As part of a special exhibition, titled
“Sometimes I look for contrasts, and sometimes I try to insert the material very nicely into the space as if it has always been there,” Drummen tells My Modern Met. “Usually it is a combination of both, so in some places, it clashes and in other places, it is in harmony with the space. It is always a whole process that takes several days. Some decisions I make intuitively and others very thoughtfully and decisively. It is always a mix and a big adventure.”
Starting without any drawing or plan made beforehand, Drummen and her team placed each sparkling rhinestone by hand, allowing them to naturally respond to the color,
“When viewing a work,” Drummen continues, “the viewer encounters two opposing forces: On the one hand, the brilliance, color, and the rhythm plunge a viewer into a visually intoxicating world, which seems to want to kidnap the eyes to a paradise. On the other hand, the specific locations, the different points of view, the concrete material, and the great contrasts lead the viewer back to their own perception, so that full consciousness about what is intoxicating, occurs. Within the status quo of the current art discourse, beauty and intoxication are often seen as meaningless. In my work, however, I continue to investigate it.”
The magnificent and dizzying array of colors, patterns, and textures that reveal themselves in Drummen’s work are often inspired by the torrent of information we are constantly bombarded with as a society in today’s world. Despite the beauty of such unparalleled access to human knowledge, this phenomenon most often leads to confusion and uncertainty rather than a common network of widely shared truths. The resulting states of polarization and radicalization that routinely reveal themselves in the world are simultaneously alarming and inspiring to the artist.
“I keep asking myself how can I, as an artist, mediate between the need for an intimate sensory experience and the ambition to engage with the enormity of the world?” Drummen shares. “Some realities are so urgent at this moment, that I want to testify to them in my work. I also wonder: can a work of art be insanely disgusting and dazzlingly beautiful at the same time, like a festering wound glistening beautifully in the sunlight?”
Susan Drummen continues to explore these concepts in each of her mesmerizing art installations. Her work will continue to be on display as part of Trailblazers until October 3. To keep up with the artist’s latest projects, you can visit her
Dutch artist Suzan Drummen installed a dazzling carpet of jewels and gemstones in the Royal Palace Amsterdam.
The fluorescent colors of the bejeweled art installation are meant to clash with the more sober colors of the regal salon.