"Every order is somehow absurd and like a wax figure if one takes it too seriously, everything is a petrified single case of its possibilities. But it is not doubt, but rather it’s a shifting, elastic indeterminacy that feels it’s capable of anything."
Robert Musil, The Man without Qualities - II unfinished chapters, Reinbek bei Hamburg: Rowohlt, 2000, p. 1509
Hamish Morrison Galerie is very pleased to present the latest series of photographs by the Dutch artist Marike Schuurman (born in 1964) in her first solo show with the gallery.
Marike Schuurman has always understood photography as an adequate process for transcending reality. She visits all sorts of places, observes patiently, and discovers details that elude modern people due to a long-internalised visual self-protection. Schuurman’s approach seems like the careful unfolding of a temporal map, on which unknown small creeks, estuaries and islands of time are marked. Marike Schuurman does not stage anything, she finds things. Her vision wrenches from reality its hidden surrealities, and captures them. The results are sometimes revealing, sometimes extremely poetic, but above all brilliantly composed.
The works presented in the current exhibition were taken while Schuurman was resident in São Paulo. Her primary interest in this city was the prohibition of public advertising there, which has been in effect for some years – unique among capitalist cities. What does a modern city reveal once it has stripped itself of an important part of its make-up and its decisive accessories?
The photographs taken during this trip hold a complex surprise. In Schuurman’s exhibition 'Time Zero' we see polaroids, which have been digitalized and then greatly enlarged, whose relation to reality is no longer traceable for the observer. These photographs once again stress the role that Schuurman accords to the conditions she finds. In this case, not just the effects of passing time, during which she dedicates her entire attention to one place and what happens there, but additionally the incalculable process based on the chemical reaction of aged polaroid films.
What a wonderful irony that a technology that was originally developed to enable immediate and verifiable representation of the moment, mutates into an almost magical apparatus that transforms the carefully chosen motif, the patiently waited-for moment, into an abstract composition.
Colours, forms, traces of light. The ‘ghost in the machine’ seems to have entered into a secret pact with the artist and her search for transcendence. Marike Schuuman presents photographs that only she can link to their original motifs, even though their lyricism and charm cast their mysterious spell on every beholder.
Aristotle regarded wonderment as the beginning of a philosophising that puts a strong emphasis on astonishment. With her series of photographs, Marike Schuurman succeeds in causing this wonderment and astonishment in us, which in turn stimulates us to once again philosophise about the nature of photography.
Marike Schuurman was born in 1964 in Groningen, Netherlands. She studied at the Vrije Academie in Den Haag, the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, and the Rijksakademie van Beeldene Kunsten in Amsterdam. Schuurman has received numerous fellowships and was artist in residence in Finnland, Berlin, Beijing, and Brazil. Her works have been presented in numerous solo and group exhibitions, and are represented in numerous collections, among them the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Den Haag, NL, the KPN Collection, Den Haag, NL, and Sammlung Hoffmann, Berlin. Marike Schuurman lives in Berlin.
A catalogue will also be published in conjunction with the exhibition.
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