en toen aten we zeehond

Nicoline Timmer


Book, 12.5 x 20 cm, 203 p., Language : Dutch, Publisher : Ambo/Anthos, Amsterdam, ISBN: 978 90 263 3247 0.
Materials: ink, paper

Collection: Collection M HKA, Antwerp (Inv. no. B 2030/169).

Literary synopsis

en toen aten we zeehond [and then we ate seal] is a poetic exploration of a world full of magic and rigor. The novel follows the quest of a young woman determined to gather all the facts and facts necessary to be able to construct a tentative new ethics. On her journeys she encounters beings that teach her how to be – how to be grateful, how to be graceful; that teach her how to hold a hand, and then how to let it go. The fragile dance of a work horse she meets in a neon-lit square in Egypt, the momentous stillness of the two-dimensional dragons hibernating in a Paris opera house, the abrupt appearance of a man too large to enter his own house (in South Africa) - these are just some of the physical wisdoms she learns to take note of. These wisdoms are then transformed into sculptures, scores, drawings and prose, when she returns home to her studio. en toen aten we zeehond is a novel in which meaning reveals itself unexpectedly and instantly, and in which a stubborn dedication to what is there informs an artist’s practice that is geared towards making room for an autonomous vulnerability that manifests itself in many forms.

Relation of the novel to the artist’s practice

The novel en toen aten we zeehond is part of a larger project, and connects both to a body of visual works as well as to an earlier publication, the artist book Once Upon a Particular Occasion (2013). Once Upon a Particular Occasion is also the title of the opera-in-progress that has functioned as a conceptual-poetical framework for the artist to situate her work in, in the years 2013–2017. In 2018 she started on a new opera project called mountain, mountain, of which the first manifestation was shown in the catalogue for the exhibition Opéra Monde: la quête d’un art total (2019–2020) in Centre Pompidou Metz, and which will develop further into a new book publication, and also a solo exhibition in november 2019 at Andriesse Eyck Gallery in Amsterdam.

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