Swines and sheep (mixed media, 1999)
With ‘Swines and sheep’ Sylvie Zijlmans makes us believe that two large white lamps are eyes that peer around while at the same time she destroys this illusion by periodically switching on the two lamps. By bringing light in the darkness the lamps enable us to see but they also make us visible. The white bulbs are either eyes unable to see anything because of the darkness or they are lamps that bring light but then there are no eyes to benefit from the light and the visibility that comes with it.
When the bulbs appear to be peering eyes they are irresistible when they suddenly switch on they are annoying (and irresistible to moths). The eyes also see something else: now and then you see images of someone chasing animals. It’s the artist herself trying to catch some sheep.
Sylvie zijlmans: “The projection of two eyes on two lamps originated from a place where I wanted to project a pig in trouble, but the space was too light so I decided to put even more light on now and then, and in the end, to project directly into the light as the ultimate consequence of using the coincidence and incorporating the stubbornness of the outside world. Depending on where you stand, the eyes look at you and try to involve you into their awkward situation.”