Moltkerei Werkstatt, Cologne, 1999
The projected slide-collages...
Hakenovsky's Little Nap
In the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, I travelled frequently, being professionally active in Italy, Germany, Holland, Croatia and the US. It was an exciting, and productive time, wide open and optimistic - at least up until 9/11. During these travels, my SLR-camera always on hand, I photographed continuously, mostly with E6 slide film, building an extensive archive of material documenting my travels.
In 1999, preparing for an exhibition in the Moltkerei Werkstatt in Cologne, during an impulsively recalcitrant creative moment, I selected two slides, one out-of-focus shot of the Stadtpark near the Funkturm in Cologne, and the other taken of the Rhein River through a red filter. Perforating them with a hammer and leather-punch, then stapling the dark red dots into the same-sized holes in the “background” slide using an everyday paper stapler which was laying on my desktop, I had unsuspectingly discovered a new form of “sketching”, quickly creating new images that united memories of different places I had recently visited, framed by the visual drumbeat of the staples.
These first six slide-collage images comprised the somewhat “dreamy” content in what became the Hakenovsky’s Little Nap installation in the Moltkerei Werkstatt. They were projected from inside a large-scale hook resting on its side, located centrally in the L-shaped exhibition space, beaming outwards through the transparent film stretched over the hook’s frame, casting their images on the film and the walls of the exhibition space. This configuration created a corridor through which the visitors passed, interacting with the installation, becoming a part of it. So, what were these compositions, if not a nostalgic diary of the beautiful and inspiring places I had visited, merging with my ongoing search and longing to find a place in this world?
Inspired by this new direct and unpretentious technique for composing images - a kind of poor man’s Photoshop - other slide-collages followed in the years to come: rooms and places, portraits and the not uncomplicated “holiday” scenarios from the Life is so perfect installation in Vlissingen, 2004.