ugly objects ugly
machteld siobhan

machteld siobhan



Siobhan, a writer, artist and critic living in Amsterdam, received these items from her niece. Siobhan spends quality time with her niece making such objects. While having fond memories, she is not fond of these particular results. These objects were hidden away in a drawer but now that time has passed, they can be altered.

Video: about the object

Video: on changes to the Red Light District



Somehow they seem to be totally without meaning or content. They both seem to have been made without any reason or significance. This is probably the reason why they are considered ugly. Giving them a reason for existence could help solve the problem. I really like the picture of them with Buddha and it makes me think that they could be religious props.... But from which religion, or are they essential to a ritual which is not religious at all?

I cannot see them apart and I have a feeling they should be together.

We'll see what happens.....

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I had already decided not to touch the objects so how to go about giving them an identity or a purpose?
The start was to photograph them in my hand. This for me says something about things being special, related to a ritual or a gift. With that I moved on to decorative ornament, wrapping paper and illustration for an invented religious or symbolic identity.

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Tikkum Olan / Repair the World / Repareren de Wereld
2 ugly objects, three-ply birchwood, thread

'De naakte waarheid is in de wereld niet te vinden, de waarheid gaat gehuld in symbolen en beelden. Langs een andere kant kan men geen waarheid vinden."
(De verborgen taal van het symbool-David Fontana-Evangelie van Sint Philippus)

You can treat it as a drawing or a ritual object.
The two pieces to me seemed to have no character at all and, therefore, I felt I had to give them meaning, to embed them in or make them part of a story. So I decided to create something that would have the idea of a piece that could function in a ritual or maybe have a secret or sacred meaning.

Somehow the painting on the stone made me think of traces a bird would leave behind and that gave me the idea of imprints of birds’ feet. It seemed appropriate to do the piece I had in mind with traces, we live our lives with traces of plans, ideas, travels etc. Traces lead us back and forward.