Reflecting today – Hermitage, The Modernists
Highlighting artworks of our collection in an online presentation
Now we are socially distancing ourselves our online platforms become more important than ever. At this moment it is a great way to connect, and therefore we would like to develop a few ideas to sustain and enhance that.
In the upcoming weeks we will present artworks of our collection from different artists who want to share their reflection on the world of today. To keep in mind the beautiful distraction and welcome reminder of what art can do to us. It can inspire, give hope, comfort or space for new thoughts.
Today the work of Laurence Aëgerter – Hermitage, The Modernist
Laurence: “In a nursing home for people with dementia, I saw the life-size sticker of a cat glued to the window next to a table.
Even though you know almost immediately that it is not a real cat, it still gave me a strange sense of geniality.
For some time now I have been looking in the neurological literature for information about how we can stimulate our brains positively by means of images.
When Caroline asked if some of my works have anything to do with this time, I remembered the series, which I made with spectators for paintings about ten years ago in the Louvre and the Hermitage on the Amstel.
The spectators are depicted life-size in my photos. Just like the cat in the nursing home, when I see them hanging at a suitable height in a room, I notice that it creates the feeling that someone is really there. Just like the cat in the nursing home. Even though I know rationally that it is not so. Not a disturbing presence because it is only someone on the back, the personality behind it can be filled in without obligation.
And I wonder now, even though I never made it for this purpose, would such a picture be an unconscious tool against loneliness? ”
Laurence: “Italian Renaissance art theorist Leon Battista Alberti describes a painting as a window to the world.
I remember thinking about it when I made this work about ten years ago in the Hermitage on the Amstel.
Through the painted window in the left corner, but also through the plastic curtain that creates the illusion of a space behind the surface of photography.
As an invitation to step inside. A space within a space within a space.”