#1 Hester van Tongerlo – by Roy Russchen

#1 Hester van Tongerlo – AiR Tilburg

Hester van Tongerlo, Autumn Leaves, SEA Foundation 2016
Installation shot Copy Paste, Hester van Tongerlo, 2016


#1 Hester van Tongerlo

Hester van Tongerlo started her residency two weeks ago. In her practice, Hester works with notions of copying and projecting identity and memory. Is it possible to copy an individual identity? And if so, how far can the identity be stretched before it is empty? And if it can be stretched and copied, is it still an individual identity?

The second notion is projecting. What do we see when we look at people in our surroundings? Do we see different individuals or do we project our own memory and experience upon those people and situations? For example we see a mother and two daughters in a mall. We might think they are happy and carefree, but are they really? We don’t know the story behind them, and yet we decide they are happy because we had a good childhood and a good relationship with our mother. We project our memories and experiences onto others in specific situations, faster than you think.

Whilst reading book Situations Matter: Understanding How Context Transforms Your World (2012), by Sam Sommers, Hester asks herself if it is correct to assume that what we think is the truth, really is the truth – the ‘what you see is what you get’-mentality. This publication tries to let you realize that to really understand people, you need to understand their surroundings. People act different in specific situations and they may not be who you assume they are.

Copy Paste Work-in-progress

By copying a photograph of herself, Hester copies her identity. After the first copy, she copied the copy, and so forth. It took 26 copies to totally erase Hester’s resemblance en therefore her identity. In this case identity is not transferable for an infinite amount.

We live in a global, internet-filled world, with easy-access to heaps of information. Whilst browsing the Internet, Hester found pictures on the social media platform Instagram of people photographing their feet in a bed of Autumn leaves, with accompanying texts as “Autumn is definitely here” and, “Sweater weather”. We do not know who the person is, aside from their feet and partial legs. This makes the pictures somewhat anonymous and gender-neutral. Around the world people upload these pictures onto their Instagram profiles and share them with the rest of the world. Instagram is filled with pictures like these, and someone, somewhere started posting the very first of these pictures.

We all share our feet in Autumn, to say that we all experience the same thing. We copy each other’s behaviour to say that we are the same, but are we really? What does this copying say about us and our (individual) identity? At this moment, Hester is creating a compilation of the collected ‘feet in Autumn leaves’ pictures.


Read more about Hester’s residency – Work in Progress #2

Copy Paste by Hester van Tongerlo
Dates: 11 December – 18 December 2016
Opening reception & book launch 11 December 2016,  3 – 5 pm

Discursive Programme
Screening #1 Like someone in love – French-Japanese drama. The final film written and directed by Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami
Screening #2 An evening of artist films – Selected artist video’s by Roy Russchen & Riet van Gerven

Artist’s book
Copy Paste by Hester van Tongerlo
Edition 20, signed and numbered
Available in our shop and during the book launch at the venue
Euro 15,00