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Een eerste boek brengt verwachting met zich mee. Vooral als de schrijver David Foster Wallace (1962 – 2008) is, die later wereldberoemd zou worden met zijn tweede boek; “Infinite Jest” (1996). The Broom of the System (1987) – oftewel: De bezem van het systeem – gaat over Lenore Stonecipher Beadsman, die op een zekere dag verneemt dat haar overgrootmoeder is verdwenen uit een verpleegtehuis, en op dat moment een zoektocht begint, geholpen door haar vriend. Het boek reflecteert op de Amerikaanse cultuur, maar bijvoorbeeld ook op het belang van context en taal. Beadsman’s oma was leerling geweest van Ludwig Wittgenstein. Zes kunstenaars is gevraagd met The Broom of The System in het hoofd nieuw werk te maken, en zich dus te verhouden tot deze spannende, beloftevolle eersteling van Foster Wallace, die zijn boek later zelf omschreef als ‘mislukt’.
Interview met Bettina Hutschek
What is the starting point of your work? Can you tell a little bit about your process?
Starting point of the work was reading THE BROOM OF THE SYSTEM and being reminded of my own stay in Ohio as exchange student. I spent 1 year in Ohio, simultaneously learning about a new culture and its customs, as well as orienting myself in a new language, family, educational system, religions etc. I had to get a grip of the different meanings of things, of different ways of expression, and different forms of speaking. My own memories of these different speech acts came back when i was reading Wallace’s book, and i started digging up memories and photographs from 1994…
In the case of The Broom of the System exhibition, can you tell something about your choice to juxtapose quotes of the book, extracts of Wittegenstein’s “Tractuatus”?
The collages juxtapose quotes of the book, extracts of Wittgenstein’s “Tractatus”, texts from fortune cookies, memories of Ohio, texts from advertisement brochures as well as the yearbook class of 1995, Elyria West High School. The idea to combine these various texts came naturally, in order to grasp the complexity of sensations, emotions and sets of “speech” acts, and thus different realities coexisting in the Elyrian society: they co-exist in parallel worlds, but blend into a concoction of absurdities. Wittgensteins text is perfect both in the sense that it is an indirect quote of the book as well as a philosophical text trying to grasp reality in an analytic way, while ultimately going into very spiritual thoughts.
You founded Fragmenta Matla, a project that organizes pop-up exhibitions. Does this connect to your art practice and what is the mail goal of these pop-ups?
The goal of FRAGMENTA Malta is to bring exciting projects and experimental art to Malta: in form of pop-up exhibitions which take place in different locations all over Malta, I have been organizing events since 2013. I learn a lot from working with other artists, and love this experience of trying to implement something into the public space and to confront also random passers-by with contemporary art. Set into public space I have the feeling that art still has a say in the relevant contemporary issues of our times and society. Especially in Malta, where the political system is filthy with corruption, nepotism, money laundering, selling of passports, the killing of a journalist 6 months ago and dodgy deals, I think it is important to raise awareness of contemporary societal issues and to have a voice as artist and curator… and by placing something into the public realm, allow everybody to see/ read/ interact with it.
You say about your work you use fragments of different realities and your work is about telling stories. Can you tell how you collect these stories and what your goal is with telling these stories.
Every story is different, so I would not have a certain goal by telling, apart from the fact that i want to question the obvious, to incite opennees of mind, to instill wonder, to surprise… and last but not least for people to walk away with a nice story. Stories capture your attention, but good stories also have different layers and levels of meaning, os they can mean one thing to one person and another thing to another person, and they can also be interpreted on various levels.
Opening : 20 april, 18:00u
Daniël Dennis de Wit
Met : performance / voordracht van Xander Karskens (Artistiek directeur van het Cobra Museum, Amstelveen) en Laurie Cluitmans (Conservator van het Centraal Museum, onafhankelijk curator en kunstcriticus) uit een scène van “Lenore vs Dr Jay”.
Performance door Pia Louwerens.
Performance door Daniël Dennis de Wit.