My Father’s Philosophy of ‘Oerfoarmen’

Foundation Operation X for languages, cultures and perspectives

Written by Dyami Millarson

Oerfoarm is a Frisian word that is integral to my father’s artistic philosophy. Its Dutch equivalent is oervorm. Oerfoarm/oervorm may be translated as primal form and the plural of this Frisian/Dutch word is oerfoarmen/oervormen. This English translation is only an approximation. The first element oer- is always hard to render in English because it evokes a certain primordial feeling and it conveys a certain sense of authenticity and may imply a return to an original state of being. The prefix oer- is cognate with German ur-, which has been adopted into English due to rendition problems of the concept expressed in this affix. Therefore, it may be more accurate to render oerfoarmen/oervormen into English as ur-forms.

The oer-concept (or ur-concept if you will) is vital for understanding my father’s artistic philosophy. Oer- may not only be a prefixed element in Frisian/Dutch, but it may also be…

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