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Lennart Lahuis


Kozo whisper tissue and burnt lazer print on handmade cotton fiber paper

Since my graduation in 2011 I have always worked with ‘printed matter’ and the materiality of paper. Partially because of limited studio space and workshop facilities, text and images in printed form became my main materials. I started to manually process and reproduce them in a variety of techniques. I have crumpled and burned paper, I have poured wax on it to make it semi transparent and reveal photographic images underneath or made my own tools to reduce images to pulp. I have often viewed my fascination for paper as a way to pay homage to the disappearing materiality of visual communication. The different techniques and materials I have worked with were ways of doing so. The works I want to develop during the residency at the Morgan Conservatory would bring one year of research to an end and proposes yet another approach to printed matter. It is an attempt to synchronize my treatment of paper with the words and images it carries. In my research I connected stories and images about recent developments in European politics and cultural life with a specific paper restoration technique that I have described at more length in the project proposal.
The images and stories I am working with deal for example with recent scientific research into the first geological Brexit that happened 450.000 years ago, the Oxford Dictionary Word of the Year 2016 or the controversial restoration of a Spanish 9th century castle with modernist means. Every piece of information deals in its own way with the tension between destruction and reparation, integration and disintegration and its role in the formation and preservation of cultural history.
Every new series I develop starts with finding a new way to re-establish and reinvent my physical relationship to words and images. When I am in the process of developing new work, a large part of it is invested in reducing high-speed digital circulation to slow readability and mass production of visual communication to the specificity of real space and real time. Each work I exhibit seems to be captured in a moment between appearance and disappearance, between integration and disintegration and tests how far the limits of readability can be pushed.

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