Exhibitions23 02 2019 — 30 03 2019
RUUDT PETERS Suctus
Zigong asked: 'What do you think of me?' Master replied: 'You are a vessel.' Zigong: 'What kind of vessel?' Master responded: 'A sacrificial vase of jade' (Confucius)
Ruudt Peters could be called a gardener of fields of tension. Everyone who has met him has felt his boiling energy. He never enters the arena quietly, always with a bang and a roar. The same uncompromising and self-defeating passion guides his creative work. Yet Ruudt’s jewellery is never visually loud. Having internalised the energy, it stands as silent witness to the past. Looking at Ruudt’s work, it feels as if the smoke and dust from a meteor impact have just dispersed and settled and the ground is giving off heat from the trauma. It’s like the moment after the final crash when the silence is deafening. Silently, the brooches of the 'Suctus' series invoke past dramas like the grey plaster bodies from Pompeii excavations. The drama is finished, the tension remains. Ruudt knows how to use the words of the past in a language of the future.
It is as if Ruudt had coded symbols hidden from us within 'Suctus'. The Cabalist system of 'Sefiroth', the chopped-up crucifixes of 'Corpus', the phalluses of 'Lingam' lend themselves to interpretations with more ease, whereas 'Suctus' remains cryptic. But feels that through the 'Suctus' brooches Ruudt is referring to something more universal than the teachings of a specific religion. Just as all languages originate from a common language before the Tower of Babel; like all religions, when picked apart, lead us to the same primal god; just like before all states and nations a primal human existed somewhere in a primordial cradle, Ruudt, too, speaks about the primal source and essence of human souls.
Looking at the hollow forms of Ruudt’s brooches, a question arises – what is more important, the vessel or the space inside the vessel? Our life from birth to death is intertwined with various vessels, corpora, shells and nests, but the principle remains the same. There’s something that holds and something that is held. An interior and an exterior. A keeper and a dissolver. A separator and the separated. A sustainer and the sustained. Vessels and funnels are like ravenous mouths that suck down and devour everything offered to them. In some of the 'Suctus' brooches protective walls have been removed. Only the insides remain. Bodies of water framed by imaginary borders. Tones of approaching sunset and crimson. But mostly deep blacks and opaque glimmers of late summer bog lakes and a murky barely tangible depth. Dull watery milk tones blend into dark mature layers. Like bog lakes they entice you to dive into an unknown darkness. Once surrendered to the seducing powers of 'Suctus', is there a way back? The worst that could happen is you return exactly the same person as when you entered.
(© Galerie Rob Koudijs)