Emmanuel Van Der Auwera

Cabinet d'affects - Installation - 2010

présentée dans le cadre de l'exposition Panorama 12


The professor gets up, comes round from his desk with his arms firmly folded in his back, turns round to face me. "Do you know that your brain sees the expression of a smile well before recognising the features of a human face? No need to explain that all this is well before your conscience comes into play; practically 5 milliseconds earlier. Our reactions are predetermined, do you see? Oh, by ourselves of course; but before "we" can see them, we have already operated 80% of the choice, checked it, called on experience, defined strategies; only finally then we open the road as a last resort. As I often say, we wouldn't lose much in losing our conscience.

  • You forget that X... puts your point of view into perspective, objects the philosopher, with notably the paradox of the nude woman. – For sure, but we remain, nevertheless, animals" The professor told me there were six emotions likely to be mapped: "Joy, disgust, fear, anger, desire and sadness". The professor Tell me again what you hope to obtain The artist To map the activation of human emotions (mine for example), using nuclear magnetic resonance imagery, in order to make objects in volume – You realise that these objects won't represent anything, will be scientifically inadmissible? – Yes, except that their apparent abstraction and the fact that they be scientifically inadmissible doesn't mean that they don't represent anything. On the shirt of delicate cloth hung a tie with copper reflections and the Louis Vuitton logo. A reminiscence. Efficient like the "S" of Superman, I thought whilst emphasising my "scientifically inadmissible". – The machine proceeds in layers; and it is in layers that the second machine reconstitutes the data of the first until a clot of black matter is obtained. An objective equivalent, if any, of the recorded phenomena. The philosopher gets up, the professor glances at him and knots his fingers in a large ball facing me. The professor What exactly is your artistic intention in this project? The artist I choose the size and colour and way it is displayed – You are not afraid that your public will be surprised with these unintelligable objects? A stray glance followed by my almost intangible thoughts – No I imagine the MRI sarcophagus and its mechanised stretcher But already the page turns white again and it is now only the rays of the lamp that people my imagination. E.V.A.

Emmanuel Van Der Auwera


Le Fresnoy - Studio national des arts contemporains, Tourcoing