Nicoline Timmer first presented her opera-in-the-making ‘mountain, mountain’ during her solo-exhibition in 2019/2020 at andriesse~eyck gallery. Different stage props, characters and scenic devices, such as draped silken curtains, prophets in the shape of donkey heads, and a set of blue ceramic bowls representing the sound and movement of the ocean, populated the gallery space. Together, they animated a fictional universe that has its very own space-time dimension, logic, and myths.
The idea for this fictional universe took shape while Timmer was staying on a small former military island in the middle of the South Atlantic Ocean, and started with a simple line drawing of two mountains which, together with the ocean and the wind, determined the scenery of the sparsely populated island. The true protagonists of ‘mountain, mountain’ are not the human characters, but elements such as ‘moments’, ‘music’, ‘scenography’, ‘dramaturgic structure’.
The same characters and attributes are now brought to life in the space of her new publication ‘mountain, mountain’ (2022), which includes sketches and graphic scores, notes and behind-the-scenes insights, film-stills, portraits of scenic devices, songs, and a small novella. Sea creatures, spies, shipwrecks, and double rainbows play a part, as well as a sticky Ferrari, sudden feelings and gestures, and an old boxing manual. There is “the music”, sometimes swaying, or forced to sit upright on a folding chair, plus three prophets who graciously step onto the set when their presence is needed.
As the artist writes, ‘the main stage measures 256 x 382 mm’, which is the length and width of the book when folded open. ‘It is a very small setting, but large enough for all the elements to present themselves, interact, find form, disappear.’