I SUPPORT YOU – YOU SUPPORT ME is a linguistic and performative gesture. It consists of a black and white knitted scarf with text on both sides. The scarf supports the person carrying it, while at the same time speaks to its surroundings. In multiple directions, relations appear between various entities that encounter each other.
For the exhibition SUPPORT SPACE, fifty scarves went on a journey. Sealed in self-made, sewn-shut envelopes, they were delivered by racing bike or by post to destinations in the Netherlands and beyond. Those who order a scarf become first receiver, then giver. Because you can’t reserve the scarf for yourself; the intention is to pass it onto someone you want to show support. The personal delivery of the scarf turns out to be valuable gesture. For many givers, the scarf is what leads them to reach out to the recipient – they usually haven’t seen each other in a while. In this way, the scarf is a way of experiencing togetherness in times of COVID-19.
As an artist I remain at a distance in this process, so as not to stand in the way of the scarf’s intimate handover. My request to the giver was to send me a photo of the handover; to document scarf’s journey. I have received many photos and personal stories from givers and receivers in all manner of unique locations. Reasons why people want to support the person in question and messages from givers, who have seen how much impact the gift has had on the receiver. Deep conversations therefore unfold between the giver and the receiver, as well as between the giver and the artist. For me this signifies a new, profound kind of relationship to those who experience my artworks. Normally, these people come to an exhibition. Now, the artwork comes, quite literally, to their post box, home and life.