Angelika Steiger and Balint Bolygo's work intersects on a wavelength that is integral in both artist’s individual work - the exploration of the ‘every day’ found in objects or materials. Their artistic process reveals unexpected mysteries behind the seemingly ordinary. Their collaborative sculptural works explore the ‘book’ both as an object and material. Kinetic mechanisms animate surfaces to create tactile objects that are in constant flux. The sculptures tantalize the viewer by inviting a closer investigation, tempting a haptic interaction and never revealing their inner secret completely.
A collaboration of words from Angelika Steiger and Deborah Whitney: Uittreksel
The origin of our collaboration is a book. A Dutch 19th Century hymnal. We each took a half…of the cover and the pages. If microgravity is the condition in which people or objects appear to be weightless, our self-assigned task was to transform the pages of this book, delve into the spiritual nature and history of the book’s contents, and perhaps reference these elements in a new, more personal, way.
For Deb, using the pages as a source – unlocking and extracting – translating and editing became a meditative process. The objectification of the spirituality that the book possessed became a functional realisation of repurposing the words. By making each page a monument, and deciding which words to highlight, a new language was produced, one that neither related to the original language, nor to the original intent of the book.
Angelika on the other hand took pages of the psalm book and separated text from music notes to make their swinging energy visible separately. The Perspex box plays the role of putting up a barrier: it holds words back, lets the viewer catch only fragments of the psalm, stimulates without tactic experience. It also denies culturally expected interaction. The same with the music. The notes remain fragmented and silent. Words are singled out and lay underneath and look like fallen out of the boxes. They are key-words of a longing and freeing process red crochetedand starched with cassava, a vegetable which nurtures and kills at the same time, which she made in Botopasi/Suriname last year.
Angie states: Holding the antique prayer book in my hand is deeply emotional. I can feel tears of joy and despair, hope, trust, love – can feel the time, like sand in my hand – if I hold my hand open, it will remain for that precious moment. If I squeeze it tight, only a few grains will remain, still representing the whole. If a book with so many words and meanings can be reduced to powerful keywords, when fragments of sentences are sufficient to stimulate hope and trust and love, then it stands for magic and poetry, but lights up the question of what belief in its origin is. Humans are spiritual beings – even if they don’t follow the doctrines of a particular religion – we are all searching for truth and answers.
In our collaboration we are extracting words and separating text from music notes to make these quintessential connections visible. Manipulating the poetry and the power of the divine, perhaps an act of rebellion or even sacrilege - or with joy and appreciation as we changed the pages into individual objects, has given the words new meaning and the pages a new perspective.
Angelika Steiger’s work involves a diary-like approach towards places-in-between, an exploration of transitional states and the concepts of being simultaneously ‘not yet’ and ‘no longer’. In this powerful zone where one’s values and practices intersect, ‘the artistic process reveals unexpected mysteries behind the seemingly ordinary’. Personal experiences and memories play an important role in how we perceive the world around us. They intensify our feelings and emotions, thereby giving our lives meaning and richness. I travel the world with my eyes and soul wide open and love to interact with people of different cultural backgrounds. From each encounter and journey I treasure memories and interweave and transform into something material. Capturing the energy and spirit of a place, person, object or an idea involves my playing with the eroticism of the unspoken. To this end I pursue different threads in my art practice. My work aims to redefine invisible worlds and introduce them into new contexts, into a space between knowledge and aspiration, dreams and reality. I investigate ancient and modern structures, the human body and natural materials with compassion and humour. Uniting colours, light, glass, paper as well as found objects and materials, my works are transforming and transformative.