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Article in (h)ART Magazine, December 2009 (click to view)
Publication: Desert Passage
In the fall of
2005, Anne Ausloos (Belgium), Jeroen van Westen and Gerco de Ruijter (both from
The Netherlands) spent many weeks working in north-central New Mexico. Part
of the time they were Artists in Residence at the Santa Fe Art Institute. After
returning to Europe and presenting the results of their trip amongst others
in Ghent, Belgium, and Rotterdam and Amsterdam, The Netherlands, they decided
to self-publish their findings in a limited edition artist book titled Desert
Desert Passage is not one book but four books in one. Each of the three artists has selected visuals (and texts) defining his or her New Mexico work. The fourth book was composed by Ton Haak, their Dutch-born guide who lives in Abiquiu, New Mexico, which was the focus of their New Mexico explorations. In his contribution, titled High Desert Drifter, Ton Haak writes about his more than 10 years in Abiquiu, his thoughts and experiences, and his collaboration with the three artists.
The four books of Desert Passage present different opinions, different experiences, and different artistic results four individual views, sometimes opposite, mostly strengthening each other. The cross references, correlations, and divergences provide a diverse yet interesting historic (visual) documentation of one of the last original deserts of the Wild West.
Anne Ausloos (1954)
lives and works in Antwerp, Belgium. She teaches Ceramics/Glass Art at St. Lucas
Academy of Art in Ghent. Her work is non-conformist her material may
be clay, but she is not a ceramist. Anne is foremost a researcher she
explores the different and unpredictable qualities and reactions of clay, applies
scientific processes, and preserves the results of her work in visuals that
are, though not on purpose per se, oft esthetically astonishing.
Jeroen van Westen
(1955), lives and works in Enschede, The Netherlands. His philosophy is that
all landscape is readable any landscape tells how the culture which created
it was or is related to the land and to nature. His work is presented in the
form of temporary installations, performances, books, permanent structures,
or a combination of these. Rather than placing a sculpture in the public space,
the public space offers the material to construct a (visual) tale.
Gerco de Ruijter
(1961) lives and works in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. He is a photographer who
does not use his view finder to take pictures. He attaches his camera to a kite.
His landscape images are views of the earth from a few hundred feet up. Their
perspective is unusual to say the least in absence of the traditional
horizon and other expected references, the images become abstract registrations.
Notwithstanding the quite large distance between camera and landscape, the images
offer an extremely detailed commentary on the (changing) land. The composition
of the images, carefully selected, also adds to a loss of touch with reality.
Ton Haak (1943)
lives and works in Abiquiu, New Mexico. In his writings (non-fiction, fiction
and poetry) he expresses his continuing fascination with the expanse, colors
and shapes of the high desert, and with its extraordinary people. The rich mixture
of old Indian culture, contemporary Native American society, lasting Spanish
influences, never ending immigration from Mexico, and slow Anglo-American penetration
creates a society that in lifestyle, politics and even fashion is Central-American
rather than North-American. Playing guide to the visiting three creative artists
refired his love of the high desert.
Limited edition (300 ex)
Size 210x148 mm (A5) / Full Color / Offset
180 pages (Anne Ausloos 48p, Gerco de Ruijter 36p, Ton Haak 48p, Jeroen van Westen 48p)
Design: Pleun Vos
Europe € 42,50 (order via e-mail Anne Ausloos) / USA: $ 72 (order via e-mail Ton Haak)
Postage not included