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Artist 10

Yeb Wiersma

People can only deal with the fantasy when they are ready for it. De Paviljoens 2001-2012

Does the reader choose its book, or does the book choose its reader? The portrayed look like protagonists from their chosen literature, that have come to life. The literature varies from poetry and romance, to suspense and the fairytales by Grimm. On Departure, Henry James, Cooper Union Library, New York City, the student hugs The Art of Travel. The book forms the starting point for the viewer: because the student turns herself away from the viewer by closing her eyes, which especially triggers the imagination of the viewer.

During her artist-in-residence in New York, Yeb Wiersma photographed this sleeping student. The pale face with the wild hairs, the loose hug of the book, the lighting and the colors are so perfectly coordinated in Departure, Henry James, Cooper Union Library, New York City, that the viewer will suspect the photographer of having made a very refined studio photo. Still, Wiersma found the student, just like the other seven persons portrayed in the series Departure, in the library of Cooper Union. The readers let themselves, within the closeness of their books, fall asleep. An island of silence arises in the middle of the noises of the metropolitan. The intimate character of the portrait contrasts sharply with the public library in which the photo was made.

The sometimes vague boundary between private and public, and the film-like reality of the day-to-day life, occur regularly in the work by Wiersma. Together with Vanessa Hudig she realized the project SITUATIES / Tussen de Vaarten / Any Minute Now, Something Will Happen in Almere. In 2011, Wiersma resided as artist-in-resident in the Noordoostpolder. The work A Song Adrift (2012) that she created there was part of the manifestation Mapping Flevoland #1 last summer.

On the table by Christoph Seyferth in the room in which the series Departures is shown, lies the map Denk aan een storm (Think of a storm, 2012) that Wiersma created along her film A Song Adrift.

Wiersma attended the Gerrit Rietveld Academy and continued her studies at the Cooper Union School for the Advancement of Science and Art in New York. Work by Wiersma was on show at, amongst others, FOAM Amsterdam, and is included in collections like AMC Collectie, SBK Nederland, and Thomas Spilmann, Davos (Switzerland).

Yeb Wiersma, Groningen, the Netherlands, 1973

Departure, Cooper Union Library, New York City (2001)

8 photo’s (Henry James / The Mind / Bocklin, Knape Wunderhorn / Hitchcock / Grimm / Vermeer / Baudelaire / Caspar David Friedrich)
45 x 30 cm, edition 1/1
Showed in the exhibition Twenty-two-thousand-five-hundred (2007)
Acquired in 2003

© Museum De Paviljoens