Born Den Haag (NL), 1981
Image 1 / 2 Installation view 'Pool', 2014,
Kestnergesellschaft, Hannover, DE
Magali Reus’ series of works Lukes combine sculptures in oddly anthropomorphic fashion. As titled “bodies”, these forms approximate the scale and basic materiality of fridge-freezer appliances. Yet unendowed with any of the expected technical apparatus or preconfigured circuitry, the works are relegated to archaeological status. As shadows or poor props of their supposed functionality, the Lukes are no longer temperature regulators, but warmer more hand-activated vessels; as a series of open-ended propositions, their skewed rectangular forms offer themselves as hosts in which smaller, more materially luxurious compositions play out.
Unified on top of low phenolic plywood platforms, the Lukes are held stranded in a kind of chemically congealed paralysis. Like fossilized remains, their skins and skeletal exteriors offer trace information to unpacking a type or personality: rigid phosphate cladding elicits vampiric unease; milky raspberry blocks stack in a saccharine lactose glaze. Throughout, the human and animal, mechanic and analogue congeal into a friction that is neither industrial nor commercial, but specifically and strategically unnerving.