Hans Theys is a twentieth-century philosopher and art historian. He has written and designed dozens of books on the works of contemporary artists and published hundreds of essays, interviews and reviews in books, catalogues and magazines. All his publications are based on actual collaborations and conversations with artists.

This platform was developed by Evi Bert (M HKA / Centrum Kunstarchieven Vlaanderen) in collaboration with the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp (Research group Archivolt), M HKA, Antwerp and Koen Van der Auwera. We also thank Idris Sevenans (HOR) and Marc Ruyters (Hart Magazine).


Ann Veronica Janssens - 2003 - Scrub Colour [EN, essay]
Text , 1 p.


Hans Theys

Scrub Colour
About a sculptural proposal by Ann Veronica Janssens

“Scrub” was shown for the first time in 2002 in Galerie Schipper-Krome in Berlin. It consists of a stroboscopic projection of series of coloured images, each consisting of several superimposed rectangles differing in size and colour. In our heads the images we’ve seen collide with the images that are being shown and create a new cinema.

In general, Ann Veronica Janssens’ work invites us to experience light, colour, sound, time, space and objects in a different way. Gradually, the beautiful, light capturing objects of the late eighties and nineties have been replaced by less tangible propositions.  In 1997 she filled two big spaces of the M HKA Museum in Antwerp with a vaporised oil that looked like fog. The fog changed our experience of light, sound, space and the presence of others. Now she also shows fog in coloured, transparent containers or greenhouses, which enables us to experience colour in its purest form, freed from object or tangible texture. One can never be close to the blue of the sky, because it takes 50 kilometres of sky to thicken the colour. In Ann Veronica Janssens’ sculpture the spectator finds himself in the midst of colour.

Recently, Ann Veronica Janssens developed similar works, in which the beholder is invited to perceive or experience things differently. Sometimes the work takes the shape of a set of telephone cards, engraved coins, bicycles or cars, sometimes it consists merely of light experiments like “Playing with your head” (Birmingham) or “Donut”, which was shown for the first time in the Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts in San Francisco. In a dark room, pulsating flashes of colour illuminate the surface of a screen at rapid and regular intervals. The projected colour changes approximately every sixty seconds. The sequence is intensified by the repetition of the flashes and the dilation and contraction of the pupils. In the dark periods between flashes, the spectator perceives a broad band of complementary colour, enriched by the extraordinary variety of colours produced by the brain.

Montagne de Miel, June 10th 2003