A field in the morning, the sun rises, a veil of morning mist drifts over the field, and in the middle of the pasture the contour of a vertically erected fence slowly becomes visible. Why is it stood there? Who put it there? And for what purpose? Is it a ladder? – that would be even more peculiar, because why would someone place a ladder in the middle of a field? The purpose of a ladder is to go from the bottom to the top, or vice versa, and not to stand unsupported in the middle of a plane with no further reason for being there. Or is this the reasoning we would like to attach to it? A ladder to climb up, from earth into heaven: Jacob’s ladder, or at least the start of it.


In her work, Elise Schouman is looking for the signification of such like scenes. Embroiled images that ask, so to speak, for interpretation, but within which no absolute statement is made. They are images with an enigmatic tension: a woman lying in the road somewhere, forlorn and vulnerable; a tree in which – if you look carefully – someone is hanging upside down. They are images in which questions are asked that the viewer would like to see answered, but for which they above all must reflect upon for themselves.


Elise Schouman searches for an instruction manual, but doesn’t offer one. To help you further there’s an erected ladder at the ready in the pasture. But you’ll have to climb it yourself.




Anthon Fasel


Elise Schouman