Marijn van KreijNude in front of a Garden
Marijn van Kreij’s work in Nude in front of a Garden seems to challenge, unwillingly, the possibility of creating a genuinely new piece of art in a world where fast-paced, intercontextual reproduction mechanisms take place continuously. The artist seized fragments of late Picasso paintings, copied them in watery paint and sequenced them following a penciled grid. Whether this recurring repetition is a form of insistence in itself or is insisting on a petered out artistic strategy remains to be seen. Either way it eventually becomes clear that these works are in no way an ironic comment on our fleeting visual culture as such. Inattention and concentration are both present within these works, which makes it hard to take a position when in front of them. Moreover its maker chose to pair up his series with a sound piece by fellow artist Andrea Büttner, called Roth Reading, in which Büttner reads out aloud all passages on shame and embarrassment in Dieter Roth’s diary from 1982. Here the notion of shame, a fundamental and deep, but rarely discussed anxiety of many – if not all – artists is introduced alongside these works. The piece suddenly seems to splinter the late oeuvre of one of the supposedly greatest artists of all time into a faltering amalgam of reiterated imagery. The meaning of progress, personally as well as culturally, seems to be the main question at stake here.