Jan Van Den Dobbelsteen, The limits of borderlines marginality margins and peripheries; PARTS Project, The Hague

It’s not the poet’s sweat, his breath or the perils of his life that make poetry.

It’s words.

The same accounts for a visual artist: it’s the materials that make art.

If only artists who think their work is the search for an individual style, would realise their quest is nonsense: it’s the material that dictates a style.

It’s all these things you have for free in life on this planet: objects, materials, space, colour, light, sound and the human brains.

It’s a communication between these that gives the artist the opportunity to make art, and that makes you experience art as a viewer.

These materials become spiritual by themselves if you understand them.

This understanding may be factual or scientific, but the understanding is also the way they behave and communicate with the viewer and with each other.

Of course their communication doesn’t exist of words, it’s not poetry; visual art is definitely not poetry.

It’s a communication that will only reveal itself if you just look, at the details and at the whole.

Further on, art happens, which means time plays a role as well.

It is on a certain moment that you enter a gallery to take a look at what is on show, and it is during a limited period in time that this show is taking place.

In fact you probably enter somewhere in the middle of the story, while the exhibition itself is part of a bigger ongoing story.

You break into the story somewhere in the middle of everything, even of your own life, as you don’t know what will happen next.

You discover things, hear sounds; things and sounds that already had their lives before you experienced them.

In winter, at this latitude, it is already dark when the gallery closes late in the afternoon, and artificial light becomes more important to see the objects on show.

They seem to prepare for some private time of their own, as you as a viewer may be doing as well.

Peering into the windows of the gallery at night time, you will only see some contours and vague shapes: the exhibition and its objects have temporarily stopped their communication.

You may experience that all and other things when visiting the present exhibition of Jan Van Den Dobbelsteen (1954) at PARTS project in this season of death and renewal.

© Villa Next Door 2020

Contents of all photographs courtesy to Jan Van Den Dobbelsteen and PARTS Project, Den Haag.

Bertus Pieters


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