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The Outcome

The Outcome 2001

Solid casted aluminum, painted.
1 Infinity sign 2.10 meters wide, 80 cm high, fuse thickness/diameter 12 cm.
1 Matchlock musket 2.10 meters wide, 70 cm high, volume (thickest part) 25cm.
1 Smoke Plume 1.50 meters wide, 2.10 meters high, 80 cm deep.
2 fuses – one piece of 5 meters, 1 piece of 7 meters, diameter 12 cm.

This image shows a lit fuse with a plume of smoke that reaches past the buildings as if it wants to transcend all earthly noise. The 12-meter-long meandering fuse is interrupted by an infinity sign, which floats between the fuses. On top of the infinity sign rests a man-sized matchlock musket (from 1611, used in the 80 years’ war). The gun was decommissioned by bending it into an interrupted figure-eight. The infinity sign is perpendicular to the gun; the infinite opposing the finite. The ‘Infinite’ decides, it puts an end to the course of events, it interrupts and gives them a new beginning again.

The ‘Infinite’ let himself be known during the battles between the Rebels and the Spaniards during the 80-year war. Alva used his son Don Frederick in the fight. He wanted to advance towards Amsterdam and invade along the Diemerdijk. On the Zuiderzee a Rebel fleet lay in wait, but it ships were stuck in the ice due to heavy frost and easy prey for Alva. However, a violent storm broke the ice and the Rebel fleet had the opportunity to escape! When Don Frederick wanted to pursue the fleet, the wind changed course so his window of opportunity was gone. Admiral Brandt of the Rebels saw it “as a great, honorable and miraculous act of God who used his weapons of wind and water to enforce the just cause” (see text). The fleet of the Rebels which was spared gave Alva in the following summer his first defeat.

There is an influence that can change the circumstances of the people, but also the course of a war in such a way that the faithful Dutch eventually regained their land and peace and put an end to the Spanish domination. The musket which was disabled by bending its barrel symbolizes the end of the war; the end of violence. The loop in the barrel symbolizes the “infinite”, God who intervenes. The bended barrel almost adopts the shape of an infinity sign. However, the end of the barrel breaks the sign and points upwards and signifies that it has now fired its last shot.

Both war and peace are temporary. Thus the agony of man is a continual change of an inner struggle of war and peace. I believe in an influence that can change the conditions of man through which peace can be won again.

With this piece of art I have tried to reveal my desire and believe that God continues to help us in the struggle for freedom and justice. Hence my title ” The Outcome,” which refers to the completion of all these complications.

Famke van Wijk