We are in a submarine. We are in a room beneath the floor, we call it a submarine. It's furnished, there are intercepting devices and smoke is smoldering from a iron stove that has feet and arms. Black and white images flicker past - a man by the sea with the wind in his hair, a woman crosses over bridges, she waves. Here we can lay down on our backs and peer through the periscope and look at the world.
In Le Sous-Marin the art duo Lisa Jeannin and Rolf Schuurmans tell the tale of Jeannins father’s fragmentary story of a French submarine captain, her grandfather, by inviting the viewer into the vessel and to embark on a journey into a another reality. With their dream-like world where animation, drama, drawing and sculpture grow into and out of each other, Jeannin/Schuurmans show that reality in fact is an agreement we reached on a particular way of seeing the world - a way we call logical - while the world itself is really something else, something that unfolds far beyond the concept frames.
Jeannin/Schuurmans create their own distinct form of symbolism. Perennial is the turtle, spider, bridge, or as here, the submarine. The submarine is a paradox. It's our fixed-point in life, our protective cocoon. But it is also art as a journey - it is our craft in which we are allowed to travel, an amazing opportunity for excursions in both inner and outer space.
There are no instructions to Jeannin/Schuurmans artistry. There is no manual for interpretation and analysis, no answer book to adjust the experience to. No reality that holds exclusivity. Rather you should enter into their world and with listening eyes and sighted hearing succumb to the need for the language map and compass orientation. We encounter fragments of reality in all its contradictions.
With their art they want us to free ourselves from the distancing of analysis and to let go of the cognitive conducts we usually use for orientation. It may seem illogical, unrealistic or surreal, but one should persevere. What Jeannin/Schuurmans show us is that the world is not the reality – it consists of multiple realities.
Le Sous-Marin is Jeannin/Schuurmans first exhibition at Christian Larsen. Lisa Jeannin is educated at The Art Academy of Malmö (SWE) and The Art Academy of s'Hertogen Bosch (NL) and Rolf Schuurmans at The Art Academy of Tilburg (NL). They have made several exhibitions in Europe and USA.
/ Sara Skoglund