textile, thread
2,5m x 2,5m / 2,5m x 2,5m

A pair of large-scale, two-sided textiles. Both pieces have a  positive and negative side, interlacing with one another, by the visible stitch. The first one says all will end well and if it’s not well, it’s not the end on the other side. The second: well, all will end with lol lol lol lol on the back side. Even a banal, hopeful saying can have a second side to the story.

While the work can be read as a response to the current events taking place in Europe, it can also be understood more broadly, as an expression of the zeitgeist: a bitter and ironic Internet meme. Things, indeed, will end well, but it takes a long way for them to end. And what will the grand finale be, anyway?

on two-sidedness

I enter the room in Kröller-Müller Museum, there is a painted panel standing in the middle of the space. It shows the young lady wearing a veil and holding a carnation flower in each hand. I come closer to read the description: Portrait of Margaretha von Mochau by Barthel Bruyn the Elder, 1524, painted a year after her marriage to celebrate the union of love. The way the panel is exhibited, its position in the space of the room, clearly indicates that there is something important, worth seeing on the other side of it. I assume it is most probably her husband since it is a marriage portrait. With my hands crossed in the back (classic museum-style walk) I slowly pass the edge of the painting. The image I see, it’s not the one I expected: there is a skull, a still smoldering candle blown just a second ago, and a vanitas note, (saying – as I’ve learned later – Everything ends with death, death is the end of things). I walk around the panel and make a short video of it.

After I came back home, I obsessively played it on a loop, circling around beginning and end, life and death, bright side and a dark side, the chubby, pink face of a girl, and a skull. Even though the first image disappears to reveal the other one, I played it so many times, they become one, inseparable thing. As if one side was visible on the other, somehow see-through.

all will end well
if it’s not well it’s not the end

It is a sentence I’ve heard on the radio, quoted as a saying of someone's mother. The usual, hopeful, banal, everyone heard hundreds of times, here deepened by the second part: if it’s not well it’s not the end. It claims that the neutral state of things is positive, while I start to wonder if the struggle will ever have the grand finale, if I will ever see the happy end promised by the mother.

well, all will end
lol lol lol lol lol lol lol lol

Laughter became the coping mechanism of powerlessness, the feeling of lacking agency, turning the most bitter events into a joke. Laughter is the terminus, the limit, the end, the last resort. I start to think that the end of the world will, indeed, be just laughing out loud, as there will be nothing else left. Just like in the final scene of Gombowicz’s Trans-Atlantyk.

circling again

The text on the front sides textiles is almost the same – just flipped by 90°. all will end well. well, all will end. The idea came to me while circling around the first piece lying on the floor.