Terry van Druten & Herman Verhagen (Rotterdam)
Polen [pole/Poland] (installation)

project CONTINUUM 2001

works about opposites and everything what's between

Terry sings:
Row, row, row your boat,
Gently down the stream.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily,
Life is but a dream.

Herman says:
Pole 1
In a way I like hermetic systems. Things are always the same, predictable, it gives safety. Earth is a hermetic system, or traffic. Mathematics as well. But traffic is the best, it refers to nothing and endlessly goes round; just like it is. It is almost pure movement, without shape. Sometimes I can look at the traffic and get the idea of the deeper meaning of life. It just happens in this way (and not in an other).

Pole 2
These systems are also a lie: it pretends it is just what it is, but it could also have been totally different. In England for instance they drive on the left–side of the road. This I don't like. I mean, not that I don't like the English, I dislike the idea that systems are hermetic because it proves your impossibility to change things. I can never be an angel, and if I would be one, I could never be a demon. To probably misinterpret Matthew Barney's – not so well known – quote I think the best protest against hermetic systems is to make one by putting your head in your ass. Which I did not manage to make happen so far.

…but men always look at the ceiling! Ceiling!
You can find a report about this in lots of books. That the main character is bored. Or sick. Or in love, painful and falling into apathy. Anyway has lots of time to seemingly stare at the ceiling, finding there geographic differences. Because that white surface, having been studied, starts changing, begins to be a map. Usually you can hear that he looked and discovered new lands, sketches of unknown continents, rivers or valleys.
And that's the way it is, ceiling as a map of the foreign land. Do painters in dirty cloths, smoking cigarettes and often drinking too much, know what they do? Do they know they create a New Earth? They climb ladders, wave with brushes and curse… Do our Earth came into existence this way? Africa? America? Europe? Maybe.
All of the sudden some Dutchman questioned this order. Moved a map from the ceiling to the wall. He cast strong light on it so the number of shadows came in, bumpiness was sharpened. A flat wall became three–dimensional! Full of elevations, spots, lines, scratches. And all of them marked with arrows, as if he would like to say "here… and here". Lots of arrows suggesting the presence of important places, worthy seeing. Close by and from the distance. Deserted, white, with no sign of civilization.
Another Dutchman, I know for sure, didn't think of any kind of wall map. In his own manner, he painted a part of this civilization. Childish rather. Somehow taken of the cartoons. He painted little lamp hanging on a long line, swinging together with its shadow. Also unskillful figure, everything unskillful and childish, for children, the sad ones. Several alone sketches which, by chance, will become paintings.

Maciej Cholewinski
translation: Mariusz-Benek Olszewski

Wschodnia Gallery, Lodz, 07.02.2001

Herman Verhagen, Everything is something

Terry van Druten, Row row row your boat

Terry van Druten, Row row row your boat

photo © Herman Verhagen, Terry van Druten