Installation | Performance TRYOUT TESTIMONIAL  

    Tryout Testimonial

    The relation between artist and audience is shown in the testimony of values we cherish within our community. In my view, it is up to the artist to bring these values to the audience's consciousness - something that can be achieved by presenting a proposal that has the form of a work of art.

I consider a work of art to be an active totality, covering not only the activities of the artist, but also those of the viewers. For the audience, the meaning of the work of art shows itself in the ways in which the artwork is able to suggest or evoke a (re)-evaluation of the values we nurture. The artist tries to have the audience think about the values again by presenting a certain surprising, unexpected view on those values. By the (re)evaluation, the audience helps the artist in her (re)consideration of her role and position she takes in society. It is in this way that the audience completes the work of the artist.

Testimonials of the viewers can make meaningful contributions to the work of art itself. Unfortunately, these testimonials are usually lost, since the viewer usually keeps his reflections to himself or discusses them only within a direct circle of acquaintances. Thus, the knowledge conveyed by the viewer's testimony is lost. If we take the idea of Testimonial in art seriously, the focus of attention shifts from the work of art as a 'thing' to that of a 'process'. As a consequence, the
  role of the artist and the role of the public, but also the role of philosophy, and the role of the work of art itself, change. I start from the presupposition that the purpose of art as well as philosophy is to enrich ourselves and the world. From this point of view, an inquiry into the relationship between both disciplines through the notion of Testimonial is crucial, since the enrichment has to be communicated one way or another.

Testimonial in art becomes evaluation by artists' peers and professors, yet in philosophy it amounts to judgement. In both cases, our testimonies are a source of knowledge, but the nature and the outcome of this knowledge differs. An inquiry into these differences is the main subject of Testimonial.

Performance Tryout Testimonial consisted of a story and a search for keywords with a spotlight in a darkened space. In telling the story the artist stopped at certain moments, searching for the correct keyword written on one of the walls .. somewhere. In this way, the audience was given the opportunity to discover the space again 'anew'. The keywords were given physical coordinates.

After the performance was turned into an installation, we discussed issues which were raised by the story told and the words emphasised.

  29.3 2009   Tryout Testimonial. Performance culminating in an installation.
Gallery space RC de Ruimte, IJmuiden (NL) (solo).