Areca Catechu L.
(Maastricht / Boschstraat 34)
Juul Kraijer (1970, the Netherlands) is renowned for her refined painting of women’s bodies, but her oeuvre comprises sculptures, photos and videos too. In her work Kraijer is trying to establish some cross-fertilization between seeming binary oppositions such as nature and culture, exterior and interior. Areca Catechu L. is a tableau vivant of an areca palm tree plantation. The slender, straight trunks of the palm trees are covered with patches made of multicoloured fungi. They make up an abstract painting that sways magically in the wind and transforms in the changing light. The video has no sound track and the camera movements are so basic and neutral as is possible without zooming in and by using a steady camera. Due to the registering character the work at first resembles a photo or abstract painting. The attentive observer does notice that the image very subtly and magically moves thanks to the wind and the changing light. The process illustrates Kraijer’s view of the beauty of borders and restrictions: “The world is wonderful when we remove the filter of rationality.”