Vincent Verhoef

1982, Drachten, the Netherlands


Some people on my flight opted for a service called speedy boarding. I imagine some of them also enjoyed a dedicated bag drop desk and fast security check. On board, some drinks of choice are, clipper tea, segafredo coffee and coca cola. My choice is segafredo coffee, the inflight coffee solution on easyjet aircrafts. An hour later the plane touches down in Lanzarote, one of the Canary Islands.

Sometimes I imagine my own disintegration. If my cognitive abilities fail to transform some thoughts and things into other matter, or trap them in a sort of agreeable subconscious state, I feel they could crush me. Even when I am lying on a rock somewhere in the Atlantic drinking a cerveza. As if the pressure from the depths of the ocean, or from some foreign planet, could suddenly come over me.

I film myself sweeping the terrace of my house in Athens. I arrange books on the desk of my studio at the Jan van Eyck Academy. I treat paint as if I am preparing a cocktail. I construct a modernist paravent to split the smdio in two. I dedicate a neonlight to an emperor known as Julian the Apostate.

I am still reading Michel Foucault. While he was developing his concept of the episteme, he thought that he was simultaneously witnessing the end of the modern era. The end of modernity never seems to fully happen. My artistic practice is indebted to its bottomless collapse.

Fany Howe writes: ‘I have to say I never got over my shock that there is a world and it is living.’

The logo of my favorite supermarket on the island is the head of a dinosaur with its tongue hanging from its mouth. I consider this as something quite exotic. There are three variations of this store. They differ in size. Their names are hiperdino, superdino and hiperdino express.

I will arrange all my affairs properly at some point, my career as an artist, my house, my taxes, my insurance policies, my income, my expenses, my family, et cetera. All arranged professionally like a flawless engineered machine, ticking away.

I imagine Paul of Thebes in the desert. Not leaving a cave for forty years. I imagine an animal bringing me food once in a while. In a painting by Velazquez I see a crow coming down with a piece of bread in its beak. The land would be a bit like Lanzarote, arid and hermetic. A volcanic desert island, so different from my permanent place of residence, makes me forget day-to-day operations and tax declarations.