Just like an author, your preparatory work mainly consists of writing and deleting.
‘And that exclusively happens in my note- books. This is a continuous process of writing down all of my thoughts. I combine this with sculptural ideas in my notebooks. By no means all of these drawings are suitable for publication. I get completely stuck with most of them. I consider most of them to be incomplete experiments with language and shapes. I sometimes use a particular one, because I consider it to be very special. This will subsequently be given the status of be- ing an independent, completed work of art.’
You have stated the American action painter Jackson Pollock is one of your major influences. So can we consider your work as ‘action writing’?
‘Pollock was my hero during my time at the art academy. When I attentively watched a documentary about Pollock, I noticed he actually writes, rather than paints, with paint. He doesn’t use a brush, but a stick with dripping paint. His movements are not like other painters too, but more like those of a writer. His canvas isn’t even positioned vertically, but horizontally like a piece of paper lying down. I see an abstract way of writing in his work. Just like me.’
You sometimes compare your own sculptures and drawings with ‘potential literature’.
‘Oulipo is an abbreviation of ‘Ouvroir de Litérature Potentielle’. This was a French movement around the writer George Perec, who used an experimental, associative writing technique. I do similar language experiments in my notebooks. My work is formally about language. I don’t rely on what people feel when they look at my work, but instead on what they think. Language is an instrument for expressing feelings. But you definitely need your wits about you when you work on decoding the characters. My art is therefore mainly decoded using ratio.’