Replaced Text

by Sonja van Kerkhoff, 1992

Replaced Text, film on metal plate, 23 x 32 cm.
Larger image (64 kb)

The text reads:

What kind of idea of idea are you?
Are you the kind that compromises,
does deals, accommodates itself to society,
or are you the cussed, bloody-minded ramrod-back
type of damnfool notion that would rather break
than sway with the breeze? The kind that will
almost certainly, ninety-nine times out
of a hundred be smashed to bits,
but, the hundredth time,
will change the world.

In the work, Replaced text, a text taken from the Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie, asks the viewer "what kind of idea are you". It illustrates that no matter how small the idea is, if you have conviction and will, in the end that idea can change something. At the same time it also raises questions: how does one know when to compromise or not, and is there a wisdom in this?

The book is about bringing oneself to account, about examining one's own ideals, in the lives of the two main characters. But unfortunately, that theme seems to have been overlooked, for socio-political reasons. So here his book did make an impact on the world, but not, I would think, in the way the author intended.

Graduation exhibition view, 1992.

Ideas are not independent of the world, of history, so it is all well and good to have conviction and a good idea, but how we present it is just as important and how we are affected by the forces of society is also an important factor. Rushdie's book also brilliantly weaves these sorts of issues throughout the book, so it what has happened is both unfortunate and ironic.

Here I've taken the text and reset it in another framework. The film mirrors slightly, giving the viewer a fuzzy reflection of themselves.


2014    "Kunstroute" (Art Route) Open Makers, Leiden, The Netherlands.

2008    Threads of the Day,   Leids Wevershuis, Leiden Museum of Weaving, Leiden, The Netherlands

2004Oceania, Terpkerk,   Urmond Terp Church (now used as an art gallery), Urmond, The Netherlands.

1993Image defining Word defining Image, The Gallery,   Stoke Newington Library, London, U.K.

1992Graduation Exhibition, Maastricht School of Visual Arts,   Maastricht, The Netherlands

Related Work

>> Sonja's c.v.    Other art made in 1992    Arranged by Medium      A tour via thumbnail images