'A Finger is the Softest Pencil' (2016)
This video was made for the Contemporary Art Triennial 'Coup de Ville', located in Sint-Niklaas (BE).
For this exhibition Sylvie De Meerleer combines drawings in amalgamation with a new work in which she further continues her investigation of tenderness, intimacy and tactility. She returns to a childhood memory in which for the first time she became aware of her physicality. Before she fell asleep as a child, her mother regularly drew figures on her bare back. The challenge was to find a balance between mental alertness and enjoying fading away. When she was able to guess what was drawn: a square, heart, sun, rain, hail, ... she was rewarded with an additional drawing. These soft engravings showed no physical or tangible trace, the drawings always remained invisible. It’s about a perception, sensing a culture that is not tangible. Unveiling such experiences seems almost impossible, which is why the artist opts for a video composition and a weekly performance in which she draws on the back of interested people in a private room.
Striving to reveal the importance of tactility and intimacy she revisits a youthful evocation and disseminates this among others.
Stef Van Bellingen, curator of Coup de Ville, 2016