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There is looking at art from the outside, and there is understanding a particular work of art. In between those two is a world of opportunity. Maybe one wants to know more about an artist’s method, or inquire, for example, how the artist thinks about the tradition she or he works in. There is absolute freedom in that. One could wonder why there is a stroke of blue paint on a sculpture, why a dancer lifted up his left leg in the tenth second of the fourth minute of a piece, or linger on an artist’s world views: where, and however far one wants to go, one is free to go.


Because of the experimental nature of this engaging, it brings us to a place where rules and preconceived notions aren’t of any use for a while, and where stencils of conventional codes don’t apply. This space of free engagement shows us that we can think differently, which, I think, is of great importance. I also think it is easily overlooked, and often underestimated.


It is also, or shall I say therefore, under threat by opposing forces. Too much policies are out for its effects, and try to capitalize on every of its aspects. But reactions to those policies, when they are out to provide seemingly objective and general answers should be regarded with caution as well. They can make for just as unnatural a demand: there should be no one ideological or moral structure to superimpose on that space. That space away from anything preconceived is autonomous by its nature, and it constitutes autonomy in our thinking and being. If we do not treasure the little bits of freedom that we have, we lose our potential for resistance altogether.


When I write ‘opposing forces’, of course I think of neoliberalism and capitalism. But there are particular social and cultural forces at play here as well. Ever since I started out as an artist, and up until this very day, people coming up to me to talk about my work, or about art in general, would often start by saying ‘you should…’, to consequently give some sort of instruction. This is just ridiculous. As an artist I should not be doing anything. So no single thing that was ever said that started with ‘you should…’ was ever true.


My work is right at ease in that autonomous space. Deriving from an undercurrent in which being in this world, and thinking about being in this world intermingle, my work comfortably occupies that place of freedom. Verging on that experiencing and thinking on the one hand, it’s highly aware of the trying to grasp and understand it that happens on the other. The funniest question about my work ever posed to me, came from someone who confessed to have been puzzled by it for a long while. It seemed like a relieving testimonial, and what this person ultimately wanted to know was whether my work was visual, or intellectual. I must have answered quite unsatisfactory, when all I said was ‘yes, exactly’. But as far as I was concerned, this person had it right: my work does indeed unmask how we’re always trying to define and distinguish the things we live amongst. From there it invites us to reevaluate the results of these attempts, which we have come to live with. ‘Visual or intellectual’ is but one such distinction that would be interesting to reconsider. Me myself, as another example, I’ve brought the one that is often made between abstraction and daily life to a place where the distinction became untenable.


Refusing to ever be one or the other, my work debunks the tyranny that is the demand to render every single thing into effect and commodity. It also turns its back on what art supposedly should be doing, in order to dispute this tyranny, or for any reason at all. Any regulation means a distrust of the space of freedom and autonomy that holds its power. I, for one, have no problem trusting it. Like I said: my work is absolutely comfortable there. Me and my work will meet your distrust whenever we’ll meet it, that’s fine. But we’re not going anywhere, and nothing can make us.


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