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
But it is precisely in this contradiction that the miniatures 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 Tellingens 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 its familiarity but also we feel detached while it seems
to be a more or less abstracted depiction of someone elses 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.