About the Book
Revoking The Gift - a cooperative project from Dirk Jan Jager and Simon Ferdinando.
The duo Jager and Ferdinando have developed a concept in which the artists are performing inside the building, while light and sound produced can be experienced outside.
Inside cold and heavy metal is transformed into light, by welding machines.
In this light the artist strives to make analogue photographs of himself.
It is hell, as a consequence of the intense UV-radiation, extreme temperatures and toxic fumes.
The public is seated on a purpose-built stand.
As darkness begins to fall the building looks totally closed, windows blinded with gold foil.
Then, with the flash of the welding arc, the interior scene is revealed.
A luminescent, naked man, as depicted by Blake and Tiepolo presents himself.
The intense flare creates a shadow play and a physical experience of light.
The male body is central for Jager and Ferdinando.
They show situations of embodiment.
Naked welding is the core of this occasion, the act isolated, producing nothing material.
Creating extreme light is the one and only purpose.
This light is used to create living window silhouettes, like wajang effects of darkness and light.
Revoking The Gift sets old traditions of shadow play in a new light with live gamelan music setting the scene.
Dirk Jan Jager is a performance artist working in a variety of media. He began his career as a painter, and in his performance work he still approaches painting from unusual perspectives. In many of his performances the living surface of the body is defined as a site of intervention. It becomes a blank canvas, yet its surface does not exactly receive, or host, images. Jager alludes to motifs from painting or mythical figures to stage the body, allowing the familiar image to act as a second skin, which in the course of the performance is gradually peeled off, to reveal an anonymous, generic body. A central element in his work is the gesture of erasing identities, and images that support them. Another aspect of his work is the interest in rituals and rites of passage, and transitional states that give birth to a new person, within a performative situation which involves the covering and peeling off the full surface of the body with different materials.