Joris Kuipers’ works find their origin in historic, scientific and/or anatomic sources ranging from the woodcuts by Andreas Vesalius to CT-scans, MRI-scans, autopsy images and the plastinations by Gunther von Hagens. As in medical practice, Joris dissects the body layer by layer. After this fragmentation, the body is rearranged in a non-rational manner, in order to reveal emotional significance. The focus in his recent work is on the deconstruction of bodies and heads, inspired by a Tibetan Buddhist ritual, where the body of a deceased person is cut up in pieces in order to set the soul free. Another source of inspiration is deconstructivism, the architectural movement based on the idea of an insecure and confusing society, which is expressed in the design of buildings.
In the room-size installation ‘Goodbye George, burn the ship come spring’on which Kuipers is currently showing, the open and partially exploded bodies hanging down represent the yearning for an egoless mental condition, independence through absence of religion, skin color, gender and sexual inclination.
The works’ floating refer to the wish to be released from gravity. ‘The wish to fly is deeply rooted within us. It comes to the surface in our dreams, fantasies, mythologies, fairy tales and comics, representing the liberation from the body, the sublimation of the erotic, the illustration of omnipotence and the transition from life to death; in essence, it always symbolizes the crossing of borders.’ (1)
The series of hanging sculptures will be complemented bij the installation ‘Völlig losgelöst’. “At first glance, the work may seem no more than a colorful array of shapes. Upon closer inspection, however, all parts combine into an anthropomorphic skull, fanning out and dissolving, with the spectator at its centre. The title ‘Völlig losgelöst’ [‘loosened completely’] refers to Peter Schilling’s popsong ‘Major Tom’ (1983). Its text is all about the sensation of being weightless and the desire to just vanish into space. Within the context of this artwork, weightlessness and physically hovering rather has a more spiritual meaning. Dissolving a human head refers to hallucinating as a desire to escape, and in a wider, deeper context to letting go of one’s ego.”
(1) Edzard Mik, Zaha Hadid Een visioen van gewichtloosheid (A vision of weightlessness), Vrij Nederland, november 2010, p.67