‘You might think this is the finest pearl
But it’s only cardboard balls
Seamed in glue
Done through diligence
It’s all happening from the inside, you say?’
Captain Beefhaert, Best batch yet
Alchemy is the title of the present show at Nest gallery. But it might as well have been called Transformation. However Alchemy stresses the more
material aspect of the exhibition. As the central piece by Navid Nuur shows, the exhibition is balancing between the aesthetics of the visual and the aesthetics
of the conceptual. In this heap of salt, iron filings are being kept together by magnets. The salt absorbs the moisture (including the breath of visitors) of its environment, causing the iron to rust.
In a video work by Oscar Santillan a drummer drums on the rhythm of the falling sweat of an exhausted dancer in a church. In a religious place body liquid transforms to sound.
In another work he extracted the ink from one of the volumes of Humboldt’s book Kosmos, the ink shaped as a very small ball in front of the book. Well, as you can see
there is a lot to explain about each work, like about this small, seemingly marbled work by Nuur, which is a piece of iron partly stained by rust, blood and anti-rust.
As this is not an explanatory blog i urge you to go and see for yourself, e.g.
this pile of wasp nest’s paper by Alistair Mackie or
this polygon by David Rickard. Rickard also
perforated this oxygen tank and melted the drilling rests over it. Of course
such an exhibition (or any exhibition for that matter) couldn’t do without a text work by Lawrence Weiner who makes clear in all his works that art
can only exist in our heads. Sculpture is more than an action, an instruction or a wrought piece of stone or any other material. And what could water and dust create?
Well, when you come to think of it….. why not
delve into some more works by Nuur? There is
one with vitamin D powder.
Myriam Holme’s work has a room of its own and is based on several contrasts and opposites. Whatever you think of it,
whether it is a work of material aesthetics or more spiritual aesthetics, it works very well. That’s different
in Frank Ammerlaan’s work. It shows the results of a chemical process, which creates a work of some disinterested beauty. It simply lacks the stimulus to evoke meaning,
for the Earth and its processes don’t create meaning. People do. All together this is a well composed and inspiring exhibition, which i’d recommend to anyone.