Het HEM is a home for contemporary culture, situated in a former munitions factory on the Hembrug site in Zaandam.
What is important now is to recover our sensesSusan Sontag
Flag (Amazon), 2015
Flag (Nile), 2015
X Laevis (Spacelab), 2015
In Flag (Amazon) and Flag (Nile) Gerrard simulates an oil slick in the centre where the light is accurately bro ken to create a vibrant prismatic field. The perspective turns, while the video changes from day to night and endlessly changes form. The soft rippling of the water refers to the rippling of time. With his work Gerrard manages to evoke a physical alienation: nature is alienated, but also looking at it becomes alienating. The work is both compelling and discouraging.
X Laevis (Spacelab) responds to the 18th century experiments of Luigi Galvani in which he studied the effects of electricity on the amputated legs of dead frogs. In an intriguing way, the work raises important questions about modern lifestyles and our (ir)rational attitude towards nature and the time in which we live.
The largescale realtime computer simulations by John Gerrard (1974, Ireland) are reminiscent of special effects and video games. The works depict virtual, graphic worlds that exist outside of physical time. Gerrard thus produces alternative realities. In these works he examines the power structures and energy networks that have made the expansion of human efforts over the past century possible.
Courtesy the artist, Thomas Dane Gallery