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Artist statements

Going through some previous blog incarnations, I found some posts containing artist statements. Let's comment...

Artist statement 2007

Son of Eddie Vedder and Shakti, Reg Carremans (°1207) spent most of his childhood in a Turkish zen temple, until it burned down... It's not as bad as it looks... Start on time, take your time... Build things worth destroying, destroy with care...

Comment: Short and absurd, but it contains elements in which I was interested at the time: Pearl Jam, zen and taoism, my time spent in Turkey. The last three sentences are some rules of thumb to think of whilst creating.

Artist statement 2013

My experience of maintaining hiking trails in Iceland's national parks led me out of the studio and into the environment and has resulted in registrations of landscapes and trails on different materials (paper, canvas, photographic film), usually emphasizing the tactility of the subject by rubbing against it or walking on it. My work shows how one can layer simple actions and materials by reflecting on the production process and the context. I also explore narrative building blocks and archetypes, resulting in series of paintings and performances. During the realisation of these projects there's a place for potential failures, mutations, elaborations and responses to practicalities. I grew up in Heusden-Zolder, but currently live in Brussels. I studied Fine Arts in Hasselt.

Comment: A bit more serious? It refers to my time in Iceland, which was very impactful on my life as well as my art. Of course I allow myself 'a place for failure' because I probably didn't want you to come tell me at some point that my work is not aligned with my artist statement.

Artist statement 2015

I map the self and the environment through different media.

Elaboration on the statement

Mapping — Maps are graphic representations that facilitate a spatial understanding of things, concepts, conditions, processes, or events in the human world. I use the verb mapping because of all its connotations, most obviously the spatial aspect, but maybe more importantly as cognitive mapping. In this way it highlights the urge we all have to make sense of the self and the world out there. In this statement mapping stands for every act of organising and every transformation process, and the relations between different output.

Self and environment — I approach humans as geographical beings, with a special interest in walking, landscape, environment, place, territory and cartography. Another topic is the artist and artistic processes: identity, basic actions, economy and self-image. Lately I’ve been interested in the dialogue between self perception, artistic output and the wider world, specifically the field and domain of contemporary art.

Different media — Contemporary art is where I picture my output. Defining art is tricky (read impossible). I look at art as an open concept, the ‘uncategorised’ category. It seems better to approach it via Wittgenstein’s language games and family resemblance theory. For practical reasons I like to use the following definition, which I take to include performative-based acts: Art is culturally significant meaning, skillfully encoded in an affecting, sensuous medium.

Sensemaking

Sensemaking is an ongoing process of retrospectively giving socially constructed meaning to experience, and has real consequences through enactment, i.e. our behaviour influences the environment we find ourselves in, and vice versa. Within this framework, I see artistic transformation processes and products as tools for sensemaking and resilience building.

Comment: Phew. Too long, right? I like that it's structured, though. I'm probably trying to carve out as much artistic breathing space as I can. To no avail because after more than eleven years, I quit being an artist in 2015. All My Life, a song by the Foo Fighters helped me then: 'Done, done, on to the next one...'

Artist statement 2020

crrmnsrg walks, draws and writes

I explore and map the self and the environment through walking, drawing and writing. For me, artistic processes and products are tools for sensemaking and resilience building.

Comment: This is a fairly recent artist statement. It's probably a good idea to let it age a bit before commenting on it. Whence the unpronounceable name, you ask? Because I needed some distance from my previous body of work. As Reg Carremans, for more than a decade I developed and presented artistic projects. Often during residencies or in cooperation with cultural organisations. crrmnsrg is my name without the vowels.

Trying to take it easy, this time around. In the back of my head, I'm hearing Radiohead in Present Tense:

Don't get heavy

Keep it light and

Keep it moving