Mark Manders: Parallel Occurences / Documented Assignments


Nocturnal Garden Scene


Wood, glass, sand, and various materials / 160 x 220 x 160 cm 
S.M.A.K., Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst, Ghent

MM: Three different ideas come together in this work. It first began in about 1998 with a simple wish. I wanted to put down two objects—two cups, for instance—in exactly the same spot on a table.That is physically impossible of course, but the idea, the wish that I could put two ob­ jects in the same place, stayed on my mind.
Another thing that has occupied my thoughts for some years now is the slack rope. At any moment there are slack ropes hanging in many parts of the world, and I think it is an incredibly lovely, melancholy phenomenon. The curve of a slack rope as it hangs is just beautiful. A few years ago I devised a plan to hang a slack rope in the most tense place in the world. The two ideas that I have just described came together when I decided to put a cat in the same place as a slack rope. The only way to accomplish this was by having the slack rope hang between the halves of the body of a cat that was divided in two. If I had cut the rope in half, it would not have been a slack rope any more, but a cat divided in two is still a cat.Then I turned this still life into a nocturnal garden scene, like a three­dimensional photograph. I like the way the darkness in this scene captures light.
I do not see this as a violent scene. To me it has more to do with melancholy and silence. The difference in tension between the three ropes in this night scene is very beautiful. One of the nice things about a sculpture is that you can look at it for just a few seconds and then carry it away in your mind, sometimes for the rest of your life, as a mental photograph.