Michael Van Den Abeele - Technical without taboo

Commisioned text + display
150 €

Edition commissioned by Frans Masereel Centrum, Kasterlee (BE)


MOREpublishers was invited to curate an edition, with Frans Masereel Centrum’s residents. 7 artists (Marianna Christofides, David Farrar, Carla Scott Fullerton, Katrin Kamrau, Tom Liekens, Yiannis Papadopoulos and Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven) made a woodblock print in edition of 50 + 24 AP. The prints are accompanied by a text written by Michael Van den Abeele  and an artist’s designed display.


To feel bereft of qualities you’ve never really owned is either devastatingly traumatising or extremely liberating. It’s a question of which you’d choose, thought the woodblock printing process. As for the artists, they’ll still be artists as I always was and will be the woodblock printing process. Having reached an admirable age, I’m happy to have made it this far and even happier of having embraced laser-cutting as a digitally guided milling method. It’s a leap into the technical present but it also holds the promise of a new relay for my three thousand year old signal. And I’m curious as to what its intonation and temperament will be. I feel giddy and nervous on this eerie intersection of a new level of technicality on the one hand and a new dimension of obsoleteness on the other. It feels like I’m defying both novelty and tradition. Since quite some time now I’m no longer truly defined by my reproductive quality: it’s still charming, I’ll admit, and of course it was my primary purpose, my reason and reasoning. Nowadays, it’s hardly my core business in the face of most of the other reproductive techniques available. And neither will I be defined by the texture of wood-nerve, as the recycling and re-composites of wood have flattened out all those seemingly rich and random structures. I won’t be characterised by my demand for oblique thinking in negative design: this is now digitally surpassed and resolved. But best of all: I shall no longer be defined by the hard-to-handle and resilient cutting and milling and its un-intentioned expressiveness that is so often welcomed by artists as compensation for their lack of proper character. All in all, it may very well be that I’ll no longer have an actual identity, now that I’ve been relieved of so many qualities. But as I mentioned earlier; to be bereft of a quality often makes you realise you’ve never really owned this quality: that it was either an illusion, or somebody else’s fantasy projected onto you. And thruth be told, it’s never so much the case that we possess a quality rather than that it’s the quality that possesses us: granting us the illusion of identity or a reason for existence. But now, to be relieved of all qualities, I may very well find myself free and undefined: technical without taboo. So I'll adopt the formalist’s motto as my mantra: take care of syntax and the semantics will take care of itself, because I am and always will be the woodblock printing process.

No more reason to feel blue
Now I am Technical
Without Taboo

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