Kovikshamn, 2021
Kovikshamn is a small hamlet in Sweden where Thijs Kauffmann (Leiden, 1974) has worked in recent years. It is located on the west coast north of Gothenburg on a natural harbor and has 55 inhabitants. Since Kauffmann did not have a studio in Sweden, he started working outside. For someone who was used to living in a city, the space and freedom that working in nature offers is a relief. It stimulates the senses and increases consciousness. In this environment, reflections and ideas emerge spontaniously. Kauffman: “I see the perfection in the structures of rocks and in the composition of pine needles that have fallen to the ground. There seems to be a natural logic in this, as if it could not have been otherwise. I brought this sense back to the Netherlands. “ Just as he scrutinized the natural soil in Kovikshamn, in Amsterdam he saw the waste people leave behind on the street. The aluminum foil in particular caught his eye. Aluminum that has taken the shape of the pavement made by cars and cyclists. This creates a patina that is reminiscent of precious metal. The reliefs that Kauffmann made with this are like urban nature. The objects in the exhibition originate from nature as well as the city. The lamp “Vassfält” is inspired by the image of wind blowing in reed. Due to its lightness, the lamp moves gently when you walk past it. The pine trees that grow high on the rocks have become distorted under the influence of the strong wind, and start to resemble limbs. As a trophy hunter, Kauffmann has taken one on the roof of his car to his studio in Amsterdam. The side branches have been cut so that only the spine remains. The sunset is a recurring theme for Kauffmann. It started with the idea of filming the sun without a lens in front of the camera. In 2007 he traveled to the west coast of Morocco to shoot the 16mm film “Sunset in the West”. By removing the lens from the body during filming, the light falls directly on the celluloid. What you see is an abstract representation of the sunset, a monochrome image that fades from white to black through the red color spectrum. Horizontal stripes alternate in the painting `Katwijk ‘(2020). The imprint of the ridges on the beach was created by the ripples of the water. The color combination represents the moment of the sunset. Several works in the exhibition have been created in this way. The film “Kärna” (2021) moves between light and dark. How do people relate to their environment and how do you choose to live and reside ? It is his journey between different places and different countries. The old man is almost merged with Swedish nature, while Kauffmann’s son and his friends move effortlessly from city to nature. As a modern alchemist, Kauffmann lets nature do its job. It is a nature of peace and quiet that, together with its urban vocabulary, leads to a serene romance.

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