Mediamatic Magazine 3#2 Marie-Adèle Rajandream 1 Jan 1988

Work to Watch

Giny Vos (Rotterdam 1959) graduated this summer from the RIETVELD ACADEMIE in Amsterdam. She has become known for a number of large-scale conceptual works.


GINY VOS - Work to Do 1985


GINY VOS's work is certainly remarkable. She frequently uses materials you don't expect from an art work. She describes her current work as sculpture. Although she claims not to be tied to any one medium, her work is mostly time-based and we encounter video
monitors with a suspicious frequency. Examples of this are early works such as Golden Years (1985) and GIOVANNI ARNOLFINI and his young wife (1985).
In Golden Years, GINY VOS used three monitors, a template and a projected slide to create the illusion of an American limo gliding past.
A full-scale silhouette of the car had been cut out of hardboard. A slide of the golden car was projected with painstaking accuracy onto the silhouette. There were monitors instead of wheels. And each monitor showed a revolving wheel. A monitor was also placed behind
the steering wheel which showed the artist's face, her hair blowing in the wind. All this was complete with the sound of cars and highways. It seemed as if she was driving around without a worry in the world and DAVID BOWIE was on the radio.


GINY VOS - 12 sculpture met bewaking 1988, T1, (Camera 7)

If video is simply a way of stimulating the imagination in Golden Years , it certainly plays a more major role in GIOVANNI ARNOLFINI and his young wife which uses JAN VAN EYCK'S 1434 painting as its point of departure. The painting depicts a young couple taking their wedding vows in the bridal chamber. At first sight the couple seems to be alone in the chamber's seclusion. However, the mirror behind them betrays the presence of two other people. One must be the painter; the legend above the mirror reads: JAN VAN EYCK was here (JAN VAN EYCK fuit hic).
VOS used a slide of this painting in her work. A monitor screen replaced the mirror's glass. Instead of the painter, pectators saw themselves by means of a closed- circuit system. In the original picture, the painter is one of the two direct witnesses of the wedding. Thanks’s to him we can experience the ceremony indirectly. VOS’s version eliminated his role als link so that we now became the direct witnesses. Television let us be witnesses of literally everything. To a large extent, the modern media have taken over painting's function as
means of communication.
The presence of the video in G.A. and his young wife makes us pause beside the historically changing relation between art and communication.
In Work to Do (1985) art was reinstated with its old function; three identical office blocks which form the EUROPOINT COMPLEX in Rotterdam constituted the principle elements in this large-scale work.
Each block bore one word (placed vertically) of the text: WORK TO DO. Each letter was built up out of squares formed by illuminated windows in the buildings which were otherwise completely dark.
The artist used the function of the office complex to provide an extra, even relativized meaning. Because of the tower blocks' favourable position, Work to Do was seen by a great many people, so that for a moment art could match itself against the mass media.


Work to Do marked a development in GINY VOS's work towards the kind of art that cannot be interpreted in just one way. And this was again confirmed by the installation
Wildebeest (1986 ).
A miniature savanna was created on a floor from a layer of sand and some small trees. Its contours traced the form of an animal skin. A herd of 47 toy gnus was placed on the savanna, that looked as if it was on the move. There was a monitor behind the herd, approximately in the middle of the skin. It showed a fleeing herd of gnus with much clatter of hooves that was being followed by a drowning plane. Now and then a short revertable.
The installation evoked and oppressive atmosphere. The tangible presence of the animals was so strongly suggested that the spectator felt identified with their flight.


GINY VOS - 12 sculpturen met bewaking 1988, monitors


12 Sculptures with Security , GINY VOS's degree show project, was particularly convincing. The installation was set up in the STEDELIJK MUSEUM SCHIEDAM (1988) and completely utilized the exhibition space. 12 fair-sized geometric sculptures were spread across five rooms and a number of small spaces. The black, wooden constructions differed in terms of form and format. By means of their relation to closed-circuit video surveillance cameras, the sculptures could be seen on a panel of 12 monitors in the museum's entrance to form five letters that created the word watch across the entire panel.
The attendant responsible for guarding the show by means of the panel was now presented with something made especially for him. The public (who could see the panel during the exhibition) were confronted with a strange spatial perception of the museum. The monitor images appeared to be an optical illusion. The black letters made one assume that they were two-dimensional but upon closer inspection it was possible to make out the depth of the space in the background.
Just like Work To Do, 12 Sculptures with Security is architectural by nature and moves in the field of tension between two- and threedimensionality.
GINY VOS's work is not only accessible to art lovers. Her work can attract a wider public without making any concessions in terms of quality.