Joris Kuipers’s works are based on historical scientific anatomical sources from the woodcuts from the hand of Andreas Vesalius to CT-scans, MRI-scans and autopsy images and the plastinations of Gunther von Hagens. As in medical practice, he dissects the body layer by layer. After this fragmentation, the body is rearranged in a non-rational manner, in order to reveal emotional significance. His current works are concerned with the deconstruction of bodies and heads. These works are based on a Tibetan Buddhist ritual, whereby the body of a deceased person is cut up in pieces in order to liberate the soul. Another source of inspiration is de-constructivism, the architectural movement taking its departure from the assumption 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 religeon, skin colour, gender and sexual inclination.
The works’ floating refers 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 colourful 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 art work, 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