This installation piece was exhibited for Nuit Blanche 2008.
I got the idea for this installation from the film ‘The Adventures of Baron Munchausen’, and from the time of year that Nuit Blanche is held. In the film, people challenge Baron Munchausen about his fabulous tales of adventure, suggesting that they’re lies or fantasies. Then it occurred to me how much we feel like we have to make rational sense of our own experiences. It is because of our society? Also the time of year that Nuit Blanche is held is a time for dreaming, because it is the time of changing seasons, when we put away our memories of summer and get ready for winter. Thinking about these two elements, I asked myself: do dreams have to make sense all the time?
Dreaming and imagination are for all of us; dreams when we sleep; dreams that we have for the future; daydreams. As we grow, we try to make sense out of dreams and imagination, reducing everything to reason. What is the point of this? Dreams should be free. In the end, they might even make sense, but why should they have to? They don’t have to make sense when we sleep; why should they have to make sense when we are awake.
This is my attempt to help people dream like babies. It is a mobile that hangs from the ceiling and rotates by means of a small electric motor. Strings are hanging from the top part, which is round, and objects are attached to the strings; beads, coloured film, animal figures, leaves, twigs, candy, chocolate, etc.
I would like people to go inside the circle and look around at these objects. Three ideas are represented in this installation: the first, represented by the objects, is that dreams and imagination don’t have to make sense; the second is safety and peace: it’s a safe place inside the circle; the third is eternity, the circular motion and the circle of life, we can be babies again.
I don’t know when I started to feel that way, but I was scared of winter for a long time. I was scared of the cold, the short days, the grey sky, the cold wind, cold water, cold bed… Even in summer, I was afraid of the winter to come. But one day during the winter of 2007, I was thinking about the things I like about winter. Surprisingly, I liked a lot of small things, like clear night skies, the sound of steps in cold snow, the decorations on people’s houses. Above all I like winter nights because there is something magical about them. When it’s clear, and stars are sparkling; when it’s snowing and streets are twinkling; when it’s cloudy, and the trees make gorgeous silhouettes. So I translated my favourite winter nights on to paper, using acrylic paints.
I’ve started to develop ideas about a style of painting that combines organic (spontaneous, living, active) and inorganic (geometric, hard, immobile) elements. The process is still unfolding, as I experiment with different kinds of hard and soft elements. On a visual level, I want to paintings to be striking, but also intriguing in their detail. On an abstract level, I think that they are talking about being warm and alive inside myself even in the cold and dark of a winter night.
“Gris”, Pencil on Paper, 32.5cm x 50cm