Artist: Thomas van Linge
Exhibition title: This isn’t even my final form
Venue: Galerie Gabriel Rolt, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Date: August 29 – September 25, 2015
Photography: images copyright and courtesy of the artist and Galerie Gabriel Rolt, Amsterdam
Galerie Gabriel Rolt is pleased to announce the first solo presentation of Thomas van Linge with the gallery. The exhibition’s title ‘This isn’t even my final form’ references the evolving nature of the artists’ work, the Internet and Van Linge’s thoughtful but tongue-in-cheek approach to his practice in equal measure.
There is something quietly discomforting about Thomas van Linge’s new body of work. In an odd sense it has a whiff of walking into a car dealership. The sleek brushed materials, high attention to detail and the slight cockiness of the sales staff all blend in such a way that an unsuspecting bypasser might be tricked into forgetting that all this ultra modernity comes at a price. Van Linge deploys similar tactics in his practice. At first glance, the cool detached appearance of the work temps you into forgetting that behind the bold but refined exterior of the work lies a lush poetic world laden with academic references, all waiting to be explored. Once you cross the threshold and navigate your way past the aluminium, mirrored stainless steel and acetate, the work opens up and grants you entry to a more poetic and philosophical access point. Here we enter a place that throws up a conundrum of references, where online and offline attributes merge until the artificial and the real are firmly entwined.
In the practice of Van Linge, nature is never left to its own devices but becomes absorbed in a world that creates room for an improved artificial reproducible version of itself. One that the artist assumes power over. A place where the possibility of the imprint of the imprint is endless, stretched to such an extent that the image becomes an abstraction of itself. The work deftly touches on complex new found theories such as Circulationism as well as older ones, like Deleuze’s ideas on assemblages or Walter Benjamin’s thoughts on mechanical reproduction. Serially produced objects, salvaged from the modern day waste bin that is the Internet, are reclaimed and presented by Van Linge as signp osts of contemporary life, reflective of their prior existence and throwing up a mirror to the society they once inhabited. Ultimately, the artist presents a world where no state cannot be altered or controlled, actual and proverbial solids become liquid and freely mallable to the artist’s will. In doing so Van Linge creates a place where societies’ waste holds the potential to reach the socially elevated status of being art and precious materials are reduced to be subservient carriers of grander ideas.
In ‘This is not even my final form’ Van Linge teases his audience, in a similar way to which he manipulates his materials. His assemblages are just as much monuments to modernity as they are playful warning signs for what’s to come, in which, nature, automation and representation are mutually exclusive to shine a light on the disjointed nature of society itself.
Steven van Grinsven, 2015