28 November 2015 – 9 January 2016.
In recent years Rachel de Joode has gained international recognition with her trademark photo sculptures. We are proud to present her first solo show in the Netherlands.
With intentional naivity she explores the material world, pushing the boundaries of photography and sculpture alike. In her own words: “I’m interested in seeing the world from a completely detached perspective.” This brings her to a practice that is more or less phenomenological – simultaneously grounded in physical directness and philosophical distance. The question that seems most relevant here, is: “What is a thing?” Or, more specific: Is materiality a necessary precondition for ‘thing-ness’? We see hands handling clay, undefined forms and wet surfaces that seem indifferent to their own shape
and existence. In the onset, the artist may be getting her hands dirty, but whatever is sticky and greasy in de Joode’s work is subsequently being sanitized – the ever clean medium of digital photography dematerializes the work. Yet in de Joode’s world, the photos reemerge as objects as if they want to be things, longing for in-the-world-ness. They seem to speak to us, proud of their somewhat alien existence, unaware that they’re only posing as sculptures. The gallery visitor remains confused: is this an exhibition, or is it a stage setting mimicking an exhibition? And if this is a stage setting, is there an ideal point of view? Is the setting only made to be dematerialized even further, to live on forever – online – as documentation of a show that (never) was?
By posing such questions de Joode demystifies not only her own practice as a maker but the also the receptive experience of the viewer. All the while the works themselves remain seductively mysterious.
photography: Lotte Stekelenburg