Que chose soit! (2011)

Lisbon, June 1, 2011, 16.48h
In Belem the Tagus slowly flows, the grey pebbles on the bank turn black as the passing water overflows them. We stroll around the mausoleum of Vasco da Gama in the Jeronimos Monastery. The air feels cool, the tiles show signs of wear from the endless shuffle of pilgrims, monks and tourists. The tomb is dignified: a lying old man with long robe and dead sleeping eyes. Our eye wanders along his hands, held together in prayer, his delicate ankles, his feet pointing up sharply, and to a minuscule ornament a little further, a futile embellishment to a column. The near-evening light and our own stooped shadow bring everything back to its essence.
We discreetly photograph this little fragment and leave the Jeronimos monastery church. In our studio, months later, this random detail will initiate the shaping of something that existed, but is not connected to this moment. A new image, a reminder of things that never were. It translates into a wish, a command to a third person, a space, a moment, a “subjonctif impératif”: che chose soit!
We need space for ourselves, time as well as place. Our active searching takes us to nearby or distant locations. Our deliberate mindfulness shows us time and again how surprising reality can be. Our fast and unobtrusive digital photography, even in places where it should not be done, leaves us plenty of freedom to transport images over time and space. Back in our studio oblivion allows us to build up a completely new image.
The painting goes beyond the photographed image. By its scale and by the way it is painted what happened is reconstructed into a new being. The image, the anecdote, gets transformed by being painted to an image that nobody can see, a reminder of things that are not there.

Links
Lissabon, 1 juni 2011 (NL)
Le temps de réponse (a small publication)
Quatre Mains (book)

40 x 60 cm 100 x 80 cm 100 x 80 cm 90 x 60 cm