Em que hei de pensar?
Não sou nada.
Nunca serei nada.
Não posso querer ser nada.
À parte isso, tenho em mim todos os sonhos do mundo.
(I am nothing.
I will never be anything.
I cannot want to be anything.
Apart from this, I have within me all the dreams of the world.)1
Like the speaker of Fernando Pessoa’s Tabacaria, the artist Kris Fierens insists on the negative
choice – he always knows what he doesn’t want, whether or not he can clearly articulate what
that means in terms of what he does. Yet above all – and in light of the foregoing this may seem
paradoxical – Fierens never wants to remain vrijblijvend, literally noncommittal, without
obligation. Art, according to Fierens, is obliged to stake claims in order to succeed, to pretend to
something as to a throne for which there may be many contenders. At first glance, it is a
balancing act between vrijheid and vrijblijvendheid, between freedom that chooses and
cowardice that does not. Between the real reality outside, where there are tobacco shops and
trams and street urchins, and the reality within where all things are endlessly possible because
everything is an illusion anyway.
Saio da janela, sento-me numa cadeira. Em que hei de pensar?
(I turn away from the window, sit down in a chair. What should I think about now?)
text by Irene Schaudies, January 2009
03.01.2012 - 10.02.2012