Marjolein Blom (1984, Dordrecht) is a visual artist who lives and works in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. She studied photography (BA) at the Fotoacademie, Amsterdam and graduated with a project about time travelling, titled Double Slit Experiment.
Her photographs are the result of a fascination for scientific theories about the inner workings of our universe (like those of quantum physics and special relativity) and the human desire to unravel the deeper layers of existence through science. Over the past years, her work has been exhibited in different international shows on fairs and festivals including Art Rotterdam, Unseen, Fotomuseum Den Haag, Fotografia Europea and Emerging Talents.
A Monkey Peeled An Onion… [In Search of Nothing]
‘You take an onion and peel it and peel it, right to the heart, and there’s nothing there. There must be something, you believe, there must be – you take another onion and start peeling it, you keep on peeling, at last, nothing… Do you understand the sadness of this monkey?’
Osamu Dazai, from: ‘A Record of the Autumn Wind’
Scientific theories, like those of quantum physics and the inner workings of our universe, seem to answer complicated questions about the mystery of creation. Every answer, however, is the starting point of a new enigma.
The vacuum is such a riddlesome concept. ‘What is nothing? And what remains if we take all matter, the earth, the stars, all molecules, atoms away? Can a true void exist?’
To Marjolein Blom, the idea that through science, we might eventually reveal the nature of our existence is very appealing. At the same time, one could argue that the human habit to keep measuring, describing and testing, without obtaining any confirmation that we are coming closer to a final understanding of everything that surrounds us, feels somewhat absurd.
But the freedom to think beyond the imaginable is a requirement for scientists to challenge established truths and expand the boundaries of our knowledge. This process of searching, without preconceived notions of the outcome, is one of the keys to fundamental research. In the past years, several impulses such as political interference and dependent funding are putting academic freedom under renewed pressure.
A Monkey Peeled an Onion examines philosophical and scientific theories about nothingness, matter itself and elementary particles. It is a work about the elusive nature of ‘nothing’. Not aiming to give answers but to the contrary, to bring a playful ode to the act of searching.
Even when possibly nothing will be found.
Click here for more information on this series.
Double Slit Experiment
In her project Double Slit Experiment (2014), called after Richard Feynman’s homonymous famous experiment, Blom conducts a study towards travelling in time. Click here for more information on Double Slit Experiment.
Click here for a CV