Isabelle Andriessen, Tidal Spill, 2018. Vue de l’installation, Lafayette Anticipations – Fondation d’entreprise Galeries Lafayette, Paris, 2018. Produite par Lafayette Anticipations, Paris. Photo : © Pierre Antoine
Isabelle Andriessen, Tidal Spill, 2018. Installation view, Lafayette Anticipations – Fondation d’entreprise Galeries Lafayette, Paris, 2018. Produced by Lafayette Anticipations, Paris © Pierre Antoine

Tidal Spill

Date: 2018
Medium: Sculpture series – Ceramic, metal containers, iron sulphate (II), potassium dichromate, potassium permanganate, paraffin wax, silicone, aluminium, resistors, refrigerant compressor, tubes, aroma, compressed air

Contamination is at the heart of Tidal Spill, an installation comprised of several sculptural elements that have gone through different types of treatment, sometimes chemical, sometimes electric. While one sculpture perspires and oozes, the others oxidize and become covered in crystals that evolve throughout the exhibition. Their claim to organicity is also present in their shapes which, in certain cases, resemble bone and muscular tissues perhaps made mutant by the surrounding toxicity – as well as through their texture: hyperrealistic pores, folds, moles, scars and skin stretches appear on the surface of the dismembered shapes.

All sculptures defy their supposed inorganicity by sweating, rotting and dripping in reaction to various chemical and electric treatments inflicted on them. Their pretense of organicity continues through their shapes – which in some cases resemble human body parts rendered mutant by the surrounding toxicity – as well as through their texture; hyperrealistic pores, folds, moles, scars and skin stretches appear on the surface of the dismembered shapes.

The artist has described the works as “zombie sculptures” with symptoms related to metabolism and disease, which in turn provide them with a sense of motion, evolution and degradation through the duration of the exhibition. Linked via tubes through which various fluids travel, the five sculptures evoke a co-dependent infection. Their claim for agency does not come from a healthy place; on the contrary, it emerges from the realm of the toxic and the diseased, and as such is reminiscent of Jane Bennett’s observation in Vibrant Matter (2009) that trash is no less than “an accumulating pile of lively [...] matter”. Tidal Spill is the tidy leftover of a inorganic and organic waste site, in which such distinctions have become irrelevant and new species are emerging.

First institutional presentation in France.

Public program:

The backstage of production
Sunday, June 24, 4 PM
The artist in conversation with Hicham Khalidi (curator) & Dirk Meylaerts (head of production)
Isabelle Andriessen, Tidal Spill, 2018. Vue de l’installation, Lafayette Anticipations – Fondation d’entreprise Galeries Lafayette, Paris, 2018. Produite par Lafayette Anticipations, Paris. Photo : © Pierre Antoine
Isabelle Andriessen, Tidal Spill, 2018. Installation view, Lafayette Anticipations – Fondation d’entreprise Galeries Lafayette, Paris, 2018. Produced by Lafayette Anticipations, Paris © Pierre Antoine
Isabelle Andriessen, View of a work in production for Le centre ne peut tenir, 2018.
Isabelle Andriessen, View of a work in production for Le centre ne peut tenir, 2018 © Isabelle Andriessen
Isabelle Andriessen, View of a work in production for Le centre ne peut tenir, 2018.
Isabelle Andriessen, View of a work in production for Le centre ne peut tenir, 2018 © Isabelle Andriessen