The continuously expanding space...  

(the "Grains of Salt" video installation - middle level)
Installation on 3 levels in an old archival building, The Hague, 1999

A collaboration between Jacqueline Wassen, Gaudi Hoedaya,
Sen McGlinn and Sonja van Kerkhoff.

On the top level of the building, we expressed the theme of space as extended visibility within and beyond the physical space of this archival building.

One level lower, our  spaces  were walled off from the surroundings. There we created two closed spaces on opposite sides by covering each of the grid units with a thin wall of newspaper. Inside these coveted spaces we created worlds that were more mysterious and complex.

click on this image to see an enlargement

Click on the image above for a larger view

Three views showing the alcove containing the Grains of Salt video projection.
Click on the middle photograph to see an enlargement of the newspaper wall.

The thin almost transluscent newspaper walls were covered in clippings taken from national and local papers of the last few months. There was an article about Ghandi, about the suffering in Kosovo, the tonelessness of dove song, about how to hang transluscent blinds, a joke about God and control, etc.

The clippings were selected and arranged with some idea of a system in the back of our minds, but it was this mix of the social-political and the trivial that we were getting at. The clippings were arranged to be read as much as for covering.
Newspapers create social spaces.

  Interior back view of the niche.

One reads the cartoon,
another about Kosovo, and the other both.
Select, read, discard, cut and paste.
Windows on overlapping worlds.

These were not just walls blocking out the light but also screens bearing selected snipbits news of today.

We chose newspaper cuttings from current Dutch local and national papers, not only to bring in the (recorded) news from the outside into this old archival building and but also to connect our artwork to current events.

At the time our country was at war (in Korsovo), and it struck me as odd how a number of artists I knew seemed either unaware or not interested in this. The clippings were a means for us to inject the today-to-day into the -at times- uninvolved world of aesthetics.

  Left: Outer view of the alcove containing the Grains of Salt video projection.
  Right: Big Ones, two transparencies hung on the outside of two windows.

Much like bringing the "common" into ´high art´ and making it the wall, the frame, or the ´museum´. At the same time, because of the paper-thin wall´s characteristics of words and images arranged for reading or viewing, its function was obviously not neutral (or tidy). Added to this, while people read they could faintly hear voices in Dutch and English.

  The video installation: Grains of Salt

Behind the wall was a video projection onto a salted animal form that appeared to be listening or speaking into outer the wall. If you looked into the niche you could hear voices as well. The two female voices, one in Dutch and one in English spoke of salt as a metaphor for the filtering process, along with references to socio-political thoughts.

        "Names on the move, cum grano salis"

        "There was a fear that the machine was
        devouring the natural character of humankind."

        "We are salt of the earth with a spirit that goes through nature."

Stills from the Grains of Salt video.      

These were more or less the same texts Sonja had typed in the Making Salt performance a year earlier. The text of the male voice spoke of the need for postmodern religious and secular structures to be organically related, working together but independently.

The voices talk through each other, requiring the listener to concentrate on a particular voice and to filter out other voices in order to comprehend that phrase. Likewise the images were layered over and through one another so that the impression on the viewer was one of a constant stream of sources.

The images were projected onto salt, whose whiteness makes the images visible and whose texture softens the flow of images.
The material is not a passive recipient:
the land changes the light above it.

"Salt softens, salt moves by osmosis, salt is rock."

The continuously expanding space...
Installation on the three top floors of an old archival building
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