Created with Sketch.
Created with Sketch.

Against Interpretation

The erotic of things

Onomatopee 58

The information overload races on; in public space it’s more like overkill. Whatspace wants to draw from our relationship to information in public space – to offer us the consecutive possibilities of confrontation, tranquillity and renewed concentration – and they want to do so experimentally, through the power of abstract art. Not only do they want to make this power manifest, they also want to grasp hold of it.

Through approaching information exchange experimentally, as an intensely loaded erotics which manifests in and through abstract art, this project becomes fascinating – both for people interested in the powers of abstraction and for those who wish to sharpen their perception of things as they are.

‘Interpretation is the revenge of the intellect (the critic) upon art’
states the famous North American writer, critic and essayist, Susan Sontag, in the essay ‘Against Interpretation’. She suggests that ‘we must learn to see more, to hear more, to feel more’. To achieve a more sensitive reading of the work requires a good listener. Sontag therefore makes the plea, ‘in place of a hermeneutics we need an erotics of art.’

‘Abstraction is the opposite of information’
states the critic/observer Jan Verwoert. Abstraction can be a way to return to the image, whereby the formal aspects of the image determine its content and its power. This experiment is being carried out by artists who use abstraction in a contemporary fashion. They use tradition freely, but also take on pop culture – doing so self-consciously, and aiming, through abstraction, to exude their own erotics.

Whatspace marks out the underlying game experimentally, as an extensive international poster project in Tilburg’s public space as well as in Onomatopee’s exhibition space. The starting point here is, taking things as they are, in a sensual, sensory manner, consequently freeing the image of the overload of information which adheres to it and which causes the image itself, as carrier of information, to become invisible. Fourteen (inter)national artists have been invited to develop work in the format of a poster especially for this exhibition. Not only does this elicit questions about the role and function of the media in respect to the use of public space, it also challenges the viewer, when confronted with the work, to concentrate fully on the significance of this information.


with: Koen Delaere (NL), Cheryl Donegan (USA), Harm van den Dorpel (NL), Wade Guyton (USA), Bas van den Hurk (NL), Sandra Kranich (GER), Alexandra Leykauf (GER), Tom Meacham (USA), Rory Pilgrim (UK), Remco Torenbosch (NL), Joelle Tuerlinckx (B), Evi Vingerling(NL), Wendy White (USA), Jens Wolf (GER)

Presentation #1
The streets of Tilburg
Tilburg street

Opening Thursday April 26, 17.00
Duration: Ongoing as long as the posters are fine

Presentation #2
Onomatopee Projects
open: 9 June – 15 July



Onomatopee 58, Whatspace, 2012

Against Interpretation

€ 8

add to cart

Against Interpretation, a project that builds upon abstract relations in the public domain is initiated by Whatspace in collaboration with Onomatopee

Curator: Whatspace (after an idea by Koen Delaere)
Production:Whatspace, Onomatopee
Editors: Freek Lomme and Whatspace
Contributing writers: Freek Lomme and Wendy White
Graphic design: Remco Torenbosch
Font: Neizeit S LT Book, designed by Linotype in 1966

Peter Cox, Fieke van Berkom, Marisa Goedhart, Whatspace, Bernard Boyer, Wendy White, Adidas Inc, Alain Resnais, Freud Museum London, British Museum London


150 mm x 210 mm / 5.90 x 8.26 inch portrait
32 pages + 6 page fold-out
Whatspace and Freek Lomme
Freek Lomme and Wendy White
Remco Torenbosch
On 300 gr recycled paper cover with 170 gr recycled paper interior
full color
Photography in the book
Peter Cox
more specs