Let us linger on the state of water, as fluid.
Laat ons stilstaan bij de staat van water, als vloeistof.
(1) Barges on the River Maas
Barges flatten the water / till waves / roll aside / from the prow, /
take distance / and break upon the river-bank. //
Reeds move / and dampen the billows. //
On the river / the distance is crossed by foam /
that separates left from right, /
there, where the goal / has been passed. //
With eyes looking ahead / steers the skipper / the vessel /
towards another bend / in the counter current. //
Crawling crosspoint / in going / passed the mill-point.
(poem 2000, photo 2012)
(1) Aken op de Maas
Aken varen water, plat / tot golven, / uit de boeg / opzij rollen, /
afstand nemen / en breken op de wal. //
Het riet beweegt / en dooft de deining. //
Op de rivier / streept schuim de afstand door / scheidt links van rechts, /
daar, waar het doel / is voorbij gevaren. //
Ogen vooruit gericht, / stuurt de schipper / zijn vaartuig /
naar weer een bocht / in de tegenstroom. //
Kruipend kruispunt / in het gaan / voorbij het maalpunt.
(gedicht 2000, foto 2012)
(2) The Face of the stream
“The face of the stream / changed with the seasons . . . now it wore a gentle face”
(from: Morris West – The devil’s advocate)
(Het gezicht van de rivier / veranderde met de seizoenen . . . nu was het aanzicht vriendelijk”)
(uit: Morris West – The devil’s advocate)
(painting / schilderij, 21×29 cm, 2017)
Still, I don’t know / whether to swim / against the current / or to drift along. //
For the time being / I watch what / happens to others.
Nog steeds weet ik niet / of ik tegen de stroom in / moet zwemmen /
of me mee / moet laten drijven. //
Voorlopig kijk ik toe / naar wat anderen overkomt.
(Assemblage-collage, 2016, 30x21x3 cm)
(all texts and artworks by Drager Meurtant, unless stated otherwise)
‘Don’t follow me’
the guide said, and
disappeared around the corner.
An instruction needs
full of doubt
before being left
<Image and text (c) Drager Meurtant, 2017>
Now tell me
“Hello Doctor, / come in and / please be seated.”
(a moment of silence)
“I prefer we get / to business / right away.
Now tell me:
what use / were you / for society?”
Hallo Doctor, / kom binnen / en neem een stoel.
(een moment van stilte)
“Ik kom graag / meteen ter zake.
welk nut had U / voor de maatschappij?”
Wandering in the forest / the frst impression was / to be confronted by obstacles. //
However, at close inspection / the elements had been constructed /
to bridge a gap.
Dwalend door het bos / was de eerste indruk / te stuiten op obstakels. //
Maar, bij nadere inspectie / bleken de elementen te zijn ontworpen /
om een kloof te dichten.
Do not enter
The medium is clear / that of mixed-media. //
The intention, no … /
the aim is to provide / an easy path through the delta /
of my inner meandering.
Ga niet binnen
Het medium is helder / dat van gemengde techniek. //
De bedoeling, nee … /
het doel is het verschaffen / van een makkelijk pad door de delta /
van mijn innerlijke kronkels.
(text and photographs (c) Drager Meurtant, 2017)
Humans, and other animals, perhaps even some trees and plants, create borders to defend oneself, to keep out others, or – as an alternative – to lock (imprison) an opponent or prey.
Walking in the mountains, along old pathways of minimal capacity, I encountered barriers formed by steep rocks, that often forced me to return. At other moments, the physical capacity and lack of endurance within, blocked my way of going.
When examining the meaning, or the effect, of a wall (boundary, barrier or border) encountered on our path, or raised by ourselves as means of confinement or defense, differences become evident, depending upon our position.
In five images and texts, I will illustrate these differences.
(1) Bricks (for instance)
Take bricks, for instance / and put them on top / of one another. // This will separate / two parts. // The one you’re in / and the one you’re not in. // Didn’t realize before / that death was just another wall.
(2) From the outer into the inner world
Although the world / of our neighbours often looks better / than our own / most people will stick where they are. //
Here / is the passage / from the outer world / into the inner world / but it can be reached only / by crawling in between two iron plates.
(3) YOU CANNOT RESTRAIN ME: “No, you can’t “
(related is the following imaginary sensation)
“For a long time / I was locked / in myself / and in the eyes / of other people. //
Until the pressure / became too high / that made me explode”.
(echo from ‘Keefman’, bundle by dutch poet Jan Arends)
(4) Every grain of sand
My feet wear off / on a road / that is not indicated. //
Down to the raw flesh and / the pain tells / there is no end /
other than unexpected / as destined by hazard, /
that is bloodless, and astir.
(c) Drager Meurtant, photos and texts 2014-2017)
In this posting, some contemplations are given (form poem + image, in English and in Dutch)
When I escape through a narrow / cleft, dancing, / the reproach will resonate / that I evade God. // When this poems falls / touches ground, / the earth will not tremble. // Light as a feather / writes my pencil.
Als ik de dans ontspring, / zal het verwijt klinken, dat ik God ontwijk. // Als het gedicht valt, de grond raakt, trilt de aarde niet. // Vederlicht / schrijft m’n pen.
(2) Need of War
Now what / if they want to take this stronghold? // Then there is no other choice / and blood will feed the soil / and our sons and daughters will die / for the great honor / of serving the mighty ME. //
But what, if there ain’t nothing in it? // Then their death will be in vain / and even more to admire.
De noodzaak van oorlog
En wat te doen / als de vijand deze versterking in wil nemen? // Dan is er geen andere keus / en bloed zal de bodem voeden / en onze zonen en dochters zullen sterven / voor de grote eer / de machtige MIJ te dienen. //
Maar wat / als er niets in steekt? // Dan zal hun dood ijdel zijn / en des te meer te vereren.
3. Beyond the earth
Beyond the earth / there was no sense / of black and white. // There was no recollection / and no mirror. // There was only / a void of movement / and lice.
Voorbij de aarde
Voorbij de aarde / was er geen besef / van zwart en wit. // Er was geen herinnering / en geen spiegel. // Er was alleen / een leegte van bewegen / en luizen.
An essay as Drager Meurtant, titled “Assemblages: the entrails explained”, has been published end of 2015 in Axon Journal Issue 9 (on assemblage, free on line access).
In the form of a poem, the essence of creation of assemblage can be formulated as follows:
Elementary pain / fits the precisionist. // When hammer hits thumb, / the outcry / of the artist / becomes the glue / of the assemblage. // And paint / drenches the pieces / into steady oneness.
Assemblage, wood, metal, glass, paint; http://www.meurtant.exto.org (2014, in private collection)
Installations are different.
This artist must take more time to get to the essence of installations. Here are just two examples (first image, then text):
Drone just landed in a meadow
This drone does not spy nor harm / except blades of grass / and only if pushed.
(One unique printed photo on aluminium available at 36 x 28 cm, 2013)
In particular / at the end of day / is the bao strictcontor / subspecies Grohe / at its deadliest. / The bite can come / from the crane-shaped head / and also the circular mails / of the many tails / contain a stealthy poison / that at long stand-still / causes death of veterans. (80 x 40 x 25 cm, 2013)
On some occasions, one comes at a particular place or view, that appears empty, or even dull. Yet, at longer inspection, and at closer look, elements arise, that have ‘content’, or background. At further consideration, connections and interplay become visible, that demonstrate that the place (or view) is far from being empty, and its image fits within the theme “one-hundred-thousand miles away from nothingness.”
Road to emptiness
I looked around the corner / and you can accept my word for it / this road leads nowhere / or atmost, it leads to emptiness.
(images 1, 2 & 3 made during walk in February 2015)
“100,000 miles away from nothingness”. if you type that phrase, and search for it on the world-wide-web, a band by the name of ‘cult to follow’ appears. with a song this is nicely written, but the opposite from what I want to express.
That is, to imagine – by light-writing or photography – the state of nothingness, that was around before. Before we were, before our ancestors were. A state that lasted eons longer than the minutes of our life.
Concrete: can you from time to time make a photograph that has so little noice, sound, surface, that terms like ’emptiness, idleness, nothingness are approximated. If so, keep still…
Black heap and no more
(could talk more than one hour about what’s more)
Whether these are memories / or reflections, / that does not matter. // When frames crumble / or even pillars tall / then both memories and reflections / will rumble and fall.
Imagination helps. Thus, when arriving at a spot where not much is happening, figures may appear, that start talking….
P: “You forgot something.”
Q: “What are you saying?”
P: “You forgot something.”
Q: “That’s what you think.”
passing a demolition site, April 2015
In the street you may find / light and dark,
the first often seen as clear / the second as obscure.
My words point to the opposite,
My words are in vain,
The listener just went around the corner.
Now on the issue “appearance”, the following image and poem:
This is an illusion / not an appearance of live being / nor demon.
Unexpected meetings and illusions / have much in common.