#6 “Get yourself in the dark woods and keep walking.”

During my work period of the Young Talent Stipend, I intend to publish some of my thoughts every month. Left of this page (or top if you are using a mobile device), you will find an overview of categories. Select ‘Mondriaan Fund’ for an overview of all publications written during my work period.

#6 February 2021  

Beginning of February Covid was multiplied by snow. As mercury fell well below zero (by Dutch standards) I ‘ve blown less glass. My extraction hose needs an open window and turned my studio icy cold, except around the burner. I share my space with other artists, naturally an open window the whole day with freezing temperatures was was not an option.  

This did free up some time to work on making my progress visible. My intention was to compile a visual diary on hotglue, a medium that I really like. But it soon became apparent that the aesthetics of hotglue were working against me and navigation became very chaotic. I switched tactics and built a website that is easy to navigate for visitors but still feels like a large collection board. You’ll find it here: progress.jannetjejeanine.nl.

[sub] At the moment I am creating another subdomain. Which will be my online exhibition space. As an artist I feel most alive when making and showing. Getting both validation and critical opinions from public. I missed that enormously in the past year. This exhibition has “firsts” in multiple aspects. My first online exhibition, my first solo exhibition, and my first self-curated exhibition. But of course I will consult the advice of experts during the process.

Since I started building my exhibition space, I’ve been thinking a lot about the different elements that you encounter during physical exhibitions. And how these can be translated to a digital platform. Maybe not all of them are even necessary to translate into a digital platform. But I find it very interesting to think about how you can shape encounters and conversations between visitors. I also really like capturing the digital presence of public and in some way displaying thay even when the visitor is no longer there. Somewhat of a digital ghost. 

Navigation and programming are important aspects I am contemplating about. Is the exhibition always “open”, or will there be visiting hours during which the visitors can be guided through the exhibition. And what is the impact of visitors, can they “touch” and influence the exhibition. In addition to the visual part of the exhibition, what is the role of audio. The world wide web and social media are much focused on visual sharing, how can I give my visitors an audio experience, or is that irrelevant.

As you can read many elements have not yet been cast into a fixed form. Thinking about this exhibition will probably have its affects in my presentation in a physical space af well.

[contemplations] February quietly turned into March because I caught the flu [appearantly that’s also still around] and had about a week of compulsory bed rest. It turned out to be a good reset. It may sound strange, but the sense that I am doing well came in only then. My pursuit of improving in glass, for example, can quickly turn into the feeling: Why am I not good enough yet and will I ever be. It helps to look at where you came from, what you’ve achieved and what you will be able to do if you just keep investing time.

My current intention is do a self-organized artist retreat in the countryside for a week in April / May. Let’s hope I am not to caught up working to remember how valuable a reset can be.

I would like to conclude this reflection with a quote from an e-mail correspondence with a fellow artist. “Get yourself in the dark woods and keep walking.” I thought it was beautiful and very relevant for how I feel. Curious, expectant and just a little bit frightened.

As always, to be continued. Thank you for reading.

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