The Crying Game
The exhibition exposes the civilization that allows people to live their lives without thinking about or questioning the horrors that lie a step or two away from the lives that most of us live. Throughout 30 etchings by Marcelle Hanselaar we get a glance to the world of women and girls as war victims.
A work of art can memorialize a moment in time that one might wish to forger, and provoke the viewer to choose – look away or keep looking.
The Crying Game's main subject matter concerns what lies beneath the shiny veneer of civilization that allows people to live their lives without thinking about or questioning the horrors that lie a step or two away from the lives that most of us live.
For Marcelle Hanselaar, an artist's responsibility is to make people think and reflect. More selfishly, depicting uncomfortable aspects of the world that we live in also act as a safety valve – "self-reflection or you burst".
Increasingly uncompromising images of societal breakdown and degradation appear on TV and in newspapers. Yet there is always the danger that these images translate as ephemeral spectacles, their power diluted by information overload.
Artworks are more stubborn. They persist. They endure.
A print can multiply and immortalize or memorialize a moment in time that one might wish to forget. It can also provoke a viewer to choose – look away or keep looking.
As she has often expressed herself, Francisco Goya and Otto Dix are Marcelle's greatest print influences, for their mastery of their medium, fearless experimentation and shared subject matter. Following Dix's 'Der Krieg' and Goya's 'Disasters of War', The Crying Game builds up intensity through the accumulation of disparate images, focusing on anonymous individuals and eschewing overt political messages in favor of depicting the horrors. Looking back on these series, Marcelle has borrowed where it suits: devastating titles and seductive use of aquatint from Goya; corrosive acid bite and a commanding array of etching techniques from Dix. Her nearest contemporary in form and content is William Kentridge, a master of many print techniques, a similarly fearless experimenter in the print studio and a fellow traveler in pinpointing injustice through his artwork.