2011 – Brussels
Wood, steel + Form 2008 reworked
2x 150 x 50 cm
Ok so given that this project has just been added to Artserved (thanks Behance) I guess I should explain the process a little.
Basically, I carve wood painstakingly and at length, in an obsessive quest for a perfection that will necessarily remain frustrated. The work ends only when the piece breaks.
This working 'method' has taken a long time to mature (and will, no doubt, continue to evolve). It began with the willful destruction (in performance, with chainsaw and sledgehammer) of the black piece you see in the pictures in 2008 (which I had polished and lacquered to a very high gloss over several weeks of intensive work - I'll post pictures of that project at a later date). It was an attempt to transcend the desire for perfection, but it was a failure - I couldn't get over a sense of loss and guilt.
Returning to wood after another successful failure (Janus - already posted but not explained) I decided that rather than to actively destroy, instead I would embrace the possibility of destruction inherent in any uncompromising quest for perfection, and simply continue making the piece more and more fragile until the inevitable rupture. At this point, I was free to make of the two pieces what I liked - and decided to restore it to its original form, but to leave its scars apparent. I also turned back to my older piece and brought back the original form, though with far more brutal and rough repairs, reflecting the darker and more brutal nature of its history. Effectively, the attempt is to resolve a paradox of simultaneously embracing the desire for perfection and fact of imperfection. The imperfect result is exhibited broken, and yet indicates the perfect form it was aimed at. It is simultaneously a celebration of perfection as abstraction and of imperfect reality.
The basic form (two masses in a dynamic and tense relationship, either seemingly reaching for each other to join together, or tearing apart from each other) is recurrent in my work. Its appeal to me is as an abstract model of opposition (paradox, contradiction) and perhaps an attempt at modelising a picture of opposites as part of a dynamic, organic whole.