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People are nowhere near so fluid

Sense & Sensibility 4: Janina Frye

Onomatopee 150.4

What would the world be like if humanity were never to leave it, but instead stayed and merged with its materials? This new installation by Janina Frye is situated in the nearby-future, where the evolution of emancipation has taken place. Gender binaries are no longer a topic of discussion and oppositions between subjects have been eliminated. In this time and place, the border between objects and subjects has faded.

In this newly created total installation, concrete blocks, foam rubber, aluminium structures and neon-coloured plastic all bear resemblance toshapes of the human body. The sculptures move slightly, in an almost pre-reflexive way. They have skins, spines, joints, and are present in the space, having as much agency within our physical world as the traditional subject would. Familiar material structures, that we know from hospitals and public transport, play a major role in the vernacular of Frye’s post-human landscape. The human bodies leave stains and marks on concrete matter; and in its turn, a materiality guides and trains the human body and shapes the way it behaves inside space. Bones, handprints, and phone chargers all leave their traces, and both man-made artefacts as well as physical relics influence the world equally. The border between us and them—the ultimate dismantling of dualism, the perfect peak of dialectics—will be opaque.*


* The title of this exhibition has been derived from The Cyborg Manifesto, Donna Haraway (1984)


Janina Frye (1987) graduated at the AKV St. Joost in 2014. In a sensitive, but particularly approachable, even playful and humorous way, Frye explores the relationship between human, object and material, the atmosphere and the subject, and whether they can be fused in the future.  Tied to the acceleration of digital development in the world, the objects become both an extension and a replacement for the human body. In her work, Frye frequently makes use of philosophical models such as the Actor Network Theory, Post Humanism, New Materiality and Object Orientated Ontology. The underlying aim of Frye’s research as an artist, is to break the existing paradigm of the human as the center of the world. In order to gain new insights, she examines objects and the context in which they are situated, but also appraises which role the spectator plays in the work. The work of Janina Frye comprises the investigation of the core of objects, consumer products and their functions, and how to stretch the quality and identity of these things. Frye operates individually, as well in collaboration with her partner Gezim Murahemi.