Gerwin Luijendijk








Artist statement

In my performances, video/performances and video-installations I investigate possibilities of how rules and guidelines can be (ab) used to create future scenarios of transformation. My work derives from a fascination for the work-process, the reflection on artist-hood and the choices made within the artistic process. This reflection on my own role as an artist, my artistic choices and my possible influence on what happens in front of the camera, emerge more through a conceptual set up rather than the classical role of a film director. My video performances in particular inquire into how the physical appearance of the performer challenges space and the surrounding objects.

The works in “Fictive Ideas, Recycled Thoughts” for example, focus on their own making. They unfold through set-ups in which the camera provokes an activity of the performer. This activity is subject to coincidence, and both the artist and the performer are constantly trying to maintain control over their own goal within the process. This creates moments of failure and frustration, often manifested in a humorous fashion.

My work on the one hand follows the principles of the performance art as it involves four basic elements: time, space, the performer's body, or presence in a medium, and a relationship between performer and audience. On the other hand it plays with those relationships by delving into, stressing, disproportioning, exaggerating one element or the other. The elements of time and space in particular are constantly negotiated and put into dialogue via the simultaneous use of objects and still and moving images.

My latest research project “View of Restoration” focuses on art restoration and examines the idea of the authenticity of the artwork. By investigating it's ethical codes and various techniques, I explore restoration and its influence on the artwork and the artwork's uniqueness. Assuming myself the role of the restorer I went so far as to question this role in relation to the authenticity of the artwork and in extension the influence of the restorer on the artwork itself.

Drawing from Walter Benjamin’s conception of the aura of the artwork, which is inherent in the authenticity and uniqueness of the original, I investigate and question the impact restoration may have in the aura of the original. The aura as Benjamin writes, is determined in addition to its uniqueness and authenticity also by its duration, durability tradition or historical testimony. If we accept this as true, doesn’t seem to occur a wrenching paradox when it comes to the restoration of a work of art? If restoration is intended to retain the original artwork – by supplementing, replacing or even unintentional removal of the original material – then doesn’t the so-called authenticity get affected?

Through my recent work, two things unfold at the same time; a direct exploration of the ‘spatial in-between’ through reflection on space itself and the representation of time, but also the ‘appearance’ of an object that suggests an in-between space. Through the continuous reconstitution of space and the constant re-construction of the object’s fragmented, repeated and replaced historical and representational descriptions and values, the formation of knowledge and experience are called into question. My recent body of work examines how can still and moving images co-exist in the same narrative and create meaning by disrupting it; make sense by seemingly letting meaning collapse.