Solo exhibition by Marleen Sleeuwits at the Onomatopee project-space.
Exhibition runs untill November 20th.
Is it possible for our direct sensual experience of a space to derive understanding from a different representation of space?
The solo exhibition On the Soft Edge of Space of Marleen Sleeuwits derives its title from her artists’ book, recently published by Onomatopee. Like the book, the exhibition is a stage on which space is placed at the centre by exploring it in a particular visual manner.
By means of architectural, site-specific interventions, Marleen Sleeuwits manipulates space’s artificial nature to put our sensual experience of space to the test. Although the site-specific works in the Onomatopee show merge into the space’s architecture, they remain individual, unrelated sculptural objects, as slight deformations of reality. This renders space itself contradictory – that is, like a tangible fata morgana. Her work tries to find a new horizon in these poetics.
Does this just create a widening of the existing space, or does she call it into question? Usually, spaces are created to serve man, but here space appears to impose a will of it’s own on reality. This gives rise to the question if we, in a functional space of a man-made architectural structure, can relate to the space’s autonomy itself. We may have to test this: put an ear to the wall and listen intently or put our hand on the floor to feel its temperature. Maybe we should do more to appropriate the perspective of the walls of the space we stand in, which determine the proportion of the vacuum radius around us – like a dancer toeing the edge of the dance floor with his eyes closed.
The site-specific play with space, in space, is supplemented with the presentation of a number of photo works, which render the sensual side of reality abstract, like a script. And finally you can explore the book, which again plays with various perspectives: the page margins, the edges of walls in a photographed scale model, the frames of the works in the scale model et cetera.
Visual artist Marleen Sleeuwits (1980) is particularly interested in the illusory character of depicted spaces. Or to put it more precisely: in and with her work she creates situations in which the viewer is confused by a realistic looking rendering of a space which is in itself entirely artificial. She draws her inspiration from anonymous work and living environments and places through which we move, without any identity of their own, which could be anywhere and nowhere: offices, hotels, airports, etc., where artificial light creates an atmosphere on which time has no hold. In her more recent work Sleeuwits builds new spaces (or sculptures) with materials from such spaces, such as laminate, dropped ceilings, parquet strips and fluorescent tubes, which she then photographs.** Her photographs, sculpture and installations are on show regularly, for example in recent exhibitions at the FeldbuschWiesner Gallery in Berlin, LhGWR Gallery in The Hague, and also at the Nederlands Fotomuseum in Rotterdam and at the museum Het Valkhof in Nijmegen.
* Text Freek Lomme
** Text Frist Giersberg