June 19, 2014
Rotganzen is a Dutch art collective consisting of three childhood friends trying to make a fortune. Their work is loud and obnoxious, completely unwilling to take the viewer into account, but unrelentingly craving approval. They see the promise their old toys hold and force it out, creating work that is happy at a first glance, yet is hiding something dire underneath.
Interview with Sally Taylor:
What was your first reaction to this film? (thoughts, emotions, memories?) If you had to choose one word to sum up the video what would it be? (Please just expand on your history with the “bored” concept and what it means to you.)
The feeling we all three immediately got from the video was a feeling that fascinates us for a long time. It actually is something we have been working with for a while and it is ‘boredom’.
In the video we see Edgar struggling with being bored. He moves around, sits in the chair, acts restless: he is struggling with his boredom. His struggle gets more fierce every second. But it’s not uncontrolled, it’s very rhythmical. It’s a well orchestrated struggle, you could even recognize a choreography in it.
For us ‘being bored’ is a source of inspiration. We are from the internet generation and we have a very short attention span. We get bored easily. In previous works we already
worked with this theme.
Being bored is also something a lot of people have negative associations with. But for us it’s a state of being with a lot of interesting points of view. Moments of boredom are the moments when your brain gets a rest. You don’t have to do anything but think freely. As a child we had lots of these moments. Parents don’t think it’s good for their kids so they arrange all kinds of leisure. With in the end a lack of boredom. But boredom is good for a kid’s imagination. These are the moments their fantasy can run wild. And the same goes for grown ups. Of course, with our busy lives and responsibilities we don’t have much time for a lot of boredom anymore, but still.
We are from the internet generation and we have a very short attention span. We get bored easily. Of course we know that being bored with something (and showing this) is not very polite. But for us it is an interesting sign as well. A sign we are either at the wrong place or, in the case of our own work, we are more ambitious. When we are working on something and after a week we get bored with it, it means it doesn’t meet our ambitions. We have to raise the bar.
For us the flag is a symbol of celebration. We don’t struggle with boredom (like we thought Edgar was doing), but we accept and embrace it. It is part of life. This is what we celebrate with this straightforward, iconic flag.
What part of your artwork came to you first?
The concept. For us the concept is always the starting point of a work. Normally it takes a bit longer to search for the right medium or form to visualize the concept, but this time we immediately knew what to use, namely the flag.
Why did you choose to use silk and black and white?
Normally we let the word print on polyester flags. But this time we wanted to resemble the ‘struggle’ we recognized in the choreography. To do so we were going to use the screen printing process. It’s a process which requires carefully executed manual operations. By choosing the screen print we also had to choose a fabric for the flag. Of course we could have chosen polyester again or cotton maybe, but we wanted a more special fabric. We chose satin because of two reasons: it has a nice gloss look and, when touching it, it feels really superb. From a distance it may look like a normal flag, but up close you’ll notice it is a handcrafted flag made out of a high quality fabric.
Black and white are non-colors. For us they match perfectly with the theme and with the straightforward design.
Take me through your process.
The process of this project is how we mostly work:
-We came together and watched the movie;
-Discussed what we had seen;
-Talked about the theme we all recognized
-Agreed on the concept;
-After this we discussed the way we were going to execute it. Soon we agreed on using the screen printing process and the use of a nice fabric;
-We selected several kinds of fabric and chose satin because of it’s qualities;
-We did the screen printing process;
-Finally we took the picture.
Are there certain choices you made which mean something specific to you that the observer might not know?
Well, actually our whole story we think