suckerPUNCH: Describe your project.
Nick ERVINCK: NOITEM is one of my most recent works. These works will be respresented as huge lightboxes. As a Rorsach-stain, these works have no single-point perspective and can be interpreted in different ways. For this series I don’t use my trademark color yellow but push the boundaries with very poetic and mysterious results. Desperately we try to search for forms we recognize but these creations don’t seem to fit in any category. Floating in an infinite space, the serie is like a shadow of the past. You can compare it in a way to “nachbilder” or “afterimages”: optical illusions we see for the short moment after we looked directly into the sun.
At the same time the serie is also an homage to Eadweard James Muybridge (1830-1904), one of the first fotographers who captured movement and showed the images afterwards with a “zoopraxiscoop” (the first movie projector). A little bit later Harald Edgerton (1903-1990) could capture fast movements, like the explosion of a balloon, with his stroboscopic instruments. Muybridge’s and Edgerton’s experiments were an inspiration for so many artists in the 20th century. This generation began to experiment with the fourth dimension (time). Good examples are Marcel Duchamp’s Nude descending a staircase (1911), Giacomo Bala’s Dynamism of a dog on a leash (1912) and Richters Ema. Though movement was always an inspiration for artists, the new photografic techniques stimulated them to capture moments in time simultaniously. The evolution of the perception in the 20th century is very clear. Inspired by this evolution, sculptors in the beginning of the 20th century, began to create “dynamic” sculptures and “mobiles,” like Umberto Boccioni’s Unique forms of continuity in space (1913) and Picasso’s Light Drawings (1949). With his mobiles in the thirties—abstract floating constructions that reacted on the wind and human interaction—Alexander Calder, not only brought movement in his sculptures, he also took a stand for ‘the experience’ and almost childish games as important aspects in the creation of art works. It seemed as sculptures were the perfect medium to capture movement, emotion and time. The NOITEM serie fits into these experiments, searching for a free and moving form. Rather then an interpretation, I try to renew the art-historic tradition with the help of 3-D software. Like photographers who experiment with those new inventions in the beginning of the 20th century, I try to push the boundaries with 3-D software with endless possibilities on view.
sP: What or who influenced this project?
NE: NOITEM is an homage to the pioniers who captures motion like Eadweard James Muybridge and Harald Edgerton. Their experiments inspired me to look outside the box. Of course I was also inpired by movement in and of itself. By presenting these works as lightboxes I try to emphasize the nimbleness of these creations. They seem to float in an infinite space. A main inspiration for a lot of my works are aliens and mutations. What fascinates me is this moment of transition and the unknown.
sP: What were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?
NE: In 2013 I’ll have worked 10 years as an artist, and at this point I’ve got a huge archive of approximately 600,000 files. At the time I was making NOITEM, I scrolled a lot through this archive. In it are a lot of my elder projects and things I find on the internet. I also was reading some new books on sculptures and the Baroque and Rococo periods.
sP: Whose work is currently on your radar?
NE: I really like the works of Henry Moore, Tony Cragg, Anish Kapoor, and Hector Guimard, but also have an interest for a younger generation of artists like Michael Hansmeyer and Tobias Klein.
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