Diogenes Syndrome – the art of collecting stuff.

Diogenes Syndrome - the art of collecting stuff


The Diogenes Syndrome – living in a barrel full of stuff!

The other day I was talking with an artists friend Andrada about an upcoming exhibition. The idea was to step into the world of people with a Diogenes Syndrome. People who convulsively collect stuff, everything from used beer tins up to their own toenails and worse..

I know a lot of artists (and not only artists) who have the tendency to collect the most crazy stuff. Not because of the financial value but more often because they can’t let go. Probably everybody has that nagging feeling of not daring to throw stuff away because maybe you can use it one day!

I still have some closed boxes in my studio with stuff from my childhood. exercise books, loose playing cards, a couple of marbles etc. The list goes on. The more space you have, the more you fill it up with stuff. George Carlin had a great sketch about this. It’s all so recognisable!!

Sculptures made from materials in decay.

It’s been a while since I made some sculptures. But it’s great fun. My objective was to make a sculpture with the Diogenes Syndrome as a theme. Diogenes the Greek sceptic living in a barrel in Athens.

The sculpture is made out of objects I found in my studio and around the house. Of course there is tons of stuff laying around but it’s the art of combining the right stuff. Although it’s fun to do, it’s not easy. Before you know it you fall into the trap of overdoing it.

The artwork had to be logical, a natural collection of things that had in one way or another a relation with each other. Art is change, and as such I had to change the meaning of the materials I used. But I did not want to give anything a fixed meaning.

The artwork should be a story with an open end. The collected materials should together give an impression, a feeling. Not all feelings can be expressed in words and with this work it’s the same. Bit by bit I build the world and careful I decide what kind of stuff I want to use and how it adds to the total value of the piece.

In a way it’s an emotional puzzle. There is a fine balance. Some combinations go towards aggression others towards crudeness. By adding and subtracting pieces the art work slowly manifest itself.

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