Early Works (Pour en finir avec le jugement de Dieu)

Mixed media on paper
Variable dimensions


Writing about “Early Works” prompts some rear views. For example, back to 2008, when I first made acquaintance with the artist. Neither did I then know about the existence of the work that was produced just a year earlier, nor was it presented to me in this urgency that often accompanies, and at times disfigures, the art scene of today. What is interesting about this, is that it somehow says something about the work itself. There is a different, deviant logic inherent to it, that entails the time(s) it covers, the conditions for its coming into existence, or its specific rendering of the ‘making’ of an artist. Perhaps in these days, “Early Works“ were the most “elderly” amongst us – distinguished by the “wisdom” of stubbornness and frivolous unknowing.

There is a question that has haunted me for some time, and it concerns the moment of first becoming an artist – an “artist’s beginning” so to say, borrowing from Koen Brams. The point is not to conjure a so-called “Opus 1”, nor some sort of early genius. It’s to recall a story before the myth, a story that would in fact comply with “early works”, in lower case letters. In this context, artist Stephan Dillemuth has evoked a very beautiful and very silly “initiatory” instant from his past: The moment he had drawn a copy of a Marc Chagall in children’s art class, and realized that he can do that, too. This silly and fragile moment, then, is also a moment of empowerment, rooted in the blank possibility of reproducing images from the world, or those that the world throws at you. It makes them your own, or it makes you be like them – like Mr. Dosti, Karl Marx, or Robocop.

When utilizing such childhood and teenage drawings for “Early Works” once again, amongst for ascribing brief (and at times faulty) text passages from Antonin Artaud, Zguro does not (only) provide for a palimpsest of augmented artistic reflections. He also suggests a vandalist act, or more precisely, mode of communication. And would it surprise against this backdrop, that so much of Zguro’s work, in the later, contains frictional sparks between visibilities and vandalism? Between adding something for the sake of taking something, at times violently, away? About the language of the vandals, we come to conceive, little is known.

Text by Sonja Lau

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