Mesmeric Revelation

Walter Swennen


Painting, 200 x 190 cm.
Materials: oil, lacquer, canvas

Collection: M HKA / Vlaamse Gemeenschap (Inv. no. BK005604).

The line between image and text is never far away in Walter Swennen’s work. Painting provides a way of analysing the relationships between symbol and allegory, the ‘readable’ and the ‘visible’ image, meaning and loss of significance.

But the thing that really interests Swennen is the effect his work has on us. He offers his viewers some tools, but no ready-made explanations. By confronting us with simple things from our daily lives, Swennen hopes to awaken our imagination.

Mesmeric Revelation can also refer to the title of a short story, written by Edgar Allan Poe in 1844. German physician and astrologer Franz Friedrich Anton Mesmer theorised animal magnetism or mesmerism. His theory suggests that a natural transference of energy exists between all animated and inanimate objects. The further development of Mesmer’s ideas led to the first observations of hypnotism in 1842.

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