Reversed Silhouette of European History, 2017
Paper cuttings, 70 x 50 cm

In the past the ‘silhouette’, the arrested brother of the shadow, was used in the construction of the Enlightened subject in the emerging nation states. Mister Lavater travelled with his machine through Europe to depict the main outer characterictics of a person by a paper cutting in black paper. He introduced the idea that physiognomy related to the specific character traits of individuals, rather than general types

The practice to pursue a silhouette was en vogue during the 18th and 18th century in Europe and America at the same time when new ideas about individuality, history and society were developing. Lavater’s elaborations on physiognomy seem to express those ideas. In a sense, “a silhouette promised to fix and franchise one’s humanism”. The practice of pursuing a silhouette concerned oneself with the fixed signs of a character and destiny inscribed on one’s face.

The silhouette became the display of the ideal image of how one wanted to be remembered, as a good person and noble citizen in line with a history, which was written by the same class.

This practice of pursuing a silhouette became common when the modern nation state started to unify various identities around one ‘imagined community’ and helped in the construction of the kind of subjectivity Stuart Halls point at: “…thus giving representation to the very ideas that made an ‘us’ whole - a national culture in which one partakes as subject and citizen - and ‘them’ not.”

I follow the line of thought that: “… to pursue a silhouette of oneself was to invest one’s being with a version of the value and stability that were required for properly individuated subjectivity.” As such, a national identity is a specific kind of a constructed, imagined, narrated late-modern cultural identity. I hope I made it evident that the practice of the silhouette had a role in that. A very problematic one.

In this project I try to reverse the fixed order of the silhouette, that what is used to be black I make white...and that a silhouette seems to be perfect... Instead of looking at a perfect cutting one sees the misstakes and the notes of the proces of searching and re-searching.

Fuelled by the ideas of post and de-colonial thinkers I ask myself can I reverse the order of things, starting with the order of the sihouette cuttings. but aiming bigger: aiming to reverse what is at the center of the world and what at the periphery of things.

For this works I use archival material of the Dutch and European colonial past.

What happens whens the global world order changes?
Statues of former heros get shipped home.
The former oppressed stand up.

Does this make sense?

The Silhouette is in stark contrast to ‘The Fleeting Nature of the Shadow’ which I propose as an example of postmodern subjectivity in the project 'Chasing One's Own Shadow'.

Reversed Silhouette of European History, 2017
Paper cuttings, 70 x 50 cm

In the past the ‘silhouette’, the arrested brother of the shadow, was used in the construction of the Enlightened subject in the emerging nation states. Mister Lavater travelled with his machine through Europe to depict the main outer characterictics of a person by a paper cutting in black paper. He introduced the idea that physiognomy related to the specific character traits of individuals, rather than general types

The practice to pursue a silhouette was en vogue during the 18th and 18th century in Europe and America at the same time when new ideas about individuality, history and society were developing. Lavater’s elaborations on physiognomy seem to express those ideas. In a sense, “a silhouette promised to fix and franchise one’s humanism”. The practice of pursuing a silhouette concerned oneself with the fixed signs of a character and destiny inscribed on one’s face.

The silhouette became the display of the ideal image of how one wanted to be remembered, as a good person and noble citizen in line with a history, which was written by the same class.

This practice of pursuing a silhouette became common when the modern nation state started to unify various identities around one ‘imagined community’ and helped in the construction of the kind of subjectivity Stuart Halls point at: “…thus giving representation to the very ideas that made an ‘us’ whole - a national culture in which one partakes as subject and citizen - and ‘them’ not.”

I follow the line of thought that: “… to pursue a silhouette of oneself was to invest one’s being with a version of the value and stability that were required for properly individuated subjectivity.” As such, a national identity is a specific kind of a constructed, imagined, narrated late-modern cultural identity. I hope I made it evident that the practice of the silhouette had a role in that. A very problematic one.

In this project I try to reverse the fixed order of the silhouette, that what is used to be black I make white...and that a silhouette seems to be perfect... Instead of looking at a perfect cutting one sees the misstakes and the notes of the proces of searching and re-searching.

Fuelled by the ideas of post and de-colonial thinkers I ask myself can I reverse the order of things, starting with the order of the sihouette cuttings. but aiming bigger: aiming to reverse what is at the center of the world and what at the periphery of things.

For this works I use archival material of the Dutch and European colonial past.

What happens whens the global world order changes?
Statues of former heros get shipped home.
The former oppressed stand up.

Does this make sense?

The Silhouette is in stark contrast to ‘The Fleeting Nature of the Shadow’ which I propose as an example of postmodern subjectivity in the project 'Chasing One's Own Shadow'.