text to 40

I came across Alberto Giacometti in November 1996 thanks to a late-night television programme.
His attitude impressed me. His obsessive search, his dream of a true work. The way he confined himself to the same room with the same models, looking for the heart, or nucleus, of his ‘material’.

 

15 hours a day in his atelier; muttering, painting, sculpting, smoking cigarettes.

It felt so familiar: the grumbling at himself and the despair about his own inability.
The search for an utopic ideal; that true, perfect and essential form in which, with a minimum of material and with a minimum of fuss, one might create a breathtaking splinter filled with beauty and tension.

Not a brush too much; in my case: not a sound too much. No clap-trap.
Like G., I wanted to explore the same models (three chords) in one and the same atelier (a string quartet with one or two extra instruments).
I wanted to repeat the same portrait several times.
To paint the same woman over and over again.

The titles of my works refer to portrait studies G. made of his wife Annette.
‘Annette dans l’atelier’ is a painting from 1961.
‘Annette [1954] ‘ is a drawing from 1954.
‘Annette IV’ is a sculpture from 1962.

In 1998, I made ‘Annette dans l’atelier’ for string quartet and tuba.
It was premiered in 2002 by the Alpha Contemporary Ensemble in Tokyo.
In the autumn of 2004, I made a revised version for the Ives Ensemble, who played it in May 2005.
It was played again at the ISCM-festival 2006 in Stüttgart.

 ‘Annette [1954]’ (2003) for 2 piano’s and string quartet was written for the
Aarre-ensemble as a salute to composer Paul Termos, who died that year.

‘Annette IV’ for tape and film is a work in progress.

About what lies behind ‘Annette [1954]’:
With pictures of her in every chair, in every corner of her room.
and the caption 'emptiness', each time.
Always seen from above.
And eyes unseeing, that too.
Just like others would, previously and ever since.
Knew all, discarded all.
Until the day she discovers it’s not anger but an endless stumble.
And she thinks: 'Someone come and stop this falling’.
Let us learn how to live with this state of falling, in name of all that we care about....'