In the world of Femke Dekkers, the dynamism of installations and the flatness of photographs give rise to new illusions of space – where sculpture and painting freely mix.
Unseen Platform: Why blue?
Femke Dekkers: I started painting in different colours using a variety of brushes and brushstrokes. It was one big painterly experiment on the walls and the floor but at some point I felt it became overabundant and I wanted to look for an essence; searching for sharpness and movement together in one image. I wanted to create a type of monochrome to focus only on the placement of the brushstrokes, to let go of the noise through the different colours. And that turned out to be the colour blue. It was a process-based choice.
How do you see the relationship between your old and new work?
I see my new work as a first step of progression. I made these works at an artist residency with Artists Unlimited in Bielefeld, Germany where I wanted to free myself from the single static camera frame. Working with multiple cameras and perspectives, I used more of the studio as a working space instead of just one corner as I have done in the past. This way I created space for coincidence where things could come together and fall apart again. I think it’s the first step in moving more freely around my studio.
How do your works relate to the spaces they are created in?
A: I try to create a tension between the static architecture of the space and the illusion of painterly perspective where sculpture and painting can intermingle. By using a camera for perspective, I treat three-dimensional space as a canvas; framed through the lens it acts as a surface that allows me to look for new spatial alignments. The workspace is three-dimensional, the photograph is flat. I also leave traces of the process so that in the finished piece you can see both result and process simultaneously.
What role does photography play in your work?
The camera is needed for the exact point of view from where a work is made. The photograph also solidifies the moment of making through traces of physical actions. The camera brings the work together – without the camera frame, it would get lost. That being said, I am looking more and more to let go of that single point of view. I often feel the urge to become a painter, so it’s interesting for me to keep on asking what is the role of photography in my work? Is the camera always needed? The camera makes the work indirect in some ways, and I sometimes long for a more direct way of working.