Touch of Stone

Marijn Bax

October 12 - November 18,2017 

Inside a concrete bunker – built, originally, to provide people with shelter and physical protection – Marijn Bax examines the relationship and boundaries between the mind, the body, and multiple-meter-thick walls. What happens to a person who, for whatever reason, becomes isolated from the rest of the world? Marijn Bax is fascinated by the connections between our mental state and the time and space in which we find ourselves – and also, by the ways in which echoes from the past reverberate in the present.

–    2000 kilograms of clay
–    12 hands
–    5 cameras
–    4 concrete walls
–    1 ceiling
–    1 dancer
–    1 double bass player

Touch of Stone is based on an improvisational performance with Maria Demandt (dance) and Lucas Dols (double bass) in a site-specific installation, which resulted in a video-installation, ceramic objects, a poem and photographic works.

Marijn Bax:

A body and a mind: in short, a human being. A species that distinguishes itself by its capacity to think, or so Western philosophy informs us. The mind controls the body. Or perhaps the body carries the mind. Either way, this duality, which dates back to Plato, keeps coming back to haunt us in guises that are ever evolving, and ever more extreme. The other day, I  saw a child’s drawing that neatly summarized the way we see ourselves. There it was, on a simple green sheet of paper: a giant circle, with a few sprinkles on top for hair, and a few strokes below for a body. 

When a child falls down, we comfort it with a hug and a kiss on the painful spot; when it’s scared, we calm it down with an embrace or a caress. These are loving measures, physical measures. In his controversial 1986 essay Discourse on Decadence, the author Ango Sakaguchi writes: ‘We fall because we are human, it is only because we live that we fall.’ As adults, we equate falling with failure: and pain and fear are signs of weakness. We are ashamed of it, or hide it as fast as we can. Why have we substituted the physical comforts that marked our childhoods for medication, medication that allows us to get back up quickly, and without the help of another person? What is the relationship between our mental states and pain? What is the physical effect of a pill that promises to protect you mind? And is being alone the same as being strong?  

Marijn Bax (1981) is educated at the Academy of Art and Graphics – Sint Joost, Breda, NL. She graduated as a master in photography with a site-specific installation at Castrum Peregrini in Amsterdam. From this moment on, site-specific installations, often in historical places, are the main focus in Marijn Bax’s oeuvre. In these installations she often works in a multidisciplinary way using performance, audio – as well as text. In 2015 she received the Werkbijdrage Jong Talent from the Mondriaan Fonds which helped her realise the projects KOPIE and ENDS MEET.

Touch of stone is made possible by the generous support of: