This Disconnecting Solace: Julie Van Der Vaart’s “Dusk”

“It is as if the inhalation of this plastic world is what makes sense from the pulpit of this discomfiture”.

I often find that in this glycerine and petrol indoctrined age of the anthropocene there is akin to this, the strange feeling of having a clear and suffocating plastic bag contortioned over my head and drawn at the neck to drown out the hum of traffic, strangers and light alike. There is something of a new eclipse in my mind under condition of claustrophobia. It is as if the inhalation of this plastic world is what makes sense from the pulpit of this discomfiture. It is only when the onset of the evening comes into proximity of this ever present metaphorical bag that it becomes difficult to read much meaning into anything external. Inside-my breath becomes laboured, the temperature drops and my eyes begin to dry out. If they could crack like mud, they would. The only sick sense of self-preservation that I have in this environment is not to let my body-drift too close to any of the awkward strangers that are encompassing me and to perhaps curtail the potential bruising of my limbs from chairs, street lamps, rusty implements of found torture and the like. My limbs are at this point, fairly useless. I’d like to lie on the floor or the street like a dog if the passersby were certain to leave my body alone in this condition, not that I’m sure I want to feel it anymore apart from perhaps the way the overhead leaves brush past it on their own way to the cold concrete under my feet.

 

JvdV11

@ Julie Van Der Vaart

JvdV06

@ Julie Van Der Vaart

“When my head is encapsulated and a distance between it and the world occurs, I am closest to home, to night and to the abstraction of a consciousness that I seek to inhabit”.

Night brings distance. It is as if to say that a body dysmorphia forms, but only below the neck. In the bag, obfuscated, if beleaguered of breath, I come closest to my interior world, yet I am still carried away by those awkward active limbs that find a way to attach themselves to my floating cranium. When my head is encapsulated and a distance between it and the world occurs, I am closest to home, to night and to the abstraction of a consciousness that I seek to inhabit.

Julie Van Der Vaart’s “Dusk” is a shrouded piece of photographic investigation into nocturnal unreason where silver nitrate meets the dim slow hum of dull bulbs or flickering candles at best. It is somber. The bodies within are posed with an unnatural grace in their soft recline. There is a memory within of Awoiska van der Molen or Daisuke Yakota’s work. The grain is stretched and strained to tension the image-not unfamiliar in the work of the aforementioned or perhaps even like Harmony Korine’s “The Bad Son”. In the Bad Son, fading Xerox copies of an adolescent Macaulay Culkin dissipate into scratchy dissolve through repetition and mechanical degradation and generational printing. Van der Vaart is not overly partial to repletion of her images, which makes the work different from all of the above. The curious work is monotone and hints at an abstraction of the natural world, which is pleasant somehow. If you need to see something that pushes past quiet rumination to that of excessive cow-towing to shock or extremes, you will not find it here. My allegory above is something of a passive current-a synaptic and immediate response to the work. It leaves room to ponder which is something sadly lacking in many books these days.

 

Julie Van Der Vaart
Dusk
Self Published

(All rights reserved. Text @ Brad Feuerhelm. Images @ Julie Ver Der Vaart.)

Posted in Feature, Photography, Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , .