Eleye Boerenkamps

Eleye Boerenkamps. Standards of living - instead of holding you I’m holding this, 2023.

Year granted: 2022 Website: Part of Prospects

The transformation of ephemeral feelings, especially for the purpose of holding on to that which is fleeting, is a recurring theme in the work of Eleye Boerenkamps (1994). In her sculptures, films, photographs, and texts she attempts to capture relationships and feelings. She conducts research into how to visualize emotions, relationships, and memories. On the one hand, each of her artworks amounts to a futile attempt that further stresses the impossibility of recording something so intangible. On the other hand, every single one is a tiny monument; a place to make sense of that feeling and in some way get to grips with it. Boerenkamps is thus trying to transcend personal intimacy and aims to evoke recognizable feelings in the viewer.

Displayed on a wooden stand (or standard), one of the photographs from the series Standards of Living (2019-ongoing) — which the artist is showing at Prospects — features the text: “Instead of holding you I’m holding this”. The photograph also shows the artist holding a nondescript piece of plastic. Depicted by Boerenkamps in a witty yet seemingly trivial way, it is a painful observation on the impossibility of being together. The standards used in this series are anything but sturdy or standard. They are, in fact, unstable stacks of building materials that further emphasize the uncertain and vulnerable nature of the aforementioned statement.

Text: Esther Darley

Translation from Dutch to English: Marie Louise Schoondergang