Arrows of Thought

Michèle Matyn

Arrows of Thought
18.01.2014 > 09.03.2014

The artistic research of Michèle Matyn (b. 1978) is driven by her interest in traditional folk tales, anthropological myths and legends, but also by popular comic books and movies that feature some form of animism. The thoughts that speak from these stories encourage her to both physically and mentally broaden the reach of her studio through traveling. The pictures she makes as a “participatory observer” at certain mythical locations, initiate the creation of performances that colour outside the lines of contemporary humanity and its world-image.

Following the presentation of the publication, “Posture Editions N°07: Arrows of Thought”, Michèle Matyn brings the eponymous performance to Netwerk Pakhuis. The protagonists are “Asclepius”, the divine healer, and his helper, “Merci, faits pour toi”, the twig. They are mythical characters that go beyond the limits of human life and use objects symbolically loaded with references, actions or dramatized activities. The objects consist of poor, sober materials that are capable of storing and releasing a certain amount of energy and heat. Materials such as butter, straw, pigment, honey, and wool…often have a symbolic meaning in folk tales, proverbs and appear throughout the history of art. Through the shooting of “thought arrows”, a mental transfer is made visible with honey and pigment. The physical transfer to nature is made clear by knees or other vulnerable areas pushing against trees or rocks. Here, the photo capturing of the action works as a mesmerizing protector. The pictures were taken during a stay in the forest of Verzy (FR), the burned Kalmthoutse Heide (BE) and the Peloponnese (GR). Inspired by Matyn’s pictures, author Saskia De Coster wrote a poem that resonates a mantra.

Afterwards, props used during the performance and traces of the performance that form a temporary installation, become crystallized remnants, surrounded by the visual record and the enduring mantra.