TURN PANIC INTO MAGIC draws together a series of works by five artists: Daniëlle van Ark (1974), Annabelle Binnerts (1995), Vibeke Mascini (1989), Navid Nuur (1976) and Erwin Thomasse (1972).
The title of the show is inspired by the series of light boxes made by Erwin Thomasse during the pandemic, commissioned by Van Abbemuseum Eindhoven. For Thomasse, the aesthetic of the engagement of recent years can be found in the flight of thrown stones, cracked windows, shards of glass and shop windows boarded up with wooden panels. He sees this visual language as the translation of the zeitgeist, expressed in the form of five light boxes. The light on the inside of the light boxes breathes with the calming, anti-panic attack rhythm that Thomasse took from a Youtube video. The sleek object exudes calm, but the front has been violently battered, and the smashed glass is riddled with stars and cracks. Appealing to the imagination, the goal is to compel the reader to alchemise panic into magic; a transformation from something painful to something extraordinary.
Words are also at the center of Annabelle Binnerts’s practice, both as subject and material, revolving around the idea that reading a sentence is like stepping into another world, hidden behind the written words. Calling upon the imagination of the viewer, she places text in the exhibition context, subtly playing with the reading experience. While reading and interpreting the words, space is created for both the poetic, as well as the misunderstanding, ultimately leading to a work that’s slightly different for every spectator who reads it.
For Navid Nuur, form-language and meaning are purely process-oriented. He applies concepts that often relate to a temporary in-between state that places his work between the audience and an often abstract phenomenon, such as light, energy, air. Endlessly experimenting in several directions, Nuur uses a large diversity of materials. These unexpected forms feature a bold simplicity – like a tree branch painted with its own ash and white bark protection powder, resembling a magic wand.
Vibeke Mascini uses a variety of fluid media in her practice, including video, installation, sound and text, exploring the sensorial scaling of abstract phenomena. Her projects often result from long term collaborations with scientists, engineers, government employees, and musicians, proposing the development of a conscious understanding of electric energy as a statement of interconnectedness and entanglement – between species, media and nature, matter and energy. Elements included in her works are as wild and fleeting as a bird frozen mid-flight and the dust of moths and butterflies contained between airplane windows.
Daniëlle van Ark is interested in the opaque systems of value creation in an era where everything seems to have become reproducible. Scouring flea markets and online auction sites, she acquires antiquated image archives and glass plate negatives from the early 1900’s and confines them into a monochrome. When looked at closely, images of people and places caught on these glass plates pop up, like ghosts from the past.