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gesine els

 

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Els is the former secretary for the congregation at the Oude Kerk.  A friend from the church gave her this angel as a gift couple years back. Because of her fond feelings towards her friend, she kept the angel despite finding it ugly. Recently, her friend passed away. It is time for the object to gain a new form and new layers of meaning.

Video: about the object

Video: about the first owner

 

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Els’ little guarding angel, which she got from her friend Brecht, is waiting and watching still as it did in Els’ place, probably in the same position even.... It’s just hanging there, little and silent but very present. Soundless singing between digs and an ape. Omnipresent and silent. That is what its future nature should also be about...

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After having moved during almost one year in my atelier only once (from one wall to the other wall on the opposite side) the day X is here:

I took it off and had, for the first time since, a new proper look at it. Oh gosh! There’s really nothing authentic in this “guarding angel” that might trigger me.

Okay, then back to the significance… It represents since the moment of giving a thought, a good wish, a gesture of a witty and sparkling elderly lady towards her friend Els. When this lovely lady named Brecht died, this gift became even more a reminder, a symbol for the friendship and maybe even, in a way, for the nature of Brecht herself. But its nature of being a ‘guarding angel’ was and still is somehow wrong. Els doesn’t believe in angels, can’t even take it serious in its kinky and cheap souvenir-like appearance.

Conclusion: the small scale of the angel might be right, nothing else so far at the moment.
Let’s tear it apart to see if it hides another shape – maybe in the outline?
Cutting it in slices.
oh jeeeeeh! It feels as angel blood is shed....! What a cruel activity!
It’s not hollow as I thought.
Rearranging the angel slices doesn’t bring me to a new perception, doesn’t add anything as I had hoped.
Next step: ashes to ashes. Dust to dust.
The ‘guarding angel’ doesn’t bring me further. It’s just an unhappy materialization of a good wish. Everything simply goes back to Brecht herself.
It is material and Brecht.
A reminder and memory.
I grind the slices to dust. Angel dust. That feels better!
Now I have to blow the spirit of Brecht into it....

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Untitled
angel dust material

Dust from a terracotta guarding angel on silver, portraying Brecht, the donor of the initial object. A gift with good wishes and a dear person become one.

 

britta
els
hans
jan
karolina
laura
lucas
maarten
marianne
paul
ron
siobhan
ted
wiet