Going to the heart of the centre of the gardens of delights

Jeffrey Shaw

Solo exhibition

26 July – 30 August 1986
Vleeshal (Map)

Curator: Anton van Gemert

In the completely darkened Vleeshal, images obtained through large-scale video projection, and the associated music and text fragments are sent by a computer. The visitor, always only one visitor at a time, walks through the center of the hall over a path marked with poles and blue lights. During their walk to the projection screen suspended in the hallway he passes seven zones. The boundary between each zone is marked by two wicks. Each border passage causes gradual change in the screen image and sound from the speakers; each change takes about 20 seconds.

The image changes on the screen consist of the gradual transition of an image derived from the Japanese Empire Oshima film l'Empire des Sens, and detailed illustrations of Hieronymus Bosch's The Garden of Lust painting. Each set in different country, times and spoken texts. The walk back to the starting point; An opening between two piercing gates, behind which two T.V. Monitors are set up, whose symbolism speaks for themselves, causes the same changes as are on their way now, but in reverse order.

Within the work of Shaw, it is almost always a matter of reviving the power of images, symbols, and characters of the past, using advanced state-of-the-art technology. The installation in the Vleeshal can be seen as a hopeful poetic metaphor for the journey that is life, now with eroticism as a focus and with clear references to the work of, among others, Yves Klein, Oshima and Bosch.
The accompanying catalogue contains documentation about this installation and three other important projects within Jeffrey Shaw's work. The text, based on two recent interviews by Jan Middendorp and Antje von Gaevenitz, goes deeper into the ideas and motives within his work.