Know How #2


Anneke Ingwersen


Vanaf 15 februari 2013 tot en met 23 maart 2013 in Het Klooster Tiel



Shadowinvestigation Number One – Anneke Ingwersen

Know How 2  – Het overkoepelende thema is Knowhow: een combinatie  van voorkennis en het “echte”werk…

In aanleiding van KnowHow 2 zet Anneke Ingwersen de ladenkasten van haar mentale archief open en het denkproces in de spotlights. Dat wat normaal verborgen blijft, wordt zichtbaar. Ingwersen onderzoekt al jaren verschillende aspecten van de Schaduw, haar Shadowinvestigations.

In de twee ruimtes van Het Klooster onderzoekt ze de volgende polariteiten: licht- schaduw, yin – yang, idee – verbeelding, verborgenheid – zichtbaarheid, front- backstage.

De beschouwer bevindt zich na betreden van het Klooster in de backstage ruimte waar een mindmap een muur vult. In de tweede ruimte betreedt de beschouwer zelf de frontstage en loopt tegen een kamerscherm aan waarachter schaduwen en lichtreflecties opstijgen. Door de productie van de kinetische schaduwinstallaties te tonen kan de beschouwer de constructie en deconstructie tegelijkertijd beleven: verwondering en demystificatie gaan hand in hand.

Ingwersen onderzoekt in deze installatie wat zichtbaar wordt door te verhullen en wat verborgen blijft door de tonen. Wat is ‘het autonome werk’ en wat is een schets? Wat toont de schaduw?

Bekijk ook de website van Anneke Ingwersen


Shadowinvestigations Number One – Some thoughts

Anneke Ingwersen

The polarity of light and shadow has my main interest. Western culture has the tendency to interpret the bipolarities of life with strong moralistic connotations about good and bad. Opposite to this is the attitude to see light and shadow as a whole, not able to separate them from each other. They are interdependent and neutral: Shadow and light mean in Chinese letters Yin and Yang….Yin symbolizes the hidden, black, female energies. The Yang the light, bright, masculine phenomenon.

In the line of this I stumbled upon the Chinese legend Penumbrae Query Shadow.

Penumbra said to Shadow, ‘A little while ago you were walking and now you’re standing still; a little while ago you were sitting and now you’re standing up. Why this lack of independent action[tecao]?’

Shadow said, ‘Do I have to wait for something before I can be like this? Does what I wait for also have to wait for something before it can be like this? Am I waiting for the scales of a snake or the wings of a cicada? How do I know why it is so? How do I know why it isn’t so?’  There is another version of the query that appears:

“Penumbrae once asked Shadow, ‘A little while ago you were looking down and now you’re looking up, a little while ago your hair was bound up and now it’s hanging loose, a little while ago you were sitting and now you’re standing up, a little while ago you were walking and now you’re still – why is this?

Shadow said, ‘Quibble, quibble! Why bother asking about such things? I have them but I don’t know how. I’m the shell of the cicada, the cast-off skin of the snake – like them and yet not like them. In firelight or sunlight I draw together, in darkness or night I fade away. Am I not dependent on the substance from which I am thrown? And that substance is itself dependent on something else! When it comes, I come with it; when it goes, I go with it. When it comes under the influence of the strong Yang (Substance), I come under the same. Since we are both produced by that strong Yang, what occasion is there for you to question me?”

One possible interpretation: ‘Are you able to break free for a moment of the grip of the concept of causation? If you can, you might then be able to realize your own independence; for make no mistake, in the realm of causation, you are no less dependent than your shadow.” ( Scott Bradley)

The Shadow needs  the object to be, the Penumbra the Shadow to be… When both are depending on the other, you could also question this interdependency and speak about real freedom…. ?  Couldn’t you?

Wikipedia on Yin and Yang:

Many natural dualities—e.g., dark and light, female and male, low and high, cold and hot, water and fire, earth and air—are thought of as manifestations of yin and yang (respectively).Yin and yang are not opposing forces (dualities), but complementary forces, unseen (hidden, feminine) and seen (manifest, masculine), that interact to form a greater whole, as part of a dynamic system.

There is a perception (especially in the West) that yin and yang correspond to evil and good. However, in Daoist metaphysics, good/bad distinctions and other dichotomous (=tweedeling) moral judgments are perceptual and not real, and yin-yang is an indivisible whole. Yin and yang thus are always opposite and equal qualities.

If I would not divide the world in two anymore, not judge about work or process, light or shadow what will happen? Will I get less secure? I will win something else…

What do I do in this installation? Catching wonders  and grasping knowledge…  ?

Or exorcising the ancient chtonical anxiety of the dark swallowing up all light? To overcome this fear humans proceed rituals to encourage the sun … Magic rules and laws  and science both try to grasp uncertainty and the wonder of life and death. ( Sara Maitland A Book of Silence ) In this context light means life, shadow and silence death.

What I certainly do is showing the whole situation of the shadow which is undividable connected with the light source and the object: What does this mean? Giving away its magic?  By more transparency of  the  production machinery of the shadows  the viewer can experience the construction and the deconstruction of the shadows: enchantment and demystification will take place at the same moment. That seems to be an ethical question.

I researched in former shadow-installations the process of perception and immersion: when does the viewer accept the mystery of the immersive space? At what point does the viewer forget about the causal and technical questions and believe in the illusion? Do I want that? Brechtian break of the mystery of Aristotelian concept of catharsis in tragedy…?

I question if people see what they think to see. I try to trigger the imagination to push people to step out of their comfort zone. I  would like  to create zones of discomfort – to not hypnotize the audience but trigger their active modus.

I am not sure if I want to seduce to manipulate or that I rather like to engage with the audience in a more cognitive way…

The criminalist aspect in the title points for me in a humoristic way towards a start-up of the investigations… The agent in charge of a secret investigation shadows someone, hiding invisible to observe the target.

Since the times of Plato with his allegory of the cave artists ask how we construct and constitute reality: What is reality, the constructions of reality in our minds, the perception ? What if Plato was wrong and the shadow we see on the projection screen are the one and only reality and not only the shadows of real ideas?


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