Scale

Text for exhibition ‘Scale’, London, May 2002 by Maurice van Tellingen

The creation of an installation arises in part from the need to penetrate the real or imagined isolation of art or the art object. It is an attempt to step out of the situation of the isolated object on the wall, to break free from the sterile museum space, from the white cube.
By contrast the miniature installation seems a contradiction in terms. If the aim of the installation were to be to come closer, then the miniature would seem to be aimed at creating a greater distance. In this it would seem to ally itself with the traditional artwork. Sealed and isolated, it is presented on a pedestal. The world it depicts may only be viewed from afar.
But it is precisely in this contradiction that the miniature’s strength lies. On the one hand it offers possibilities for generating a highly convincing rendition of reality because it, too, occupies an actual and in principle physically accessible space. On the other hand it is impossible to actually enter that space. As such we are viewing a reality that we can only ascertain in a very limited way – if at all. The miniature is out of bounds, as it were. It is a reality that is fenced off, an installation bearing the sign ‘no entry’. And of course there can be nothing so fascinating as forbidden ground, the zone, the uncontrolled space that can only be explored under special conditions.
When looking at Maurice van Tellingen’s works we are given a view on what seems the utmost familiar surrounding, the interior of our house. Her again a contradiction; the miniaturization makes what we see far away and yet close by, and at the same time the image shows us a world which is near for it’s familiarity but also we feel detached while it seems to be a more or less abstracted depiction of someone else’s memory. It might leave us puzzled about the true meaning of our intimacy and memories while we found out that we share more of it with each other than we thought.Maurice van Tellingen, 2001.