Signs of the time
"Looking at art is looking at the movement of society."
- Willem Sandberg (Dutch curator of the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam)
In his series "Signs of the Time 'Corné Quartel examines the relationship between meaning and context. The chosen form, a derivative of an advertising sign, symbolizes contemporary life and implies to convey an important message. The sign is an icon for the commercialization of the public domain, a marker of our zeitgeist. However, in the work of Quartel, oppposed to an advertisement, the frame remains empty. The message in this case is Light, in a window that is inviting silence and reflection. He alternately shows 'emptiness' in the context of an urban environment or the commercial icon in the context of nature. In both cases, the object is alienating. To Quartel it is reflecting on these times in which the spiritual and the material are at odds. The photographs of mainly temporary installations result from a collaboration with Dutch nature reserve organisations 'Het Gelders Landschap' and ' Staatsbosbeheer' and are studies for works in the public domain.
-- Hester Jenkings,
Art Historian, Museum Drachten