Gwenneth Boelens at Treignac Projet | OCT 2020 – FEB 2021
Ahead of Gwenneth Boelens‚ solo exhibition Full-bodied (hum) we are sharing some installation views, as a throwback, about her past exhibition This Dusk Song, which took place between October 2020 and February 2021 at Treignac Projet, in Treignac, FR.
It is especially interesting to look back at that exhibition now, since Gwenneth will continue her work with curator Eloise Sweetman on the occasion of Full-bodied (hum), opening on Saturday 18th of June at Klemm’s.
This Dusk Song
16.10.2020 – 14.02.2021
Curated by Eloise Sweetman
This Dusk Song is sunset and mist.
This Dusk Song is auditory and lived.
This Dusk Song is river rushing and hiss.
Located in an old yarn factory in the French countryside, This Dusk Song is an exhibition of architectural, material and elemental intimacy found in the work of Dutch artist Gwenneth Boelens. Together Boelens and curator Eloise Sweetman gently bring that to the audience of Treignac Projet and its surrounds.
The location and the industrial history complements and elevates Boelens investigation into forgotten weaving techniques and the use of striking fibres such as electro-conductive and reflective threads in her works. In particular, with an intricate site-specific installation, Boelens attunes to Treignac Projet’s multiple exhibition sites by threading basalt, copper, and steel fibres over rollers, spindles, and pulleys reclaimed from textile machinery from the factory’s heyday. The installation stretches across beams, runs down the wall, and journeys across the floor. It is a song and a growing corpus that cannot be grasped in its totality.
Boelens’ new installation is set in dialogue with The very thing we don’t know is always trying to expand (2016) a two-channel film work based on interviews with Erik Verlinde, theoretical physicist, about his yet to be released theory. Boelens has been intrigued by Verlinde’s process of finding new ways to think about ever challenging topics like gravity, and the 95 per cent of undefined ‘matter’ in the universe, and how these topics resist visibility.
Installed throughout Treignac Projet are Shields, Shells, Shhh, made specifically for this exhibition, and onsite using recycled sheets of steel as well as acrylic, paper, and offset printing plates. Appearing as satellites fallen to the ground, the work transforms into a shield and a shell. Left to the elements, the light-sensitive pieces will slowly become markers of time as they are bleached by the autumn sun.
Both locations are filled by atmospheric audio works, the first created by strumming the loom from which Gwenneth has woven her textiles and the second by a theremin fed into a modular synthesizer. This Dusk Song exhibition soundtrack is accompanied by the sound of the rushing river that runs below the exhibition.
Gwenneth Boelens’ work is concerned with touch, thought and capturing time. Throughout her work she is moving towards an understanding of our response-ability. The porous boundaries between what is internal and external are where her art takes shape. An entwinement can be sensed through abstract forms that often carry a metaphoric charge, whether by the choice of material or of subject matter. The work focuses on how we, and things, move, circulate, distribute, and the blockages that come with that movement; travelling the land, moving the body and mind, movement in communication. This movement is fleeting, like liquid, fluid. She tries to materialize the carriers or vessels of that distribution. The work is a proposal for a momentary solidification, a space between thought and its expression.
Gwenneth Boelens (1980) works and lives in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. A visual artist since 2003, she also teaches at Art&Research, St. Joost School of Art and Design, Breda and practises Ayurvedic Medicine. Boelens was educated in photography and fine arts at Royal Academy of Art in Den Hague and was a resident artist at the Rijksakademie, Amsterdam in 2006-07. Her work has been exhibited at MIT List Centre, Cambridge (US), Shimmer, Rotterdam (NL), KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin (DE), Artpace, San Antonio (US), Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam (NL), C/O, Berlin (DE), ACCA, Melbourne (AU) amongst others. Her work is represented by Galerie Klemm’s, Berlin.
As a curator and writer, Eloise Sweetman is invested in intimate and atmospheric experiences of exhibition-making. A common thread in her practice is deliberately engaging in hospitality and reconciling the responsibility of putting exhibitions, texts, talks, and events into the world. As such her practice intertwines the group exhibition format with a strong emphasis on event-based programming.
Projects and collaborations have been with Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts, Western Australia; Kunstlicht Journal of Visual Art and Culture, Amsterdam; Cookies, Amsterdam; Treignac Projet, Treignac; The Community, Paris; Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo; PUBLICS, Helsinki; MADA Gallery, Monash University Melbourne; A Tale of A Tub, Rotterdam; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; De Appel, Amsterdam; Political Arts Initiative, Leiden; Casco – Institute for Art, Utrecht; Thai Pavilion, Venice Biennale, Venice; and Gallery VER, Bangkok.
In 2017, with artist Jason Hendrik Hansma, Sweetman founded Shimmer, an exhibition, events and online platform in the Port of Rotterdam. She is currently co-director with Hansma. Through Shimmer Press, she published Curatorial Feelings, a book on curating, co-edited with Jo-ey Tang. With curator Kris Dittel, she is co-host of I Hope This Message Finds You Well, a podcast on curating, where they interview curators from around the world on the nature of curating.
In 2016 and 2017, she was curator-in-resident at the post-academic research centre Van Eyck Academie in Maastricht. Sweetman has been a guest tutor at the Royal Academy of The Hague, University of Amsterdam, Piet Zwart Institute, Columbus College of Art and Design, and Monash University of Art and Design. Currently, she is a theory lecturer at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam.
Sweetman has a Master of Fine Art, School of Missing Studies, Sandberg Institute, Amsterdam and a Master of Art in Arts Management, University of the Arts Utrecht and Open Universities London.