Deep in the discography of the band Bauhaus, there is a surreal moment of fourth-wall breaking; following the end of a track - the sound of a cassette being removed, the click and rattle of plastic extracted from a tape player and passed to some unseen hand. This is a moment that, rather unusually, reveals the structures, materials and spatial dimensions of the environment. After a year of closures, seemingly endless immersion in bits and bites, networked but dissociated, the audience is invited to engage once again in such a moment - one of material awareness: body amongst matter and dimension. In collaboration with all the gallery’s represented artists and more Press Eject and Give Me the Tape is both a rupture in this passivity and a rapturous celebration of the senses: soaking in one’s surroundings; reviving the experience of material, texture, weight and surface - no longer neutered in transition to JPEG.
The uncanny relationship or sleight of hand that can take place when experiencing an artwork, is a form of alchemy present throughout the exhibition. In the work of Machteld Rullens, that which was once fragile and disposable is both elevated and petrified. A departure from her usually rich and vibrant tones, her work here is made of weathered bronze: these bold yet hollow structures present moments of pause in the lifecycle of the disposable - the cardboard box becoming contemporary artefact. Similarly, Oscar Abraham Pabón sources material from the worlds of construction and architecture. Pabón’s work bears a material history: ceramic tiles mass-manufactured for Barcelona roofs. Their path is disrupted as they are engaged by Pabón with ceramic processes usually alien to them, glazing and re-firing in enamel. These new forms bleed colour and surface into structure as the materials interpolate one another in the furnace. Running parallel to Pabón’s explorations, the work of Matt Bryans embodies the mindset of someone thoroughly entranced by material transformation. Bryans seeks out unpretentious materiality: the prosaic and oftentimes organic. He employs burning, hammering and sanding, labour-intensive interactions that drive matter through human processing, into works that carry signs of the hands in their history.
Likewise, Edith Dekyndt places affect of material at the forefront of her practice, materials accumulate colour, dust, scars and breakages over time. Dekyndt’s work captures these echoes and passes them onwards. So too does Christine Moldrickx’s work emanate this aura, objects as vessels of emotional burdens, pasts and messages. These are but a few examples of the importance of sensing, by relating to an object from multiple angles, through multiple senses. Equally driven by place and material, the works of Ehsan ul Haq and Navid Nuur delve into humorous, experiential and semiotic questions. Their playfulness provides levity whilst simultaneously frustrating the mind: how do we relate to living and non-living beings? Altogether the works presented seek to induce a quake of the senses, in the folds of the fingerprints, retina, sinuses and taste buds. Thus, allowing for a deep inhalation into the nervous system that has so long sat in static geometries staring into square planes and sunk in a glassy data gel, now free to exist in space.