Even boven de waterlijn
RVS en messing
h. 60 cm
Johanna Westerdijkplein, Den Haag
52.0674056, 4.3240220050323 View on map
The work of internationally renowned artist Lawrence Weiner is about connecting text and image to form a new whole. His oeuvre consists largely of spatial interventions, performances and text images in which everything revolves around the effect of words and sentences on the context in which they are presented or projected.
The text image "EVEN BOVEN DE WATERLIJN", which Wiener affixed to the Oval façade of the new building of The Hague University of Applied Sciences in 1996, is no exception. The artistic intervention functions as a logo, but at the same time encourages passers-by to associate. The location (the building is surrounded by water on three sides) is combined with the intention of evoking new ideas or authentic thoughts. The words also draw attention to the architecture of the college. With the line of text (+ -) (GIVE OR TAKE), the artist emphasises the room for manoeuvre, uncertain margins and border areas that students face during their education.
With his language images, Weiner thus refers to the identity of the building and its users. He summarises this identity concisely, but however brief and powerful his word pictures are, they always leave enough room for personal interpretation.
Weiner is counted as one of the leading representatives of concept art, a movement in visual art that emerged in the mid-1960s in the United States and continues to influence contemporary visual art today. Artists of this movement considered the idea or concept to be the most important aspect of their art. For them, execution was often a secondary consideration.
However abstract the approach of conceptual art may sound, Weiner manages to appeal to everyone with his sometimes enigmatic text images. By presenting letters as images and, moreover, by attuning the content of the texts to the location, he manages to make any passer-by ponder about possible meanings.