In February 2022 EX-MÊKH the Hybrid Art Fair in Madrid invited EX-MÊKH to participate in the fair. The fair differs from the regular art fair because they organize it in a hotel and participants exhibit in a hotel room. This principle made us think about the function of a hotelroom. For me a hotelroom is a place to retreat and think about what I have seen. I often make notes in my diary, so I decided to write a Madrid Diary and make shards on the spot. We were in Madrid for seven days and the fourth day the war in Ukraine started, which gave the whole project a dark background.
Writing my diary I thought about how memory works. How whole pieces of it vanish and fragments survive in a strange distorted way. I associated it with archeological sites where pieces of wall were destroyed and only parts of text and image remain. I also thought about the ancient pot-shards and lead-slabs that my wife showed me: fragments of text could hardly be recognized. Only by hard work and concentrated study pieces of text can be deciphered.
These archaic fragments made me find a way to work with text-fragments from my diaries and sentences, expressions and stories I remember from my past. The result of my first experiments are in the next gallery.
For an open call I decided to make text-drawings about the poem “The Seafarer”. This is an old English poem from the Exeter Book. It’s one of the only four oldest surviving manuscripts with English poetry. I know it from a version written by Ezra Pound.
My interpretation is barren and crisp, it is about attitude and destiny.
Athens Diary 2018
During Platforms Project 2018 EX-MÊKH executed a social concept, having the public participating in a daily art-work. For this we bought newspapers every day. The public would grab scissors and cut out pictures and texts they liked. We glued these pictures and texts to one big piece of paper, fixed in a rubber pool that framed the collage. In five days we ended up with five collages.
I felt the urge to do something on the side. I decided to make five diary drawings with notions that came to me each day, written in different colours. The drawings hung in vertical order on the side of the stand, as personal notes to the collage.
During a research-period in the USA in 2016 I wrote down pieces of sentences that I heard on the streets or in public transport. Originally I wanted to use those to combine with images, but I noticed that a lot was about conflicting or parallel concepts. This changed my idea and I decided to make drawings of these words. I glued A4 drawing-paper to a larger piece of heavier paper to get a sense of perspective and wrote down the concepts with oil-stick in different colours.
At the “Kunstvlaai 2012”, which is a fair for independant artists and art initiatives, I was invited to participate as artblogger. I decided to curate an exhibition with an analog artblog under the name of chmkoome/keeskoomen. After inviting a number of Dutch artists that I have been following on my blog I curated an exhibition of my favorite artists adding two works of myself. Furthermore, I wrote a diary during the fair for ten days, with conté on paper. Each day I would put the page between the works that were exhibited. The idea was to show the way my blog and my art-practice are intertwined, I feel blogging is really a part of my art-practice. These diary pages looked like minimalistic drawings which I liked immensely. This was the start of research on the visual quality of text.