`The Work`, Wapke Feenstra (English)
Selfpublished to attend the work

About the work
My work consists of paintings and a number of publications.
The paintings take the position of objects contemplating the position we adopt in relation to the other. All the work I have made over the last few years has been concerned with
broadening the meaning of the (cliché) image.

About the paintings
The paintings hang on the wall, they want to break through their skins without damaging them, they want everything but can do nothing: they remain skins stretched across frames.
They are shown isolated in museum environments. without peace and isolation they are lost. without a spectator they do not exist. They allow the spectator to enter the narrow space between an offer and a withdrawal. They want to seduce us.

The paintings are vulnerable, the images are of pigment.
The canvas is often transparent, though the frame is solid.
The painting is an object and the image on the skin shows an everyday illusory image. This is not sensational, it is a combination that has been dished up for us for centuries, though it remains current. The tension between presence and illusion, desire and reality becomes increasingly more complex.

I meet people, I cycle through the city, I look and read and live. I want to identify with my surroundings though I am seldom, if ever successful. I want to interact with my surroundings. I want everything. I am a human being. I am a woman. I am an artist, but not as overweening as Arachne.

I make paintings, thick wooden and metal frames with skins of paper or fabric stretched tautly across them. A photographic image is printed on the skin in light-sensitive pigment. The way the painting works physically is amplified by the tactile membrane, the chosen format, the thickness of the frame and the height at which it is hung. It corresponds with the size of my body. I stand in front of it and I look at it. I make reflective images, and that costs time. I have to condense my observations and slow them down. I do this by looking, thinking and choosing.
The photographed images all come from the daily environments of ordinary people. The images come from a group, they are selected and refer to others of their kind. They refer to other roses, curtains, baskets, threads and dummies. In this sense we are being presented with clichés. As a result of isolation, enlarging and the formal choices made within the painting, attention is demanded for the specific and the general. The associations bubble up and the meaning of the image begins to shift and broaden. I this way I hope to drag looking and experience beyond labelling.

About images
(Cliché) images are indispensable to the choices we make. We make agreements with each other as to the meaning of images. If an encoded image does not give rise to generally accepted observations it is strange and we are called to account, or cast out. As a general standard becomes increasingly limited, the meaning an individual may apply to an image becomes increasingly restricted. This is frightening.

Wapke Feenstra, Rotterdam, 27 June 1994
(Translated by Annabel Howland, Amsterdam, 1994)