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 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 (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).

ESSAYS, INTERVIEWS & REVIEWS

xpo - 2007 - The Moss Gathering Tumbleweed Experience - Ruth Loos - Where objects meet and reorganize themselves in time and space [EN, concept text],
Text , 3 p.




__________

Ruth Loos


The Moss Gathering Tumbleweed Experience ●
- where objects meet and reorganize themselves in time and space -



‘The Moss Gathering Tumbleweed Experience’ is a debate in the form of a series of artistic interventions. As such, it is incomplete; it writes and rewrites itself. At times, it is very dynamic and then again, very calculated. 

Hans Theys is the curator of this artistic debate. Not only for, but also together with his guests at the NICC, he reflects on how to present and display things. His approach is headstrong, playful, colourful and multilayered. Hans Theys is quite an exceptional philosopher; he looks at art from within. Persistent and creative as he is, he not only observes things from a distance or from at eye level, but, literally and figuratively, takes on different perspectives. Because of his view, his subjectivity and his gestures ‘The Moss Gathering Tumbleweed Experience’ becomes something four-dimensional and spatial in time.

Theys connects surprising encounters between objects. Sometimes with full force or sometimes little by little, he brings objects into the NICC exhibition space, where they live organically in the way he has arranged them or in the way they organize themselves. By underlining mutual and underlying relations, Theys reveals certain things. In his selection of objects, he chooses those that influence, challenge, affirm or contradict each other; objects that are open-minded, no matter how fragile or how bold they might be.

As a periodical constellation of ideas and objects, ‘The Moss Gathering Tumbleweed Experience’ plays with boundaries. It sets up a transitional zone where boundaries become blurred and realign. Each work penetrates the room and redefines it. The works invade each other’s space and together they create a new environment. The Tumbleweed-title rightfully matches the changing reality of Theys’s illustrative debate. In this text, five paragraphs plus one, we would like to take a look at each word of the title separately. 

‘The Moss Gathering Tumbleweed Experience’ is definite; it’s not without reason. ‘The’ denotes a specification, thus making it personal, physical and unique. The definitiveness underlines an outspoken subjective dimension; a dimension that refers to physicality, to the concrete experience of the here and now. ‘The’ can also signify something abstract. ‘The Moss Gathering Tumbleweed Experience’ then becomes a concept, a proposition, a possible outline for an actual dialogue. In addition, ‘the’ can refer to a specific gender: male, female or neutral. If so, the grammatical gender of ‘The Moss Gathering Tumbleweed Experience’ could best be described as chameleonic.

‘The Moss Gathering Tumbleweed Experience’ is characterised by a very specific simplicity. The simplicity of a small evergreen moss plant; a spore plant that sprouts, grows and attaches itself. A rhizoidal simplicity that is complex in its naked directness. The participating words and objects grow and overgrow, without hesitation and in close packs. They cover and discover. They leave spores and weave threads. They attach and detach themselves. Like a carpet with holes in it, they cover the space with a layer of meaning. Each time the carpet is moved or new threads interconnect, we discover different aspects of the space. In its turn, the covered space focuses on each of its individual inhabitants, although they remain closely connected to each other.

‘The Moss Gathering Tumbleweed Experience’ is an enthusiastic collection, a gathering of objects, a folding of colours, a montage of rhythms, a shifting of forms, a concentration of materials, an assembly of volumes, a convergence of textures, a cluster of meetings, a confluence of instincts. But it is also an act. ‘The Moss Gathering Tumbleweed Experience’ connects, disconnects and reconnects the most divergent, artistic attentiveness, concern, fascination, consideration, interest, perceptivity, awareness, care, protection, dedication and commitment.

‘The Moss Gathering Tumbleweed Experience’ is repetitive, wild, changeable, flighty but never casual. It breaks away from its roots. As a quantitative mass, it is driven about by the wind. In terms of quality, it causes a literal and poetic dispersion. ‘Tumbleweed’ is a spherical construction made up of a number of artistic branches. It’s a multidimensional figure that moves meaningfully and stops expressively. ‘Tumbleweed’ disseminates objects in the same way it collects them. Centripetal and centrifugal objects appear as particles spread in different directions. The result of these physical interactions is a unit that changes direction or motion through a number of playful and mild collisions between lengths, widths, heights and depths. The relative positions of the objects and ideas within the space continue to change, until they rest and stand still, before they start to tumble again. 

‘The Moss Gathering Tumbleweed Experience’

Can refer to different levels of experiencing: an experience, an occurrence, a happening, an incident, a sense of perception, an adventure, an event, an escapade, an impression, a discovery, a sensation, an idea, an intuition, a suspicion, an exercise, a ceremony, a circumstance, a given, an opportunity, a case, a gesture, a situation, a story, a manifestation, a development, an incident, a festivity. Active participation can lead to an increase of knowledge, skills and sensitivities.

Tumbleweed Spin Off ●

A ‘spin-off’ is a new entity that forms itself by breaking away from of a larger, existing unit. The part that detaches itself becomes a new independent entity. In the context of ‘The Moss Gathering Tumbleweed Experience’, it becomes a sensory intervention in a new space with both old and new artistic input, but, at the same time, it retains the original tumbling movements of objects and ideas and the daring arrangement of the visual elements – organic, disharmonious and many-voiced. ‘Tumbleweed Spin Off’ is a visual pilgrimage that is inclusive and receptive in its approach.


For Hans Theys and NICC, Museumstraat 35/37, 2000 Antwerp

Antwerp, 22 August 2007