Michelle de Vaan graduated in 2018 with an installation. Within her work she is constructing an absurdist world where everyday moments, surrounded by a cinematic environment, play the leading role. ‘Let's suppose a staged sunset’, she says. ‘Let it estrange from its cinematic reality. Can this (in all other cases beautiful daily phenomenon) then become unheimlich, and perhaps only vaguely familiar?’
In this quest she then takes similar everyday moments and searches for the poetry in it through distilling imagery and language. Within her absurdist world she searches for everyday moments found in public-spaces, and ponders how to show their fragmentary, repetitive daily appearance; without losing their rare and special content which she considers as a form of poetry. Through this she is reacting to what she perceives as a volatile and quantity-oriented world, and transforming it into a fragile and rare environment.
Script graduation film:
Characters: Distance, Interspace, Silence
In this reality, a veil is stroking
surfaces, making them look both more significant and insignificant - productive
or even contaminated. They stem from single objects bending towards phenomena
to start a thought exchange:
“Deep within the epidermis connective tissue resides as
infinite threads – threads that shape one’s body – threads that make a
composition of your thoughts that determine one’s external shape, causing the
soul to have a dwelling-place and the body an existence. The body as a being
can have the appearance of dying when its experiences solidify. Dying and
living can take place simultaneously in the form of a sculpture. It makes the
soul more present and- as a result - the body more fragile.”
“All beings are ingesting images everyday which makes them
feel saturated. Put a veil on them even when your are not completely capable to
comprehend its contours. When doing so the images are forming a huge pile or
man-made mountain. The mountain reminds them of accumulated sins, having the
appearance of solid shapes, but the veil stirs up delusions. It makes them
suspicious of their surroundings - just like their surrounding.”
“They cannot leave these ever extending spaces without
feeling affected. They are contagious, you see: I am ingesting the visible
world with my eyes, besides having multiple other mediums to record reality.
Inhabitants told me if you want to be loyal towards yourself, you need to experience yourself as alien in
the figurative surrounding, otherwise you cannot make abstract landscapes. As a
stranger reality feels like a capsule where objects get deformed in a
“... but partially
I am porous.
As if blindfolded.
Sometimes the space around me feels like clustered secrets
all having their own territory.
I find no access to them, as recently my room was filled
with a chair I didn’t make.”
“While they were strolling, a traveler named Silence told
me: ‘We can become transparent if we like’. He spoke in soothing tones, like a
veil stroking your skin, leaving blurry thoughts behind. By seeing barriers I
know that I am moving through spaces. These barriers divide experiences
therefore they become spaces in itself, causing distances within.”
“Usually when speed is recognized, crowded skins form
They become an enormous mass of bodies.
This concrete building is able to rise even higher, to break
through the clouds,
to get a breakthrough in becoming fluffy building -
“Silence once occupied these distances. He saw them as
transparent desires, which made him an alien and he could travel unnoticed - leaving abundant traces behind like thousands of footsteps accumulating in and
on top of each other.”
“Are they still alive?”
“To get to know the visible world; the beings walk towards
the infected mountain and decide to dig. Suddenly they feel a huge pressure
coming up trying to restrain this unknown rising air, impossible to ignore its
shape-holding my hands in front of my mouth. But the pressure is way too
strong: it exists right in front of me thought it reminds me of nothing. The
shape looks vulnerable but not innocent, it is levitating and it does not
descend. Unlike the mountain it stays in its in-between territory. The
levitating shape begins to move towards the mountain slowly floating into
Silence. The habitat of the mountain is filled with air just like the shape:
transparent and capable of shrinking to travel towards narrow spaces by
squeezing its body – because the mountain contains compressed secrets, hiding
in its internal reality. Entering its corridors. The beings are confronted with
a lack of orientation through spaces: this space is unseen as it is transparent
in transmitting phenomena.”
“As the beings walk through its interior, they decide to
contemplate about their furnished bedroom, for it is a comforting space and it
is filled with known objects and their universal shadows: the shadow of a chair
is just as sharp as the chair itself. When the light hits a surface-the shadow
awakens a parallel existence. When sitting on a chair: preparing daily
breakfast, concentrating on food, leaving the chair to get a knife; on the way
back towards the morning scene they suddenly see the chair as it is being moved
by its shadow. The image as a whole feels dead and alive simultaneously. When
the sun rises higher and the clouds burst out in tears along the windows, the
lit surface causes their knife to shiver, losing its sharp contours as a shadow
while keeping a fixed shape.”
“At night I think of water in motion-gleaming water hidden
behind my eyelids. The water evokes images I never saw before, watching myself
in my chair as a single piece of furniture in an otherwise emptied bedroom.
Bedroom; examining my chair for its flowing shape never known.”
“The space mirrored itself by imploding frames extracted
external contours-find their spatial nothingness to arrive
which excludes nothing.”
“I am one of those pebbles traveling through the current
leaving dust behind to form a beach underwater.
Part of the fog, I am a sculpture.
My eyes expressing ocean when a chair begins to wander-when
liquid liquid liquid liquid
I will hide in a corner so the chair is by itself in a no
“Freed from their daily routine by removing themselves as
My eye fluid shivers - as if the ocean takes over.
consider myself as a residu: gazing passively from a distance.
Chair the dismantled
chair and its pieces cannot form a whole anymore.”
“But the pieces won’t decay. They are disintegrated but not
Someone else will find his traces from the shadows to
agglutinate its residues:
to obelize its position.”
“When the sun sets
the ocean becomes a disappearing blue mirror.
I still do float fluently
smoothly stiffend I fall deep within the
soothing solidified sea.
collecting pieces of spheres from the tree cavity on the
“Some things are too far away to interact with
doesn't mean that we aren’t already interacting.”
“My eyes are getting darker in the rhythm of the falling
They try to catch the flickering
shapes but they melt along bodies:
becoming ocean around them.”