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Courtesy Marjolein van den Assem.

Marjolijn van den Assem

 The sharpening stone for Van den Assem’s thinking is the abrasive philosophy of wandering nomad Friedrich Nietzsche. In her dialogues with his books, letters and travels, she negotiates the borderline between drawing and performative writing. What does it mean to hone one’s thinking on that of another? Van den Assem follows in the steps of Nietzsche’s walks and revisits sections of text, devouring them to set a stream of thought in motion. She is carried to the limits of her imagination, often putting her physical limits at risk. 

 Van den Assem’s extensive drawing series from the last few years expands on Nietszche’s reflections on our relationship to reality. She draws on his book The Gay Science, named after the gaia scienza of erstwhile troubadours, who he saw as free spirits. Through satirical poems and provocative aphorisms, Nietzsche experimented with concentrated insights that keep thinking alive and fluid–just as the world in and about which we think is in constant flux. In turn, Van den Assem uses ink, pencil, blade, staple gun and, where necessary, her entire bodily weight in a restless attempt to capture her thoughts in motion, until they play out or burst at the seams. And every time, alongside or behind each attempt, another image appears. 

 In addition to the exhibition, ‘bewustzijn van schijn’ is an artist’s book published in 2021. 

Events with this show

artists

Marjolijn van den Assem