You keep secrets from my eyes / The closer you get the further I become/ I’m looking for you looking for me/ Will you take me to a distant place I’ve never seen? is a three part, site-specific, work made during Francis Ruyter’s workshop, at the Summer Academy Salzburg, which I attended remotely due to Covid restrictions. It was catalysed by Francis’ provocations, the distanced attendance and a daily routine of structured visualisations where I asked my subconscious What do I know today?
The emerging imagery and associated experiences form the basis for the series of works, which include a large picture book of drawings, a live audio description and a printed publication featuring an index and automatic writings made immediately after each visualisation. Importantly the works co-exist but are not intended to be viewed together. The publication was gifted to audiences at the opening in Salzburg, the picture book was hosted by Metal in the UK and I audio described the drawings online via ‘Teams’.
The work focuses on where we might look to find answers, our capacity to imagine or make meaning in the absence of the complete story and our consistent failure to truly represent what we see, know and experience. All ideas that connect to the central themes of my practice: how we draw on ourselves and improvise when things are hard and how we physically draw to try and explain ourselves.
Francis’ initial provocation included: Artists often keep an archive of images around their workspace for inspiration. But what is the relationship and process between looking at something and integrating that into art practice, whether it is a literal or abstract integration? Looking is a tool that can be used when one is lost for an idea of where to start making an artwork, or it can function as a foundation, grounding us to be able to depart on flights of fantasy.
Book: 40 pages, hand bound.
Ink, charcoal, pastel, graphite on paper. Plywood cover
102cm x 70cm x 2cm – open
Publication: 8 pages of white 170gsm A3 paper. Folded to A4
Summer Academy. Salzburg
Tobias Lomeck and Oliver Riedel