A fascination for natural phenomena plays an important role in the work of Jannie Regnerus. While living in Mongolia and Japan she experienced cultures which consider elements like the wind, trees etc, as animated subjects; Animism,Shintoism and Shamanism. It is a way of life where people try to life in harmony with nature. This can lead to absurd situations when over a hundred Japanese jump into a ditch all together to search for the annual phenomena of fireflies.
In the 16mm film to Fade (2004) Regnerus writes her best-kept secret, with a brush dipped in a bucket of water, on the streets. The heat of the sun makes the words evaporate within a few minutes. Instead of using ‘fade in, fade out’ video-montage techniques she shows the process in ‘real time’, under natural circumstances. In Colorful silence (2001) Regnerus cuts words out of coloured paper. The words symbolize the sounds of the forest as she hears them on the spot. (the wind going through the leaves etc). She hangs the words in between the trees as if making visible a missing dimension in photography: sound.
In Ingredients for a poem (2004) big commas, made of paper-mache, wash upon the shore. In text, a comma stands for a breathing space, a pause. The washed ashore comma’s could be interpretated as a visualized breathing of the sea, the sighing sound of the breakers. The work is also a comment on the sea as an unfailing inspiration for artists and poets. Regnerus prefers to let the sea speak for itself.
Like in Fanmail (2004) where she lets the rain interfere with her writing. In 1969 Marcel Broodthears made the film le Pluie where he writes a letter while sitting in the rain. The raindrops turn his letter into a drawing. In fact Broodthears takes on the role of mediator, mediator between rain and poetry. Under identical weather circumstances Regnerus returns a letter to her inspirator.
Her most recent work is the film Fall (2004). The film shows autumn leaves being dragged along under water in a fast flowing river. “While sitting on a riverbank I suddenly noticed how the leaves, somewhere between bottom and surface, seemed to keep on falling. They whirl and tumble, just like falling down from a tree. Sometimes a leave seemed in doubt, paused on a rock, before irrevocable being dragged along further. This ongoing struggle of the leaves appeared to me as a human quality”.
During the past year Regnerus wrote a novel based on her experiences while living in Mongolia. (Published by de Wereldbibliotheek, February 2005)
Exhibition: 27/11/04 – 08/01/05
Ellen de Bruijne PROJECTS
1016 LZ Amsterdam