The core of my practice currently lies in an attempt to rethink and reshape the space and conditions of artistic production for myself along the lines of care and dedication. After working for many years in a more or less respondatory role as an artist – responding to an invitation to make a work for a space, or show a work in a certain context – I had come to feel increasingly disempowered as an artist. Disempowered not in the sense of a loss of voice or autonomy, but disempowered in the sense that, as a whole, the external conditions of artistic production in which I was functioning, was contradicting and compromising the core nature of the kind of work I was aiming to make. This was because of the way it often reframed it into some form of spectacle compromising its potential to disrupt attention. It placed the work on stage for a brief moment, but in so doing missed other moments where it could gain different voices. In response to this I’ve actively been trying to shape not just the work but also the conditions and scenario in which my work comes into being and is exhibited. The project ‘wild care, tame neglect’ – a two year collaboration with the Franlendael Foundation is the first manifestation of this aim. Within this project I embed my practice within the physical site of the Frankendael garden, making and exhibiting works in response to these interests and the location. Within this project the negotiation of a space in which to work, between myself and the other people and activities of the Frankendael, becomes as much the artwork as the physical interventions. Striving for the possibility not to make a single grand exhibition, but to make a series of interventions over time - the project is grounded in a rethinking of the experience of art along the lines of commitment and care. Within this project the garden is both a physical and a metaphorical space. It is at once a place where plants and artworks are cultivated, but is also a metaphor for a space of art in which production, display and storage happen simultaneously. Time in this project becomes narrative, mirroring the ever-changing garden, but it also becoming problematised as it goes against the grain of our contemporary fast passed economy. For me these are ways of defying the pressures of a spectacular moment, ways of extending our engagement with an artwork beyond a moment that is fleeting, as ways of refusing the current modes of high-performance resulting from our capitalist zeitgeist. Equally it is an act of care and dedication. An act of cultivation.
This project is supported by mondriaan fonds the O&O funding from the CBK Rotterdam by the amsterdams fonds food de kusnt the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds the Stadsdeel Amsterdam oost by Intratuin Amsterdam and by Stop Digging