Origin of the Beginning
Origin of the Beginning is a series of installations, photographs and videos in which Levi van Veluw draws from his own childhood memories to thematically and narratively develop his oeuvre of self-portraits.Three rooms are covered with tens of thousands of wooden blocks, balls and wooden slats. Each room is constructed as a life-size installation and is reworked in photographs and videos without the use of digital manipulation.
Portrayed in one piece are a desk, a table lamp and a bookcase. The edge of the table is charred and in the video version we see Van Veluw himself, covered from head to toe in wooden blocks, holding a lighter to this piece of furniture. All of these objects including every inch of the floor, walls and ceiling are covered in the same material: 14.000 dark brown wooden blocks. The blocks are produced by the artist from low grade, stained wood and are painstakingly glued, one by one, creating a meticulously crafted and highly aesthetic work.
The works suggest a narrative world behind the portraits. On the one hand these works are a continuation of Van Veluw’s formal approach to self-portraiture, with their preoccupation for materiality, pattern and texture. Yet, at the same time, they are highly personal pieces as well. The repetitive structures seemingly express a ‘horror vacui’ and recall Van Veluw’s youth and his obsessive attempts to gain control over his life by controlling his surroundings. Dimly lit and dark in colour, the overriding tone of these pieces is claustrophobic and sombre, exuding a sense of loneliness.