We are very pleased to present our third solo exhibition irresistible non-solution by Nelleke Beltjens (b. 1974). On this occasion the Dutch artist presents a group of new drawings she has been working on during her residencies in VCCA (Virginia), Yaddo (New York) and Berlin over the last year.
Contemporary life is characterized by uncertainty and complexity. The persistent feeling that we are living in an in-between stage is becoming more and more apparent; change is not only an idea, but rather felt on many levels. Nothing is solid, all is fragmented and in movement.
I use the medium of drawing to create highly intricate structures alluding to the overcomplexity of our reality. Music is of great importance to my working process. The intensive and oft repeated listening of particular musical compositions – lately especially works by Wagner and Beethoven – engender the mood, the rhythm, and the level of feeling upon which the drawings come into being. Even though complex as a whole, the drawings are made with rather simple means: tiny little lines drawn off of the edge of a piece of rectangular paper. It’s the concurrence of simplicity and complexity that dominates the drawings. The idea that we can’t grasp our existence as a whole, that all is always in movement without anything being solid, and that everything is interconnected and reoccurring are main themes within the works. Besides drawing I cut into the works, exchange rectangular parts from one sheet to another so as to interrupt an already drawn ›flow‹ and to start a next new layer which will than be fragmented again. The fragmentation will create a disruption which than will create a new ›construction‹, and so on. In the end there is an untraceable network of lines and cuts creating no visible solution or conclusion but rather a process of increasing complexity; a structure which has lost orientation.
Alongside the fragmented lines and the cuts, the most recent works feature yet a third element: fragments of colored fabric tape, adding a further visual layer to the works which optically springs forward. Initially, I used tape only during the process of drawing, in order to temporarily mark particular compositional ideas. From this grew the idea to integrate these marked positions into the drawing, enfolding this process into the method of cutting and transferring. With this, an element that had previously served only to orient and act as a visual place holder, is fragmented into scores of ›slivers‹ with varied directional impulses.
My latest series of drawings is called »irresistible non-solution«. The title, and my conceptual framework more generally, are evocatively reflective of structures that the work is influenced by (and often critical of). Supposed solutions to personal or societal problems often enough serve only to further complicate the situation. My work has much more to do with the idea of breaking the structures open.