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Perplexing and mysterious dreamlike experience


Martha Verschaffel

Two young women climb an endless tree and occasionally talk about nothing. A woman tries to find her way across an imposing and desolate landscape. In an old-fashioned video game, a pixeled dog struggles through almost empty levels. An older woman waits, uneasy and impatient, for someone who ought to have arrived long ago. In ‘Passages’ Verschaffel interweaves these four stories. Are there any connections between them? Is there a single main narrative? Or is that just the interpretation you favour as a reader?

Beautiful minimalism. Visual tai chi
De Standaard

‘Passages’, drawn using only a graphite pencil, graphite powder and an eraser, does not offer any ready-made answers. It doesn’t even offer any ready-made questions. But it does invite us to slow down and be receptive to an illogic that is recognizable from dreams. Verschaffel challenges the reader to stop looking for explanations and instead to be carried along by the repetition and the unusual compositions as an exercise in inscrutability. ‘Passages’ demands slow, deep looking.

A feeling and experience of which the essence resonates long after specific interpretations have evaporated.
A precarious balance between that which is unavoidable and that which escapes us.