I consider myself above all an artist, and I leave philosophy and criticism to those who are better qualified. It is up to the individual spectator to decide whether my work should be called modernist or postmodernist.
By way of introduction, we must look back at the geology of the northern Vosges mountains, along what is now the Franco-German border. These were thrown up several hundred million years ago by a process known as Hercynian folding, and broad sandstone strata were left visible on the surface.
The cairns(piles of stones) which I have erected in this landscape are reminders of my presence. I capture the erosion process by making what one might call an annual pilgrimage to these totems, these monuments, and observing and recording the extent to which their shapes have been altered by man, animals and the elements.
I have made acrylic drawings on rock faces with the very same intention. The drawings become increasingly blurred as the years pass. Each time I go there I rediscover my symbols in the landscape, and so can take possession of it.
The eroded material is carried down the Steinbach and Sauer rivers to the Rhine, and from there flows on towards the North Sea. A good deal of the water passes through my home city of Nijmegen. Bringing stones ans sand all the way down from the mountains to here is my way of intervening in this ancient, infinite process. At the moment this raw material is in my studio, but it will eventually be returned to the water and will continue on its way.
The spatial work is based on natural processes taking place in the Vosges mountains.
Even stone is eventually eroded, although it is tougher. There is tension between the attack of the elements and the relative hardness of the rock. The rock will eventually crack and be worn down to dust. This tension is expressed in the objects: at first sight they are strong and unyielding, but on closer inspection they prove to be fragile and finite. I am at a point somewhere along on the route leading from the northern Vosges to the North Sea. The water flows by and I set down symbols on paper, just as man sets down symbols in the landscape to mark his possession of it. Posts, fences, the flagpole on the moon are the sources for these paintings.
The transience of all things has long been my theme. In "La grande vanité", painted in 1641, the Alsatian artist Sébastien Stosskopf included the following poem: "Art, riches, power and valour will decay
"Art, riches, power and valour will decay
The world and all its works will wither away
After these days will come eternity
Ye mortal fools, shun vanity...."