Johan Tahon

In Der Welt sein

01.03.2008 – 25.05.2008
The title In Der Welt sein is borrowed from Heidegger in his major work Being and Time which claims that man exists "to takes place." This unfolding of time is revealing and concealing. Human existence is "design-breaking" in a particular future. Tahon’s sculptures addresses this latest groundwork. He believes, in sharp contrast with the dismantled metaphysics of Derrida, that art has a metaphysical dimension.

Galerie Zwart Huis presents white sculptures. The famous, monumental sculptures in plaster stand in confrontation with the new, smaller ceramic pieces. The ceramic heads are covered with a glossy white glaze. The heads are solidified emotions. The white skin reflects light and its surroundings. The tactile irregular surface suggests distressing cracks in the soul. The shiny, white colour is like balm on a wound (Show your Wound teaches Beuys), but also signifies infinite transparency. White has no hindrance. Tahon’s white shows a higher state of being as white is the lightest breath in matter.
One of the striking features in this collection is the twin heads: they are hooked onto each other like Siamese twins, existing in a tormenting silence. In addition, the large men and women heads are immediately identified in their sheer existence. The emphasis in these works is placed on the face because it is essential for the recognition and identification. Tahon’s ceramics confirm the thesis of the greatest artists (Michelangelo and Rodin): handicraft is valued to be the highest of good. It is the guarantee of a synthesis between light and darkness, birth and death, form and content, promise and fulfilment. Tahon places emphasis on the physical handling of materials: it is to feel and to receive. "Sculpting is the most complete form of life, because you physically, mentally and philosophically go to the extreme."

Selected works