reconstructions of the Holy Grail
Jeroen on talking about his work: word versus image
an image can express what thousands of words cannot do:
93rd reconstruction of the remains of the holy grail, 1993
Now, all those years later (and having been teaching at art schools all over the world), I know that students are taught to write long essays. Art-students are trained to speak a lot about their work.
This was a professional critic on art for one of Holland’s most prestigious art-magazines AND an important newspaper?? And he did not see? Was it not his job to see and feel and translate into words?
I had no words, as that is exactly WHY I visualized: because I had no language, unable to talk about the things that went on in my head. I made images in my own language. Text never suffices.
I stuttered, did my best, but was not convincing, obviously.
Now, time cures a lot, as I knew it would.
We have moved-on now, some 30 years or so, and the work still stands. I am happy to conclude that the journalist just may not have been as clever as I assumed him to be.
The impact, however, of this article, taught me that I have to talk about the work, what it means, what I mean. I learned that this is also what potential customers want: an explanation.
It is sad that I gave in (have to sell in order to survive, get articles in order to sell). I learned to talk. Got over my initial aversion and over the years became quite good at talking.
This, however, made me stop making...
No need to make when you can talk.
So much easier: talking, faster, effortless... But also meaningless.
This, again, is sad.
I still am very proud of the 'reconstructions'.
They are powerful big porcelain objects, loaded with meaning. So much meaning, that when talking about them to someone, I always forget to mention 'the other thing that was inside'...
At a certain point I compared the works wit a Mozart opera. Here you sometimes find 2 (or more, even 4!) people singing simultaneously, each their own text, each their own melody even. But together it is one music, a feast to the ear, even though you may have to listen to it several times to fully comprehend what happens. When it was first heard, the famous line: "too many notes" was uttered by an equally unimaginative mind as the one who criticised my work back in 1987.
This whole thing of course was not helpful in the beginning when an artist needs all the backup he can get. But through the years more and more people grew used to my way of expression and I am happy to say the works are now all sold and in good collections all over the world (which is their purpose, once I made them: to have other people enjoy them).
I KNOW you only have to look, to read, to feel the meaning. An object is made by an artist, but completed by the one who looks at it. An interesting object will therefore mean something different to each individual....
By talking about visual work you do lose.
see the article that played such an important role in this: see the article (in Dutch)