About

In short: Inge Marleen (The Hague, 1989), Royal Academy of Art, The Hague; Fine Art 2008-2012. Instagram. Facebook. Upcoming events. Send me words: info [at] ingemarleen [dot] com.


About my work

Inge Marleen at work in the studio

I’ve always been fascinated by human perception and the translation of perception into language. In other words: the influence of language on thought. In one of his short fictions, Jorge Luis Borges proposed that the only accurate map of the world is one that is 1:1 – accurate, but useless. The same goes for classification; there’s a human element added to the object which is classified by the viewer. 

This concept forms the basis for my colour chart paintings of birds. The act of classifying is a product and representation of the person who makes the observation; it’s an interpretation, rather than a schematic index of the object or thing. It shows you exactly where the person was looking, the trail and jumps of the eyes, and it tries to render what he or she saw. It shows the decisions made in a selective process: what is included in the representation and what isn’t? And why?

Perhaps the bird flew off before the classification attempt was completed. 

Inge Marleen, 2020

 


My first encounter with birdwatching (other than just staring out of the window)

Artists' book Birdwatching Expedition to Texel
Artists' book Birdwatching Expedition to Texel

It was autumn and particularly chilly for the time of the year. During the migration season, a lot of birds are found at the Dutch coast, getting ready for their long travels south. My birdwatching expedition was meticulously planned: I had packed my camera, film, tripod, birdwatching guide, map and off I was on my three-hour journey to Texel, a small island in the North of The Netherlands. Walk. Train. Train. Ferry. Bike ride. Walk.

I posted myself at an isolated wooden bird hide, just off the coast. I could see the sea in the distance, the dunes all around. The hut was empty, no chairs and no table. Only wooden walls with a slot roughly the size of a human head and the icy cold wind. Outside of the hut, the world was equally deserted: while the landscape was exorbitantly beautiful in its vast desolation, there wasn’t a soul in sight: the birds where nowhere to be found.

I posted myself at an isolated wooden bird hide, just off the coast. I could see the sea in the distance, the dunes all around. The hut was empty, no chairs and no table. Only wooden walls with a slot roughly the size of a human head and the icy cold wind. Outside of the hut, the world was equally deserted: while the landscape was exorbitantly beautiful in its vast desolation, there wasn’t a soul in sight: the birds where nowhere to be found.


Interesting resources for birdwatchers-to-be and people interested in birds:

Len Howard, Birds as individuals (1969); Dutch: Vogels als huisgenoten (2020)
Tim Birkhead, The wisdom of birds (2008); Dutch: De wijsheid van vogels (2010)
David Attenborough, The life of birds (2009; dvd)
Bill Oddie
Vogelbescherming Nederland
RSPB (UK)
Collective nouns for birds and also these


Favourite artists:

David Robilliard
Hans Peter Feldmann
Anna & Bernard Blume
David Shrigley
Gilbert & George
Jenny Holzer
Ian Hamilton Finlay
Robert Smithson
Richard Long
Fiona Banner
Hanne Darboven
Bas Jan Ader
Sophie Calle
Ken Lum
Karen Kilimnik


Favourite writers:

Jorge Luis Borges
Sally Rooney
Hanna Bervoets
Rindert Kromhout
Arthur Japin
Toon Tellegen
Joke van Leeuwen
Max Porter
Zadie Smith
Arnon Grunberg
Samuel Beckett
Emily Fridlund