REUTENGALERIE , Amsterdam
Graphite and Grapheme.
Nice opening at the Reuten gallery of this beautiful show of Bas Ketelaars, in whose rather silent making work the whole audience now and then seemed to disappear in a sort of: being in nature, sober, wondering mood...
Problematizing representation in a (started from nature-photography) carefully drawn oeuvre, Bas uses the intrinsic quality of the grapheme/manual to counterbalance the (also intriguing) qualities and richness of Photography: that after all means: to write (Graphein) with light (Photos).
Departed from images, shot at his longer residencies in the "never dark" summer woods of Scandinavia, Bas -quite contrary to what one would expect- starts with drawing the darkness and ends with drawing the light in an almost scientific system of abstraction and personal grapheme, sometimes photographing the combined drawing/projection again to create a new level of duplication...Sometimes working in different sheets-being stages-, that the artist in this show has decided to exhibit partly on top of each other. An ungraspable phenomenon like a "stage", is represented here now as a "thing"... Clever!!
This every time totally different grapheme of Bas is revealed quite easily, when you zoom into them (see last photos...). Then again the intrinsic quality of graphite is also very cleverly used, for it will always reflect a "whisper of light", even when the paper should be totally saturated with it.
As Antoinette Reuten pointed out in a speech on another exhibition of Ketelaars in the past: we see a beautiful and intriguing merging of intelligence and nature here, sometimes changing positions , when we consider that: from the human mind originated algebraic mysteries appear to be used abundantly by nature as well (e.g. the Golden Ratio, or the Fibonacci series...). What was first, Thinking or Nature....??!!