May 8, 2014 - Tel Aviv Museum of Art - Marcel van Eeden
May 8, 2014

Marcel van Eeden

Marcel van Eeden, from the series “Dizengoff’s Commision”, 2013. Nero pencil on paper. Courtesy of Galerie Zink, Berlin.

Marcel van Eeden
Dizengoff’s Commission

20 February–21 June 2014

Tel Aviv Museum of Art
27 Shaul Hamelech Blvd
Tel Aviv, 61332012 

Curated by Irith Hadar

Marcel van Eeden’s (b. 1965, The Hague; lives and works in Zurich) series of drawings are based on documents and visual materials, predating his birth and interweave historical and fictional narratives into a film noir-esque plot. The three series on show center on the fictitious archeologist-spy Oswald Sollmann. One of them was made especially for the exhibition and refers to the establishment of the Tel Aviv Museum and the diverse activities of its patrons during 1930-1934. The proposed plot associates, inexplicably, Mayor Meir Dizengoff’s efforts, to promote culture in Tel Aviv, with finding a companion for King Albert of Belgium on his journey to Iraq…

In his series of black pencil drawings illuminated with flicks of color, Marcel van Eeden unfolds possible views of the world as it had been before he was born (1965). The drawings create a textual sequence that channels the visible to the realms of narrative. As in film noir, however, in van Eeden’s series nothing is as it appears to be.

Echoing the discussion of non-being in Schopenhauer’s writings, where the philosopher maintains that there is no difference between posthumous non-being and prenatal non-being, van Eeden’s attempt to touch upon the sense of anticipated non-being—the conceptual basis for his work—is bound, for him, with the act of drawing: recopying of photographic evidence from the past world before he was born.

The construction of van Eeden’s world relies on the law of chance, on unexpected events in the present which set off the artist’s exhibitions as well as the travels of the aforementioned Oswald Sollmann. It is Sollman’s fictive character that introduces some sense of continuity into van Eeden’s work, somewhat unifying a past which was condemned to be partial and lacking, largely comprised of manifestations of coincidence and contingency.

With heartfelt thanks to Ms. Ingrid Flick, without whose support this exhibition would not have been possible.

Tel Aviv Museum of Art
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