Counter Movement, 2013
Motor, glass-fibre, mirrored aluminium, stainless steel
80 x 80 x 80 cm
Photos: Nick Evans
A trained scenographer, the Dutch artist Germaine Kruip originally hails from the theatre and dance. Accordingly, light, space and movement, as well as interaction with the audience, play a key part in her work as a visual artist. The geometrical forms she uses, generally in white, black or with mirrored surfaces, consciously allude to the artistic concepts of the De Stijl group around Theo van Doesburg and Piet Mondrian. But unlike the objects, paintings and even furniture that the champions of a strictly geometrical abstraction created at the beginning of the twentieth century, Germaine Kruip’s mobile works constantly change in shape.
In her piece Counter Movement, black and white planar segments with mirrored rear sides – which resemble the two halves of a hollow cube that has been folded inwards and sliced through diagonally – rotate in opposite directions around their own axis. In certain moments the viewers get the impression that this is some kind of two-coloured cube, while in others it becomes clear that they are looking at thin flat coloured shapes. The attempt to pin down an isolated state, which is in any case scarcely possible on account of the motion, is made additionally difficult by the fact that the mirrored sections not only reflect the black and white surfaces facing them, but also the surrounding space and in part the viewers approaching the work. Through their constant alternation between two-dimensional planarity and imagined corporeality, between earth-bound materiality and momentary illusionistic quasi-space, these aesthetic interventions performed in an exhibition gallery – which Kruip sees as a stage – engender a space-time continuum which, not unlike the physical researches for the Theory of Relativity, goes beyond the existence of simply three dimensions.
On other occasions Germaine Kruip focuses on the idea of a self-referential dance, as for instance when she realises actions at art fairs and in museums with individual Sufi dancers – and in many ways returns full circle to the stage. Without his usual attire and musical accompaniment, the dervish is not performing a religious exercise but presenting a performance which, like the piece Counter Movement, lives from the repetition of motions and from ever new, slightly modified variations of the same.
1970 born in Castricum (NL)
Lives and works in Brussels and Amsterdam