N. Dash “earth” S.M.A.K. Museum for Contemporary Art / Gent, Pierre-Yves Desaive, δημοσίευση στο Flash Art [26/10/2022]Marilena Pateraki
Even before entering her show, one perceives the importance the artist gives to the details that surround it: a sign informs visitors that they will only receive the explanatory text, available at the reception desk, after the visit. The titles and descriptions of the works are on a sheet of paper at the entrance to the gallery: no label is fixed to the walls. Priority is truly given to presentation and contemplation, in rooms that also benefit from beautiful natural lighting. The exhibition — N. Dash’s first in a museum in Europe — includes only twenty-one works, but gives a good overview of her recent production, between 2019 and today. The title itself, “earth,” with its lowercase “e,” is not insignificant, as it refers to the artist’s preferred medium, which is found in all the works on display: desert earth applied in thin layers that crack and craze during the drying process. These surfaces are covered with ink or acrylic, but also serve as a support for silk screens. The artist also uses threads that she inserts into the still fresh material, creating linear geometric networks.
The silk-screened images are photographs of mechanically produced pieces of fabric, which Dash manipulates at length until they become shapeless — or rather, until they take on a form that lends itself to multiple interpretations. This practice is similar to that of the Commuter Series (2011), for which she repeatedly folded, unfolded, and refolded pieces of paper during her subway rides, before using them in her compositions by covering them with graphite or pigments. In both cases, it is a matter of reappropriating and transforming an industrially manufactured form, establishing a sort of ritual that magnifies the power of touch, and introduces randomness and chance into the heart of standardized production. In some works, she uses a simple, unmodified silk screen, which creates a fine, barely perceptible grid over the prepared layer of earth. Sometimes this grid is composed of “rosettes,” structured patterns of dots used for halftone image-separation technology. As with fabric made on a loom, the “rosette pattern” is a reflection on standardization and uniformity, in this case, the way images are reproduced. Pop art has magnified this technology as one of the emblems of consumer society, while N. Dash confronts it with the natural drying process of the earth, with all the uncertainties it entails and the random forms it can produce. However, this is not an easy opposition between nature and culture: the artist also reminds us that geometric perfection can be hidden in the heart of the geological material she uses.
Η συνέχεια εδώ.