Skip to Content Skip to Search Go to Top Navigation Go to Side Menu


"tactility" Tag


Painting, smoking, eating, chairs, table, shelf.


Sunday, January 21, 2018

Oil, canvas, metal, clay,

Met in the Stedelijk one day.

 

A strong effect can be produced with simple actions. Sometimes it makes a big difference just to put together things that never met each other before.

Maarten Baas’s clay furniture is something that I didn’t see at the times of the old Stedelijk permanent exhibition. The composition includes are different size coloured chairs, a bookshelf and a small table. Objects are placed on white square shelves attached to a wall on different levels. They are actually made out of a synthetic clay put on top of a metal skeleton.

It would be difficult to write about only one of these objects because they are placed so close to each other that I immediately thought of them as one composition.

philip guston and clay furniture

The wall where all the clay furniture is exhibited happens to be next to a painting “Painting, smoking, eating” by Phillip Guston. This neighbourship doesn’t seem to be random. Put in this corner of space the all these objects create a common vibe. Thick and handcrafted legs of clay furniture resonate with fat lines of paint on Guston’s canvas. The furniture and the painting are so alike that you can easily imagine these chairs, the table and the shelf to appear from the Guston’s painting which makes them highly connected. The painting is so much overlayered with paint that it produces the visual effect of the furniture almost dripping on the floor. Both furniture and painting have this tactility in them. You can see how thick and greasy the layers of the paint are so you want to touch the cars to feel the softness of clay.

marten baas clay tablePhilip Guston

To conclude I’d like to emphasise again how beneficial the neighbourship of these objects happened to be. Putting Guston’s  painting and Baas’s furniture together solved the problem of placing artworks in the space in a whole new way.

Untouched


Tuesday, March 7, 2017

IMG_3031_1100

Irene Vonck / From Rhythms of Space series 1995

When material is manipulated to make-believe, touch becomes irrelevant for the experience of tactility, the physical experience of touch is exceeded and the brain is provoked. “From the rhythms of space” touches upon the idea that when contact between bodily surface and the object displayed is censored the viewer perception is (mis)leaded into dissonance with reality. This visual contradiction appears when the associations between the artwork as a whole and the material used in brut is not coherent.

Soft

Malleable

Comforting

Pretend

Fake

Play

The art piece appears to be made of cloth but instead it is made of airbrushed stoneware. None of this adjectives mentioned prior seems to describe the properties of cooked stoneware; this is because construction of tactility is build upon the pillars of experience and imagination since we cannot come in contact with it. Due to this I believe this work of art belongs to FAUX (in which nothing is as it seems) and AGENCY (in which paint takes the power back). Colour and subtitle sinuosity trick the viewer, the black colour gives the piece a sense of heaviness whilst the red interior an association with felt fabric. Paint definitely becomes an important element; it gives the object a sense of elegance and mystery and of course exhilarates the desire of touch. There will always be something very special and curious in tactility, in objects that seem ambiguous, objects that lure the viewer into doing what it is highly prohibited – TOUCH. When exploring an art gallery/museum/space etc., objects can be quite novel to us and thus, as young children do, we might feel the urge to touch, touch to understand, touch to explore, to grasp on the full experience of wonder. But … when we cannot touch ( and this is what fascinated me this time)it becomes pure mental construction and sense of touch is replaced by sense of sight.

Since books can’t fly, lets angle them instead


Saturday, April 16, 2016

Since books can’t fly, lets angle them instead

I’m usually a patient and thorough person. My apartment is always in an acceptable order, I iron my clothes, I bike at an average pace, I don’t lose my patience when I stand in the slowest line at the grocery store. If I start reading a book, I always finish it sooner or later.

But; whenever I visit a bookstore or a library, and I get confronted by thousands of books, I completely lose my patience.

I know that there is a very clever and simple system to find what you are searching for, and that someone carefully placed every book in alphabetic order, neatly lined up on the bookshelves. But when I stand before the books, I get the same anxious stomach ache as when someone asks me a simple mathematical question that I usually can answer in one second, but in the stressed situation I turn red and stutter that I don’t know.

So how could I avoid this brain-freeze related paralyzation in the context of books?

Solution:

So lets start with the order of the books. The order is usually determined by the alphabetic order of the authors name or the title, which makes sense since it’s both practical and logical, which I’m a big fan of.

Now imagine that you stand before the alphabetically organized bookshelf, turning the pages in Hendrikje Koersen’s poetry collection De witte boot. You are now amazed over the treasure you found, and start to eye the bookshelf after more poetry.

Here is the interesting part:

Imagine every book containing poetry, magically hoovering in front of the bookshelf, making it easy as a piece of cake for you to find.

Sounds good right? Unfortunately I’m not a wizard and therefore not in a position to change the laws of nature, but I can however physically highlight a category of books, by tilting the short-side of them, so they hang over the bookshelves end, pointing out in the room, without actually falling down.

To angle these books, you could use a very simple wooden tool as in the illustration below.

angler

Left picture: Angler, viewed from the side

Right picture: Angler, viewed from above

How:

I have chosen to call this tool an angler, since it is used to literally angle books. (Angler is also the word used to describe a person who is doing angling, a kind of sport fishing, which is fitting since you hold your fishing rod in a angle similar to my wooden tool.)

angler and fishingrod

Left picture: The Angler

Right picture: Fishing rod 

The angler-tool is made of a very simple construction of wood. It can both be used in singles or in groups, but in the context of bookshelves, I will describe the usage of multiple angler-tools.

To use it you first have to fasten it to a bookshelf, and then put it in the angle that is needed. You can choose from five different angles, each representing a different category.

I have chosen to represent poetry, architecture, design, photography and fine art in this scenario, since I study at an art school where these subjects are the most presented in the school-library. In theory, you could add even more angles to the tools design, but I believe that that would affect the clarity of the category’s in a negative way.

anglers angles

Picture: The five different angles that can be used

The tool has five angles, each representing on of the category’s above.

The angles are:

90

110

130

150

170

The angle 170 will be most far out from the bookshelf, and thus also highlight the book. I want to use it as a category for Poetry, because I believe that poetry it is an underrepresented subject that is read the least in art schools in comparison to other subjects. Having this subject highlighted could direct more attention to poetry and maybe influence someone to take a look in the book, even if this person usually does not read poetry.

Angle 90 would be used for books about Fine Art, since I believe that Fine Art is the subject with the highest quantity of books, which therefore makes it important for them to stay further back so they don’t block the view of the angled books, hanging out a bit from the bookshelf.

It is also a category of books that are often used for research in an art university, so it is important for their title to be visible to make them easy to find.

Angle 110 would be used for the Design-category, for the same reason as Fine Art.

The 130 angle would be used for Architecture, and angle 150 for Photography.

 

visualisation

Picture: Illustration of how a book-shelf using the angler could look.

Result:

By using this angler tool system a modified bookshelf will look like a relief due to the books protruding in different angles. If you are looking at the bookshelf from a distance, you should have an easy time recognizing the different categories by the angle of the books. Looking at the bookshelf from a closer distance, you would be able to find your book by using the alphabetic order.

By making the bookshelf look like a relief instead of a plain overview, it will invite the viewer for a more tactile experience of the books, because you are not only able to touch and see the spine of the book, but also the front and back side, the material of the cover and the colors of the pages.

The tool may only be a small object, but it would affect not only the angle of the books physically, but also the viewers visual perception of the bookshelf, both from  far and close distances.

 


Log in
subscribe