Galerie Fons Welters - Amsterdam

Push Angle

The term Push Angle refers to the travel angle in welding where the electrode is pointing in the direction of travel. This angle does not only bring together two objects, but can also be seen as a metaphor: the moment when stories meet and create a new point of view. In the work of Kasper Bosmans, Mariana Castillo Deball and Jennifer Tee, different times and cycles are often juxtaposed to navigate through a world that has different manifestations. The artists use signs and objects from the cultural past, myths, decoration, Taoist magic and the subconscious in an intuitive way.

In Bosmans’ work decoration plays an important role, ever since modernism often wrongly dismissed as an inferior art form and only called ‘beautiful’. Bosmans shows that decoration is pre-eminently the latent carrier of specific messages or ideologies. Take for example the quilt or patchwork, that has both a functional and an aesthetic function. Bosmans bought American quilts online. So-called ‘Signature quilts’ have a great sociological value through a combination of names, established out of friendship or for charity. Because there are few written sources about this, the quilt is an important source of social history. Bosmans stamped the quilts with the word ‘signature’ as well with as the most frequently forged signature in history: that of Charlemagne. In this way Bosmans plays with the idea of forgery of a sociological document.

Mariana Castillo Deball investigates how disciplines such as science, archaeology and visual arts describe the world. The central question in this research is how objects influence our identity and history. For the exhibition Them inside the skin, she took the Tonalpohualli, which literally means ‘counting of the days’, as a starting point. This calendar is not based on the sun or the moon, but on twenty thirteen-day periods. The 260-day calendar stems from pre-Columbian Mesoamerica where it was used by the Aztecs, among others. By linking natural elements to directions and time, relations between body and space emerge. Where the conceptual measurement of distance and time coincides with objects and materials, a ‘point de capiton’  is created, the point where meaning is fixed thus providing backing for further navigation.

For the São Paulo Biennial of 2018, Jennifer Tee developed new collages which she based on details of paintings from the Museum of Images from the Unconscious in Rio de Janeiro. The museum was founded in 1952 by the physician Nisa de Silveira as part of a psychiatric hospital. De Silveira refused to use electroshock therapy and asked the people in the hospital if they could paint instead. The Outsider art that originated in this way can roughly be divided into two categories: patterns and figuration. The latter category is often characterized by deviations from reality, like the startling figures that arise when the natural relations are released. Against these strong physical qualities that the paintings evoke, they are also related to the other dimension from which they originate. Tee enters into a dialogue with this layering of physical and mental qualities by placing ethnographic objects, her own ceramic sculptures and objects from nature on top of details of the paintings. Her sculptures contain prints of her own face. Some of the South American masks were worn during ceremonies to get in touch with the ancestors they portray. Shapes of eyes return several times as well as fire and small explosions that refer to the cosmic.

Kasper Bosmans, Mariana Castillo Deball and Jennifer Tee investigate the way in which stories, objects and materials influence our identity and history and how they determine our current understanding of the world. Consequently, these three artists create a new language in which they connect elements from different cultures and histories to enable them to speak in a new way.