Rudiments of Territory
For his first soloshow in Upstream Gallery, Zwartjes will build a monumental installation which best can be characterized as environmental, the podia on which episodes of a narratieve take place. This new installation is constructed from damaged, half decayed materials and objects that Zwartjes collected during his journeys through the city. Purposefully and poignantly he selects the specific building blocks for his environments. During his meanderings through the ragged edges of his own city, on undeveloped land lots and in empty, once-squated buildings, the artist seeks suitable waste materials. For every find, be it a weathered wooden beam or a rusty bicycle, Zwartjes weighs whether or not this object meets the criteria he has allready formulated for himself. He does not look for specific things. Miraculously enough, he always seems to find exactly what he needs. In the process of collecting and working with these materials, Zwartjes is both the client and the executor for his own work.
Together with a number of life-size figures, the found materials make up the decor for a mythological journey of self-destruction to rebirth in an apocalyptic tableau.
On the one hand, the installation is a physical place, the manifestation of a mythological journey generated in the mind of Izaak Zwartjes. On the other, this collection of objects and materials offers a space in which to reflect on our individual and collective identities, on the state in which humanity finds itself and the role that we fulfil in this society.
Viewers of the work of Izaak Zwartjes enter a ‘mental landscape’, a term borrowed from Jean Dubuffet. We can understand the creation of this landscape as an attempt to gain entrance to the human soul. The result is magical, bizarre and intangible.
Izaak Zwartjes (1974) graduated from the Royal Academy of Art The Hague in 2008. In 2009 he filled the 500 m2 ground floor of the Cobra Museum for his soloshow ‘Exodus’ with a monumental installation.