1000 Destroyed Drawings
1000 Gemalen Tekeningen

Installation in the Institute for Art History, Groningen (Holland) 1989
Installatie in het Instituut voor Kunstgeschiedenis, Groningen 1989

I took 1000 of my drawings and prints, put them with water in a blender and transformed them into pulp. Then I put each of them into a glass jar. These were shown on shelves at an exhibition called "1000 destroyed drawings" in the Institue fot Art History in Groningen, Holland.
By tearing apart and blending the material (paper, pencil, ink, paint) I erased the picture as well as the meaning, content and soul of the drawings. I hoped however that afterwards I would be able to create something.
At the exhibition 1000 jars were standing at 140 shelves in 20 Cabinets. On the floor there was a list of all the works with titles, descriptions, years, materials and dimensions. For instance "374/F129 A model is leaning with her elbow on a stick and with her chin on her hand, 1978-79, charcoal on paper 100 x 75 cm, grained February 15 1989". Grey colours dominate, but they are all different. The shade of grey depended on the paper and the amount and sort of pigments. Here and there grains have a clear colour.
More about my art destruction activities

Go to the complete catalogue of destroyed drawings

Klik hier voor de complete catalogus van gemalen tekeningen
After I had finished the destruction I started to make drawings of the jars with destroyed drawings. It seemed to me the only thing to create. First I made sketches, made from free hand.
Then I turned into cross-sections.
Later I made axonometries, using compass and ruler. An axonometry shows the top of the jar and of the contents as it is, a circle, and the side as it is, with the sticker. Above and side are thus visible in one time.
Some of these drawings were together with the destroyed drawings on the exhibition. The glass of their frames was mirroring the jars.
from a letter:

'It is very important that it is raw material. It started when I was trying to make my own paper for the first time, in the kitchen. I used an almost thirty years old mixer, that my mother once bought at the door from a young man. I had used it before to make ink from oak-galls, fallen in november. I mixed newspapers with water and made pulp out of it, but did not manage to make any paper. Feeling the raw, wet material, I realized that I liked it. I had used warm water, and the material felt and looked like shit, and was in fact made in a comparable way. I remembered how I played with my own shit and made signs with it on the wall when I was three years old. I loved to do something with it, but I absolutely did not want to make anything out of it, no paper, nor any other object. That all seemed meaningless to me. It was the material itself I liked, as I liked to play with hay in july, turning it around everyday, slowly drying it, making heaps and breaking them down again.

When I had mixed the newspapers, I felt that everything was still there: the paper, the ink, and all the letters with all the information they formed. Only the information was made invisible, but still I could imagine it was there, and the pulp became an image of information in general.

I dried the pulp, and put it in jam-jars, and after that I did a lot of proofs with different materials to try out the method: advertising leaflets, railway guides, notebooks, paper packings, cardboard boxes, and so on. I made a series of slides of the process of transforming the postcodebook of the Netherlands: making the book wet, torning the pages out, putting them into the mixer, turning the mixer on, and off again, putting the pulp in a spin-drier, scraping the pulp out of the spin-drier, laying the pulp on the ground to dry it.

The process itself should be like that, a little banal, as a simple operation in the kitchen. I think it should have nothing of the Sublime, it should not happen with fire, but with water, the material should dry in the air, being itself like earth.

After the first proofs I started to make presents of it. Somebody who was busy with Romantic art I gave mixed articles on Romantic Art. And then I realized all the meanings that this form of art had. Important is that I make something by destroying something. Important is too that all the material is kept, but all the non-material is broken. Everything that made the non-material visible is still there, while all the information, all the ideas, stories, theories, photographs, have disappeared. But still there is enough material to make it possible to realize what has been.'

More about my deconstructivist activities

Go to the complete catalogue of destroyed drawings
Klik hier voor de complete catalogus van gemalen tekeningen