Anja de Klerk
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My work is fundamentally based on curiosity and is focused on processes that include materials, objects, and spatial relations together with their art historical, aesthetic and anthropological contexts and histories. It finds its form mostly in sculptural, object and installation situations and sometimes includes photographic or video elements. I like to approach what I do in an investigative, playful and tongue-in-cheek manner and often find myself engaged in processes of collecting, rearranging, display, mixing or compounding, vacuumcleaning, finding and testing material recipes and making experiments. I engage these processes actively but also by letting them lie fallow in order to be transformed by fermentation, damp, decay or accumulation. I view my studio as a kitchen, laboratory and repository and have a significant collection of materials (currently focused on what materials are produced and processed in local, close-to-studio industry) and ideas that are allowed to ‘freely ferment ’ in this space. I am interested in the question of the ‘active and goalorientated’ agency of the artist in relation to transformative ‘unengaged’ processes like dust accumulation, damp, fermentation and decay. Thematically I could describe my work as a constellation of ideas and activities around collection, domesticity, decoration (horror above horror), excess, hysteria, play, the relation of the body to space as well as the relation of the body with materials and objects and thus making. I think that my work includes questions around value and excess – I am very interested in the occurrence of gold and materials made to resemble it within popular culture. Recently I have become interested in the (mostly patriarchal) history of minimalism and historical sculptural practices at large (I am very interested in the work of Eva Hesse and Rosemarie Trockel). I am curious about the possible relation between sculptural materials (i.e. compounding sculptures from a collection of materials) as well as the viability of the use of domestic materials and objects in this field. I have a larger investigative project titled Familias -of the family in which I aim to look at formal sculptural/object relations in order to develop some understanding of interpersonal or family relations and vice versa. My ultramarine-triangle Family Portrait ‘mural painting’ (example 8, also see examples 9 & 10) was one of the first test in the Familias investigation and will most likely be transformed into a sculptural, folding ‘book’ in the near future.