Paku-Paku

24. January 2021 @ 12:02

To the text

For more than two years, I have been working on a new series that includes a transformation of my painting materials ashes, coal, soot and smoke.

In the process, I stumbled across the pop culture icon “Pac-Man” – an “insatiable yellow circle” from one of the first computer and video games in the 1980s. Its name derives from “paku paku”, a Japanese onomatopoeia term that describes a “repeated opening and closing of the mouth”.

One must not forget Pac-Man’s opponents Blinky, Pinky, Inky and Clyde: four ghosts with big round eyes chasing through the arcade labyrinth with the objective of mutual elimination and hunting for points. Pac-Man eats the ghosts or vice versa. Therefore, the concept behind the game is eat or be eaten.

Accordingly, when I think about Pac-Man I also have in mind systems, artificial structures like the free-market economy, the all-consuming capital, Marc Fisher and Jacques Derrida, their cultural analysis of “Hauntology”, of the ghostliness and the question of exiting the loop.

On a theoretical level, much of it docks on to my series “Fantôme Exceptionnel” (fumage with collage, 2017–2020), “Complementary Affairs” (marbled cardboard with transparent graph paper, 2017–2019) and “Ashes to Ashes” (painting 2011–2017).

Technically, I draw on the media of egg tempera and oil on large-format canvases of 150x100cm, 180x120cm, 240x140cm because the ghosts and “paku-pakus” have also become big and dominant in society. Partially placed neon colours underline their artificial nature. The colourful pigment has returned to my paintings in general.

The new series of works is going to be online at the end of 2021.