Martin Bigum


Cross pollination's white room


'What I write, I can't paint. And what I can paint, I can't write.'


When I make my art, genres can't find me. For me, it's more about the whole, made up of individual pieces.


The fundamental thing is that there are intuitive moments that have to be followed, before the artistic intuition is lost. Whether it manifests itself in poetry, painting, installation, photography, video art or lyric doesn't matter much.

Things have to be made, and this is existential.


Naturally there are form and practical difference between the execution of work in these various disciplines. But in the moment that I get a feeling that something artistic has to be formulated, and I see something with my inner eye, my hand does not waver. In that moment, it is the same hand that controls all, and also the individual, expression.


And that expression has no trouble finding its right element.


The technical demands that this puts on me, I feel are in my blood. This is very important, in that in order to master these impulses, I have to create a distance between myself and what has to be done. With technique, I can elevate the primary, the artistic essence, and its spirit, up into the work.


But I feel that I technically can go from one room to the other. Otherwise I wouldn't do it. The disciplines in which I do not have the basic essentials, I stay away from: Sculpture is an example of an area that I haven't thrown myself into, for three reasons. Partly because I don't think I can dominate the sculptural material enough to create a superior piece. Partly because the newest form of sculpture, the installation, interests me more, with its exploded room. And last but not least, because the materials, clay and stone - from the first moment I touched them in kindergarten - have never fascinated me.


Despite my technical proficiency in the other artistic possibilities named above, they remain for me fascinating and shocking. I am constantly transported to new places. Despite familiarity, crises are far from preventable, and must be survived and overcome every time.


It happens that there are artistic ideas that are freebooters. Ideas that cannot be tamed, and will not allow themselves, without a fight, to be decoded. Ideas that move restlessly from one room to the other. And which explode that which can be identified as a genre.


In these situations, it seems that a poems first sentence could more likely be the first scratching at the core of a painting...


Or that a subject is too large to be tackled as a painting, and may contain a video as well... That a narrative and its poetic essence can better be expressed in photography rather thon through painting...


That something sociological and immediate has to be captured, and which isn't possible -for me -to address with paint, but which is lyrical, and can be created with the help of snapshots...


That an idea for a painting may contain a central scene of a poem I've never been able to finish...


That it can be a poem that feels so physical that it can only come to life via an installation...


But to tame just a little bit of this, for me, enormous subject let me lead you, the reader, into my conditions and requirements for creating art. I will through the following pieces go through theses so called genres that I work with, and attempt to hone in on their characteristics.


Painting and poetry have in common that they both are rooted in the white surface. The white paper, where a sketch for a painting comes to life and the white canvass where the motif is painted.


And the poem's white A4 paper, where it will be written.


The computer screen's open document is also a white surface.


The installation with its roots in a white room. The art video's white virtual surface, whether it's the television screen or the projected image. Photo paper's white surface where the image sinks down into the emulsion.


For me, the white room must be taken over.



Martin Bigum