ARPAÏS du bois
May 03 – June 15, 2013
ARPAÏS makes daily drawings, preferably at the time of day when evening turns into night. It is an attempt to give meaning to every occurance. It’s a necessary act to control chaos, her way to try to forget as little as possible.
In the 2008 exhibition ‘le sauvetage de la grande bequille’ ARPAÏS also showed a fascinating video, which she considered being a drawing in fact, an in slowmotion moving one. At that time ARPAÏS felt she was standing at a crossroad, which she also literally outlined. It was a display of proces and result. This relation between proces and result used to be so self-evident, and then all at once it disappeared. ARPAÏS showed her quest for a solution for this incomprehensible period of non-drawing on paper and in video. By doing so she declared drawing to be a matter of mind and sanity, eating and drinking. Of living.
This exhibition was followed by the impressive ‘Trois cent quatre-vingt-onze’ (2011), in which 46 notebooks containing all her drawings in it were displayed on a track of breast-high tables. This meant that every single drawing was exhibited, all the work she had done in the last 391 days. This was the exhibit of everything, of every page, of every day and it showed every risk she took.
Anyone who has taken a closer look then, will see parts and details again in this third solo-project at Galerie van der Mieden. You will recognize shapes and forms and will be able to follow her either quick or slow movements on paper. Again you’ll look at words, shapes and thoughts. But this certainly isn’t everything.
By making an instinctive, compulsive selection ARPAÏS tells another story, in which her drawings function as punctuation marks. There is more that came to her eye. Bittersweet is the accumulation of little drama’s like a dead bird or a bumblebee, and big drama’s like Aleppo or oceans full of plastics. ARPAÏS has let the outer world into her studio, so she must have found more peace of mind and a sense of security.
That makes her work more direct, more real. As if she walked outside, straight into the battlefields, and looked around. No longer only war on her windowsill, no longer only deafening streetnoise. Wars are going on somewhere else, huge and for real. The noise has moved, to deserts and poles. The battle may seem less personal, but her reaction to it is nevertheless as intense.
In ‘Noyade sèche’ ARPAÏS presents all of her drawings at a somewhat odd viewing-point (from the floor up to the height of her mouth/nose) and calls this her ‘drowning-line’, as if to say that this is just about all she can take. Life scrapes, scratches and wounds. Sometimes impressions are so intense that it seems you’ll drown in it. By putting it on paper, time slows down and gives a chance to breathe again. We can look at it, contemplate and move on.