The re-enchantment of beauty VII (The weight of roses)

Medium: Archival pigment ink/Giclee print on 350gsm Hahnemühle etching paper

Dimensions: 160 x 110 cm

Ed. 1/1 UNIQUE work


Without being literal and in a nutshell, for me this work is an investigation of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and especially the way in which people currently connect with one another in the aftermath of the pandemic. It is undeniable that our world changed, boundaries shifted, and intolerance seems to be at an all-time high, especially towards fragile minority groups. The work is also a critical comment on the seemingly problematic nature of romantic, monogamous relationships in contemporary society at present. “Open relationships” seem to be more common than ever before and the contentious issue of gender, especially gender identity and politics is currently under a global spotlight. The latter is causing tremendous discomfort, especially amongst conservatives and the far right, also since more and more gender identities are coming out of the proverbial closet.

In The weight of roses, an illuminated Coronavirus can be seen dangling from one side of an antique scale, effortlessly outweighing “humanity’s empty bowl” on the other side. The scale is held up by Mother Earth, also holding a sword, posing in a deceivingly beautiful vase with her closed eyes. An illuminated mask floats in front of her face for us to see, to question the absence of anything in the bowl. The use of the empty bowl is an attempt to highlight the impact or “weight” of the pandemic on people, both physically and mentally. This of course puts the Covid-19 pandemic and its direct global effects under a critical spotlight and is illustrated by the falling red roses in the work. Economies are failing globally, the war in Ukraine seems endless, many people experience a feeling of emptiness – the pandemic possibly changed our world forever. The brilliant Indian author Arundhati Roy questioned in an article that the pandemic could become a “portal to a better world”, but sadly this did not happen. It feels as if the world is more upside down than ever before.

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