Guest House - Esmé Valk

Guest House

Installation in Duende, Rotterdam
Includes a video [06’52]
Publication Moment & Line
Sofa, pin board, coffee and tea

Guest House was installed in the living area and kitchen in one of the artist in resident studios of the artist initiative Duende. I removed the personal belongings of the residents apart from the sofa, the pin board and some kitchen appliances. In the kitchen the visitors could help themselves to coffee or tea. In front of the sofa stood a small table which carried the publication Moment & Line and the archive cards with selected texts of Wikipedia (See Also. 11 December 2007). In a pre-existing cupboard I placed a screen which allowed for a rear projection.

The video shows a slowly moving figure. It is impossible to recognise a single person, only the silhouette of a body compiled from semi-transparent layers of pictures. The movement is almost invisible to the eye, but slowly the image changes.

The publication Moment & Line is specially compiled for Guest House. It consists of a selection of images from my personal archive; a mixture of pictures taken by myself and found images. The last pages display texts arranged according to the commonplace book method. Erasmus introduced the commonplace book in the Fifteenth century as a new way of learning. He asked his students, whenever they came across a pithy passage, to copy it into a book under an appropriate heading. A simple system of headings allowed writers to transparently mix their observations with relevant excerpts from the texts of others.

This work has been kindly supported by Fonds BKVB.