1349 EM Almere
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Gysbert Zijlstra (1978) and Erris Huigens (1978) derive their inspiration from the industrial or urban landscape, in particular the strict functional character of steel structures, scaffolding and construction cranes. The temporary nature of these construction sites and the fact that they are not meant to be aesthetically beautiful fascinates them. The crane as the universal symbol of transforming cities, and the key element of Graphic Surgery’s visual vocabulary.
Glitches. Lines. Black. White. Space. Negative space. The work of Graphic Surgery crosses many boundaries of genre and production method. They work with design, video, public murals, installation, among other things. What stays the same in their practise is the paired back visual language deployed and the predominantly black and white non colour scheme that has become their trademark. They do occasionally work with other pallets, but rarely, if so it is usually the natural colour of the surface they are working with. In their project we see the collision of analogue and digital technology. Photocopies of photocopies, photocopied again and again until they become pure abstract forms. These forms and productions owe as much to the urban environment that surrounds them as they do to the history of modern art and design. De Stijl and Constructivism being clear reference points. Experimental electronic music from the 1990’s is perhaps of equal importance. It’s hard to look at the work of Graphic Surgery and not be reminded of the audio bleeps and baselines of bands such as Autechre. Much like their musical counterparts, what they create is stark and highly refined, industrial, seemingly repetitive but on close examination alterations in the loops and samples emerge. The distortion at the edge of a line becoming a subject in its self. Quadrilaterals. Rhombuses. Trapeziums. All come in and out of focus. The images are cold and detached but still somehow imbued with a sense of humanity, even humour. Like sub-atomic particles vibrating in hyperspace sucked through Albert Einstein’s “Mind of God” the parallelograms and scalenes GS present are both cosmic and physiological. The humour in the work would best be described as pathos. The empty laser tones created by a sad robot whose function is now obsolete. The works are created through complex sets of systems and rigid rules, these rules and systems will often be deliberately broken to a minor degree in order to create further works. Theirs is a European alien language for a type 1 civilisation. Patterns are all around us. From the reflection on the water in front of a tower block to the stitching on a piece of fabric. Like dark matter, the arrangements of form GS produce bend space to form alternate galaxy’s, wormholes, visible in our own dimension. Right Angles. Trapeziums. Parallel lines. Hyperlinks. Isosceles triangles. Architectural landscapes on a computer screen. Architectural landscapes in the landscape. The second world war. What will the world look like a 100 years from now? Type 1 civilisation. The context abstract art exists in changes its meaning. Sorry about Dresden. Technology. The building becomes a frame. Technology can be fun. Technology can do us harm. Sorry about Hiroshima. A triple snare drum kick with flanged out echo that loops. The work of Graphic Surgery is caught in suspended animation, even when it’s moving. Erris Huigens. Gysbert Zijlstra. Born 4 days apart from each other. 22nd and 26th of april 1978.
Cedar Lewisohn 2013