ExhibitionPerpetuum Mobile

Curator: Hans van der Ham
Tekst: Hans van der Ham en Yasmijn Jarram

Perpetuum Mobile is a group exhibition about man’s fascination with the originality of matter. The three participating artists nurture an almost child-like interest in the possibilities presented by their materials.

In our digital world everything we see and use is an assumption: a rescue programme may offer a modicum of help when a computer has crashed, but almost no-one knows what is actually going on inside the computer. All that counts is the final outcome, which means we risk losing all contact with the functionality of objects and processes.

It is in response to this digital age which functions so immaculately that Perpetuum Mobile has given the intrinsic beauty of whatever is functional a central role. The exhibited works bear witness to a love of work, materials and (automatic) movement. At the same time they exude a sense of poetry and even elegance. They possess a mysterious beauty similar to that of scientific inventions in days gone by.

Movement never starts or ends without reason, just as there is a clear beginning and an end to everything in our life. Doubt is cast on this idea by the artists in this exhibition. They seem rather to be involved in a search for eternal movement: the ancient concept, so loved by scientists and philosophers, of the ‘perpetuum mobile’.

A revolving wheel with a simple method of operation, the sound of a leaden bullet that seems to arbitrarily fall onto a wooden bed, a fire-hose that seems to constantly sprout from the ground: the works of art display an obsession with ‘self-creation’, with movement that keeps itself going. They embody an almost renaissance-like desire to fathom creation and the enigma of the Big Bang. Their work reduces everything to basic forms – a wheel, a ball, a pendulum – that are in permanent motion.