Van Abbemuseum

On September the 6th I gave an Invited Lecture at the Van Abbe Museum in Eindhoven. The occasion was organised by the museum conservator Steven ten Thije. His idea was  to let art and science look for new ways to communicate climate risks: with humor for example. In the intriguing Errorist Kabaret from the Argentinian art collective Et Cetera, the speakers were invited to present their ideas and later engage in discussions and conversations with the public. The Van Abbe choir made the event into a polyphonic experience. Anabella Meijer, aka Kanai, presented her work on climate cartoons (


Can visual art generate a new experience in a flash? Prolepsis is the representation of a thing as existing before it actually does or did so. Like a flash back but then forward, of what has not happened (yet). It is expressed  in a linguistic form such as “He was a dead man when he entered the room”. How can visual art anticipate a way of looking and generate a new sense of self, which the onlooker could not have foreseen? And nor could s/he have forsaken the proleptic experience?

One purpose of my art is to generate experiences over the edge, in a flash. The aim is to trigger an unanticipated experience for the onlooker–you. Often the paintings do not disclose their orientation. There is no up, down, left or right, figure or background. You may be literally forced to (re)consider your orientation. Hence the notion “preconceptual” art: processes of sensing are stimulated that happen before you can conceptualise what you believe or think you see.

Prolepsis refers to a feature of this process: you may be moved into a position that you most likely would or could not have anticipated: like visual LSD.