Chance encounter*

Chance encounter*

*As beautiful as the chance encounter on a gallery wall of a painter and a drill hole.

2008
colored plaster, drill holes
variable dimensions

Chance encounter*

Existing holes and blemishes on the gallery walls are filled with colored plaster, thus highlighting the previous use of the space. Then, instead of suspending art, the walls are pierced with drill holes, forming popular tattoo designs like a pin-up, a palm tree, etc.

Chance encounter* Chance encounter* Chance encounter*
Chance encounter*
Chance encounter*

excerpt of the press text:

Voet's work title “As beautiful as the chance encounter on a gallery wall of a painter and a drill hole” alludes to the well known phrase “As beautiful as the chance encounter on an operating table of an umbrella and a sewing machine” by Comte de Lautréamont (1846-1870), the first and foremost of Surrealism's literally precursors. The work is about the memory of the space, exhibiting and producing images, contradictions and absurdity, and our need for soothing images, desire and imagination.

Voet starts the work with a very common act that many artists usually do before setting up their works, which is filling the holes on the gallery walls made to suspend artworks in the previous exhibition, followed by drilling new holes on the walls to make a new show. The only difference Voet will make in this routine work is filling the holes and damages on the walls with colored plaster so that the marks that the previous art or artists left behind become highlighted instead of being erased. By using the colored plaster, the “renovation” becomes cheerful and at the same time magnifies existing blemishes on the walls and thus the history of the space.

Voet then drills new holes, not to suspend images, but to make new images by piercing the wall, similar to a tattoo needle piercing the human skin. The images taken from tattoo designs, a pin up girl and a palm tree that belong to a subculture, representing their identity, dreams, and fantasies, are used to mirror our desire to ornament our walls with paintings and works of art.

The present work “As beautiful as the chance encounter on a gallery wall of a painter and a drill hole” refers to an earlier work “Stardust” where she created a large graffiti made of gingerbread and sugarcoated cookies that mimicked the existing graffiti's on the exhibition site. By conflating youth culture and the fairy tales genre of literature Voet points to the similarities of the two, both of which provide a means to overcome our restricted and mundane life.

“The Earth is Flat.” can also be referred to as a relevant past work, where she interrupted the historical context of an abandoned chapel that had been built by a convent prohibiting decoration, by gluing multiple copies of a poster of clouds on the ceiling. By creating an illusionary classical ceiling painting of the heavens with posters hung askew, Heidi Voet orchestrates a collision between our expectations and reality.