Since 2008 Carolien Scholtes makes autonomous photo and video works. She builds setups in her studio, photographing or filming them and destroys them again. In an inimitable way, her work both touches upon and escapes feelings of grief, loss and time. A change in tone that has everything to do with the brain damage that she sustained in 2008 and that turned her world upside down: a caesura in life and work.
Until 2008 Scholtes worked as a scenographer, filmmaker and initiator of multi-disciplinairy projects.
“The process starts by acting from existing knowledge. From my experience as a scenographer and a director, I know what it takes to create a strong image.
I start with a rough design. I choose the background materials, usually bits of carpet, lino and the like. Then the objects are added. Those have been more or less organized according to their colour and material: elastic, thread, wooden boxes that fit together. I don’t use the objects in a conventional manner, but focus on their associative power. Their significance follows from their interrelationship. I knead the lino and little by little a connection with my chosen theme, Saints’ Lives, manifests itself.
I get rid of anything that’s too easily interpreted and therefore downgrades the image, and of anything I find too pretty or aesthetic. But the opposite also happens, when I retain what is beautiful or significant. I constantly create snares and pitfalls for myself.
And then I decide to tilt the image – and everything falls into place.
Gravity is losing ground, which creates space. Space between levels of significance, carrying memories of chaos and pain, which ultimately, in the course of the working process, become universal.
This is also the moment that the image becomes independent.”
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