Nature and science are major inspirations for Mels van Zutphen. What intrigues him is natural phenomena in themselves and the impression they make on us as humans. At the same time, he is interested in fields of science that study and quantify such occurrences.
String theory presents us with as many as 11 dimensions. We try to imagine the universe expanding, or even tearing; we look back into the cosmos until just after the Big Bang; and we are able to send a space probe to land on a comet. Scientists are even looking for a single, elegant formula that encompasses all the laws of nature at once: a Theory of Everything (ToE).
Themes like these are inspiration that feeds into Van Zutphen's work. What intrigues him in science is its complexity, but also the specific scientific idiom in which some disciplines express their concepts. He does not aim to find hard evidence or investigate the truth. He shows that reality is transformed when you change the perspective from which you look at it. By observing, documenting and framing, Van Zutphen seeks to put our perceptions of the world around us to the test. In doing so, he playfully displays the beauty and absurdity of the human drive to explain our place in the cosmos.
Mels van Zutphen (1963, Amsterdam) is a visual artist who lives and works in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. He studied at the Willem de Kooning Academie in Rotterdam and the Jan van Eyck Academie in Maastricht. His work includes film, photography, video and sound installations
Recent shows include: Tokyo Photographic Art Museum (Japan); Verbeke Foundation (Belgium); Stedelijk Museum Breda. Upcoming: Museum Morsbroich, Leverkusen, Germany (dec 2020)