Tidal Spill, 2018, ceramics, steal, iron II sulphate
With her work, Isabelle Andriessen researches living systems and the possibility of providing sculptures with their own behaviour, metabolism, and agency. ‘Sweating’ aluminium casts are mounted onto three large ceramic sculptures on which chemical crystals grow, and the creations continuously transform throughout the exhibition: growing, sweating, leaking, and crystallizing. Parasitical sculptural elements live off of each other and the surrounding space, giving rise to an infectious and uncanny landscape.
When do we call something human or non-human, living or non-living? How do materials transform while being exhibited, or sleep while in storage? Andriessen applies scientific notions from the fields of chemistry and physics in order to disrupt the distinction between animate and inanimate materials. Her ‘zombie’ materials inhabit the space between the dead and the undead, as if infected by a strange virus. Her sculptures are eerie performers, composed of materials that act and evolve seemingly beyond our control – and often times irreversibly.