Ultralight – About the show

Hiking across huge sequoia trunks in Kings Canyon National Park, CA

Ultralight – About the show

Text Harmen Liemburg
Written for 2009 UNCC gallery info-sheet

The title of this travelling show is inspired by the world of backpacking, something I love to do myself whenever I can take a break from my work.

Solitude, silence and seeing wild animals at close range are like an antidote to an overstimulated city life which is an important part of my existence as well. Ultralight is about striving to be out in the wilderness with lighter and less equipment. Free from the burdens of a heavy load, the experience of being outdoors is supposed to be even more sublime. This can be achieved by knowledge, adjusting the gear and a change of mentality.

At the moment I see myself as a ‘classic’ backpacker, someone who takes an average of 20 kg of food and supplies up into the mountains. I’m working on being Lightweight, the category in between. Ultralight backpacking is therefore something to strive for in the future. A philosophical and practical ideal that is difficult but certainly not impossible to reach.

Ultralight also refers to the usual light tone of my work, and to the exaggeration of advertising and packaging where I find part of my inpiration. The show itself is flexible, easy to transport, and can be set up in any gallery space.

Just like preparing for a hiking trip, I had to make choices for this show. For the perfectionist in me striving for total completeness that was a hard thing to do. The shipping crate built by Gerlach Art Packers & Shippers now functions as light table, display case and poster. A little over 100 kg. alltogether. I wouldn’t know any other way to ship and present the work in a more simple and straighforward way.

A lot of stuff had to be left at home… My pragmatic part thought that was a blessing: this time – for a change – form does follow function.

January 10th, 2009
, Posted in Shows/Installations, Stories