October 2013


by Claudio Libero Pisano

This is what is required if you want to relate to a Femke Schaap's work. We are not talking about videos, nor about installations, at least, not in their usual meaning.
You have to free yourself from any known cultural apparatus and then you can enter her work.

After you have erased everything, you can retrieve all: the historical references, the knowledge and declared passion for Dadaist cinema and experiences. You have to go inside her works, the large and the small ones, and get to know their constructive aspect and the aspect just made of wonder. Geometric polystyrene forms, sometimes covered in plaster, have of course their sculptural presence. But this is just the beginning. These forms are nothing like known ones, they are a mass of volumes that, from the ground or suspended mid-air, set the stage for the act to begin.
Everything really takes shape the moment these volumes become moving elements, though they only appear to move, thanks to the projections on chosen surfaces.
The sculpture takes form from the projection it houses, thus starting a hypnotic, continuous game that is difficult to get out of.

Space has been transformed completely in the gallery "Il Segno". The main room is now a theatre where dozens of geometric forms create a weird landscape, apparently lacking a logical course, as in the most solid Dadaist tradition.

"Luna Park" (2010) reminds you of "Relache", the ballet by Francis Picabia and Erik Satie using only black and white scenic design.
Picabia's words today seem to describe this work of Femke Schaap's: " Relache is life, life as I love it… It's an aimless movement, going neither forwards nor backwards, not to the right nor to the left. "Relache" does not turn but does not go straight either: it wanders about the road".
There is a hypnotic aspect binding great part of the Dutch artist's production to the research of Hungarian artist Moholy Nagy, to the whirling forms that halt the spectator to observe a movement that has no beginning and no end.

In "Carnival" (2011), a smaller work laid down on a thin table, it's the colours of a playground that create the action in which the switching on and off of syncopated lights brings back memories of a time devoted to fun and enjoyment.
The whole space returns a sensation of vertigo and, oddly enough, the absence of sound fills the work with noise.
You go through the artistic space suggested by the artist experiencing sensations of slight and weightless forms taking you to a visual and tactile world that gives back everything. Knowledge and awareness.