Waiting is in fact one of the most important moments in life. We wait for the birth of a child, we wait for our death, we wait for a lover, for happiness, we wait for grief to pass. It’s a metaphor for a concentration on the intensity of life. We have forgotten what it is to wait, while what we should learn is in fact to experience this time. Waiting gives us the ability to reflect, to consider and to do nothing.
Le doit à la paresse.
Erwin Olaf’s new work is about the impossibility to do this in present times. We have forgotten how to wait, always online, always something to read, always impatient. Through the black and white photographs and installation we are absorbed by and immersed in waiting. Olaf touches upon the ultimate concentration of the Zen master and his pupil. You can do something, but you can do nothing.
The installation is comprised of a triangular construction, in which two screens are focused on a woman. There is a beauty in this installation, surrounded in a ticking music track that is synchronized with the image, and indirectly with our heartbeat. It requires the viewer to be concentrated and, in 50 minutes, to become one with this woman, who is waiting in the hyper concentrated image that only Olaf can evoke in such a perfect way. The sublime of waiting.
Erwin Olaf was born in 1959. In 2011 he received the 2011 prestigious Johannes Vermeer Prize and in en 2013 he designed the Dutch euro coin. Solo and group exhibition include the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Annenberg Space for Photography, Los Angeles, California; Bilbao Art Centre, Bilbao, Spain; Groninger Museum, Groningen; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Toronto, Canada; MonteVideo, Amsterdam; Modern Art Gallery of Bologna, Bologna, Italy; Museum of Modern Art, Moscow, Russia; Photo Museum Den Haag, The Hague; Photo Museum Antwerp, Belgium; Institut Néerlandais, Paris, France; Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.