Untitled, 2006, 28 x 28 x 45 cm (figurines, wood)
In the sculptural installation by van der Meij, thread is only symbolically present. It is spun around a wooden spool held by one of the figurines in its hands. Four puppets are actually products of applied art and have been used as ready-made objects. The lands and the social stratum represented by the puppets have no significance in the work of van der Meij. Using the lovely statuettes that traditionally mark festive days and holidays, the artist has conceived a new scene. This frozen sculptural scene first reminds one of a caricature, although the aggression of one girl against another and the two girls looking on Ð roguishly smiling, quietly supporting the aggression and radiating vengeance Ð contains no elements of caricature. The scene brings to mind the base fighting between men, and it is far from ordinary traditional images. The preconceptions about merry, reserved and decent girls in national garb, and the strange emplacement, together with the expressive gesticulation of the figures, suggest to the viewer that this is a fictitious scene. But what is the purpose of this fiction? It makes us aware that there is no reality at all; that everything is a matter of interpretation; that we live in a world that manipulates us in all possible directions; that we are surrounded by people who manipulate us. This work stimulates the viewer to reconsider manipulation and the manipulated realities. Or, as van der Meij said, Reality could be simple, or it could be highly complicated. There are countless answers to the same question. Do we actually wish to see reality?
2007, Maja Škerbot