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34 / Charcoals / 1995 / 2002 - 2003
01 / Entlosing / 1995 / 51x61cm / € 800
02 / Shoe Head / 1995 / 51x61cm / € 800
03 / ‘After War’ Recreation / 1995 / 51x61cm / € 800
03 / ‘After War’ Recreation / 1995 / 51x61cm / passe-partout / € 800
04 / Civilisation of Mankind I / 1995 / 51x61cm / passe-partout / € 800
05 / Civilisation of Mankind II / 1995 / 51x61cm / € 800
06 / Mausoleum / 1995 / 115x90cm / mounted on board / € 2000
07 / Goose / 1995 / 51x61cm / € 800
08 / Two Masks / 1995
09 / Butterfly / 1995 / 51x61cm / € 800
10 / Cathedral of Orleans / 1995 / 125x100cm / mounted on board / € 2000
11 / El Bario / 1995
12 / Mr. Universe / 1995 / 51x61cm / € 800
13 / Circle I / 1995 / 51x61cm / € 800
14 / Cool Tower / 1995
15 / Tulip I / 1995 / 114x104cm / mounted on board / € 2000
16 / Tulip II / 1995 / 114x104cm / mounted on board / € 2000
17 / The Aztec / 1995 / 87x92cm / mounted on board / € 2000
17 / The Aztec / 1995 / 51x61cm / € 800
18 / Apocalyps / 1995 / 51x61cm / € 800
19 / Head of Collosus / 1995 / 51x61cm / € 800
20 / Execution / 1995 / 81.5x105cm / mounted, oak frame / € 2200
20 / Execution / 1995 / 51x61cm / passe-partout / € 800
21 / Circle II / 2002 / 51x61cm / € 800
22 / Tree / 2002 / 90x96cm / oak frame / € 2200
23 / Dog Chair / 21-11-‘02
24 / Der Reichstag / 2002 / 87x135cm / mounted on board / € 2000
24 / Der Reichstag / 2002 / 83x128cm / mounted on board / € 2000
24 / Der Reichstag / 2002 / 83x128cm / mounted, black frame / € 2200
24 / Der Reichstag / 21-08-‘02 / 67x99cm / passe-partout / € 1450
25 / Orangutan / 2002 / 94x91.5cm / mounted on board / € 2000
26 / Vulture / 2002 / 51x61cm / € 800
27 / Barn / 18-4-'03
28 / Mating Rhino's / wooden frame / € 2800
29 / Rhino / 88,5x93cm / mounted on board / € 2000
If you are interested in obtaining a photowork, please contact us

Related Text:
Visual Ersatz by A.D. Coleman


Visual Ersatz by A.D. Coleman

"Charcoals"
Given the noun Charcoal, my Roget's Thesaurus takes me in saveral directions: to art equipment, the art of drawing, and types of pictures;to fuel and ashes; to blacking materials and to blackness itself.
My two desk dictionaries suggest narratives, each in its own style.
Webster's New Collegiate offers this: n. 1. A dark or black porous form of carbon prepared from vegetable or anti male substances, as by charring wood in a kiln from which air is axcluded.
2. Fine arts.a A piece or pencile of fine charcoal used as a drawing imple ment. b. A drawing made with such a pencil. -- v.t.1. To mark, write or draw with charcoal. 2.To asphyxiate with charcoal fumes.
Surprisingly (for a British source) more blunt and explicit, the Concise Oxford puts a finer point on these matters: n. Black porous residue of partly burnt wood, bones, etc., form of carbon (occas. W. allus. to use of the fumes as method of suicide);~-burner, maker of this. [perh.f. CHARE+COAL in sense (wood) turned coal] In short: in its noun form, a substance composed of the very building block of live that carries a death-giving potential within it, an artifact prima- rily used for both keeping warm and making marks;as a verb, the act of drawing and the act of ending one's live (or, possible, the live of another).
And, as a prefix, an ancient occupational indentification that, along with prostitution, enjoys the honer of having an excellent spaghetti sauce -- alla carbonara -- named after it by the Italians. All in all, not a bad set of resonances to put in motion with the title of a suite of photographs.
Brought together in this series of images, these resonances form a complex, sustained chord. All of them (excepting the pasta) are actively evoked in this suite, which uses charcoal as its own basic structural element, exploring and exploiting that material`s symbolic potential on many levels, sometimes all of them simultaneously. Here we have "light drawings" of icons painstakingly constructed from bits of charcoal -- icons that, prior to photography's invention, might well have been rendered by drawing with the material that now composes them. composes them. Composition into compost, mimesis doubling back upon itself.
Such tactics of substitution permeate Jean Ruiter's art making activity, inherent in his strategies of facture -- one thing typically being made to stand for (symbolically) or even stand it for (literally) another.
Most often taking the form of photographs or objects incorporating photo graphs, Ruiter's work necessararily engage the issue of the simulacrum; like all photographic project, they demand that one attent to both the thing in-itself that is the work and the thing depicted or represented therein.
Yet, with Ruiter, those "things represented" generally reveal themselves to be proxies, surrogates, parodies, imitations, facsimiles -- in short, repre sentation of representation.
This production of visual ersatz has such a frank, forthright quality that-- like a dollar bill printed on a slice of cheese -- it doesn't partake of the behavioral inclination we consider cheating, nor of counterfeiting.
It comes closer to what we in the States call a "bald-faced lie, "an imposture without even a beard to hide behind, so preposterous that its dis guise is transparent, its detection immediate and its motive, if far from innocent, no less distant from deception.
Ina fascinathing, little-know essay on the subject of "visual lying" that dates from 1983, Mark Roskill and David Carrier suggest that as the relation of visual images to the world of reality that we accredit changes or gives the appearance of doing so, so also certain concepts that have been central to the recognition and evaluation of art will shift and accommodate themsel ves in their application.
One of these concept will be originality, taken as the capacity to arrive at an image (or a set of images) that has the potential of appearing true insofar as it is quite unlike the work of any other.
A second will be invention, understood as entailing the capacity to depart from literal representation toward metaphorical or suggestive implications which carry the personal stamp of the exercise of imagination or fantasy on the part of their originator. Finally, the idea of intellectual or ideological "comment" in visual form will change equally, even if it be essentially playful or facetious in spirit -- and perhaps most of all when it is that.
In these differing ways, the appraisal of artist' work in therms of the falsehood they offer, or the kind of falsification they indulge in, will be no longer tied in the sense that is has traditionally been to the function or "intention" of images.(1)
This can be read as a direct if coincidental prophecy of Ruiter's work in the decade between that essay's publication and now.
That work, in its persistent appropriation and/or mimesis of other images, originates by synthesizing, invents by re-or mis-representing, insistently comments on and reconsiders both its sources and the larger world from which they spring.
I used the word ersatz advisedly, for in the original Germen its meaning goes far beyond simple substitution;there it not only connotes but denotes compensation, reparation, atonement for guilt.
Ruiter's work has an accusatory edge, pointing often toward that for which amends must be made."Archetypes of `human civilization, "Ruiter has called these "charcoal, "and the synopis ofthat civilization they provide is hardly optimistic.
Here, indeed, in distillate, chronologically scrambled as if excavated carelessly from an archaeologicalsite, we have a short-course history of western culture:the circle and the square, gravity and the wheel, the shelter/fortress and the mausoleum, the Acropolis and the cathedral, the crematorium (where humans were carbonized) and the nuclear power plant -- and, with a nod to- werd his own country, the Netherlands, two emblems of the economic madness of tulip fever, that manifestation of cultivation run amok. Plus the culminating image, Ruiter's replication of Eddie Adams's Pulitzer Prize-winning description of a South Vietnamese office summarily executing a suspected Viet Cong: a quintessentially photographic image that depended for its impact on the medium's capacity to particularize and its peculiar optical/chemical relationship to specific moments in time.
This icon of over-reaching imperialism and its moral consequences has become so imbedded in our consciousness that, like a few other photographs (Dorothea Lange's "Migrant Mother "for example), any reiteration of its key gesture, in any medium, immediately recalls it to the mind's eye.
Taken as a whole, with that one as its pivot, this set of images provides an account of human progress that is far from encouraging.
Alternately, one can read these images as emblematic of the human condition: virile male and fecund woman, nature and culture, natural forces and human energies, birth and death.
On this level, the view is no less sardonic; the human essence does not change, Ruiter seems to believe, we remain much as we were, murderous (though more sophisticated at it now) and heedles of our fate, while the Grim Reaper still stands among us, waiting and choosing.
Nonetheless, there is something infectious, engaging, and ultimately joyous in Ruiter's work; something of the child's capacity to make toys out of anything and to play under any circumstances -- in the graveyard or the charnel house -- endures in him and emanates from his work, not in denial of the inevitable but in collaboration with it the conversion of fate into the ultimate companion and playmate.
In the same essay cited above, the authors suggest that "[t]he positive claims that can be made on behalf falsehood in modern visual imagery are likely to be ... those of enjoyability; an intendedly superficial appeal, which masks out faults beneath the surface; and a quality of visionariness that nevertheless comes through.
While photographs may naturally be thought of as displaying these qualities, without too much scrutiny or corncern as to why, it is obvious ... that an art that actively flaunts its nature from these points of view will elicit strong reservations, if not outright hostility, from those who hold a commitment
to traditional pictorial values."(2)
Ruiter's work, though it has its antecedents in photography (the directorial mode) and art (trompe-l'oeil painting), does not "hold a commitment to tra
ditional pictorial values", it has already evoked the reservations and hos tilities of those who do.
Yet, by "flaunting its nature "in its constant dialogue whit those values, his work treats its sources as if they were worth engaging in creative, intelligent conversation, as if they deserved to be spoken to an with -- in short, as if they were alive, vital, full of argument and capable of talking back, like the carbonized bone or wood that, recycled in the artist's hand, generates again.
This discourse with the past, this treatment of it as a valued antagonist and a creative springboard, strikes me as far more respectful in the last analysis than the reverent embalming of tradition by those whose notion of appropriate homage is notarizing the death certificate, hiding the bones and ashes in the ground and gathering in silence around the grave.

(1) Roskill, Mark and David Carrier. Truth & Falsehood in Visual Images
(Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1983) p. 108.

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