Thermodynamic Pain and Energy Bank
Potlatch, De Ateliers, Amsterdam
May 18th – May 28th, 2016
Lee Lozano's Dropout Piece came first on a list that included contribution from Gertrude Stein, Richard Tuttle, Paul Thek, and rewritten notes of Philip Guston. All hold a particular importance to Vasiljeva and it might be interesting to consider how each is present in her various works. Of all of them, Lozano's inclusion is perhaps most revealing. For while Vasiljeva mainly makes objects, Dropout Piece is a performance and seems a strange fit as a gradual and systematic withdrawal from both art world operators and friends. Yet this would be to miss an underlying anxiety and sustained questioning that is central to the making of Vasiljevas concise thought fragments.
Accompanying the continual making and reconfiguring, there's the acknowledgement that things for the most part remain uncertain and unknown, that each step is felt and sense and produced as much from impulse as deliberation. Hence, one would never expect a rational for the luminous circular sticker on the top left corner of a cast corrugated cardboard and plaster piece, nor think it was needed. There is a certain quality in her works that is more reminiscent of the model than sculpture, in that they seem to reach for a purpose beyond aesthetic concern, whether as a means of experiment or trial or some strange prototype that has been laid aside for future thought.
In common with the provisional and contingent nature of many of her works, their material register and manner of construction is also suggestive of preposition. Stacked chrome chairs held together with plastic ties or partially completed cement structures with their protruding steel bars of uneven length give and then decline notions of compilation. Even her posters with their typed text of internal dialogue set against backgrounds of lush pink poured paint or cluttered work space speak of affinity to the shattered texts of Stein or still further, Wittgenstein.
Text by Ian Kiaer
Photography: Gert Jan van Rooij
Thermodynamic Pain and Energy Bank, Installation view, De Ateliers, 2016
Evita Vasiljeva ©