241 Things

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241 Things

Sander Uitdehaag resides in a world in which he combines literature, theory and photography (of others and himself) into publications and installations that invite readers and viewers to join him on his quests. His website is an interactive autobiography of a mysterious city dweller named ‘P’. P’s adventures only unfold if the visitor of the site starts typing, thus becoming a co-writer of the story: www.sanderuitdehaag.com
Sander Uitdehaag obtained degrees in Philosophy, Literature, Photography and Fine Arts (in Amsterdam, Arkansas, The Hague and Arnhem), and he exhibited in London, Copenhagen, Beirut, Dakar and in many places in The Netherlands.
He is also a member of the collective Salvo that publishes its Periodical for Photography since 2013: http://www.salvo-periodiek.nl

I’m on the road, heading for Georges Perec. The exhibition Regarde de tous tes yeux, regarde – l’art contemporain de Georges Perec brings together work by 68 artists that somehow correspond to the characteristics of Perec’s writing. After a ten-hour drive I arrive in Dole, France, where the exhibition is taking place. I enter a Chinese restaurant and order a 1664 Kronenbourg. Asian girls in summer dresses surround me. They laugh and stare at me. I take a snapshot. They don’t mind. Seem unmoved even. The fish in the three aquariums bounce back every time the camera flashes.

It’s Saturday night and the place is packed. They’ve put me in the corner for lonely strangers with the fish tanks and the Asian pin-up posters. I cannot see any of the other customers. I can only hear the different French conversations. I try to make out what it is they are saying, but my French is bad, and four or five conversations are taking place at the same time. I decide to stop understanding and I start relaxing. Now it’s just a comfortable sophisticated French blur.

I drink my beer and wait for my duck and asparagus.

At certain points during my meal all conversations die out at the exact same moment. The sudden unplanned quietude shoots me back to a high school party in an indoor swimming pool: I’m shouting in a girl’s ear, hoping to impress her with a well made-up story. When suddenly the music stops, the silence alters the atmosphere entirely, turning my words into ridiculous sounds, making me feel like a fool.

But tonight I enjoy these ‘in between moments’ since I’m not planning to say anything to anyone, except ‘Avez-vous chopsticks?’

This text is a fragment of Het is begonnen. Onderweg met Georges Perec (It Has Started, On the Road with Georges Perec). It consists of 11 texts, all of them prefaces to a possible research into the connections between the writing experiments of French novelist Georges Perec and practices in visual art, concentrated on Sander Uitdehaag’s own work and life. The prefaces are very diverse in style and content and can read in random order, and together make up a meta-story: a search for the right tone and the best beginning.

Het is begonnen is for sale via sanderuitdehaag@gmail.com.

Tunnel

Gluiding is one of the 11 different prefaces of the publication Het is begonnen. Onderweg met Georges Perec (It Has Begun. On the Road with Georges Perec).

Imagine a tunnel with walls that are lit. Inside the tunnel lays a conveyor belt. A desk stands on top of the conveyor belt. On the desk are books and sheets of paper filled with notes. Behind a chair at this desk I sit. I’m working on my thesis. The conveyor belt is moving. As soon as we – the desk, the chair, the books and the sheets, and me – reach the end of the tunnel, the belt starts moving in the opposite direction. I’m floating through the tunnel while writing, back and forth, from left to right and from right to left. On the lit walls bright colored sentences are scribbled. I read them every time that I look up from my desk: whenever I daydream, ponder, drift off, eat a sandwich, txt my love. They guide me. I can’t get rid of them. They guide me, but I can’t get rid of them.

In random order (a contradictio in terminis inside a written text):

Ik ben geen antropoloog, socialist of schrijver. Ik ben een documentarist. Georges Perec
Stare. It is the way to educate your eye, and more. Stare, pry, listen, eavesdrop. Die knowing something. You are not here long. Walker Evans
If I could do it I’d do no writing at all here. James Agee
I have always felt that my task is not to create meaning but only to charge the air so that meaning can occur. Todd Hido
If only you do not try to utter what is unutterable, then nothing gets lost. The unutterable will be - unutterably - contained in what has been uttered. Ludwig Wittgenstein
Waarnemeing is een nooit eindigende reeks van niet-beslissende momenten, die volop mogelijkheden bieden voor wie het zien wil. Paul Graham
If I come up with a clear idea, I realize I have to open it up. Alec Soth
To be original, demands isolation. Leonardo da Vinci
I have never taken a picture I’ve intended. They’re always better or worse. Diane Arbus
There doesn’t seem to be any tomorrow. Every time I wake up, no matter in what position, it’s always been today. Bob Dylan
The desire to show authorship in art has a negative effect on very many works. Wolfgang Tillmans
Taking photographs is a way of shouting. Henri Cartier-Bresson
I’m just the wind on the road that’s gonna pass you by. Gillian Welch
Gevonden woorden zijn soms het meest puur omdat ze niets met jou van doen hebben. Ik neem dingen zoals ze zijn. Veel van die dingen komen uit de ruis van het alledaagse leven. Ed Ruscha
Er zijn mogelijkheden voor mij, zeker, maar onder welke steen liggen ze? Franz Kafka
You see those headlights coming towards us? – That’s someone going back. Conor Oberst
We expect a movie to be a comedy or a drama. We expect writing to be serious writing or humorous writing. But we don’t label our days Serious Days or Humorous Days.We know that each day contains endless nuances. But we are often loathe to allow this in our art. And that is too bad. Dave Eggers
Regarde de tous tes yeux, regarde! Georges Perec
As Robert Frost told a person who asked him what one of his poems meant: “You want me to say it worse?” Robert Adams
I think I am asking a very simple question: how to use my eyes. How can I begin to see in things something other than what I have become accustomed to seeing? Georges Perec
Over time, I have come to believe that we live in several landscapes at once, among them the landscape of hope. Robert Adams
So long as a man’s eyes are open in the light, the act of seeing is involuntary. Herman Melville
Use delay instead of picture. It’s merely a way of succeeding in no longer thinking that the thing in question is a picture – to make a delay of it. Marcel Duchamp
Het menselijk bewustzijn en de menselijke ervaring vormen het domein van de kunstenaar. Bas Heijne
I just had the feeling that I wanted to keep going back to the same ideas, knowing that they would be different, yet still the same. Harry Callahan
Ik zeg niet hoe je moet denken, maar dat je kunt denken. Rednas Gaahedtiu
Television, advertising, popular culture, media intrusion, Internet, are part of our environment the way clouds and trees were a hundred years ago. David Foster Wallace
A word = a little zone of thought. Ed Ruscha
Waardeer mij en ik heb zin. Paul Bogaert
De meeste van ons bezoeken musea om uit te vissen wie we zijn. Chris Decron
Het gebrek aan kritisch vermogen is het gevolg van de wijze waarop de wereld is voorgekauwd en herkenbaar gemaakt door de beeldenstorm van de media. We kunnen niet langer alles verwerken en we willen niet langer alles zien. Susan Sontag
So what? What are insights? They don’t help any. They just make things harder. Raymond Carver
There is more to a picture than meets the eye. Neil Young
I have nothing to say and I am saying it. John Cage
Variety is the spice of life. Cabdriver Brooklyn
The significance of play is by no means defined or exhausted by calling it ‘not earnest’ or ‘not serious’. Play is a thing by itself. The play-concept as such is of higher order than is seriousness. For seriousness seeks to exclude play, whereas play can very well include seriousness. Johan Huizinga
Imperfectie is een vorm van verzet geworden tegen de commerciële cultuur, een alternatief voor de ‘debiliserende amusementscultuur’ en commerciële comateuze schoonheid, de onmenselijke leegte van perfect geconstrueerde vormen. Nicoline Timmer
The important thing is not to understand, but simply to attempt to communicate. Albert Einstein
If you are bothered by this being real, pretend it is fiction. Dave Eggers

This text is a fragment of Het is begonnen. Onderweg met Georges Perec (It Has Started, On the Road with Georges Perec). It consists of 11 texts, all of them prefaces to a possible research into the connections between the writing experiments of French novelist Georges Perec and practices in visual art, concentrated on Sander Uitdehaag’s own work and life. The prefaces are very diverse in style and content and can be read in random order, and together make up a meta-story: a search for the right tone and the best beginning.

Het is begonnen and other publications are for sale via: sanderuitdehaag@gmail.com.