Gijs van Bon
NLD (1975). Lives in Neunen and works in Eindhoven.
Plaza de los Estudiantes
Saturdays: February 7 to April 5, 4 p.m.
2014.Performance, variable duration. Sand, cable, computer, drivers.
Co-production with HH Producties, Amsterdam
Van Bon began his studies at the Design Academy of Eindhoven, in the Netherlands, and then moved to Utrecht to study theater design at the Academy of Fine Arts. Since 2000 he has been working as a visual artist and has been granted many awards and prizes. His sculptural works are moving objects. For van Bon, movement is a metaphor for life. He combines movement and time, showing his interest in the infinite number of opportunities and patterns, as well as in the slowing of time to infinitesimal movements, so as not to be seen but rather to be reflected on. He refers to his sand writing machines as autonomous theatrical objects that are meant to communicate directly with the viewer.
The installation Present Perfect Continuous writes dreams and poems, sourced from diaries and journals written by Cartagenians, using sand taken from the beaches of Cartagena. The installation writes in a slow pace, letter by letter. When the section is complete, the sand is swept aside for the machine to continue with the next section. Next to the public square there will be receptacles for the sand—the residue of thoughts and dreams. The last section is left to fate. Gradually, what remains is more and more influenced by the wind, the weather, and the audience, slowly disappearing until the following weekend when the text will again be written. The square is like the paper on which the texts are written. Thus, the city is the medium for the diary, integrating and merging the performance space with its residents and users.
The installation and performance speak of time—its transience and its desire to leave a record of the moment. All thoughts and moments sadly disappear but hope lies in the emergence of the new. The public is the viewer and reader of the text fragments. They see the creation of the text in a moment of silence, created and destroyed amidst the city’s turmoil.