Is it possible, as an artist, to continue the oeuvre of a deceased artist, as a sort of posthumous collaboration? Can you learn the grammar of the other's work, complete with the right spelling, attention to stress, accent and pronunciation? Joep put these questions at the centre of his project on the Maastricht-based artist Ine Schröder, who died in 2014. A project that came about in collaboration with the Bonnefanten Museum Maastricht and Maastricht University.
Much of Schröder's works have been lost. They were often space-filling installations made up of everyday building materials, which were dismantled afterwards, and then used in new works. Apart from a large-scale installation made of fabrics, there are mainly small sloppily-sawn and roughly-painted structures that she gave to friends and acquaintances. These owners have been taking great care of these works for years, often hanging them in the centre of their houses, where they often function as a kind of play object: they seem to be made to be hand-held. They bear witness to a certain lightness and as such to Schröder's position as an artist: not directed against the art world, but rather assumeing an idiosyncratic position in which she positioned herself on her terms and surrounded herself with friends and like-minded people.
How can you build on this as an artist years later? By creating new works in the same style, using the same materials? Or rather thinking from the position that Schröder assumed? But did Schröder really break down her works? Did she reuse her materials, or did she work like a nomad who sets up her settlement, adapted to the environment and then leaves again? In a place devoid of unnecessary baggage where intuition, lightness and coincidence play a pivotal role. Is in that way the world not filled with Ine Schröders and is it meaningful at all to add works (or baggage) to it? "Travel light," said Schröder. Vossebeld decided not to realize any new works and also felt the collaboration should engage with:
“Simple means that want to fathom the essence of space and time in a purely intuitive way, using material stored in the shed and the rag basket: things that we use to 'patch up', adjust and shape our lives."
"But let us above all talk (without irony) about the power a work of art can have: A conversation between two people, separated by time space."
(Quotes Joep Vossebeld)
The Bonnefanten Museum is considering adding a number of installations from the exhibition to its collection. Installations that can be seen as works by Vossebeld or a posthumous collaboration between Vossebeld and Schröder. Did Vossebeld produce work after all?
The whole of the exhibition in the Bonnefanten Museum could be visited until 26 May, after which only part of it will continue to be presented until January 2020. The accompanying archive book Uncorrected Proof has been reprinted and is available again from 28 May.
Curators of the exhibition are Joep Vossebeld and Paula van den Bosch, with guest contributions by Charlotte Lagro, Sophie Johns and Gladys Seafarers.