Bright pink nylon filled with PU Foam is wrapped around long, thin reinforcing rods. The rods hang from the ceiling and on the walls of the high, narrow and confined space. At one end of the elongated space a rod that hangs more or less vertically in the middle, is thickly enveloped by a dense mass of intertwined sausage – or worm –shapes which escape from the entanglement here and there, rise up or grope in the air. On the other side is a protruding network of gracefully knotted reinforced rods, also covered with pink tendrils. The specific formal idiom of these sculptures is the direct result of the combination and interactions of the three materials – hand-pleated iron rods; pieces of nylon sewn together; the foam that has been sprayed into the sewn tube-shaped covers. Here and there the foam has forced its way through the pores of the nylon fabric. Where the foam has stretched the material the yellow of the foam inside has mixed with the pink of the fabric that envelops it which, in combination with the dazzling white fluorescent light – which Van San has specially changed – creates vibrating light effects. The sculptures of Tamara Van San are ‘coagulations’.
They comprise innumerable similar, or then again very diverse, objects, materials and textures. They are never devised from a central point, plan or idea that imposes a certain order but acquire often unseen shapes during the creative process itself. At certain points we are aware of the artist and then again of the material. Van San’s creations always appear to be on the verge of growing and moving, shrinking or swelling, of losing an appendage or in fact acquiring a new bump. We could therefore describe these sculptures as being completely anti-classical. After all, the classical shape is characterised by a unity and purity that allows no addition or omission and aspires to eternity. In the classical ideal of beauty, within the powerful field of geometry ‘Beauty’, ‘Good’ and ‘Truth’ are inextricably bound up together. Compared to this the eruptions of shape, colour, material and texture in Tamara Van San’s art present themselves as an extraordinarily powerful and radical alternative. The creation of new shapes is never ingenuous. Under the seemingly bright colourful and cheerful shapes something disturbing is brewing. Hans Theys has described precisely what this disturbing thing is. In their unbridled formal richness of the radical and fundamentally elusive, irreducible or unclassifiable ‘contingency’ – plurality and coincidence - Tamara Van San’s sculptures demonstrate reality.More about Tamara Van San