The Journey (1983)

Object for travelling exhibition "Grenzeloze inhoud", Dutch Art Foundation, Amsterdam (NL)

Art can be a method of approaching the unconscious. A suitcase as a self-portrait, luggage as a result of what was taken back from a journey to the innermost.
For Klaus Boegel´s project entitled "Tigermann" (1979-1981), the reserve, a metaphor for the unconscious, played a major role: a dark, sometimes almost impenetrable area in which secret thoughts, feelings and passions are kept hidden; "My reserve is the place of my hidden dreams" (Tigermann). Boegel´s Work can be typecast as an attempt to go deeper and deeper into the reserve, into oneself.
Boegel´s The original suggestion for this exhibition was to fill the suitcase with colour pigment in the colours of the German or Dutch flag, which should overlap diagonally. On half of the diagonal line, so the plan, a gold-colored square should be fastened; with a Polaroid photo of the artist. Two gold-coloured plates in the hand cross. Just above the intersection of the panels appears Boegel´s face, painted in the colors of the Dutch flag. He has a small paper flag clamped between his teeth, in the German colours.
The title of this proposal, cross-border commuter, means something like "someone who works on the other side of the border", and in a more general sense: "someone who crosses borders". The first translation fits to Boegel´s personal, most recent past: 1975 he came from West Germany to the Netherlands, since then he lives and works here.
His current work is significantly influenced by the interaction between his German past and his current stay in the Netherlands. But the second translation of the word cross-border commuter also fits Boegel´s Person and work: the artist who is always "on the road", crossing borders, going further and further, but whose paths will always be determined by his cultural background.
It took about five months between the submission of this proposal and the delivery of the suitcase. The original proposal did not go far enough, remained too anecdotal, and Boegel continued his journey.
The final contents of his case consist of black, red and gold pigment, in a thick layer on the bottom of the case and in a thin veil on the walls. On the bottom of the pigment rests a small, welded, heavy suitcase.
Statement of the artist: "In the first transparent, new plastic case, quickly styled and suggesting movement, the contours of another case stand out: opaque, heavy, static, matt shining, its content in welded iron withdrawing from view. It seems as if he stops the movement, is held in a coagulated wave movement, are the colours random: black, red, gold or do they mean something? It seems as if the suitcase is old, as if it has always stood there... Which suitcase will be taken on the trip? Is it the new or the old suitcase, movement or standstill, change or repetition? What's in the iron case? A piece of personal history...the heritage of ancestors...a mission?"
(Evelyn Beer)

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