With a background in editorial design, Hein Eberson rumages through newspapers to turn daily news into timeless images; with photos of people, places and events that determine our experience and understanding of the big, elusive world. Since May 2017.
Hein says ‘hi!’ to the things in the morning*.
Six days a week the newspaper appears and six days a week Hein Eberson makes a work based on that paper.
From Gutenberg to Facebook you can draw a more or less straight line. At first only the most important things were printed, today even what we eat is shared with the whole world. We do not only greet things daily, we all are also publicists.
Somewhere in between those realms the newspaper lives, with images that are only significant and important today. Tomorrow they belong to the past and are used to pack our fish & chips. But the images were at one point important enough to print anyway. A newspaper can never be reversed, is irrevocably important for one day.
Prolonging this importance is what Eberson seems to want to do. To extend the images with an echo, in which you may no longer hear what was said, while the sound of their tone remains.
In the illegibility of their original context, the images meet, all equally lost and searching for a new role. Vacationers on an organized trip, condemned to each other.
It is a musing gaze, tearing away what can go to give another image some light. Proportions have disappeared, the images have lost their former grip on reality, their meaning taken hostage. Away from their original spot. A searching gaze the ransom.
You only ever greet what you know. If the images still have something to say then they will have do so to their new neighbours. Set free from their original world, they are forced to negotiate new connections. The cards are dealt, no image is more important than the other.
Hi someone who died, Hi Melania Trump. Hi opinion of Arnon Grunberg, hi hand of the father on the head of his dead son. Hi burning candles, hi cheerful orchestra, hi people who are angry, God knows why.
Echoes of global news in new images that last longer than one day. Small monuments to temporality, is how I would like to describe them.
But I do not have to describe them, because they are hanging in front of me. Hi small monument for temporality, hi day, hi!
*Loosely based on a poem by Paul van Ostaijen, (1896 – 1928).
Cadavre Exquis, Upside Down
… traces of reality. The collages say: There were battles and enemies, illustrious deeds and breathtaking scenes, criminals and their judges. That was that day. And now there is a new one, to do it all differently, again, the same, or elsewhere. And tomorrow (and the day after tomorrow…). As news, a newspaper photo will not retain its appeal, it has served its purpose. After the images have lost their news value, the collages remain. The news facts have become material.
Summaries of a day in the world, of places and events and the people who played a role in it. Memento Mori too. A firm decision becomes a law. A disaster is pushed aside by another. Sadness gives way to resignation. A majestic performance falls into oblivion. And the newspaper, it appears every day. Imagination and reporting fight for priority. There are snippets of news facts. Or not even that. Those fragments, and the hashtags that summarize them, let us experience how our brain deals with memories. Why do certain events stay with us, do we remember a specific name or image and so many others we don’t?
In the collage, the photos form the image of the day, with the magisterial header chosen for the bright green of the turf and the earthquake for the texture and color of the mud. It is no longer about truth or media manipulation. The choices in the creation of images are based on color, pattern, form, and the connection of lines with each other. More formal considerations determine the construction of the image, and not meaning. If the collages assume new meaning, that is a nice bonus, but not a necessity.
“Art is not a means of communication. It is meaningless raw material used in open-ended processes or aesthetic reflection by a diverse audience, whose interpretations are totally arbitrary. There are no serious reasons for making one particular artwork rather than another. “ (Mediamatic 01-1991)
Hein Eberson (1962) had clients describe a work of art with the art order form Art on Request. With U-Frame, the public could compile a work of art with a database of collage parts. Together with Remko Scha, he worked on Artificial, a computer program that generated an infinite amount of random images. For each his own; his conceptual approach focuses on the creation of art instead of presentable and sellable objects.
Together, the collages form an infinite story, day by day, just as Eberson previously worked on infinite stories. The daily walk to the letterbox, the tearing of the paper, the search for possible image combinations in the stack of pages; those acts are limited. Although the work can be seen as meaningless raw material, the realization of the work is not. Concentration. Faithfulness. Boredom and wandering. Happiness and misfortune. Till death?