What interests you in the medium of photography?
I tend to see art as a language, as a way of ‘thinking in images’. As someone working, teaching in the arts, I am interested in paintings and installations, books and theatre and … photography. Even observing people in real life or getting the thrill of a ‘genius loci’ works for me as food for the mind. However, when I start making something, I will always fall back on photography. It is what I see and feel. It’s a language I can speak and hopefully … with some eloquence.
In photography I like the finesse of observation, the play with light and time, the meticulous build-up and composition. I like the ‘gap’ ,the ‘leap of faith’ if you want, that occurs between ‘taking the picture’ and the resulting image. A slice of time and space stolen from oblivion. So I work with photography because it is the medium I understand and master. That being said, I do combine photography with some of the objects present in the photograph in order to make installations. The bricolage, the unbalance, the immanent fiasco are all part of the modus operandi here. So I like to be at the steering wheel and lose control.
What role does publishing play in your artistic practice and in particular in your work D R A T E R ?
I did not do a lot of publishing until now. It is something I definitely should expand. D R A T E R was a publication coinciding with an exhibition. For me, it’s an exhibition in it’s own right. I have to admit the use of the graphic possibilities in the publication was rather modest. Which I like. A way of showing photographs really. I’m preparing a more ambitious publication, an artistic venue in its own right, with the typographer Stephane Deschrevel at this moment. De Maat der Dingen will be a cross-section of my work Leçons de Choses.
What are you working on at the moment?
I’m working on a series of what you could describe as still-lifes. Combining installation and photography. I pick up rubbish from the street or from my own ‘housecollection’. Then I make installations as a set-up for photography. They involve shakystacking, things in an unstable balance, just before the tipping point of collapse. Kept together with glue, threads, counterweights, tape and rope. The constructions remind the viewer of themes which are hard to pinpoint: a suit of armor maybe? Stones seem to crawl onto a printing block. Are we witnessing the return of the stone age? The come-back of the antenna? Perhaps in this work, mold is beating gold. Again here it’s about the gap, about how the mind bends itself, invents new significance, works out associations. The things in the picture change status, alter weight and modify meaning in the interplay of objects, forms, perspective and light. Thematically what seems to pop-upin all my work is the cycle of building and an inevitable collapse.
Facing the projections of a bright technological future, that surround us, I want to represent the failing, searching and stumbling man. The bungler who keeps things going with spit and baling wire. Exactly….. the whole lot of us, even those who see themselves as the captains of the future. So the work combines radicality with a tinge of lucid humour. Thus I give expression to my own fears and uncertainties, meanwhile reflecting about the assumptions our society is permeated with.
To get a closer view inside Willem Vermoere’s work visit his website under www.willem-vermoere.com
malenki.net features the following publications by Willem Vermoere