What a finger is to the moon brings together 5 artists whose work deals in different ways with the constructed way meaning is generated, by questioning the premises of perception, communication and interpretation. We communicate everyday with a set of tools that help us get through the day. The work presented at Ellen de Bruijne Projects reflects on how much such tools, based on strict terms and conditions, are often conventions that are silent as much as they are loud. These conventional forms themselves can become even tangible and autonomous. The inadequacy and sometimes superfluousness of these linguistic tools rises to the surface. What a finger is to the moon creates the suggestion that the option almost always exists to evaluate the expected system of order and to see the possibility for other ‘systems’ that can expand endlessly or even cancel itself out.
Jean-Baptiste Ganne (FR, 1972) was at the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten in Amsterdam in 2003-2004. He is currently taking part in the residency at villa Medici in Rome until April 2007.
The work of Jean-Baptiste Ganne deals with the logic of representation. It also deals with politics, which for him, is the other side of aesthetics. Ganne questions the dialectic of image and language. He is interested in the discrepancies introduced between what is said and what is meant to be said about practising art. With hís practice of art the aim is not to demonstrate that an image is artificial but that, concerning its very representation, the true is also a moment of the false. In 2003, during open ateliers at Rijksakademie, he closed his studio and cooked during six days a French stew in order to produce a smell that filled the building. On the door was written “On Strike (Cooking)”. This performance was supposed to be a kind of seminary on the notion of work, where he was the only talker. He cooked and talked alone about the (im)possibility of revolution and art.
Evi Vingerling (NL, 1979) grew up in Georgia USA, lives and works in Amsterdam, and is currently a resident at the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten. Evi Vingerling makes paintings that present the notion that the tangibility of reality is remarkable. Her work calls to mind something, even teeters on the edge of being something. Doubting, or hesitation to place an association, makes possible a reconsideration that is unusual for these otherwise unimportant objects of inspiration. This displacement makes more clear that the object is not only what is thought, but real and there. The work she shows at Ellen de Bruijne possesses an abstractness that evokes a strong spatial quality that seems to be based on the verge between image and language, between formal poetry and actual signs.
Frank Koolen (NL, 1978) lives and works in Amsterdam, studied at De Ateliers from 2001 to 2003. The work of Frank Koolen can be described as an ongoing search for the ideal combination between the beauty of discovery and the happiness of recognition. A moment in which the everyday and the magical seem to collide, creating unexpected logic. In a dynamic process related style he uses all media to create a world in which nothing seems to be certain. Icons become trivial assets to a performance and trivialities are enlarged to icon like proportions. In his work duality often becomes contradiction and knowledge a misunderstanding. By doing so Koolen tries to test the meaning of an image or idea over and over again and creates space for questions about and reinterpretation of the chosen visual language.
Gwenneth Boelens (NL, 1980) lives and works in Amsterdam, is currently resident at the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten.
Gwenneth Boelens’ work is a constant attempt to resolve the ironic tension between the constructed subjects which she often arranges or distorts herself, and the monumental reality of large format photography. The presentation of seemingly divergent works evokes a subtle and authentic synthesis. Typically, she approaches her subject matter, like places of creation and growth, with a matter-of-factness that is devoid of a clear narrative.
Heidi Ganshaw (US, 1971) lives and works in Wisconsin, USA. Has finished her residency at the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten last year.
Heidi Ganshaws work is in a minimalist tradition which focuses on the formal and material qualities of objects but resists the notion that this can only be pursued through abstract forms. With an economy of gesture she rearranges or groups existing objects based on their formal, material, or functional characteristics, accentuating their material or sensual qualities. The objects and/or patterns remain what they are but through the rearrangement come to carry or conjure external images or concepts. There is a distinct pleasure in this: in looking at something fully aware of what it is and yet seeing or believing it to be something else or somehow more than it is.
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