World Fine Art Professionals and their Key-Pieces, 146 - Marc Müller

When you enter Marc Müller's studio, you initially think you are in the workspace of an architect. On the walls large floor plans, at the window a pair of compasses, rulers and black pencils of different hardness. In the middle, on the table are cardboard structures, grid-like, they look like models of housing units for a new district.

The large map on the left side of the wall with the title 'Department of Empiristic Doubt' is ready. It seems to be a city, a city by the sea, on the right arms of a harbor head. You could think that, and Marc Müller thinks that's fine, "that’s up to the viewer". He is now drawing and building his structures for three years.

Incompleteness

He now has five large floor plans and a number of smaller ones. It is not clear to him what it is, it is not primarily a map of a city. When he started it, he saw it as a horror vacui, which he had to fill up  as quickly as possible. But that need to fill it completely disappeared after a while.

Marc Müller: "I start with a line and then a structure. You see a certain logic in the lines and planes. There appears to be a rhythm. I will then work against that, because I do not want too much logic. I do not want a balanced composition. It must continue to surprise me. It has to come loose from an intention." Then he takes his eraser to make things disappear. "The only intention I have at that moment is to suspend." But then he will continue until he has nothing surprising to add. The work is not finished yet. "But then I think: It's good. We leave it at this incompleteness."

The work on the floor plans is intensive. For variety, he makes cardboard constructions, grid-like cardboard structures, in which patterns of the drawings come back. Müller: "I make many different things at once. These structures go the same way as the drawings, I also break things off again, I push parts apart and then build up again. I'm looking for cohesion. I like to make those constructions. They are more ephemeral than a scale model and it takes less time than when I should draw it. "

The Dream Palace

In making his work he wants to guarantee the non-knowing and the doubt, doubt in constructive sense. He came up with the idea of making the floor plans and the buildings after reading a book 'The Dream Palace' by the Albanian author Ismail Kadare. "That is a Kafka-esque story about a project to analyze the dreams of the population in order to prevent any plans for action against the regime. That project is set up and implemented within a ministry. The protagonist in the story comes to work at the ministry and works himself up with this project. The book describes rooms and corridors of a Speer-like building. That story stayed with me. As a result, I started to draw a maze-like map that I then slightly inflated. "

Müller's central theme is in line with the question of the conditio humana. "Where is man. Where does he have his place? I do not want to pin down people, but play with them from different angles. The most important thing for me is that I do not understand it, that it remains a mystery." Müller likes to read philosophical authors: Merleau Ponty, Heidegger ("mainly because of his language"). He is interested in the theories about quantum mechanics from for example the physicists Werner Heisenberg and likes to see popular-scientific documentaries in this area. I also see a book by Michel Houellebecq, 'Possibility of an island'.

"I also like to read Philip Dick. He plays with time. When you read his books you no longer know what time it is, whether it is a dream or not and who is the protagonist. Is it an inebriated state of mind? Is it because of the drugs they take? It is very amusing to read this. I occasionally make notes, sketches, which then remain for a while. After some time I look at it again and then I suddenly start drawing on paper. With a ruler I make stripes, that expands, there is a rhythm and then I will work against it again. "

Mathematical patterns

Müller: All human activity is categorized by science in functions and then quantified. Francis Bacon was already involved in the sixteenth / seventeenth century. In his program of renewal of natural history he wanted to record, categorize and explain everything. I would prefer that questions remain. You do something, you know it works, but nobody knows why. I find that interesting. Hence the title 'Department of Empiristic Doubt'.

There is also a map on the right. He is still working on that now. It looks different with more round shapes. "But you see the same mathematical patterns again underground." On the left wall, however, there are other drawings, of plants, growing up, wilted, they look like sunflowers. Müller: "Sometimes I suddenly start to draw plants. These are moments of impulsiveness that I want to allow. I get comments that people do not understand those plants very well. I have the need to bring those drawings together with the other work. They belong to it as an independent narrative. Plants have something romantic and organic for me. Incidentally, my floor plans also grow organically. "

Experimenting

Müller likes to experiment with materials. I see two smaller works, framed, a beautiful shape made of graphite that fell from the pencil. It is glued with lacquer. For connoisseurs: he likes to use pencil 8B, the Progresso from Kohinor and the 9B from Castell, which is a bit harder. The paper is 240 grams of drawing paper, not special paper.

Marc Müller followed the AKI in Enschede. He was already interested in architecture at that time. "That is the red thread. That has to do with humans. Man needs architecture to survive. When I was at the AKI I was thinking about doing something in architecture. That was called architectural design. For example, I could go to the Academy for Architecture or to the Technical University of Delft, department architecture. But in the end I wanted to keep the autonomous side, so it stayed with the AKI.

He graduated in 1998. He then worked for two years at Atelier Van Lieshout. "A very interesting time to experience." Then he wanted to make his own work again. He received a starting stipend and then a basic stipend from the Fonds BKVB. This allowed him to realize work. He made furniture-like installations, received an assignment in Stadsgalerij Heerlen, now the Glass Palace, participated in the Sonsbeek Stimulation Prize and realized a 'Rook-Arena' (Smoke-Arena) project at the GGZ in Assen.

He received more and more assignments, often from private persons, but the more assignments he received, the more often he was asked to make concessions. "I found that annoying, at a certain point I had had enough of those discussions. During a residence in London, I thought: I stop it for the time being. I'm going back to drawing, which I was already working on at the Academy." And he still does.

How is life as an artist? Müller: "It is not an easy life, but it is pleasant. I am intensively concerned with what interests me. Actually a luxurious life, because I can do what I love. "

Images

1) Archimedean point, 2) Studioshot, 3) Loch, 4) Kopfschläger, 5) Gestell installation view, 6) selection, 7) z.t. plant, 8) Dept. of ontological wellness, 9) studioshot, 10) Hütte, 11) Gestell detail, 12z.t. (doppelspalt), 13) interpretation, 14) studio shot  

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