Born Heemstede (NL), 1986
left - 'Detail, work in progress', 2017, aluminum, epoxy clay, ceramics, peltier, silicon tubes, water pump, scent, dimensions variable
right - 'Detail, work in progress', 2017, ceramics, metal, salt solution (crystal growth), scent, 40 × 110 cm
Isabelle Andriessen is interested in zombie sculptures which display symptoms of disease, that in turn provides them with a sense of agency as they decompose and transform while on display. The works are made out of thick ceramic skins, cast aluminum, and malleable material such as plastic, wax, mineral crystals and epoxy. They balance between the living and non-living in various degrees of coherency and decay, body and thing, solid and melting. One projects human characteristics on the pieces, not only due to their texture that evokes skin and tissues, but further through identifying signs of illness, fever, odorous tumors or oozing fluids. It could be said that it is through the repulsive signs of illness that the viewer perceives them as anthropomorphic.
The sculptures seem to be infected by an endemic virus that, while manifesting itself differently on each piece, further acts as an organizational principle that creates a shared environment for the works. Over the course of the presentation the sculptures transform and evolve, each activating at a different moment in time, at a different speed. Moreover, as the pieces mutate during the exhibition, they release scents that Andriessen has developed together with an olfactory scientist. The combination of these elements transforms the sculptures into performers that evoke a bodily experience.