Gardeners of Desire
Graduation Project 2018
With their heads filled with desires they listen to the unknown sounds, and ask where the melodies arise. Others lead them to beautiful gardens and blank walls, but here the sounds of the dark cannot exist. Environments repleted with rest only reveal the unrest. We can only lose ourselves in orderliness and harmony. Only those who were born in the night can comprehend the language of the melodies. - Frijke Coumans
The makeable world with its consumer society feeds our desires. Appearance comes first. Against complete makeability is that what you can’t manipulate, that what eludes us, the other.
Eros drives us to get to know something outside ourselves, to enter the space between us and the unknown, of which photography may capture the light. I believe that Eros is at odds with the makeable world. This contradiction was the starting point for a theoretical and visual study into the essence of two contradictory desires.
Makeability doesn’t result automatically in satisfaction. Often, I have no idea what I want, and it is precisely the unexpected that makes the days special. The satisfaction of control is short and kills our imagination. Imagination is essential in desire.
According to Nietzsche, Apollo has managed to control Dionysus in our world through scientific reason. By always giving primacy to our minds, we have become alienated from our intuition and instincts. Makeability has overcome chaos. We lost contact with the source of life, the energies of our body, and this leads to decline, fatigue and emptiness. This split between intellect and intuition also causes that we no longer recognize our real desires.
That which you cannot comprehend, that which withdraws itself from you, feels like an emptiness that needs to be filled. Desire always implies a need: at the moment that the need is met, the desire has gone.
The relationship between the not-knowing, not comprehending and our continuing desire seems very important to me. This can also be expressed in photography. That also ensures that you have to use your imagination, to think of all possible missing pieces in yourself.
How can I visualise desire? On the one hand, there is the makeable world and the mind that we believe is of great significance here. On the other hand, there is the other, other people and our body, which withdraws from us.
Imagination has the most important role: desire exists in what we imagine. With the photos I want to encourage people to use their imagination. Sometimes I suggest a makeability of what we desire, and thus contradicts some other photographs and text. I see my photographs as containing what cannot be comprehended into our self-designed system.
Agitation in my head and unanswered questions do not fit in harmonious and controlled environments. Unanswered questions represent a need, and fuel my projects and correspond to desire. My photo series are full of chaos, not-knowing, impressions and questions, lead by an apparent makeability born in the mind, which however cannot be controlled.