code and plastic bag on a wooden frame.
Used Cola-cans have this dubious habit to turn up in bushes, waterfronts, at roadsides and flattened on the streets. They are not alone. Many other beer-, soda – and energy drink- cans join them.
It doesn’t reflect our casualness; this really reflects a dark and stupid side of mankind.
Part of Martin Scorsese film poster, promotional material from Eye Amsterdam, acrylic paint and bubble wrap on foam on a wooden frame.
This verbal is titled Period. At the time I thought this would end the series at 50. Time told us us that this only marked the first part of the many others that followed.
Gevouwen pagina uit magazine en acryl verf op inpak foam op een houten frame.
Folded page from magazin and acrylic paint on wrapping foil
What you want
Baby, I got it
What you need
Do you know I got it? R. E. S. P. E. C. T.
Part of found plastic wheel rim, post label Monkey Town and yellow acrylic paint on canvas on a wooden frame.
The wheel rim is found at the Rieteweg, Zwolle nearby a gas station. It is shattered and looks lost. Maybe it was once used to tune a car. Did the owner want to have his cake and eat it when he chose plastic accessories? When I let my fantasy run wild I see an adolescent male, wearing a cap that casts a shadow on his eyes, when driving a Volkswagen Polo with sporty stripes and a hard style sticker on the rear of the car. Sound systems that cover the entire hat shelf that shakes and bounces the vehicle with open windows once the volume is gone through the roof,
Like it says “Welcome to F*cking Monkey Town.”
Part of found plastic wheel rim, a card from the Wakker dier campaign against the cheap bargain chicken /kip of supermarket AH- and pink acrylic paint on canvas on a wooden frame.
The wheel rim is – just like verbal 53 Monkey Town – found at the Rieteweg in Zwolle nearby a gas station. This is a composition of two parts that resembles a chicken’s head. We used to own chickens when I was young. There was a disorderly clan of 3 fat Barnevelders and a few bantam hens. A black bantam rooster named Jacob was the padre des familias. His successor Sammie was not taken serious by his flock. The chickens responded to their names and were playful.
Reducing a chicken to a cheap mass product, a nugget, a wing, a Kentucky Fried… It is not agreeable with me. Kip, the Dutch word for chicken, is the most valued and various piece of meat, but is also the most undervalued beast, KIP!
Worth (a minimum of 45% waste),
A stray plastic Woolworth bag and small black plastic items on a wooden frame.
Worth, what is worth what? Who claims this value? This plastic bag is found on the streets of London. On the bag we read this recommendation ‘a minimum of 45% waste’. We acknowledge these words while at the same time the carrier of the words is littering the streets 100%.
Nipple (gate) & Bottleneck,
Remains of clotted red paint taken from the bottleneck of an acrylic paint tube on canvas on wooden frame.
This could as well be the most controversial verbal until now. What we see here is a nice solidified nozzle of red acrylic paint. Is has the appearance of a fish mouth, a piece of intestines of some kind, something that cries ‘Oh’, just a duck face or even ‘worse’, a nipple.
It all flashed before me in the choice of the artwork’s title. The chosen title equals the identity of the artwork. Are you sexist if you’re drawn to his artwork? Can you place it at your office in a garage without getting comments……
Leftover flexible fabric used for a unique swing design called ‘Vluchthaven’ and black shoelaces on a wooden frame.
A crossroad is a literal and metaphorical spot to make choices. There are only 4 options; straight ahead, backwards, left or right, choices that are determined by earlier chosen destinations. The metaphorical choice is a bit more complicated because it often involves larger existential questions. Questions like; will I continue this chosen path or will I take an exit. These choices are often connected to underlying motives such as; is my job or relationship still satisfying? Is new adventure luring? On a meta level, there’s a more universal question laid out, whether our defined path of progression is sustainable and will it move us forward? If not, Is there a brake or an emergency exit?
Remains of foil from an earlier artwork ‘ To Me Or Not To Me’, pink tape and white acrylic paint on a primed canvas on a wooden frame.
There’s a good reason to put the word Art in the spotlights. Art is subject to erosion. It must defend it self against unjust appropriation. It must defend itself for its right to exist and against the superficiality of a flattening world while the artist, the creator, must stand up to anti-art cynicism and the temptation of commerce as remedy to imminent poverty, both physically and mentally. Being an artist in this day and age is awesome and dreadful at the same time. Day in, day out, a constant flood of images is pouring over us to such an extent that the subtle voice is easily overseen. Commerce rules and borders are getting vague.
Dutch artist and poet Lucebert wrote, “ everything of value is defenceless”. I‘d like to add “ but worth fighting for;’
Plastic object of unknown origin of purpose and pencil on gesso primed canvas on a wooden frame.
Framed, as in a framed artwork, framed: as in you are caught. Everything seems to be about framing these days, positive or negative. I grew up believing that others mostly determine how you are valued. Making your self a key subject and advertising your personal life is a relative new phenomenon. The creation of a digital alter ego is a perfect version of the imperfect
mortal vulnerable one. Every step of the way is self-controlled and moulded for the public eye. One could say that framing is kind of a simple and mostly flat representation of someone or something. Due to lack of time, real interest or in-depth inquiries, a quick draft of someone, and what he or she stands for is quickly made, just like simple judgements.
Pink tape, black, white, covering-sheet, yellow grinding paper, rope, pink wire and a toilet-clean seat-banner and paint on canvas on a wooden frame.
The horizontal stripe that separates heaven from earth is magical. Future perspective and the word horizon are often verbally used in one breath. In science they refer to new horizons. The Vikings and Normans believed that the horizon was the end of the world, you could tip off it. It is a proverbial and imaginary line between the underworld and the Walhalla.
Underwear bag and remains of flexible fabric with colour test used for another project on a wooden frame.
Who’s your best bud? Buddy and buttocks combined makes the word bud, a well-chosen gimmick created by the designer of these underwear bags. We only have one butt, it’s always the best because it’s our own, one that always stands or hangs behind you every step of the way. Is a bud really a manly thing? What would it become with ladies underwear versus friendship? Is it bum or booty? Or does it shift to other curves? In that case the friendship equivalent would probably be; best bossom friend.
Fed Ex postal wrap and leftover materials from an earlier project placed on a wooden frame.
We know Fed Ex as a delivery service. Globalization is feeding the industrious hands that are handling our packages. Where there was once just one, there are now many. That’s the power of competitive forces. For the addressee not much has changed. It is not better, nor worse, it is at most, as many things in the 21th century, more complex. What we do know that it’s good for business in a world that is shopping online 24-7. So Fed Ex developed into a Fat Ex.
The Scheme Of Things,
White box straps and brown cotton Marqtbag-handles on a wooden frame.
What is the greater scheme of things? There is the suggestion that there is a greater plan laid out for us. If that’s so we come close to a divine concept. Who else governs a greater plan and with what reason? Plans involve goals, what is the goal of a greater scheme and who’s to benefit from it? A glance in our modern world makes you doubt a greater scheme instantly. The word chaos is more appropriate. Chaos suggests that nature has been appointed to rule and traverse manmade plans constantly so that we have to collaborate to survive out of necessity. And maybe that’s for the best.
Transparent photo print enclosed in plastic bag and white tape on a wooden frame.
The picture in the plastic bag was once used for the artwork Me-volution (2009), a self-portrait made of ink thumbprints. This sample print ended up in the archives subsequently. Archive, in this case means, a folder with other footage that has been used or is about to be used. Because the entire folder is filed away with loads of other things and images it sunk to the bottom of the resource of inspiration. Until I felt the need to tidy up a bit and everything hit the surface again. Now reviewed with different eyes then 10 years ago for I am now engaged in other things. So an image can fit a new usage, like this portrait in the plastic bag.
Toothpicks, glue and black acrylic paint on terry cloth fitted sheet on a wooden frame.
Sticks Together- stick together or simplified: together, a word often heard in Corona days.. More than we might like. There is a strong connection to the word, as long as it is sincere. But in the hands of commerce it transforms rapidly into opportunism.
It has a function when our Prime Minister callsout for connection in an attempt to prevent a community going a stray. But if a supermarket, drugstore or producer suddenly sends corny messages about their role as connectors it becomes slippery. Capitalism is gone through the roof if they use a crisis as an image upgrade. Tricky.
Part of a promotionalprint of an existing artwork titled ‘Hahahahahahaha’ and solidified and common use, yellow acrylic paint on a wooden frame.
Not yellow in Dutch literally means, not yellow > niet geel, meaning nothing else than the actual colour. In this case it is a contradiction in termini, because yellow is obviously present. But the English “not yellow’ means that you are not afraid. In science the practical use of toughness is not proven yet. It often leads to senseless muscle actions. On the other hand cowardice (being yellow) often does more harm than good, but without bloodshed.
Then again toughness can accidentally lead to courage and cowardice can be life saving. So to conclude, I think that tough (not yellow) does not equals courage per se, as cowardice (yellow) is not the same as pacifism.
Push The Button,
Unidentified circle-shaped black plastic objects, water based lacquer-paint ‘snow’ on remains of a cotton table sheet on a wooden frame.
Push the button evokes strong associations with 1- a fantastic track of the Chemical Brothers titled Galvanize and 2- with the cold war. The fear for a potential nuclear war was mostly that it could easily be set in motion by a simple push on a red button. One push and a chain reaction of other button pushing could destroy the world more than once and in a blink of an eye. Nowadays this concept of war seems less urgent. The cold war has ended, or should I say the first cold war has ended. The arms race is coming to an end. Or should I say the first race came to an end. Great world leaders have reconciled and an era of positivism glowed. Or should I say this era is far behind us now.
Much has changed, but the current state of global politics is not very reassuring. The world leaders now are more frightening than Brezhnev and Reagan in their days. In the meanwhile, the button still exists. There is a substantial number of totally fickle, unstable and narcissistic political leaders and despots resurrected. They seem capable of anything. Nevertheless, I am still here, still alive and kicking or suffering the last convulsions…. Counting my blessings.
White unidentified object and acrylic paint on black garbage bag on a wooden frame.
The song ‘Total Eclipse Of The Heart’ inadvertently found its way into my head. Not that the song has special meaning to me, but the title is very significant. A total eclipse of our heart is maybe the saddest thing that can happen to a sensitive mammal. Not being able to feel is depressing. The capacity to feel makes us beautiful. As owners of feelings we are capable to transcend ourselves and amaze others. It gives us a sense of value. Sometimes matters of the heart seem irrelevant in a world where commercial success, physical power and beauty and financial gain rule. But if nature spoils the fun with a bit of disaster, it’s the heart that looks after another’s wellbeing and prevents us from anxiety, decay and chaos.
Text from newspaper, acrylic and tape on cotton tablecloth on a wooden frame
If I think about the words black and white, in non-artistic terms, the word polarisation comes to mind. The black and white hypotheses often gives false arguments and has a lack of nuance to soften the rough edges even though it’s appealing to a large group of people. It pretends to give direction and clarity, but in a complex society with complex questions black and white really does not exist. It only exists in the extremes. Most things are, as far as they are coloured, grey before anything else.
Grey comes in numerous shades and demands a closer look and ear. There are no simple answers to complicated questions; at best there are complicated answers to simple questions.
Nurture Nature > Future?,
3 pacifiers, black gaff tape, white power tape and painters tape and black and white acrylic on a cotton tablecloth.
What is nature and what is nurture? A whole science is build around this question with only one purpose; understanding human behaviour. What is DNA-wise already in the recipe and what is taught behaviour. Interesting. Phrases like ‘I cannot change me’, ‘I’ve always been this way’ or ‘I do not know any better’ are often heard excuses. I dare to doubt these excuses. I’d rather believe we can shape ourselves untill a certain extent.
One of my favourite Nietzsche quotes is; “be your own master and designer”. It implies that you can create your own personality given your basic Maslow needs are fulfilled. In order to shape yourself, it is necessary to develop your own internal compass. A conscious compass and love go a long way. Group dynamics often stand perpendicular on this personal compass development so you are probably better off relating to a group as an individual than to extract your identity from it.
(Hard to) Handle,
Part of felt-wine-bag, painted black, few recycle logos extracted from plastic bags and white acrylic paint on black garbage back on a wooden frame.
The residual shape that emerged when the black item collided with the white painted surface of the black bag has a slight resemblance with some kind of a handle. All objects in my verbal artworks are accidental and random. All stories behind them are as associative, spontaneous and as arbitrary as the items themselves. Although; to make it appear intended and to give it some kind of meaning free association is a must. This actually touches on some truth about art itself. Most artworks are created in a flow and are given titles and meaning in hindsight. And that’s totally legit. The other way around would be harder to handle.
Plastic bag, and the word present printed on a yellow card on a wooden frame.
Present, meaning being there as a person, but also the present as in the here and now and to present to an audience as well as a gift, a quadruple meaning of a word. Present or presence, the actual being there, is the most mysterious of all. The word is often used to describe something felt or believed to be present, like an It, in films. The illusive presence of something is a well-known phenomenon in the horror, thriller genre. But to paraphrase Shakespeare; the simplest to be or not to be, is the essence of all or nothing at all, simplicity as pure poetry.
Undefined Found plastic Object found in
Russenweg area, Zwolle, black & white acrylic paint on flag fabric on a wooden frame.
These strange square objects with round bulbs, two characters C and K are found in the surroundings of the truck factory Scania at the Russenweg in Zwolle. No clue what it might be or whatever application it could have. CK, Calvin Klein, is far-fetched at the Russenweg, so it is unlikely to be a fashion statement by a Polish trucker that’s for sure.
I associated these structured balls with parliament where the members of the house are neatly divided, row by row, to interrogate the ruling party. A counter idea is needed if you want to oppose. The opposition will make itself heard, even about corresponding ideas, just to contrast the other party. The aim here is to organise contradiction. This is called democracy. Often opposition is used as direct propaganda for the own party. This is called profiling. Politics can be weird.
Time is Honey,
Small cardboard card with lines ‘Time is Honey’ on red and yellow acrylic paint and processed solidified yellow acrylic paint on flag fabric on a wooden frame.
OK, this is a serious matter. The existence of bees and other insects are at stake. We are killing them softly by poisoning their habitat and by terminating them in places we find them annoying. Impeccable and ‘clean’ as mankind thinks it is, we decide whatever is of value, what is useful and what is vermin, what is flora and what is weed? We target certain animals, insects and flowers as persona non-grata. What a strange world this is. I am not religious but isn’t every living creature divine? In our desire to control the unwanted we make everything disappear.
If nature was God, I am positive that we would be on top of the list of the unwanted vermin. Luckily for us, they say that God is dead, exterminated perhaps?
Spying On Us Too,
Found text on black and white acrylic paint on cotton tablecloth on a wooden frame.
Thanks to the digital revolution espionage has become common practice. An equal amount of widely shared data does not equal equality. The word common denominator is more appropriate. The World Wide Web of intrigues and suspicion is infinite. Who is in control, and who knows what about whom? Knowledge is power. In the Dutch language we use the phrase ‘from swapping comes crying’ comes. We have already swapped our data for unlimited access and use.
Someone out there is currently weeping softly. Maybe it’s me.
Paper cut from magazine and synthetic textile print from leftover materials of an earlier project, red shoelace and acrylic paint on old flag on a wooden frame.
Everyone is part of a new age in his own era.
The new agers of now are the elderly people of tomorrow. Like any product or fashion trend, that once was happening and groovy, will inevitably be caught up and passed by a newer age. What’s left behind is yesterday’s news.
That is such a great misconception.
Like sediment is needed for seeds to germinate, history or yesterdays are needed to renew. Time is elusive and only really exists for the ones living it. The old Romans or even the cavemen were contemporary once. Even though the word, contemporary, did not existed back then. What I am trying to say is this; the newest new is often superficial, dogmatic and temporary. Should the principle of any change not be a genuine improvement instead of being contemporary, parse? Can a contemporary development be criticized in its own time without being labelled old fashioned?
Cart box duo (orange) apple container and characters on remains of tablecloth on a wooden frame
The 21th century is the age of new rituals. Rituals seem necessary in an individualistic society. Due to disappearing traditions, rituals are even more necessary than ever. To demonstrate your membership to a certain group or philosophy we conduct the same rituals. It seems comforting knowing you’re never really alone. Now, with access to the whole world, our identities are literary far apart. I think, the more unknown the other really is, the more unattached the rituals become. Take Facebook challenges for instance, there are many that completely surrender to all kind off challenges and then there are others, like me, who think it is total bullocks. It makes me question this; do rituals make sense if the underlying structure is not solid or lacking real personal connection? Or is the yearning for new rituals prompted by a cultural void that originated elsewhere?
The World (is my Oyster),
Part of world map and transparent plastic lid with straw opening found at Rieteweg area and fragile tape on a wooden frame
For years, this world map was pinned on my bedroom wall. Drawing pins marked the places I’ve visited. Babysitting a friend’s huge tomcat called Streepje (Dashes) made an end to this special wall feature. He had this particular way of telling me he wanted his breakfast. He took the outskirt, the loose end of the wallpaper and tapped it for a while in an annoying rhythm. If that proved to be non-sufficient, he started ripping it apart, gently, bit-by-bit and piece-by-piece. An awful sound of tearing paper followed as the cat was convinced that my paper world was his proverbial oyster. After a while I took the remains of what once was a map of the world and filed it, until now because it fits perfectly into my Remains Of Today project.
Feathers and Fuss,
3 feathers and 1 ‘Stop Micro Waste’ label of a laundry bag, and white acrylic paint on residue of laundry bag on wooden frame.
Fuss and Feathers is an English saying meaning needles commotion and display.
No fuss and no feathers.
There are numerous egos, situations, etiquettes and discussions filled with fuss and feather. It really is a smokescreen that clutters our view on the actual situation. On the other hand, I like a bit of fuss and feathers in the theatre, on the stage, in music and in film. I’d rather see a larger than life glamming and glittering rocking guitar wizard than a boy or girl next door holding a mike. I want to be astonished.
In case of the ‘Stop Micro Waste label’, that tries to address us in alarming words, I believe a bit more feathers and fuss would be useful in order to draw everyone’s attention.
Sealed Do Not Remove Front,
Red seal strip for unknown purpose, yellow cardboard (inside product wrapping box) and green plastic bag of Fashion brand Only, on a wooden frame.
I am trying to ban plastic from my life more and more for good and urgent reasons. It is not a simple task as most things are wrapped and boxed in plastic. My own inevitable plastic remains end up in a Plastic Hero recycle container. While these plastic heroes are to be found everywhere, our streets and our nature are still flocked with plastic trash. The small particles of micro plastics that float in our seas are slowly poisoning our fish, our sea birds are dying of plastic filled stomachs, and turtles and other sea creatures are suffocating from it. In time it will affect humans too.
Numbers from an old number apparatus owned by the Dutch postal service PTT, characters from magazines and newspapers on paper and plastic support on a wooden frame.
Nobody wants to be a number, nevertheless we are all numbers in statistics, in systems, in login codes, in queues, at the dentist, hospital, insurance company, doctor, restaurants, hotels, in likes, stadiums, protest marches, death rates, birth-rates, population-rates, victim-rates, indexes, interest, market value, researches, data, birthdates, house, phone, passport, member and bank numbers. Still, we don’t like to be treated as one. Well, pick a number!
Used and broken, more than 30-year old, wooden cooking spatula from own kitchen, black shoelaces and white acrylic on used and washed shower curtain on a wooden frame.
The English language is rich when it comes to sayings and metaphors. ‘What’s cooking’ actually means ‘what’s up’. Cooking and brewing are in the same proverbial lingual corner when it comes to plotting, creating and debating. As for cooking, there is always the risk of overheating if the heat source is not controlled in time. Metaphorically overheated situations are easily prevented if steam blown off in order to cool down.
‘Zin Om Nog Drie Keer Rond De Maan Te Gaan’, (I am craving 3 more trips around the moon)
Found text/words and a trace of earlier used template on the remains of a used and washed cotton sheet.
The text emerged from a page in HP magazine.
By cutting and reordering the words this scentence occurred. Coincidentally a nice fantasy or promise lies before us. The moon is magical and mysterious. It influences a range of earthly phenomena and is just as easily connected to witchcraft and werewolves as to success and love. Furthermore it is a great inspiration for the arts.
Frank Sinatra crooned for example;
“Fly me to the moon
Let me play among the stars
And let me see what spring is like
On a-Jupiter and Mars”
From these lines you can clearly read that the journey to the moon and the stars symbolises temptation and seduction. In 2013 I named a painting after this song, but my association shifted to escapism and longing.
So here the moon and the stars equal reaching the better, best or highest achievable goals.
Actually, 3 times in this case.
Blue pedal bin sack (complete) and plastic toilet seal (?!) on a wooden frame.
Covid dominated the headlines of every newspaper for months, not very inspiring, but a given fact. It was a compelling situation that made the impossible possible. Co² emission was reduced to such an extent that the sky above Beijing turned blue again. Did Covid emerge as an angel of vengeance?
Is it Mother Nature fighting back and showing us, that despite our technological progress, she will have the last word?
Voile, veil, black acrylic paint and picture from a magazine on wooden frame
This is a cheerful wink to Vicky Vale, the journalist and flirt of Bruce Wayne in Batman. Introduced for the first time in 1948. There she was, a journalist, a working girl, not a common phenomenon in the forties. Anyway, her presence was more or less pleaded for by her function, but in reality her looks were the main attraction, which was quite normal then. Throughout time she evolved more and more into an independent, self-conscious woman who admittedly stood beside Bruce Wayne, but stood her own ground too. Being a woman (speaking for myself) can be a complex occupation conciddering there are so many aspects of our being that can be displayed. What I do like about my time and place in the world, is the fact that being a woman can involve much more than just a nice exterior, we can contribute our intelligence too. I get the goosebumps when I realize that this is relatively new and far from being accepted everywhere.
Plastic bag of fashion brand, stains of paint and found unidentified label-like objects on wooden frame.
Faux pas is French for an indiscretion. It clings to our vocabulary like many other words even vocabulary. Napoleon’s reputation is disputable, but he really gave a lot of languages a bit of ‘je ne sais quoi’. A faux pas is frequently used in the fashion-world to describe a person who’s on a slippery road when it comes to style. When I think of a fashion faux pas, my memory takes me back to my father’s eighties Jesus sandals. In summertime those sandals were preferably worn with way too high pulled up goat wool socks. As kids we thought of it as funny, but definitely not stylish.
A few years ago, the Adilette slipper worn with high up white tennis-socks suddenly became fashionable. Still ugly as hell, but totally in vogue with young hip hop loving males. It somehow proves that ‘in fashion’ is definitely not the same as stylish.
Characters from HP magazine and found undefined plastic objects found at the Rieteweg, Zwolle, on towelling fitted sheet on a wooden frame.
Ok, two characters that indicate what state you are in. I did some etymological research into this widespread little word with its extensive meaning. In contrast to what I always believed, the word, or should I say abbreviation, has many fathers and mothers.
According to Wikipedia only, there are 8 possible sources. I will take you through the 8 sources in a nutshell;
All Correct (1839 Boston Morning Post), Old Kinderhook (1840- birthplace Martin van Buren (president V.S used in re-election), Ola Kala, Greek for All Right. Au Quai (On Quai- Used in New Orleans), Wa Kee, introduced in North America by African Slaves, Oskar Karlson, 1910 gave his approval to the new T Ford by his initials and finally OK, a war term where the O has to be read as 0- and the K for killings – zero killings- So, Ok summarizes a large part of our history, I think that’s quite Ok, Oké, Okay, Hunky Dory, eh…….
Tensed & Stretched,
Rubber band strapped on wooden frame.
Warning: this artwork might shift in appearance.
The human mind is like an elastic band. It is flexible and can be stretched to a certain extent.
This artwork is made of many elastic bands in various sizes. They are made to be tensile, but once they are stretched to the max for a longer period of time, they will not hold and just like the human mind, they will SNAP! This is my message to the potential buyer of this artwork:
Dear-future owner; this square illusion of the extendable mind needs some maintenance.
This is why this artwork comes with an extra bag of back-up rubber bands in various sizes and colours. Take good care, if it snaps, fix it, but don’t fix it, if it’s not broken
Medicine 4 All,
Oral medicine, eyedroppers and paper cut text on former- semi-transparent washing bag on a wooden frame.
Public health care is a great challenge.
Population and welfare are increasing and alongside their designated welfare diseases are growing. Having these physical health challenges and people growing older and older, makes healthcare in the western world almost impossible to keep accessible for everyone free of charge. In the meantime our insurance bills get higher and higher, and the pharma industry is turning into a ruthless gold digger. In this globalised world, those who really lack welfare pay the grand prize for this development. They often do not even have access to good healthcare.
There seems to be no cure for this social imbalance
Used character template on black garbage bag on a wooden frame.
We have got character and we express ourselves with characters. The one on display here is called the Roman or Latin script. This script was widely spread thanks to the Roman Empire. In one of my other lives I designed some characters professionally. A larger font publisher in Hamburg published it for me. For inspiration I glanced at other scripts than the Roman and I created some crossover typefaces. One of them is Beyond Babylon, a perfect mix between Latin and Arabic scripts. Still according to our alphabet, but with special Arabic shapes and features. Representing my vision of a future society. A community that is mixing and matching cultures and habits, that is getting the best of all worlds, and is moving slowly towards world peace if possible at all.
Ze Is Gebruikt,
Part of world map, a plastic bag and white acrylic paint on wooden frame.
Earlier I used another part of the same world map in verbal 77, titled ‘The World’. The words supporting this artwork mostly described a tomcat that ripped the map to pieces, bit by bit. Based on a true story. This verbal is more poetic and sad at the same time. Also based on a true story. This is a story about a beautiful blue planet. A planet that houses many living creatures that has no other planet to go to. This planet is facing serious challenges. Nevertheless, it keeps on glowing and gives us its best. But its heavenly body is cracking and its skin is bursting. It is used and is in need of good care.
Venus Meets Mars,
Found unidentified small black plastic objects and white acrylic paint on remains of commercial flag-fabric.
Men are from Mars and women come from Venus. This phrase gives a reasonable explanation for the differences between the sexes. I consider myself a modern woman. I do like to play chess on the, so called, manly chessboard. It’s not that like pretending I’m King, but the role of libero Queen suits me just fine. Even as a young girl I hated the idea that only certain determined roles were laid out for me. My parents did not push me in that direction, but society as a whole can be very role enforcing. When I became an artist that stereotyping seemed solved. Almost…
A feminine art collective called Gorilla Girls (1985) were addressing feminine issues in the world of art. They made ironic and humorous comments and statements that unfortunately are still relevant today. For instance: “The Advantages Of Being a Woman Artist”, and then they listed all non-benefits of being one. This statement is on my studio wall. To inspire!
Used brush and black gaffer tape on remains of cotton cheesecloth on wooden frame.
This specific brush had been used for many years until one day I accidently left it drenched in black paint. The rigid brush I found the next day became useless for its purpose. Now, unable to help me create, it evolved to an artwork itself. It draws a black line, made of gaffer tape, posing as a brush stroke and lives on in the second term of its existence.
Peace Loving Animal,
Part of a found wheel rim, found metal keychain in lizard or gecko shape and acrylic paint on worn out male pyjama slacks with green army print on a wooden frame.
I was born in the seventies. Totally unaware I was born in the coolest decade and I was definitely too small and insignificant to fully appreciate it. Nevertheless, I always sense this inexhaustible, somewhat naïve hippie girl inside. She is tenacious in holding on to the concept of a better world in the making. When proven yet again that this, ‘you may say I am a dreamer’, idea seems out-dated or maybe never existed at all, disbelief and a little despair follow.
Still, I can’t help but hope rather than believe in a better world. So, You may say I am a dreamer, but I am almost sure that I am not the only one.
Like Nina Said,
Found characters from magazine and newspaper and acrylic on cotton curtain on a wooden frame
These lines: ‘How can you be an artist and not reflect time’ are originally from Jazz singer and phenomenon, Nina Simone. She spoke these words to explain why her songs were so ethically engaged. She defined herself as an activist singer or a singer who happened to be an activist. Her personality, stage persona and profession were intertwined. I dig this completely for I am an artist too, a visual artist that cannot prevent any current worldly affairs ending up in her artworks. Not because I choose to, but because I am what I create and what I create breathes the world I live in.
Parts of found unidentified black plastic objects, combined, a plastic fish shaped soy sauce container and white and black acrylic paint on remains of cotton tablecloth on a wooden frame.
Shooting fish in a barrel is an English expression. It is often used as a cheerful remark to specify that the task ahead is a real easy one. It is not related to aggression at all. The visualised gun with found plastic parts looks more aggressive. I was kind of shocked by the superficial resemblance to a real gun. What does the image of the gun actually represent? The shape was purely coincidental and I simply could not resist it. The title is meant to soften the blow a bit and offers a different perspective than the one you probably initially had. Besides, sex and violence sells. Right?
Seal tape and part of film poster by Andrei Tarkovsky on a wooden frame.
Sacrifice is tightly interwoven with religious rituals. The Incas and Mayas were cruel masters when it came to ritual sacrifices. But modern religions still hold the sacrifice as an important gift to God or Allah. The Inca rituals were extremely cruel and the sacrificed extremely powerless. The performing priests were always saved from harm for they held the power. As much as I believe that religious institutes, both modern and ancient, use this tool to manage and operate their disciples, a small part of me also believes that a little sacrifice has some kind of value.
I underline little sacrifice!
Found characters from newspapers and magazines, a laughing gas shell and white and black paint on an old used army bag on a wooden frame.
I don’t know much about military operations. But as a novice on the subject I witnessed many operations, interventions and invasions on TV. Also me being a film enthusiast more than one war film passed me by, Apocalypse Now for example. I am almost convinced that I am a pacifist, but, although a cliché, still I get goosebumps from the word revolution or seeing an image of Che Guevara. War obviously fascinates. The battle of life and death, good and evil, defeat, victory and heroism appeals most likely to some kind of essence of life. Terms like Victor, Charley (or is it Charlie?) and Foxtrot is war rhetoric in my perspective. If I did not know any better it almost sounds cheerful and festive. An old Dutch army bag that I used for a long time and a bomb shaped laughing gas shell that I found on the streets of Zwolle were the triggers for this war themed artwork. And I did not even mention the war on Drugs.
Rabbit bones, light blue plastic label from transport industries, transfer characters and red and white acrylic paint on brown wrapping paper and transparent plastic on a wooden frame
The rabbit bones came from my material archives. The rabbit as a whole was once found at a cemetery. This was no coincidence. I was working on a series of tribal (ancestral) masks and the rabbit bones were a necessity. Specimen or specimen X (as the bones spell) is referring to the urge of men to collect. We have museums and collections piled with stones, fossils and bones. After collecting comes determining, interpreting and establishing of what it was or where it came from. It becomes really exciting if the found remains cannot be classified…
Found text from magazines and newspapers, a bamboo toothpaste spatula and acrylic paint on a part of a cotton tablecloth on a wooden frame.
A critical piece of text from ‘HP de Tijd’ magazine, an exhibition announcement from Metropolis M and a line of a text that I once wrote are the basis of this art piece. The self-made text, to place it in context, formed the principle of two text-based portraits that were titled ‘Sign Of The Times’. The text in full does not exist anymore so it gives a fragmented glance on how I reviewed the world back then (2011).
M stands for me, Marit. I am an artist whose work converges with her personality as such. That is a defined outcome of many years of being me, which is not a matter of choice in my opinion.
Found undefined plastic objects and white acrylic paint on wrapping foam on a wooden frame.
The first 50 verbals were concluded with a big red dot, a period! The choice for the dot was to finalize a series that, so I thought, was somewhat finished. The period was a nice closure, but it was not even close to reality because I kept on finding strange plastic objects in the streets and it proved to be quite an inspiring activity I can hardly distance myself from. Now that I have reached 100, a few new ideas are already welling up, but this milestone is to mark the imaginary second finish line of Remains Of Today. The arrow already implies there is more to come
(verbal no. 101)
Found and cut text, gesso and white acrylic paint on a molton fitted sheet. On a wooden frame
For me, the word Unbehagen coincides with the punk phenomanon, Nina Hagen. Unbehagen was the title of her second album released in 1980. I was only 10 years old and freshly encountered Grease, which was in itself exciting enough at the time. But my 3 years older brother was or became a punk. He owned her first album called Nina Hagen Band (1979) and spinned it often and loudly. Funny enough Nina frequently switched turns with Johnny Cash.
She was a phenomenon in that time, raw and unadapted while being classically schooled.
The word unbehagen- discomfort- was in this context a pun with her name in combination with the zeitgeist of the early 80s. Periods of uncomfort were interchanged with periods of comfort.
It apears so that we are far beyond comfort by now.
Plastic propagator and transfer characters, gesso and black board paint on lace-curtain and wooden frame
The backside of the propagator reveals a great pattern. We see circle shapes connected as if they were atoms, molecules or something else scientifically that is connected. Perspective and imagination are everything. If we consider life holistic, everything is connected and is everything oxygen, carbon and water in shifting shape and composition. Stardust!. Where substance disappears, substance arises somewhere else. It is an incomprehensible, all embracing, divine system. On top of that we laid our own system. This system is modelled to our needs and demands. Where our matter appears, life vanishes elsewhere.
Langoustine a la Mode,
Found plastic lobster or plastic crayfish on a found plastic bag by Vero Moda on a wooden frame.
Lobster, hard shell and soft on the inside, often boiled alive, cracked as a walnut and then fiddled empty. Most live ones are grey or black; only the cooked ones are orange. Once I encountered a great Spiny Lobster while snorkelling. This is a giant lobster with feelers of a meter long. A magical experience, meeting a sea creature like this. In the past I used to fear of creatures and crawlers of the deep but now I think it is fascinating. After being friendly with one of them it becomes much harder to imagine them on your plate. This plastic one is found on the streets of Zwolle.
This is a Che Guevara portrait only with my face in it. This print was part of an art project Mind Your Steps, 2009. This project was a large, engaged, multidisciplinary and interactive project in assignment of BFO (Festival of Liberation Overijssel) 2009. The underlying motive of this art project was to engage and embed the public in our installation about free thinkers and thinking.
Curious about this project: Check this link: https://www.maritotto.nl/2009-mind-your-steps/.
We created alter egos with our faces morphed into the faces of some iconic freethinkers as a logo for the project. Our slogan was; in everyone homes a freethinker and a hero. In real-life, we encounter many anti heroes who are too distracted by all the daily hassle.
But every now and then……..
Freedom comes with a price but is heroism on sale?
Give ‘Em Enough Rope And they ‘ll Hang Themselves,
Flexible rubber part of a thing and yellow paint on a plastic bag placed on a wooden frame.
The British writer Charlotte Brontë invented this saying. What it means according to her is maybe less interesting than how it can be interpreted. They’re a many interpretations to be found in several fields of interest. I do not define my association to you but that it is an intriguing one may be clear!
Losing My Religion,
Verbal no.06 UFO 27
Wrapping paper, keychain label, an unidentified plastic object and transferable characters spelling G.O.D.
A few things are overlapping spontaneously in this piece of work. The title came in last but sums up the combination of objects and word wonder well.
I did borrow the title of this artwork from the band R.E.M. with their hit song; Losing My Religion. Personally, I never had a religion to lose. The key label in this artwork is addressed to GOD. Is GOD the owner, is it the key to paradise or is GOD here a key figure?
Time Itself Is a Circle,
(verbal no. 107)
3 plastic clean tissue cups, used on diner tables at
- ‘De Beren’ a Dutch restaurant chain, on a plastic wrapping foil on a wooden frame.
This title finds its roots in a Nietzsche quote, “ All Truth Is Crooked, Time Itself Is a Circle”. It is pure poetry and it has a real contemporary flair to it.
It proves that time itself is not only a circle, but, apart from it’s superficial appearances, fashions and customs, it never ever really changes on a meta level. Civilized as we may look, underneath the shiny surface the caveman still lurks. And what concerns “all truth is crooked”, that might as well could be an early notion of the alternative facts we know so well these days.
In addition to my words I found these following interpretations on this saying s on the Internet to explain the meaning of this saying,
1- Nietzsche was pointing out that everything is subjective. Truth exists but it can be bent, or made crooked, by increasing focus or decreasing it.
2- that you know the truth but you go in a circle figuring it out trying to find the meaning or the truth
3- Nietzsche was sharing his ignorance of the nature of ‘truth’ and ‘time’ by hypothesizing in a metaphoric manner open to many interpretations.
4- Nietzsche knows neither truth nor time
(verbal no. 108)
A few pieces of undefined plastic objects on part of a ragged museum flag found in bushes after stormy weather approx. 10 years ago, flag out-dated so finally turned up in one of my artworks, on a wooden frame
The black pieces of plastic are both a bit boomerang shaped. Combined and placed in composition it has the resemblance of a snake rising up. A swift association brought me the Garden of Eden, paradise with the snake as cunning seducer. If not for him, everything would just be still perfect. Boring but perfect. Eden feeds an infinite desire. This desire lives amongst believers as amongst non-believers. The harsh reality of real life is often far from heavenly.
(verbal no. 109)
Characters S M A R T cut from a ripped Guppy friend no-waste washing bag on transparent plastic on a wooden frame.
The word smart really came in fashion by the arrival of smartphones; it stayed in fashion by the arrival of all kinds of other smart apparatuses that everybody wants. Everything around us is getting smarter while we are actually absorbing less useful data in our brains. That worries me; our heads are cluttered with all kinds of useless data and our memory and because we are still human, storage capacity is limited. The infinite access to wisdom is wired these days, and often not even wired. The speed of our knowledge is dependent on networks and cables. With the rise of new conspiracy theories that have the credibility of a badly written fairy tail, I seriously doubt whether mankind as a whole is gaining intellect. Or is it really declining and are our phones and other smart-stuff outsmarting us in the future?
Aged Young People,
(verbal no. 110)
A stroke of dried gesso from the top of the gesso bucket, acrylic paint and cut characters on black garbage bag on a wooden frame.
Age is just a number. I turned 50 this year (2020) and I am still here and here to stay for a while. Not feeling really different. I still hope to be foremost judged on my ideas and deeds and less than on my age or sex. Being young means a promise, a clean canvas and a sea of time ahead. Being more mature, now I am preaching for the choir, can increase in depth thoughts, freedom, independence and more power to enforce actions the way you want it.
Conservative thinking, presumptions and rusty ideas are found in all ages.
Being a certain age is not really an achievement, it just is. Keep looking good, is. Getting older is young people’s destiny, with an uneasy outlook on inevitable death at the end, if they live to see the day. That’s life in a nutshell.
Verbal no. 111
Yellow card found on the roadside in Grote Voort- an industrial area in Zwolle, blackboard paint and plextol finish on a transparent plastic bag on a wooden frame
Leeg is Dutch for empty. It is a conspicuous bright yellow label I found in an industry area. It can be read as a statement: Hey, nothing to gain here, I am totally wasted, EMPTY, in capitals. I am so empty that there is no (for) filling me. This yellow card is probably used to indicate the state of the cargo space left or something refillable that needs fulfilling. But feel free to associate.
The I of the Beholder,
Verbal no. 112
Text from newspapers or /and magazines and white acrylic paint on a used shower curtain with black and white strokes (still minimally visible) on a wooden frame.
‘Beauty is in the eye of the beholder’ is a lovely saying that states that real beauty is the energy that one radiates to others, the beholders. The beholders then will review a beautiful energy as a whole and complete person, including imperfections, without judging on superficial features. With the emergence of some social platforms, the I figure assumed an increasingly central role and the spectators became a self-affirming audience.
Or to quote the Hip hop formation De la Soul, ‘Me, Myself and I’.
My statement here on this canvas; ‘Where have I been all your life’, is completely in line with this mind state.
Under What Power,
verbal 113, UFO 28
Text from a legal guide from the activist group Extinction Rebellion, two handles of a canvas shopper bag and a found, black plastic object on part of a plastic bag on a wooden frame
In Fall 2019 my lover and me visited London. We bore in mind that this was maybe one of the last uncomplicated visits to the UK before Brexiting. We enjoyed it to the max; cause London is fun. One of the unexpected highlights was an Extinction Rebellion manifestation on Trafalgar Square where we accidentally stumbled across. A colourful gathering of people protesting and dancing A remarkable detail that caught our attention was how well and tidily organized they were. They were spreading hand-out’s titled XR LEGAL INFO to their fellow activists. One of the tips what to do when a policeman that takes hold of you is to question him ‘Under what power’ he is handling and if his action is justified.
Under What Power’ became the title of this work as we are all wondering under what philosophical or actual powers we handle anyway!
All Truth Is Crooked,
verbal no. 114, UFO 29
Various found black circle and ring shaped pieces of plastic of unidentified origin and an industrial label on plaster on a wooden frame
The title finds its roots in a Nietzsche quote, “ All Truth Is Crooked, Time Itself Is a Circle”. This is the second draft of this saying as Time Itself was already used in verbal 107. This time I connect it to the philosophical concept of the ‘Eternal return’ also known as the ‘Eternal recurrence’. Eternal return is a concept of the universe and states that anything in it reoccurs in the same shape in infinite numbers through time and space. This concept is found for the first time in Indian philosophy and in the 19th century Nietzsche connected it to some of his own concepts like the predestination of men that will repeat itself in recurring situations over and over again. .
All truth Is Crooked, according to Nietzsche everything is subjective and although there is a truth it can be bent and could even become fraudulent.
This is a saying that proves to be very contemporary as we are living in an age of alternative facts and facts that are looked upon as opinions.
L’ Origine du Monde,
verbal no. 115
Small Lego cubes; part of a promotional gift and white acrylic paint on towelling fitted sheet on a wooden frame.
I borrowed the title L’ Origine du Monde from THE l’ Origine du Monde by Gustave Courbet- 1866. In Courbet’s painting the focus is immediately drawn to a woman’s crotch. An image that is quite straightforward and explicit. The origin of the world was captured very clearly in a special way. Everything starts with birth. Stars are born and die in the universe. Everything is stardust. While Courbet got life started as the fruit from the loins, I choose to unfold it along the lines of a handful of elemental particles. Al depending on how micro your scope is.
verbal no. 116
Yellow bag, black plastic object and cut characters from magazines on wooden frame
If anyone should ask my advice about contemporary influencing or influencers, I would advise to get unfluenced A.S.A.P., master and guide and your own thoughts and acts. We are all under influence to a certain extent. You have to draw the line somewhere, especially when it comes to commercial influence. Always keep your critical ability awake. #Doyoufollowme
Cheap But Costly,
verbal no. 117
€3-Pricetag of a special offer (found on a t-shirt bought in a second-hand shop, with label still attached) on wrapping foil with warning signs on a wooden frame.
I am a second-hand/vintage shopping enthusiast. Since my awareness of modern slavery in the fashion I try to cut down on shopping for new cloth. There is so much stuff circulating in the world that it would be a waste not using it twice. As for the €3, – price tag, I think it’s disregarding the hands who made it and probably it is quite an assault to the environment. I wonder if this commercial chain of cheap but costly products can ever be curved into something a more dignified and sustainable
verbal no. 118
Characters of Vero Moda shopping bag that was
found on the streets of Zwolle, blackboard paint and gesso on shower curtain on a wooden frame.
3 characters that are inseparable from the Latin greet AVE. This was introduced to me, at first, as a child, by the Asterix comic book series, In these brilliant funny Asterix stories Roman soldiers-greet one and other by lifting the right arm and hand high up.This physical greet was acompanied by the verbal AVE.
This arm salute made an unpleasant return in the 30ᵉ th’s in the 20ᵉ ocentury. The Nazi’s, big fans of classism incorporated the great and bended Hail Caesar to their own fascistic Heil Hitler. the connection between fascism and classism was born then and there. Classisme itself was not to blame here.
Today we see ultra right politicians flirting with classism, which is presented as nostalgia.if classism is the gilt-edged sham in which politicians adorn themselves, we’ve got al the right to be anxious.
There is another softer root to AVE and that is AVE Maria. There is no obvious harm in that.
I write this in the year 2020, it is almost Xmas, so I greet you. AVE. t
Red plastic cover of salad or spread container, characters from newspaper and ‘dispolab’ bags, acrylic paint on ‘essential’ canvas shopping bag on a wooden frame.
Quarantine is a word that exhales the vibe of 2020. Just when the world turned in full speed 24/7, a pandemic disease turned up out of nowhere. (?!) Putting us in place and letting us know, we are still not God, nor is it our place to dictate nature. Nature still dictates us. Somehow that is comforting as I started to believe nature lost it already. It’s sad when we realize that the weakest among us are picking up the Covid bill. But unfortunately as it is, that seems the way of the world. It is more and painfully visible now. It’s closer to home. At best we discover our true solidarity and we seize the moment to learn from it. Not only for our own human benefits but also for the benefits of the equilibrium of this vulnerable organism, Gaia.
verbal no. 120
Trump picture from newspaper, characters from a Vero Moda plastic bag on a canvas bag by de ‘Nederlandse Architecten Nu’ on a wooden frame.
‘It ain’t over until the fat lady sings the blues’. That is probably what Donald Trump thought when Biden was declared winner of the presidential election 2020. What happens when a lie grows so big there is obviously no return to the truth? I almost pity this egomaniac man, who’s hated and adored. Decorum is a thin line between acting civilized and acting ruthless and rude. In Trump’s case a sense of decorum was never really there in the first place. For his constituency his political incorrectness would be proof of his ability. But once the curtain dropped there seemed only one way out, with a relentless and big bang as a message to his electorate
’’ll be back’ said the Terminator over and over again in the eponymous movie. ‘I’ll be back’ said the fulminator that proved to be inerasable in his bad movie ‘the Dominator’. .I sure hope it is truly over and out.
verbal no. 121
Carton cylinders of used tape, black and white acrylic paint on used and washed flannel bed cover on a wooden frame.
The composition of the carton cylinders made me think of the wing print of a nocturnal butterfly a.k.a. Heterocera alias moth. As the moth wears it on her open wings these circle shapes pretend to be eyes wide open. Staring back at any potential enemy. Mimicry is one of nature’s finest inventions. In comparison to us, we also communicate with our appearance, without words. We use shoulder padding to look broader, high heels make legs look longer, hoodies to add some street credibility. Human mimicry is one that depends on season, fashion, moods, occasions and sales.
verbal no 122
Two HEMA facemasks and a conversed Spinach product indication from a plastic wrapping on a wooden frame
Who would have guessed a year ago that we voluntarily would hide our faces behind a small piece of fabric in public spaces? Facial concealment is a controversial political item concerning Islamic face covering, the burka. It is remarkable how quickly we adjust ourselves to this look. The bigger underlying question is; does it keep us safe? Especially in my country, the Netherlands, this question caused a lot of rumour. As the Dutch are not known as the most obedient of all people it provoked much discussion.
In reality, the facemask might be more symbolic than its effective but the symbolic signal it gives keeps people aware of the situation.
I think in situations like this, like this worldwide epidemic, all the best helmsmen are often ashore. So, me not knowing much about viruses and all, like to believe in all experts and obedient follow these instructions,
What’s best? Nobody knows. In any case there is no harm in eating spinach. It is not contagious but it does grows biceps.
Not Rocket Science,
verbal no 123
Noodle bag ‘Mie Telor Asli Cap Atoom Bulan’, and crayon formulas on blackboard paint on an Action shopping bag on a wooden frame.
It is not rocket science is what is said when a person is not capable of answering a dead simple or obvious question, or to presume modesty after an achieved mission if one is over complimented. Same goes for someone who is in default win a simple task
Mie Telor Asli Cap Atoom Bulan noodles have a rocket or missile as a logo. Not sure what they mean by that, maybe that their noodles strike like a bomb. The noodles are good food but of all things, not rocket science.
Plastic bag from WE and reordered characters with characters from side 02 of the bag on a wooden frame.
Yes I am, ‘usually shy’ or used to be shy. I Learned to live with it over time and bended it into something acceptable. When I was young, I was more of a shy observer and a dreamer than anything else. Frankly I still lam but it is hopefully well concealed. I am also a self-taught go-getter and can and do person who communicates or learned to communicate.
In the end of the day, I much rather communicate with images then with words.
Found plastic bag by ZAZA and undefined found red plastic industrial tag of some kind on a wooden frame.
There is probably no word more popular and misused in western society than the word ZEN. Zen is a perfect example of cultural appropriation. No matter how hard we try, we will never come close to the Zen-ness of a Zen monk. Frankly, I do it too. It is not that I place Buddha’s all over the place nor do I burn sandalwood for good vibes or practice yoga. For me it is a desired mind state, a balance between focus and inner peace. How to get there is a whole different story. It is so easy to get over stimulated; there is so much extraction. My method to keep the calm sea inside is more or less to block stimuli that are not relevant in the moment. Inside my head is already an innate crowded house. When information overruns my Zen antenna my incoming messages nerve centre shuts down and my mind wanders of.
Plastic (drugstore) Etos bag inside out, transfer characters + extra h and plastic toy goldfish in a small zip loc bag on a wooden frame.
Ethos, ἦθος, and ethics, are both rooted in ancient Greek civilization. Aristotle started using the word Ethos to describe the personality or character of a person. The word ethics arose later but is drawn from the same word. The difference between the two is that ethics refers to moral principles and guidelines of a society and as a discipline that handles the barrier between good and evil. Ethos can be seen as a personal characteristic that is somewhere in-between cautiousness and passion. This can be distinct by high morality and convincing leadership. Etos (the drugstore name), here on display, with an added h, shows how a word can be applied commercially to give a sense of instant righteousness. This is how commerce works. It offers an easy way out to all larger questions of life. I hold no grudge against the Etos drugstore whatsoever but it is far from real ethos and real ethics.
There is a cult film called ‘Videodrome’ by David Cronenberg. It is supposed to be one of the most influential cult films of the 20th century. Why? Videodrome is an absurdist futuristic movie with an interesting outlook on technical progression. The storyline is about this certain and alternative truth that is offered to the people. This film questions how far we are willing to go to absorb or uncover this truth.
Internet and reality T.V. did not exist yet (1983). One of the main characters in the film, professor Brian o’Blivion (!?) stated that the T.V. screen is really the retina of the mind. He also raps about a new T.V. reality, one that is more real than our actual lives.
I wonder; to what extent we are influenced and how much our perception is bended by messages and images we receive every day, today. The 21th century will most likely give some kind of an answer on this media-mind-truth paradox.
Art 4 Breakfast,
Characters from plastic bag and newspaper, two wooden forks, one white accidental prefab stain with acrylic and paper on plastic coated canvas shopping bag.
Art colours the world we live in and broaden our general perception? For me it is vital. It’s the air that I breathe and the nourishing food for thought. It keeps my mind limber and open and it gives me a sense of purpose. I would not dare to imagine a world without art. When illusion dies I am sure we all die a little too.
Wannabe Weekend Warrior,
Cut text white and red paint on an army bag (original British army M37 haversack) from the First World War on a wooden frame.
Cut text white and red paint on an army bag (original British army M37 haversack) from the First World War on a wooden frame.
Wannabe Weekend Warrior, the American news commentator Van Jones is the author of these words. He used these triple W words in his CNN comment to describe the angry mob that was violently storming the Capitol in Washington, on six January 2021. By using these words Van Jones he underlined that this was not your regular civil rights demonstration. He called it a homegrown terrorist attack.
It certainly looked that way, like a big nasty, accumulated, smelly and explosive fart from the festering underbelly of American society. It seems a distant problem but these so-called warriors are not just an American problem. They are everyone’s problem because they are everywhere.
Wannabe Weekend Warrior, it’s a spot on characterization and pure poetry. Are words in this deranged world still mightier than the sword? Let’s hope so. In that case art can save us!
Thank you Van Jones, this one’s for you!
Crescent moon shaped black rubbery object found on the streets, half of a transparent plastic Christmas ball with golden star, shared by the Creative Cooperation, Zwolle to all her atelier tenants, cut characters and white acrylic on BNA canvas bag on a wooden frame.
The past decades we had to be cautious with words regarding the Islam. Some violent Islamic radicals did not tolerate any criticism. Some violent physical attacks took place. The assaults 9-11, Theo van Gogh, Charlie Hebdo and Bataclan are deeply carved in our memory. This caused a lot of outrage and fear. Anti Islam politics became popular. Populist leaders made a quick scan in order to use these events for their own benefit. Contradictions were enlarged and Muslims became persona’s non-grata. Radicals, racist and extremist, regardless of their background, are not the finest examples of idealist people. We all want to be truly respected for what we believe, our customs, who we are and what we look like.
I do not believe in a God, but I do believe in diplomacy and mutuality. Extremism regardless where it comes from is the only form of diversity we can truly reject.
Cut text from a ceramic carton box packaging and newspaper on a classic dishcloth (given to me by colleague Corine Aalvanger), on a wooden frame.
What comes around goes around is the essence of karma. Action and consequence are always intertwined. According to the law of Karman karma does not make a distinction between wrong and right. It is a natural principle, not the verdict of a higher power. So each action will be replied, at some point, with a similar reaction. Subjects must value Karma in order to experience the consequences. If the consequences are not valued, there will be no consequences as result but then Nirvana waits. This means; you will not reincarnate and your spirit will be eternally quenched or set free, depending on how you look at it.
How does all this fit into modern western society? Who or where do we turn to if we suffer from indifference, a spiritual void or mental imbalance?? Cleankarma.nl?
Cut carton box MADE, type-ex ribbon and an orange reflector on a wooden frame.
Cut carton box MADE, type-ex ribbon and an orange reflector on a wooden frame.
The character Alfred E. Neuman is the mascot of an American satire magazine MAD, founded in 1952. At the age of 6 to 10 years I turned to ‘Donald Duck’ magazine and the ‘Hitkrant’ for worldly inspiration. I must have laid eyes on MAD magazine once or twice. I cannot recollect if my older brother subscribed to it or that I accidentally came across it somewhere else. I was intrigued by the cartoon cover boy Neuman; I thought he was a bit repulsive. Nevertheless, this repulsive Neuman boy is kind of a cult figure. In 2018 the final issue was printed and sold but MAD proves still to be active on www.madmagzin.com. ‘Madhouse’ was a Minneapolis jazz-funk formation from the school of Prince. They say that madness and genius goes hand in hand. This side note has nothing to do with MAD magazine.
But to quote a few lines from a famous song by Seal; ‘we never gonna survive unless we get a little crazy”,
The Woman Who Fell To Earth,
Lit of a weck jar, a plastic basis of a Ferrero Roche pyramid gift, cut text from magazine, printed falling female figure and white acrylic paint on a towelling fitted sheet on a wooden frame.
As a seasoned Bowie adept I have seen most of the films he acted in too. Not in the first place for his great acting talent, which was varying from time to time. No, just to enjoy watching this radiating beautiful personality who I had a bit of a crush on. The attraction was, next to his music, mostly his total unique approach on almost anything, combined with his unworldly appearance.
Filmmaker Nicolas Roeg, acknowledged probably the very same virtues. He asked him to play the lead role, as the humanoid Thomas Jerome Newton, in the movie The Man Who Fell To Earth. This ultra cool personage also featured the Bowie album cover Low and laid the foundation for his new alter ego called The Thin White Duke, yet again, a proof of his fluidness.
As all teens are alienated at some point, I often felt (and still feel) as if I was accidentally dropped here from another planet.
This is one of the reasons why I probably turned to art.
Brown textile MODA shopping bag, blackboard and gold paint on a wooden frame.
In American hip-hop slang, Mo’ means more, as in Mo’ Money. At first this was the cry of the have not poets from the American hoods.
Some street poets eventually became famous, influential, million dollar merchants, still broadcasting this very Mo’ thing but this time as a neo liberal lifestyle sauced with this – so – desired but vanished street flavour.
For many they became the living proof and example of buying your way into respect and happiness. I am a big fan of old school hip-hop and rap because it felt honest, urgent, and totally un-adaptive. Besides, it made this great point about social inequality.
The more mainstream and ushered hip-hop got, the mo’ the narrative seemed narrowed into shallow money propaganda. This (and other things) combined with our perpetual, mo’ or less, 24/7 markets and the winner-takes-all-adagio we lived for while, it became a bling anthem of the masses.
Blue postal envelope, a key and plastic wrapping foil with health warnings, tape and cut text on a wooden frame.
Free radical is a rebellious medical term for mutating cells that forms a serious threat for the corpus it homes in. These cells are corrupted and expanding at their convenience at the cost of the healthy ones. As long as it keeps growing it gains simultaneous power until finally it’s out of control. If nothing stops it. That is a free radical, not harmless at all.
I often wondered if there is a connection between this medical term and the term radicals we use on people with extreme thoughts and deeds. And if so, is a radical per definition free? Or is this all merely coincidence
verbal no. 136
A found plastic bag of Profile, Men’s fashion, white acrylic paint, cut text, cut and painted, black images of Silvio Berlusconi and a Playmobil toy character on a wooden frame.
What separates us from any other living organism is our ability to speak, create and think in a logical fashion, not only based on pure survival or breeding. We assume we are better thinkers. It is true that no animal is proven capable of writing novella’s or laws for that matter. Even a simple act of carpeting to improve a nest or hangout is not spent on animals, flowers and trees. Still, there is no plant, mammal, fish or insect in the world that would consider wrecking and plundering his own habitat or future feeding grounds like we do. It is not likely an oak sweating acid into the air so his baby branches and itself too would be polluted by their own emission after a while. For them, that would not be a wise thing to do in order to survive and sustain. How clever are we, profound men and women, if we favour short-term cravings before our children’s future? With all our intellect, do we really become anything more than provocateurs against nature? Profo (Provo) und men?
verbal no. 137
Found bag of the Wavin Company, blueacrylic paint in shape of an additional comma and white acrylic line on towelling fitted sheet on a wooden frame.
The future of greeting lies in the hands of the almighty Covid 19 and her antidotes. There was always some confusion about social network kissing. We suffered a broad selection of kissing habits. Who and how to kiss that was the question. Choices had to be made for both the kisser as the kissed. Choices between the wet kiss, French kissing, and I do not mean, a French kiss (tongue) but the triple cheek kiss, the cautious ‘one’ conservative kiss or a distant, two-time air kiss (tennis kiss). This bewildering situation has ended; it is probably a relief for most people. But I must say I miss heartfelt kissing with my friends and family.
The handshake habit is also under siege for a while. As hands gained this dubious reputation of master spreaders. What’s left is elbow cuddling, an Asian Namaste greet or a simple hello. So I figured it would be best to upgrade the wave. There is this royal wave to keep some distance and remain friendly or the cheerful wave, with both arms and hands, wearing a big smile. There is a lot to express by wavin’. This might as well be the new hype. The new wave, wavin’.
verbal no. 138
Circle shaped carton board base from chocolate pyramid, 3 characters from plastic bag, two printed and cut black and white baby figures from own inspiration archive, acrylic paint; white titan and zinc on a re- usable shopping bag.
Once upon a time there were the Sex Pistols, a fruit sprung from Malcolm McLarens creative mind. In hindsight, Punk was not as much anarchy than it was a fashion statement (Vivienne Westwood). After front man Johnny Rotten left the Sex Pistols he started PIL (Public Image Ltd.) Punk was an answer to the dull and obedient middle-class culture. My brother was a punk and hit the local papers with the highest ‘straight up’ Mohawk of North Holland. Anyway, Punk was controversial and fashionable.
I suddenly detected a link with another unexpected theme; birth control. Being the Sex Pistols as we all are, reproducing like there is no tomorrow conform the biblical “go forth and multiply”. Result: too many of us and too little of the rest.. As evident as it seems, a pil is quite a handy asset, when it comes to reducing overpopulation. What I am about to say next won’t make me popular; ‘isn’t Less not more in this case too??’
Raw Footage (my little footprint),
verbal no. 139
Black footprint of found (just one) Nike sneaker found at roadside in Zwolle, plastic Clover painted red and tape on 150gr paper on a wooden frame.
This one shoe lay at the roadside for a while before I decided to pick it up. It has been rained on, snowed on, fogged and sun-shined on. This shoe definitely faced the downside of shoe-life. After being adored for a while It was casted away and left for dead by his carrier. The cruelty and oddness of this situation lies in the assumed fact that his owner preferred walking on one shoe before wearing both shoes until they were both worn out. For whatever reason, this shoe had to go, it overstayed its welcome. I hesitated picking it up because it felt too personal and perhaps too smelly too but for art sake I did. Did you know that the word footage could mean both a film recording as it can mean the size of measurement in feet?
By the way, what’s the extent of your footprint?
PS: shoe is after art- usage gone to shoe heaven- God Rest His Sole)
Two pages from 80ties art magazine ‘DE RijksAkademie’, a black plastic half circle shaped thing, a fragment of a plastic wheel rim, a piece of paper and zinc white acrylic on a wooden frame.
The Arabic word Sahra means desert area. This is the mother word where ‘Sahara’ is derived from. During the Pleistocene era, Sahra was a green tropical region where early hunter-gatherers lived a good life. This was a breeding ground for the Homo Habilis and Homo Australopithecus. During the Stone Age the Homo sapiens emerged from Ethiopia. There were a broad variety of humanoids in the world but the sapiens proved to be the most successful. On the upside this means we all have African roots but on the downside it means that the sapiens was probably the most violent and (sexual) aggressive of all. All other homos disappeared or blended in where sapiens arrived. Even though years of civilization passed us by, we can still track long blood red lines from the present back to our early rise.
What has obviously changed is that we wear glasses, suits and smart apparatus. The hunter-gatherer became a shopaholic but behold, underneath the savage, reptile-brained survivor is still lurking.
Ik Besef Dat Ik (N)iets Weet,
(the awareness of knowing nothing) verbal 141
Pink plastic, public library, bag with an Einstein quote, handed to me by colleague, Corine Aalvanger, tape, a reflector and white acrylic paint on a wooden frame.
It’s ironic that a great mind like Albert Einstein is convinced that the more he knows, the more he realizes that he really knows nothing. Are these the words of a wise man?
If we review this in a contemporary way we see quality and poor quality, true and false information flooding our systems and minds. But do we really become any wiser? I think not. Research proved we are not capable of digesting an abundance of shallow, miscellaneous, chitchat and important information on a 24/7 basis and get in-depth insights at the same time. It’s simply too much. Except for a few sound bites, it just won’t stick.
Intelligence enables us to think in abstractions according to certain logic. It is the art of knowing how to interpret and use information. This is how knowledge is obtained.
According to Einstein, real knowledge makes us humble. If he were still alive today and afflicted with mainstream modern speech, his words could have sounded something like this?: “He-man, I do have an opinion too but to be honest, what do I really know”
The Holy Cow and the Steel Steed,
Found wheel rim, cut text, picture of Lady Liberty while she’s pinch her nose for bad smells on paper on a wooden frame
This is how I never got my drivers licence. When I was still 18 minus, my parents offered me a deal most youngsters cannot resist. The deal was simple; do not smoke before your 18th birthday.
It was my honest intention to not smoke but I seemed ill motivated. For one, I started an internship at a model agency in Amsterdam; this event really put me to the test. The ashtrays were piled up high on a daily basis and I was frequently offered a smoke for all kinds of social reasons. At first I did it out of politeness, but then I could not resist. I was 17 and boldly decided to come clear to my parents about this new habit, knowing this expensive gift was at stake. The consequence of this confession was, ‘no drivers licence’ for Marit. A remarkable thing came to light, I did not mind at all!! Up to now I remained driver-licenced and car-less and frankly, I couldn’t care less. In a world where the car reached the dubious status of a Holy Cow I hold on steady to my old Steel Steed instead. Besides, I also quit smoking, so I’m truly up to date with this zero emission thing going!
verbal no. 143
Red ‘FNV union Action’ flag, found lingering in roadside bushes, white acrylic paint and paper stabilizer on a wooden frame.
To prepare ourselves for a sustainable or any future for that matter, we……bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla, economic growth, bla, bla bla bla bla, stakeholders interest, bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla, bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla, buying power, bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla, consumers needs, bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla, employment opportunities, bla bla bla bla, tax benefits or paradise, bla bla bla, healthy economy, bla bla bla, figures, bla bla bla, stock markets, AEX, bla bla bla, rates, bla bla bla, and many more excuses, bla bla bla…………………………ACT
Two postcards of Boomerang support card offered on a give away stand on the roadside, on towelling fitted sheet on a wooden frame.
We all haven’t been around much past year. Covid kept us close to home. This could be the perfect opportunity to explore the unbeaten tracks of your home and minds. Imagination travels far, beyond any border, any limitation and any restriction. The proverbial heavy suitcase is more of a burden then it is a comfort. But still it seems we like to carry weight even if it slows us down. I always choose adventure and life experience over assets and securities. I Treasure everything life provides me with. Even the dark sides gave insights that were of great value in hindsight. The only true things I cling to are my loved ones and my creativity. But, I am still a woman, so when I pack my holiday suitcase, no matter the size, it will be packed to the max and is often way too heavy. Otherwise I like to travel light.
Would You Like Me Better If I Was A Selfie?,
Cut text from magazines, newspapers and packaging, pink tape, a printed ‘selfie’ on an old shower curtain on a wooden frame.
Hello I am Cat, Copycat for friends. You might find me in the receptacle of progression. I celebrate my uniqueness by looking and acting much the same as others. No, you don’t have to search too deep, I am right here below the surface of almost anything. I thank my parents and on some occasions my plastic surgeon for my magnificent appearance. I am pure poetry captured in an ever striving for perfection’ killer body, face and outfit of brand X. If I could sing, I would praise myself, a God given present to the world. Good to have you around, please like, subscribe and buy this product, which I personally endorse. I am so involved with myself; I simply do not have time left for things that actually do matter. In the light of eternity this might look strange, but today I’m truly the bomb. Fortunately not much is happening in the world. It is all swell. I am a phenomenon, the ambassador of emptiness. Look, this is me making a sexy duck face…………
Tomato, Tomato (Black Milk),
Twee flesjes sap, acryl, schoolbordverf en transfer op een oud douche gordijn op een houten frame.
Deze twee melk flesjes tonen een hard contrast tussen zwart en wit. De kleur zwart en het woord melk bracht me vervolgens na een zoektochtje op internet bij Black Milk, het gedicht. Paul Celan schreef in 1948 de Doden Fuga (Todesfuge) alias Zwarte Melk, (Schwarze Milch).
Een gedicht over de holocaust en de Jodenvervolging. Hieronder een paar regels om te illustreren: (origineel in Duits)
“Black milk of daybreak we drink you at night
we drink you at midday Death is a master aus Deutschland
we drink you at evening and morning we drink and we drink
this Death is ein Meister aus Deutschland his eye it is blue “
De band Massive Attackk heeft een nummer getiteld ‘Black Milk’ . Ook een paar regels hieronder
“You’re not my eater
I’m not your food”
Underground Rapper, Curtis Eugene Cross heeft als alias; Black Milk. Hieronder ook een regel uit zijn nummer ‘Could It Be’:
“I don’t represent no colors, I represent my lil’ sisters and brothers”
Deze 3 voorbeelden die ik vond hadden allen verschillende oorsprong en invalshoek. ze zijn niet direct op of door elkaar geïnspireerd maar zeggen toch min of meer hetzelfde; veracht of veroordeel mij niet op mijn voorkomen omdat het anders is dan het jouwe.
Het opschrift op de flesjes zegt iets fundamenteels, er is veel onderscheid en variatie in de menselijke soort maar zijn we in basis niet gewoon hetzelfde? Juist In hoe we anderen behandelen schuilt onze menselijkheid.
“No matter how black the cow, he still gives white milk”.
Lifes Of Our Days,
A found plastic bag of ‘Lifestyle Home Collection’, blackboard paint, and handprint with red ink on paper and black transfer characters on a wooden frame.
An incorrect re-shuffle of Days Of Our Lives, a title of a soap series (1965) I have never seen. Thanks to Joey Tribbiani (Matt Le Blanc), from the series Friends (90ties) where he played an actor who plays dr. Drake Ramoray in the Days Of our Lives series, it got stored somewhere in my mind. I allowed myself a free approach to the word Lives. ‘Lives’ became ‘Lifes’, the non-correct plural of life, in my artwork. The bag I used spelled Lifestyle and as an intervention I blacked out the last 4 characters out resulting in lifes. Play the hand you’re dealt.
But what if we turn the incorrect title into a more philosophical direction. How many lives are remaining in our days? The days are infinite, but lives in it are diminishing as days go by…
Against Better Judgement,
Metal parts of a conserving jar, a found metal ring with horn-like snags on top, white acrylic found and cut characters on a towelling fitted sheet on a wooden frame.
The things we do against better judgement are countless. The better judgement is obviously the boring goody two shoes next to sexy irrationality. But rationality often proves itself right again, again, again and again(st) better judgement.
verbal no 149
Page from newspaper about ‘fake news’ and ‘viral madness’, found and cut text, printed like/ dislike thumb and white acrylic on a wooden frame.
Big Brother is not a myth. He is very much alive and amongst us. Some say he is an alien, hungry for information to send to his mother planet elsewhere. There is no proof of that. Or is there…
However, he most definitely has this alienated look, with his glassy gaze. And really, how much proof do we need?
The data monster, Big Brother, is very successful with us. We, the gullible believers, are feeding his hungry jaws daily with all our most personal affairs. The Brother loves our commitment. He loves it to the bone. It makes him and our suspicion grow bigger and bigger until it finally blows up on us!
So if you ever wonder where the powers to be homes…and who is the most influential of all……….
Have a nice day.
Life Of Brian,
verbal no 150
White plastic caps of milk cartons, black metal caps of red wine bottles on white foam board in a wooden frame.
It has been a while since the Monty Python film Life Of Brian (1979) was a coffee corner topic. Great films can be seen over and over again. Life of Brian is one of those films. Although Monty Python thus Life Of Brian was all about absurdity and laughs, it holds a great truth in it. That truth is; people always seek leaders, messiahs and prophets, either good or false. As Brian in the film is, accidentally and against his own will, recognized as the Son of God, many others claim dubious leadership and get worshipped too? We see the strangest samples of abject and populist leadership rewarded with worship. I reckon this is a result of a constant state of confusion in a confusing world.
Mini pink ‘Jeff Koons like’ dog, found on the street, painted black, blackboard paint and cut text on white acrylic foundation on found Wavin bag
I sympathize with most underdogs because I, myself, felt like one, every now and then. However, there is a broad variation of underdogs and underdog mind states. The underdog mind state can be false or true. The underdog claim can be just or unjust. But the absolute underdogs are the ones you will not hear of unless their textile factory crashed down on them.
If we take a deeper look down, to see what happens on the lowest staircases we will see that beneath every underdog lies another underdog.
Many greater wrong doings are the result of social imbalance. How can it exist that there is a causal connection between my good fortune and the misfortune of another?
Plastic part of bicycle and half of a see-through xmas ball with black paint, a transfer zero and cut text on transparent part of broken micro-fibre resistant laundry bag.
George Orwell wrote a novel (1949) about a dystopian world to come, called 1984. Orwell drew a scary dot on a futuristic horizon and he was fed by the totalitarianism of his time, Hitler’s, Second World War and Stalin’s Soviet union. The imaginary, 1984, dictator, called Big Brother, intervened in every aspect of a human life. The most frightening of this type of totalitarian leadership was the complete control over the mind and thoughts of the individual.
We are far beyond the year 1984, but are we somehow living it? The 2021 totalitarian leader with absolute power is not one identifiable person; it is the one who collects your thoughts, desires and cravings. They are the ones that seduce you into a lifetime addiction on shiny devices. There is no need to dictate us as we already start dictating ourselves. We are held on a string, like puppets for profits. Along the way we tend to forget that we are in fact part of another nature than the one the web provides us with. 1984 is 2021, only now it’s voluntary and it is called progression.
Page from newspaper ad, green and off white elastic bands, and word elevate from small plastic Ziplock bag red piece of paper, a rubber lit of a preserving jar and small yellow object from the street, on a wooden frame.
In the Netherlands where I come from there is a decline in reading ability and skills. In schools we perform inadequately on spelling, grammar and on math too. Illiteracy is growing. It is a strange discrepancy and cohesion between fast technical and digital innovations versus a crumbling intellectual interest in slow knowledge. Low literacy in an increasingly complex world is still a social time bomb. Knowledge is power, reading and writing offers different perspectives and opens windows to our imagination and imagination is quite sane but vital to escape reality every now and then.
A plaster print cast from the bottom of a plastic container, a small plastic object and white acrylic paint on the remains of a ripped umbrella on a wooden frame.
Everyone who ever watched Sci Fi, movies and series knows that the cosmic traveller always returns to the floating home base, an artificial home away from home; the mother ship. A return to the ultimate mother ship of mother ships, planet earth, was not in question since traveling through the Milky Way is quite a long-winded endeavour. The narrative of space travel has changed over time. We dreamed, fantasised about, and feared encounters with other living organisms somewhere out there. Now, we can travel to Mars in the nearby future, for real. This time meeting Martians is not on the agenda.
Los, vrij, makkelijk en echt,
(Loose, free, easy-going and real)
Plastic water bottles wrap found on the streets of Zwolle, a collage from magazine pictures and a wooden frame.
The title of this artwork is also the headline of an article from which I used the picture for this collage. It originated from ‘Donna’, a fairly dated magazine. Other than that, I have no idea what the article was about. Superficially it seems that lifestyle magazines keep proclaiming the same consistent messages throughout the years; how to become the better version of you. As collateral damage, simultaneously a small seed of immediate doubt is planted. According to the lifestyle prophecy a cool appearance and ditto accessories can help a lot against all kinds of small physical misfortune.
Be that as it may it costs blood, sweat and tears to appear Loose, free, easy-going and real
verbal no. 156
Paper moon (residue of earlier used stencil) cut text from newspaper and white acrylic on the remains of a blue worn out cotton shirt on a wooden frame.
Nihilism is a philosophical notion that is used to describe the denial of the existence of value or meaning. Nihil is Latin and means nothing. According to Nietzsche nihilism is defined by the fact that moral and truth are subjective (there is no truth), there is no God and history has no purpose and makes no sense. Nietzsche also stated that Christianity was the ultimate form of nihilism. That’s funny in this context. I think it can all be true. What in it self is a very nihilistic thing to say. Either nihilism can lead to modesty or ends up in hedonism. That knife cut both ways. I am not a nihilist, I consider myself more a realist. I try to see things as they really are. However it is the spiritual me that tries to strive at greater goals. I acknowledge that I do need to believe in something more spiritual than the naked need to survive here and now, but not in a God as such. In nihilistic moments I feel this delicate created glass floor under my feet breaking, weighing me down and pulling me under. So my need to believe in something is actually what keeps me going.
verbal no 157
Cut text on cut ink stain on a wooden frame
Whether communication is successful depends a great deal on; excuse my French, ‘le ton qui fait la musique’. New communicational means require new rules. Communication, in black on white is less subtle and harder to interpret than spoken words that are underlined with mimic and expression. Innuendos, cursing and insults are seldom made face to face, it happens mostly under cover of darkness and anonymity. It is really a cowardly and sad thing to do. The Internet provides various types with both a perfect stage and hiding place. Recently I had the pleasure of receiving an anonymous comment in an acronym. It spelled W.T.F. vom, in reaction to a short video I made. I will survive this one intelligent comment, (what the fuck, vomit) of course. But it made me think about the commentator’s wasted time, he or she could actually produce something beneficial himself, and become less grumpy along the way. Lingo, it can be the cement that holds the bricks or the hurricane that rips everything apart. The choice of tongue is an individual one.
verbal no. 158
A copy of a portrait of me behind a porthole of a friend’s houseboat (±1998), half of a plastic food container, gaffer tapes white & black on a wooden frame.
A few years ago I joined an art contest. I responded to an open- art- call for the Lingewaard riverbanks. This is a green delta region in Gelderland, NL, then (2011) on the brink of redevelopment – to make space for rivers flow- to keep our future feet dry. They searched for art concepts that suited this region. My concept was called Hello Space. The leading idea was to create an intergalactic greet. The underlying motive was; to give future space travellers that were hovering above this area a warm welcome. I am positive a nice welcome softens any possible hostility. Another thought that founded this idea was that mankind, by the option of extra external life entering our world, probably united at once. In a blink of an eye we would all be the same, brothers and sisters, up against a new stranger in town. Skin colour would be the least of our problems. My concept finished in round two as nr 8 out of 24. It did not see the light of day. So, don’t look at me, if the E.T. are a bit less friendly when they arrive at Lingewaard at some point.
Cover of an out-dated barcode book, plastic wrapping foil and cut characters from papers and magazines.
Neoliberalism is dead, dying or at least suffering a severe chronic disease. As far an ideology goes, neo liberalism is everything that idealism is not. The idea once was that the market itself would correct itself if it became corrupted. The reality is that no market corrects anything crooked within its own system; it only provides it with a good slogan. In the meanwhile it did his destructive works on nature, naturalness, uniqueness, creativity, bio diversity, social inequity, cohesion, fact finding, resources and so on.
Still, no one is ever forced to live and act the neo liberal dream, yet we all voluntarily jumped into this ‘there is no limit’, ‘get yours now’, state of mind. Did we confuse the concept of freedom with the freedom we think that our money can buy. We gradually shifted from just human to cons-human.
Communism failed, capitalism failed, their ugly baby ‘neoliberalism’ failed too. It is time for new dreams.
Smashed guitar by A.R.T., black wrapping paper with intriguing print, black shoelaces and the word Super + B from a plastic shopping bag on a wooden frame.
Excellent, impressive, splendid, that is superb! It might as well be just super, for all the good reasons. But somewhere along the line the B at the end is added to bring the already super, super to a higher level. Superb is not streetwise like super, it is more of a black tie-ish at a fancy restaurant drinking high priced wine, sort of thing.
Or is the B not added but eroded instead. Did it fall off in a dispute between Superman and Superb man? Is it swept away by the floods of lingual tides? We will never know. Maybe they are both still here.
(Ripe) verbal 161
Cut word ‘belegen’ from belegen (ripe) cheese package, rubber ring both from the streets and a ring-shaped open lit from Bullet shaker and a transparent lit on cotton on a wooden frame.
Young is a promise; matureness is either a deception of broken dreams or a consolidation of created dreams. Cheese wise, matureness is actually more savoury and flavoured. Old cheese is for true Burgundies who appreciate an outspoken and unique cheese with a bite. Somehow I do see a parallel with aging, human wise. Given the fact that there is a lot to lose like; condition, good health, eyesight, hearing, hair, looks, velocity, virility, tight skin and so on. This is not a sexy list of lost qualities, hardly a recommendation. But then again it is not a matter of choice. One of the best features of growing old is the state of mind that increasingly becomes more independent and free. I believe that ‘belegen’ (ripe) in age can still hold many promises. The (or my) future will show whether it is just wishful thinking or reality
Chain case and elastic band, painted white and Primark fashion label, painted black, found on the street, on worn black halter-top with blackboard paint finish on a wooden frame.
Murphy’s law dictates that anything that can go wrong will go wrong. Most of us are familiar with situations that somehow are ending up in a domino day of wrong turns and decisions. Halfway this process the resistance against it weakens and the surrender to failure sets in. As if a higher power takes over. Minimise the damage, and pick up the pieces. Murphy and chaos seem close friends; they almost never walk alone. At some point I tried to exile my chaos to a far corner of my consciousness. Then, the control freak takes over from time to time. It actually believes that the law can be bypassed. But Murphy always got the last word.
verbal no 163
Metal figure created and used for a game I designed with colleague M. van Enk, in 2011, a metal ring of a bag and white acrylic paint on a used and broken umbrella on a wooden frame.
The metal female figure is inspired by the iconic Napalm girl and is used as a pun in a game that we first developed and designed for the 5th of may festival in Zwolle. This game was initially called Vlucht050511 but became Escape Route X. The general idea behind it was to enable the public to identify with a refugee by playing the game in its so-called shoes. As the player follows his or her route to the promised land he or she encounters all kinds of difficulties, real life difficulties. He or she gets confronted with all kinds of dilemma’s, real life dilemmas. Luckily this is only a game and hopefully it opened some eyes. But fact is that two soul reasons for seeking shelter elsewhere, besides political reasons, are inequality and climate change. In my perspective this is why all refugees are basically legit. Why should they have to suffer in poverty while we got it all? Besides, since when did poverty become no good reason to seek a better life? I know I would!
We Optimize You,
(I’ve Got Algorithm) verbal no 164
Cut text and picture of a serious looking eye from magazines, a found rubber ring and a luggage belt on an ‘Eye’ promotion poster obtained during the ‘Uitmarkt’ Amsterdam 2019 on a wooden frame.
Days can be viral; with never a sigh
Prepped to need what money can buy
Birds on the timelines sing their hyped analogue song
Why shouldn’t we tweet along?
I’m chipper all the day, happy with my lot
How do I get so optimized that way? Look at what I’ve got
I’ve got algorithm, I got cookies
I got my terms
Who could ask for anything more?
I got spontaneous ads, in the side banner of my mail
I got my data all over the place
Who could ask for anything more?
(Freely associated on I’ve Got Rhythm from George Gershwin)
Altijd op zoek naar het beste,
(Always searching for the best) verbal no 165
Part of found black rubber doormat, a found synthetic blue drop for promotional purposes and cut text from plastic grocery shopping bag (Super de Boer) and paper background in a wooden frame.
The phrase ‘Altijd op zoek naar het beste’ (Always searching for the best) is a contemporary slogan that holds instant discontent in it. Once we get hold of the best, a next window of opportunity opens swiftly. The art of seduction is to feed the desire and constant craving. Being content in this context could be looked upon as a lazy state of being. But according to Zen philosophy mind over matter is the highest state of being . It only takes real effort and practice to get there. I mean searching for that best is searching for a precious needle in an enormous haystack. This is why the Buddha figure probably is to be found as cheap accessories in many stores and households, a shortcut to enlightenment.
Universal love and gender handkerchief from earlier art project Genderama on a wooden frame.
This hanky is a tiny detail from what supposed to become a giant LQBTH+ Pride dance installation, the Genderama. I Initially designed this proposition for an international open call for L.A. Pride 2016. I had two partners in crime: 19 Het Atelier architects for blueprints, solid calculations and technical support and Showdesign Sijmen Hoekstra for high class DJ equipment. No, we did not win but our Genderama scale model was exhibited in the Amsterdam Museum during Gay pride Amsterdam summer 2016. As much interest it has drawn in the pride community it proves to be too complex and too costly to build it just as a temporary statement of a universal state of being. But, never say never. We are still up for it!
Found red white barrier tape, picture from the ‘Volkskrant’ of Haitian man from Port au Prince wearing a pink wig on a bike and transparent parts of plastic wrapping on a wooden frame.
In front of Queensland Australia in the Coral Sea lies the Great Barrier Reef, a breeding ground for marine life in all its facets. I have never been there and I will probably never see it in its optimal shape either. Neither will the next generations. As all corals it is rapidly disappearing and are deadly bleached by the virtue of human behaviour. Simultaneously precious marine life disappears, and finally with them washed out, life, as we know it. Another natural great barrier on the mainland is Mount Everest, Himalaya. Loved by adventurous climbers, thrill seekers and bucket list box tickers. Can’t really blame them, but why do we have this tendency to soil everything we love? For a few decades this majestic natural beacon is covered with human remains, left overs, varying from (apart from numerous dead bodies) mountains of trash, ripped pieces of tents, faeces and more. The great ‘Abode Of Snow’ is no longer unspoiled. Talking about barriers; the great social barriers proved not to be so erosive as their ‘world-wonder’ family. They remain firm and rooted throughout all thinkable social ladders. And unlike the Great Barrier Reef it will not rapidly disappear. How come we are not bothered?
Word cut from found Esprit bag, part of plastic bag from construction site and paper in and on a wooden frame
Esprit (Spirit) is an eclectic word. When a drunken man talks about spirits, he either talks about his liquor or the figments of his hallucinated mind. When it comes to music, singing gospel spirituals brings you into higher realms. According to some there is the one Holy Spirit. According to others we are surrounded by many spirits, a few dead ancestors amongst them. Some good, some are evil. You can act in the spirit of or get it. It is in many ways everything and nothing in one. Can’t box a spirit but you can have one. In the final chapter of your life your spirit will run free with your last breath. 21grams is what the human soul weighs according to a certain Dr.Duncan Macdougall, the inspiration for the eponymous movie 21grams. It is the one thing that defines us the most but where we never will get hold of entirely.
I think that is fascinating.
Park In Son/Sun,
Crossword puzzles from newspaper, found part of license plate holder and cut words Park, Son, character U and fragile tape on paper on a wooden frame.
Crossword puzzles from newspaper, found part of license plate holder and cut words Park, Son, character U and fragile tape on paper on a wooden frame.
Dopamine is a messenger of the brain that allows the nervous system to communicate well when it comes to mobility, pleasure, attention, mood and motivation. Quit a list. When the dopamine receptors are disturbed the system gets confused with all kinds of unwanted consequences, like depression and Parkinson disease. In these cases dopamine-producing cells actually died and left the patient with nasty symptoms. There is also dopamine addiction and even overdosing. It is literally all in the mind. A dopamine-overdosed person would rather always park in (the) sun even when doctors would say: ‘park in, son.
Polystyrene, a plastic sack and a print of a self-portrait on paper in a wooden frame.
When I first saw the movie ‘The Truman Show’ I recognized this strange feeling of being part of a big play. In my particular case was the play filled with conventions and customs that felt somehow unnatural to me. It felt as if everybody read the script and believed in the narrative, but me. Truman, the protagonist in the film, played by Jim Carrey, discovers that his perfect world is staged and that he is living in a Hollywood façade. It turns out he is the key player of a reality show where everybody but him plays a scripted and paid role. His wife involves herself with constant product placing. TV producer and Truman’s spiritual father (a man behind a see-through paper moon) totally staged, broadcasted and exploited his naive life. Truman was not allowed to get out of this world because he was ‘the’ revenue model for this reality event. Luckily for him, in the end he escapes this so-called perfect cardboard world and he finds his autonomy and freedom. YouTube (2005) and instagram 2010 did not even exist in 1998, when the film was released. And we know now that this freaky concept of 24/7; public exploitation of entire private lives was not far-fetched at all.
A finger pointing pen painted white, blackboard paint and transfer characters on a used blue fabric shopping bag on a wooden frame.
The white pointy fingertip and the literal blank point are at point blank range of each other. Somehow, the description of a white dot ended up in the world of violence, shooting and killing or at best in the world of impolite and direct comments. I just wanted to point that out, at point blank!
Plastic red a4 tab for ring binder, two cut crosses of promotional bag of theatre Bellevue gained on the ‘Uitmarkt’ Amsterdam, cut characters and a picture of refugees from a magazine on fabric on a wooden frame.
When it comes to rules and conventions I always felt the urge to bend it a little here and there. Bend it in a civil disobedient way. My rules of engagement are simple; rule bending must take place in a respectful fashion, cannot be with foul intentions and must be a pure act of conviction. Crossing lines. For large groups of people this is unintended the way they walk the earth. Crossing lines endlessly, hoping to find a shelter, an asylum, a future. What is the difference that makes us legit and many of them illegit? What does history tell us?
Scooter number plate found on the Zwolle streets, two sockholders and yellow acrylic paint on a terry fitted sheet on a wooden frame.
I discovered that angels come by the numbers. Each and every number responds to a particular angel. Pick a random number and there is a designated angel with the same figure, followed by an explanation for what this specific digit has in store for you. For me, 470 was just a number on the loose before I realised there is no such thing as a meaningless number. I surfed the Google surfaces and dived deeper into 470 and I stumbled on the following Angelic declaration;
“This is a special sign from the heavens. It is an indicator that your angels and the Ascended Masters are trying to get in touch with you.
They have something important to say concerning your life. Actually, this number carries a coded message.
The divine realm is aware of the confusion you have found yourself in lately. Your divine guides are asking you not to worry.
This angelic sign indicates good luck. Your angels and the Ascended Masters are alerting you that you are born a winner.”
Somehow I feel addressed ( :
I like the idea of being surrounded by angels. They must be quite busy right now, saving the world and all.
Get A Grip,
Slowly decaying but odourless yellow pepper in vacuum sachet in plastic food container and cut text on a product wrapping foil with health warning instructions on a wooden frame.
Currently I am reading the Atlas of World History. I am totally intrigued by it. History accommodated by legends and maps. What this atlas nicely visualizes in a nutshell is that many great powers had come and gone, and many borderlines were endlessly drawn and shifted here and there, bloodshed and disease were to the order of the day. Nowadays it is relatively calm, war-and border swapping wise but in essence not much has changed. Still, what has changed is that everyday western people do not believe in resignation and submission anymore. We want to be fully in charge of our lives and careers. It has been a while since disrupted forces descended upon us on a great scale. Maybe we lost, to a certain extent, the ability to deal with insecurity. We try to constrain and restrain the incontrolable as much as we can to get a grip and reclaim our sole right to determine which way we are moving. Truth is, and Covid shows us again, that life is and never will be feasible. Even when we think it is.
A Twine, two found plastic items, one red, one black, transfer characters, black and white paint on a terry fitted sheet on a wooden frame.
There are various ways to determine human nature. The obvious one is the nature within us humans. It’s what we are made of, the wood we are carved from.
Man, the willing spirit and the weak flesh. Man, capable of making music, art, poetry and theatre. Man, sprout brilliant thoughts and philosophic concepts. Man shows mercy and engagement. But does all the opposite at the same time. We are in fact a barrel of contradictions.
The other human nature holds the same dualism. That is the nature we try to subject to our will. We evolved into a mammal that needs artificial surroundings to survive. The paradox is that we are so successful at it that our surroundings itself might not survive us.Human
As Good As Real,
verbal no 176
A black plastic package of (?) cut plastic bag and blackboard paint on white plastic tarpaulin on a wooden frame.
What is reality anyway? One minute you experience a big or small real life event, next minute it is a bygone era that only exists inside your head (and maybe heart) or on your camera. Years later all memories are polluted with nostalgia, a few centuries later no one really cares if you were present at the time even if the event was interesting enough to remember. The reality or truth is often violated in the past, as it is still twisted today, and will be bent tomorrow. In the 21th century reality became fluid and elusive. Next to lying politicians and crooked corporate captains of industries our world of reality will be tested on every level by numerous deep fakes, fake news, filters, cat fishing, virtual and augmented realities and all that is yet to come. I agree, It is a technical sensation and an exciting box of Pandora, but still….
We all know there is no such thing as just one reality but despite all the offered ‘almost or better then real’ substitutes, the search for it remains vital. More than ever, or equal than ever I guess.
Ring a Bell,
verbal no 177
Red arrow and word from magazine ad, found blue carton Cornetto ice-cream cap and a plastic product wrapping with warnings and price tags still on, on a wooden frame.
A bell that’s ringing is a signal that you have to take action in some direction. Open a door, check your appointments, check your messages, answer the phone, hide under a table, run away, get heroic, call the police, pray or wake up!. This is all depending on the kind of bell that’s ringing. For quite a while I am, like so many, alarmed by all the big challenges that lie ahead of us as a result of everything that lies behind us. Plastic pollution, climate change, insect, extinction and soil depletion, are just a few issues in a long ‘to fix before the apocalypse’ list. The optimist in me believes that we are coming to senses and are able to change direction, in time. The pessimist sees also a reluctant rigidness, how we cling to what we are used to, and that comforts us, now. I only hope this ‘ring’ won’t get lost in the many rings that are pressed for our attention.
Do (Not) Disturb,
A white no en black yes door sign from Apple Park Hotel Maastricht, gesso and black and white acrylic on a worn and washed grey male t-shirt on a wooden frame.
What is disturbance, when is distraction disturbance and when is disturbance distraction? There is a thin line between distraction and disturbance. It is how we interpret and value interventions. It differs in what we think we choose and what we try to avoid. There are many evident and obvious settings where we can find ourselves, like in hotel rooms.
” Yes, I do want my laundry picked up and my bed straightened but not while I am still in it, so, do not disturb”.
Less evident is it when it comes to the continuous flood of online traffic that preys for our attention every day. As an artist I am extra aware of this distraction that can easily shift from a nice distraction or inspiration to mental noise at times. It is my aim to keep most of my brain capacity open and free to keep some space for new ideas. It is a true challenge to keep the clutter out. I kind of succeeded by being selective in what I allow to interfere and what not.
After all, even if we are under siege by social media and commercial big data, we are still in charge of our own choices. Or, do we?.
Plastic Jumbo grocery bag and yellow acrylic paint on a wooden frame.
Um, sometimes you feel just lost for words……………………….
A found red plastic Scapino bag and white acrylic paint on a wooden frame.
Scape is a non-word, it only gets meaning in combination with other words or characters, like landscape, a wide scenery of vast plains and wuthering heights filled with natural or manmade objects. A place we can e scape from or to, a scenery with spacious green fields where our scapegoats graze.
Scape-goats shoulder next to wool, blame. It is remarkable that we have invented a common notion for blaming an (in)significant other. This is probably rooted in the biblical fear that honesty leads to punishment combined with a need for some kind of justice. A certain someone has to suffer the consequences for the deeds of another to ease the public conscience. The scapegoat is a heavy symbolic but empty vessel when it comes to righteousness. If we are truly seeking for better ways it probably starts by pinning things on ourselves.
Wasteland Poetry, verbal no 181
One white quill, remains of an earlier made paper template, and an average, babies suffocation warning, cut from a o plastic wrapping on a plastic demolition waste disposal bag on a wooden frame
The sun, our warm and loyal supportive lifeline, greets us every day in the east and salutes us goodnight in the west. She casts her beautiful rays of light over our wastelands. She makes no distinction, she lights up everyone and everything. It’s equal to her. In her light, an apple tree just grows apples and a bee just vitalizes, for free. It’s what they do and they are not very ambitious or vain about it. They are not showing off just because their system supports all the others. No, please leave the bragging to us. Ever since we entered paradise, we refurbished it a bit, ripped some stuff away, built some big phalluses on top, killed some, maimed and raped here and there, invented unbridled capitalism, exploited everything we could get our hands on and we did some good stuff too. In all the hassle we forgot to tidy up. That’s why this place is getting rather messy. Now we are looking for a new affordable planet. It’ a pity the prices had gone trough the roof.
(Do) Make (Some) Sense, verbal no 182
Cut text on blackboard paint and crayon on a synthetic bag from drugstore Trekpleister on a wooden frame.
In the eighties, the post punk new wave band Talking Heads made a film, a live music registration, called Stop Making Sense made by Jonathan Demme.
Why stop making sense, they question in the trailer. Why the big suit and where do the odd movements come from, they question next. These questions remained unanswered…. Same as it ever was, same as it ever was ……….
I interpret Stop Making Sense as a counter reaction on laissez-faire capitalism and young urban professionalism that also rooted in the earlier eighties and finally festered it’s way deep into the 21th century. Talking Heads could have a total different motive in mind, I don’t really know.
In hindsight we could say that the sense making has actually stopped in many divisions.
Set aside rising economics for the well of, there is no proper logic, no clear line, no confirmation that we made some real sense the past decades. With big future questions laid out for us it might be a good idea to make some sense again, if only a little.
The Rebalancing of our Equilibrium, verbal no 183
Barcodes, X’s and one minus cut from promotional bag Bellevue Theatre Amsterdam on an illustrated synthetic grocery bag.
The Chinese invented a crystal clear concept about balance, Yin and Yang. This represents two opposing principles or forces of which all aspects of life and the universe are permeated like cosmic duality and even the opposite sexes. It is like a scale, with two equal parts, both parts must be divided equally to keep the scale straight, ‘Mens sana in corpore sano’, (a healthy mind in a healthy body), everything prospers in good balance, a simple truth.
However; balancing is also a bookkeeper’s delight. Figures on a sheet, shifted about, even in creative ways, to increase the number of the digits, making higher revenues and more profits, read the essence of economics. In our money dominated world these balances have priority and comes before any natural balance. By now, it proves to be a ruthless disrupting force. According to the Yin and Yang principle, this cannot be right. According to me we have to check our balance and find a new one.
Adam and Eve verbal 184
Cut text from fashion bag brand x, tape on used a Gippy washing bag on a wooden frame
At the end of Genesis 01, the 6th day’, God, so the story goes, created man.
(Genesis 01-no 27 > 31- In the beginning)
“Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
So God created mankind in his own image, he created them; male and female.
God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.”
God seemed very decisive and was obviously content with the work he had done.
Despite the good intentions and effort he made, after 2571 years, this concept could be ripe for an evaluation,
(What is the) Matter? verbal 185
Cut characters (white on pink) from public library bag, gesso, acrylic and pink tape on a terry fitted sheet on a wooden frame.
Cut characters (white on pink) from public library bag, gesso, acrylic and pink tape on a terry fitted sheet on a wooden frame.
Matter is any substance that has mass and takes up space by having volume. Matter should not be confused with mass, as the two are not the same in modern physics
As a matter of fact, matter, matters regardless of what is the matter.
No matter what, concerning the state of the mind over matter, mind state, it is only a matter of time before the matter overcomes the mind. This matter brings a lot of weight to the table, which is not to be confused with mass. Do we matter?
Lets Face It verbal 186
Cut text from found plastic bag and collage of faces from magazine and personal archive on an illustrated synthetic bag.
“Now all I can do
Love what was once
So alive and new
But it’s gone from your eyes
I’d better realize
Eyes without a face”
Billy Idol Eyes without a face- 1983
This song, I truly love it, still. Billy Idol was a diamond in the rough, a bright and promising light that gradually faded. It’s the vibe in a song that gives it weight, mostly not the lyrics. Not many people actually listen to the lyrics in a song. I get to know the words of a song after long-term exposure to it; even then I hardly give the words any real attention, only in some particular cases. David Bowie was known for cutting up sentences and reordering the words in alternative ways. No meaning, just a sense of meaning. Now I write these small stories to accompany my artworks.186 stories by now. And I acknowledge that it’s hard to put some real sense or meaning into a few lines and keep it smooth and sparkling at the same time. What did Billy Idol mean with eyes without a face? Did he refer to the eyes as a last sparkle of a memory in an otherwise fainting face of a loved one. Or was he addressing just a face in the crowd.
I Would Rather Be A Hippie, verbal 187
Cut text and artificial purple butterfly, gesso and acrylic on a canvas bag on a wooden frame.
Fly silly seabird
No dreams can possess you
No voices can blame you
For sun on your wings
My gentle relations
Have names they must call me
For loving the freedom
Of all flying things
My dreams with the seagulls fly
Out of reach out of cry
Joni Mitchell 1968