by Freek Lomme
When I was going through the book Kurt’s Zimmer publikation, I was reading about and looking at a space that draws one’s eye and consequently swallows that eye, but at the same time seems to possess an ego, a space that could be able to look right back. This is based on A. The fact that the space has windows where the viewer could see through from the outside and then has an esthetical experience in the tradition of artist Anish Kapoor and B. Because there’s a radiation to the outside from the concentric centre of the work, which seems to frame the viewers in oval portraits.
The pre-occupation of the French philosopher Michel Foucault (1926-1984) with the Pantheon, a panopticon in which the cells are built in a circle with a central tower for the guard at the inner court, imposed me when I caught up on Kurt’s Zimmer. In this prison the cells are built in a circle against the outer wall. The inside is hollow and consists of a covered inner court that features, exactly in the centre, a tower for the guard. The guard sits here invisible, just like the centre of Kurt’s Zimmer becomes abject in infinity. The prisoner in the panopticum doesn’t know when he/she is being viewed, just like the person looking at Kurt’s Zimmer doesn’t know he/she is being viewed.
My findings around Kurt’s Zimmer Publikation
– Encountering something is different than finding something
– A view is different than infinity
– An esthetical experience is different than esthetical sublimity
– Philosophizing is different from telling a story
Encountering something is different than finding something.
Without exactly knowing what, things telescope at Karin van Pinxteren. Without exactly knowing what telescopes, it’s obvious that the objects are shaped. It’s a view, a form, present and not present.
A view is different than infinity
At Karin’s work the view, the perspective that has to be framed, changes to infinity, a perspective that leads to a point where it becomes intangible.
An esthetical experience is different than esthetical sublimity.
In Kurt’s Zimmer the micro cosmos, the esthetical experience, is absorbed by the macro cosmos, the esthetical sublime.
Philosophizing is different from telling a story.
In the view of the sublimity every ground loses its bottom. Air and earth become one, everything is wrapped in a veil that not only pulls together the nearness and the distance, but also pulls together the endogenous and exogenous. This total however is not a collection, but is vacuum and abject, just like the non-life or that which lies beyond the universe.
But! She shows herself in a view, thrown at the earth, to be understood by experiencing stories or experiencing sublimity. The abject has its shape in the esthetical sublime, the shape of religion, the shape of fear, the shape of ecstasy. Coordinating: the emotion that we have in common with other primates.
The panopticum model states that the prisoner, the person looking at the central point, is being disciplined. Because he is being placed under supervision, he is being ‘normalized’.
When applying this to Kurt’s Zimmer, it doesn’t seem like the guard, but the esthetical sublime disciplines. The sublimity marks off as an experience of a vacuum, the endogenous imposes itself but without any kind of face.
The object plays with the audience by anticipating on the human unconsciousness of the unknown and anticipating on the emotions that can be caused by this. It proves that views and stories, when being brought together without a specific reason and by coincidence in an associative whole, can be very powerful. This force then is often called ‘sublime’.
Kurt’s Zimmer proves that emotion is a strong advisor. This is shown by bringing along the spectator in a domain that not only imposes itself to our constitution, but also to our mind.
Kurt’s Zimmer proves that especially religion, the belief in something sublime, something not from this earth, can fuck with our mind and constitution by taking them along with something that is not there.
 How can you play with something that you don’t even know…?
© Freek Lomme, 29 March 2008, review in De Kantlijn #7, translation Erik Jacobs