By Hanne Hagenaars

Within the exhibition ‘You want it Darker’, the painting of George Korsmit floats, like an escape from the dark, like a spiritually tinted point breathing softly over the entire exhibition. Korsmit works within his own system in which chance is given the leading role. The circular painting on the wall is comprised of coloured sections whose form and dimensions are determined by the throw of a dice. These distorted coloured sections result in a round form that pulsates by entering and leaving the sections. The colours of the sections are selected blindly and Korsmit mixes them by hand on the spot. The result is always open, undetermined in advance. ‘Ritualised chance’ is how Korsmit describes it. But what is chance? The dice determines, but perhaps even more is determined by the energy of the person who throws the dice, who pulls the card, or the energy of the moment.

Beside this, the title of works by Korsmit are read out: Everything is One, Welcome Stranger, Homage to the Soul, Sending out the Gods. Exquisite titles for everyone who hopes for a deeper significance of chance, of meaningful coherence in life. In 2010 George Korsmit met shamans in South Korea who work with colours in their rituals. The selection of 5 or 6 colours determines the process of the ritual in which contact is made with forefathers and spirits. ‘They work according to strict rules. Their dedication when they pray or meditate seemed to me so similar to the work of an artist in his atelier. You try to get yourself into a state of mind that you can concentrate on what you want to do. I see them as kindred spirits.’

Korsmit asked the shamans for advice on the best way to make new work. A lot of advice resulted from the conversations, but no clear answer. Since then, however, he always makes his paintings together with someone else. For the Garage he worked together with the homeless American, Ronald Johnson, whom he met in one of Amsterdam’s shelters: a work of art as a personal conversation and sometimes with a hypnotic effect, similar to life itself.