8.9. - 20.10.2018
I feel one can move through the world intellectualizing indefinitely, but there is also a silent, passive absorption taking place, providing a direct link to one’s primary instincts and sensations. Even within the established intellectual parameters of viewing art, much happens within in the unconscious, and for me, this is central. I would like to set a stage for my work to be read with that in mind. (Manon Bellet, 2018)
The series of work from Manon Bellet offers a snapshot of the artist’s experiments. Everything seems frozen and paradoxically in eternal movement. In the Painting serie Sunfast by using thermochromic Temperature activated Pigment on canvas Manon Bellet reveals to us, a chemical and thermal process which becomes visible or invisible only by the heat of the sun touching the surface. The work slowly changes in the front of our eyes, it lives, and it survives under the heat, thus giving a living aspect to the work able to correspond to our own endangered environment in constant, perpetual change. In the second serie titel Capture the artist present a serie of drawings on glass made with ferrofluid. This liquid becomes magnetic during the application of an external magnetic field. This drawings are made using a magnet, it is only the liquid in contact with the magnet that creates very organic and super fine drawings that would be practically impossible to achieve by hand. One more time Bellet reveal to us a magic process, helped by the use of a chemical. Finally with L'O perdue, Bellet leave us with an olfactive experience. L'O perdue is an olfactory work produced in collaboration with the swiss perfumer Andreas Wilhelm. This fragrance is mostly composed from a soil extraction in the swamp area after a strong thunderstorm. The scent was made in the fall 2017 in New Orleans, US where the artist currently live.
In New Orleans and Louisiana state, between 50 million and 200 million people mainly subsistence farmers and fishermen. could be displaced by 2050 because of climate change, according to estimates by the United Nations. Prognostic climate and environmental predictions announced that a part of the city of New Orleans will disappear in the next 70 years. The locations selected by the artist for the scent extraction are chosen for their vulnerability as victims of environmental destruction, and the work invites the viewer into an intimate, sensory experience with a place destined to disappear.
This work is a work in progress and by 2020 the artist will realize a series of 20 different extractions.
These fragrances will likely serve as the last olfactory documentation of the lost environments.
A T-shirt lies in the street, shoes dangle from a power line, trampled balloons lie on the ground, underwear hangs in the bushes. At first glance these fleeting scenes from everyday life seem trivial, because they are so common; at second glance they are disconcerting and unsettling. The gates to an associative realm full of pleasure and suffering, sorrow and euphoria, love and fear are thrown open. After strolling through the streets of New York City’s Bushwick neighbourhood, Claire Kenny has brought her observations, cast in plaster, back to Switzerland with her. She has continued reflecting on them, thousands of miles from where they were found. She adeptly preserves the balance between irony and unease in articulating her thoughts: “All I got was this lousy t-shirt”, “Breathless”, “Step on you again”, “Brief encounters”, “Running joke”. She freezes these moments, produces copies of the objects, immerses them in colour and leaves it to viewers to find a standpoint, which may be close to reality, but could also be far from it – and thus a fiction.
Clare Kenny is interested in photography and experimenting with materials, creating a photographic image that is based on an analogue way of working, that is, working with her hands. A copy of the object is created with the object itself. Sculpturally she produces an image that oscillates between two- and three-dimensionality and which could be a photograph, but presents itself as a sculptural object.
Clare Kenny has also brought two other groups of works back with her after a grant enabled her to spend six months in New York City. She set foot in a dark room again for the first time in twenty years in order to explore the limits of the photographic medium. With the help of a stained curtain in her flat, things from the Dollar Store and bags on the street, she frees the photographic motif from its frame.
Anika Meier, September 2018