Josje Hattink (1990)
“My artistic practice revolves around the materiality of curiosity. The kind of curiosity that creates a confrontation between ourselves and the object or situation that raises a question. My practice could be summarized with the question: when you dig a hole, will this automatically create a mountain? And vice versa? The juxtaposition, hole versus mountain, pile versus pit, repeatedly occurs in my work.
I question how the world around us functions and has been built, based on its materials. Sand, stone, water, earth. Sand is a funny material. We understand it in volumes: piles, mountains. Even as a negative volume: hole, pit. When we take the volume apart the meaning of the word slips through our fingers: a single grain of sand is nothing more than a tiny stone. From this point of view I’m interested in the perception of materiality; How apparent regularities fluently shade into delicate coincidences and (im)possibilities. And how we relate to our own curiosity and imagination while observing this.
In 2014 and 2015 I became interested in dunes (another shape of sand). A dune is formed when sand accumulates against a stationary object. This process suggests that in a dune landscape, underneath each dune a “thing” is hidden that designates the origin of each pile of sand. I developed a desire to reverse the process by ‘peeling off’ a dune layer by layer until I would reach its mysterious objects of origin.
Pealing of the grounds below our feet, the material, layer by layer to get to some idea of origin, is the current subject matter of my practice. I’m interested in how humans have moved volumes of material across the surface of the earth throughout history. Cutting up the material under your feet to create new land to live on: peatlands, polders, dunes, dikes, the Sand Motor, etc. In essence it all comes down to digging a hole and creating a pile at the same time.”