About my work

Figures-Sleepers

In the most recent series of work, entitled ' Sleepers', it is the posture of the sleeper that holds a key position: All the little bends and folds in matrasses, sheets, quilts and cushions constitute a habitat. Finally it's the habitus of the 'sleeper' that contracts everything in a big and winding fold.
Reality manifests itself in the figures as a rippling of waves, a mass of shiny and moving parts. But also as a stiffening of the muscles, a drowsiness as in a state of anaesthesia.

Using the 'cut-out' as a form of presentation immediately activates the non-spectacular, in-active image of the 'sleeper' with regards to the wall. The 'cut-out' is presented on the wall as an opaque plane that emphasizes first of all the autonomous values of color and form.
Obviously representation itself becomes problematic if the 'cut-out' is used as a way of presenting 3D objects in more or less 2D terms. The representation starts to 'flit back and forth' between image and object. This is intensified by the material elaboration: It brings out the image in full relief and increases its veracity. A fold in the represented object becomes an actual fold in the representation and is credible as such. But it still needs suggestion to fully perform its representational part.

The perspective offered becomes like a hallucination: The perception is in want of a frame to make sense of the presented space. The wall changes in the perception from a tangible, two-dimensional plane into a highly illusionistic plane.
The context is gone and the 'sleeper' assails the wall.

Besides this the 'sleepers' unify hard geometrical forms that have a perceptual life of their own. All these forms are defined as accurate as possible. In a painstaking manner every one of them is sewn together, one rib(bon) at a time (regular folds)
The matress can consist of a bar, a cube or a rhombohedron (six rhombic faces), which are all specific cases of a parallellepipedium. The limbs of every figure are as many cylindrical forms that are all subject to specific curves.
Against these hard forms the chaos of cushions, sheets, quilts, and clothing manifests itself. They are all irregularly folded and carry a singular pattern. In this case it is the disturbance of the pattern that makes every form "legible".

Piping.

Piping, a folded satin-tape used to pipe linings, has proven to be ideal as a material for producing these works.
- It establishes a direct connection with clothing, covering, veiling etc.
- Satin, originally used for linings, underwear, pyamas etc. (intimacy) now defines the exterior
of the figure. The inside is turned out and makes the figure erotic
- It is a folded material that is easily transferred in more differentiated folds. What starts at the border as a contour shifts and changes, undulates and folds as it follows a new line. This continues until an expressive form is produced.
- The way the folded satin-tape catches the light depends on the time of day and the viewing angle. Because of the repetition of shine and shadow unprecedented gradations in hues become visible. It gives the well-defined, hard-edged fields of color something sensuous.
-It intensifies questions about depth and perspective. For example: How does the actual depth of the satin-tape (first fold) relate to the deceptive depth of the suggested form (final fold)

Martin Fenne, june 2011