ABOUT NIL UTILITATIS
On October 13th 2022, the duo-presentation of Renée van Oploo and I at Studio de Gruyter opened which lasted til the end of December. Renée and I share the interest in researching the relation between (academic) theory and fine art. Despite that we both started creating our individual work for this exhibition, we searched for overlap on the basis of our joined philosophical background.
For this presentation, Renée focused on translating moral theory to metaphors for her work The Moral Anatomy of an Artichoke. Using an essay she wrote herself as the background, she created a quilt that may be viewed as a publication. She plays with connecting theory to storytelling through symbols and illustrations. This publication was created from the question: which role does the human have in the welcoming of the other?
Myself, I was inspired by Nuccio Ordine's book The Usefulness of the Useless (2020) for my work Nil Utilitatis. It consists of a print made on eco-canvas depicting a close-up of the hanging brides bouquet of my grandma, onto which I sewed hundreds of 'lenses' (plastic packaging of daily lenses my mom has collected). All the flowers are covered with these. In doing so, a strange image is created which is a combination of a contemporary disposable object with a traditional image of dedication and commitment, giving this a different aesthetic value.
I have also written a short essay on Nil Utilitatis in Dutch. You can access the file here.