MATERIALS: Acrylic, oil, ink, crayon, gold barok frame
SIZE: 180 x 180 x 5 cm (70,9 x 70,9 x 1,9 in)
LOCATION: Galerie Dennie Boxem Zwolle
PRICE: €11.500,- (incl. 9% btw and frame)
In The Emptiness In The Centre Of Our System we see an office worker staring at his screen. His keyboard is in front of him. Encircling his head is his daily routine: he comes out of bed, walks the dog, goes to work, comes home, does some chores, watches some telly, drinks a beer, goes back to bed. This loops every day.
Surrounding his head – that is empty; no paint, no gesso, only blank canvas – is an halo: over ninety per cent of the Western population spends their working life following this system, so it can be considered sacred.
On his left the office worker has post-its with day-to-day tasks and reminders, like “HYPERDEPIEP JP 32 jaar!” and “Rundersaté in de aanbieding (Beef satay on sale)”. On his right are post-its with thoughts that are trying to trivialise his daily system of which he cannot escape.
Boxem was inspired by a quote of the English poet, painter, and printmaker William Blake. “Blake accepted most of the Enlightenments way of thinking, and supported their demand of tolerance and social justice, and acclaimed revolutions in America and France, but like other Romantics Blake believed that the thinkers of the Enlightenment failed to answer a number of essential questions, creating an emptiness in the centre of our system” (A World History of Art by Honour & Fleming, Laurence King Publishing, 1999, hardcover. 984 pages) . The painting implies that these questions still remain unanswered, and that the contradiction of spending most of our time contributing to the growth of a society that does not provide us of essential meaning, is still valid.