Review video by Petr Kazil (EN)

Below a selection from a text written by Petr Kazil. It is a review of the work ‘All Begins With A: inspired by the SUNRISE’, exhibited in TENT, Rotterdam in 2015.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016
Janneke van der Putten at Tent

In August last year I was enthralled by the Rotterdam artist Janneke van der Putten and her exhibition All begins with A, in Tent gallery. Her artwork ‘All Begins With A: inspired by the SUNRISE’ made a very strong impression and it had an unexpected emotional impact. I was filled with intense longing for a place, for a time, for an activity. It was a powerful, melancholy experience. I still cannot put it into words (…) I visited the exhibition several times and made photographs, recordings and notes. Below are my personal notes. Below is my struggle to capture a feeling that refuses to be captured. Even a year later I cannot put it into words. (…)

I see a vague shape in the dark. Slowly I realize that this is the prow of a canoe that makes its way across the water. I see hills and woods at sunrise. I’m floored by the beauty of calm exploration. Of getting to know a place. (…)

I come back. The fascination of those tiny spots of light in the background. Not knowing – yet – what they hide, what they promise. Slowly discovering their relation with the topography. Mountains, hills, how I miss them here in the flatlands. (…) The beauty of the conifers on the hillsides, the jagged line of the dark horizon against the morning colours. Rising early, circumnavigating an island, getting to know an unknown place intimately. Experiencing the light, the sound, the temperature. How I would like to do that! But it’s useless to copy this artwork, I will have to find my own, personal version.

On one of the walls is a long row of photographs. I recognize the lake and the mountain. It is early morning. I get another view of the landscape. I try puzzle the pieces together. Is this the walk from the artist’s workplace to the lake? Is this how the video was made? How I would love to explore a place so intimately. (…)

More photographs. I recognize the lake, the boat, the trees, the hills. How I would like to sit at such a place at such a moment. I’m reminded of Bas Jan Ader and his Farewell to faraway friends. I am reminded of the “stations of the cross”, like this is a ritual, a pilgrimage. (…) Those beautiful trees against the morning sky. That jagged line between earth and sky. (…) The fascinating, mysterious points of light in the background. Where are they? How far are they? What are they? Getting to know their place and meaning in the landscape. But are the points of light more or less mysterious than the sun shining through the mist? Do we really know the lake? Can we ever know a place? (…)

More notes. The notes are getting better and more coherent, I’ve brought a camera for this visit. Still it’s impossible to catch every line of text. The video is as impressive as ever, knowing it better has not diminished its effect.

> Read the full review here.
> Artwork ‘All Begins With A: inspired by the SUNRISE’, 2012 – 2014
> Exhibition All Begins With A, TENT Rotterdam, 2015