If silence is golden, Dutch artist Sarah van Sonsbeeck is a bank’ says Nicola Bozzi. ‘Her work, ranging across all sorts of media, is always infused with an attention for space, an heritage of her years as an architecture student. It deals with the immaterial, but also with chance. If silence is a place of intimacy, free from the incursions of the outside environment, the accidents that break it are meaningful, enigmatic, chaotic events storming their way into our world. Sound – or lack thereof – is then only one of the dimensions of her installations, consisting primarily in a fragile and intimate experience to cherish and keep to ourselves. In the shape of minimal container cubes, silk-screened vinyl discs, wooden structures or documentary photography, her works almost always imply an interaction with the viewers. In fact, though she was trained as one, you can barely call her an architect at all’ says Annick Kleizen. ‘Her houses just never seem to hold their shape: the walls are fragile, permeable and somewhat ill-defined. Moreover, she makes you aware of their failings – of where sounds leak, the outside world enters and privacy succumbs to neighbours. She deconstructs the solidness of the private shelter and lifts the thin veil of privacy.
Name: Sarah van Sonsbeeck
Occupation: Visual Artist
Currently residing: Amsterdam
Music: Gavin Bryars & Philip Jeck, ‘The sinking of the titanic’, John Cage, Laurel Halo, Radiohead, Alvin Lucier ‘I’m sitting in a room’, The Velvet Underground.
Art: I seem to be drawn more to specific works than to artists in general. Robbert Morrises ‘Box with the Sound of it’s Own Making’ and his ‘Steam’. Marcel Duchamps ‘Trois Stoppages’. Bruce Naumans ‘Stomping in the Studio’. Gordon Matta-Clarcks ‘Fake Estates’. Jonathan Monks ‘This painting should ideally be illuminated by a Dan Flavin’. And it goes on and on. Sometimes nature is more beautiful than art.
Technology: So far I haven’t been great at working with other artists but I love to work with specialists in other fields, especially technology. After a years work I have now made a working ‘Faraday Bag’. This bag is made from silver plated polyester fabric so it works as a cage of Faraday, meaning it can block electromagnetic signals like mobile phone and Wi-Fi. If you put your phone inside the bag, you will receive no calls.
Lifestyle: A very weird word that I have never truly understood. Makes me think of ‘The Century of the Self’, a great documentary by Adam Curtis.
Quote: ‘I prefer laughter to tears.’ John Cage.