Origin of the Beginning is a series of installations, photographs and videos in which Levi van Veluw draws from his own childhood memories to thematically and narratively develop his oeuvre of self-portraits. Three rooms are covered with tens of thousands of wooden blocks, balls and wooden slats.
Each room is constructed as a life-size installation and is reworked in photographs and videos without the use of digital manipulation. Portrayed in one piece are a desk, a table lamp and a bookcase. The edge of the table is charred and in the video version we see Van Veluw himself, covered from head to toe in wooden blocks, holding a lighter to this piece of furniture. The works suggest a narrative world behind the portraits.
On the one hand these works are a continuation of Van Veluw’s formal approach to self-portraiture, with their preoccupation for materiality, pattern and texture. Yet, at the same time, they are highly personal pieces as well.
The repetitive structures seemingly express a ‘horror vacui’ and recall Van Veluw’s youth and his obsessive attempts to gain control over his life by controlling his surroundings. Dimly lit and dark in colour, the overriding tone of these pieces is claustrophobic and sombre, exuding a sense of loneliness.
The book Origin of the Beginning offers a survey of all the photographs, drawings, installations, sculptures and videos produced by Levi van Veluw from 2006 to 2013. This extraordinary book is an artwork in itself.
Besides beautiful artwork reproductions, the publication contains a special handmade wooden block, which has been placed inside a cut-out square hole that perforates the book. Visible from the front cover through the whole publication, this wooden element refers to a number of Van Veluw’s art works and can be considered an essential foundation on which his work is built.
The series of works entitled Origin of the Beginning comprises photographs, drawings, installations, sculptures and videos in which the artist draws on memories from his own childhood to develop his own thematic and narrative brand of self-portraiture.
These neatly structured works refer to his obsessive attempts to gain control of his life. The daily struggle to regulate this chaos is the central theme of this series and is also Van Veluw’s reality. His work is compelling, melancholic and above all visually stunning.
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