Theory of Forms
The longer and more she pushes, the warmer it gets
For Permeke, tactility was still one of the conditions for creating art. Moreover, he loved impasto painting and materials played a prominent role in his work. Yet artists working today have little use for brushwork, casting, drawing, modelling or chiselling. Hedwig Houben (b. 1983, NL) and Tamara Van San (b. 1982, BE), however, remain highly aware of sculpturality. According to Plato’s theory of forms, objects are created when a maker converts an idea from a higher world into matter. Hedwig Houben and Tamara Van San both reflect on the cause, the process and the end result. Material and technique determine Tamara Van San’s creative process, which results in active thought. Her sources of inspiration include visual languages from different continents and materials such as polyurethane, latex and nylon. The unique textures, colours and techniques used in the objects, which are neither figurative nor abstract, leave room for interpretation and thus transcend spoken language. In Hedwig Houben’s work, the objects often speak, or at least participate in the dialogue. They pose existential questions about the form they have adopted, why they were made and their own identities and characters. These issues, which are difficult to articulate, come to the fore in the artist’s performances and other events in which the objects play an active role. This creates different perspectives from which to regard and comprehend a sculpture. The sculptor is not the only active and thinking subject, since every actor – artist, sculpture and viewer – assumes an equal role.