Feature

Bertien van Manen’s Edges of Cartographic Reason

By Brad Feuerhelm on April 15, 2016

”Its affect is to understand that each index of latitude and longitude is to relate a conditioning of time and place in which personal narratives can be sought through the iconography of their outward display”.

Here stretches the great beyond towards the edges of cartographic reason. If we intend to disciple images within the context of a sprawling geography, we must reason that its antecedents clearly delineate a sense of the personal. Its affect is to understand that each index of latitude and longitude is to relate a conditioning of time and place in which personal narratives can be sought through the iconography of their outward display.

This superlative could calibrate the façade of a worn and bleak cottage house. The seaside storms, the urgent sense of remote displacement from the apportionment of what could be described as a sense of longing within others, but for her, it attracts an otherness. It is a sepulcher where the whimsy of laughter recedes into the pungent earth of an early grave sheltered not by hostility, but rather by abandonment. It is memoir written in a shaky hand in which the memories once re-read, are never recollected with an acuity outside of the violence of involuntary forgetting. The resolve of the fragmentary pushed towards rigid limits of never having been there at the cottage along the pebble strewn beach with the piercing black and advancing skies, a storm gathers on the waves and the lighthouse has grown dimmer by the minute. A swarm approaches.

11 web

@ Bertien van Manen

16 web

@ Bertien van Manen

” It is memoir written in a shaky hand in which the memories once re-read, are never recollected with an acuity outside of the violence of involuntary forgetting”.

42 web

@ Bertien van Manen

Bertien van Manen’s “Beyond Maps and Atlases” is a composition of dis-rhythmic proportion. Her investigation into the Irish landscape is not so much depressing as it alludes to the bittersweet. There is something of a metallic and wasp-like hum to many of the images sheathed in absconded possibilities for a retrograde family slide show de-contextualized into that of a darkness approaching. When I allude to this behavior in the images, it is to say that there is some sort of augury intertwined that exceeds the tumult of sadness. It is not hopeful, but it suggests a differing pathology outside of the stricken cantos of resentment found in many images of the same nature. The agenda here is relaxed, subdued and impossibly hard to gravitate away from. This is successful… to speak volumes without uttering a word. It is highly recommended.

Bertien van Manen

Beyond Maps and Atlases

MACK

(All rights reserved. Text @ Brad Feuerhelm. Images @ Bertien van Manen.)