Sensory Spaces 6 – Sara VanDerBeek

Sensory Spaces 6 – Sara VanDerBeek

Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

Sensory Spaces 6 – Sara VanDerBeek. Photo: Studio Hans Wilschut, edited by Sara VanDerBeek.

March 19, 2015

Sara VanDerBeek
Sensory Spaces 6  

until 31 May 2015

Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen 
Museumpark 18-20 
NL-3015 CX Rotterdam 
The Netherlands 
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 11am–5pm

Sensory Spaces is a series of commissioned solo exhibitions by preeminent international artists—unusual in situ projects that subvert or sharpen the visitor’s experience and perception of a given space. Sensory Spaces challenges the artists to start from the features of the exhibition space itself: the specific character of the Willem van der Vorm Gallery, a vast space, open on its two short sides, situated in the freely accessible entrance area is the spatial context within which each artist is invited to develop a work.

The American artist Sara VanDerBeek (b. 1976, Baltimore) has been invited for the sixth edition of Sensory Spaces. VanDerBeek studies the influence of the past on our lives and alternates between working from her studio and exploring the urban environment. She is interested in the relationship between image and object, investigating the way photography influences our perception of time, scale and space: our collective memory and personal reminiscences, which appear to consist of a collection of mutually connected images.

VanDerBeek’s photographs of structures assembled in her studio have shown a multitude of images side by side and overlapping, like unstable memory palaces that the artist has captured in the midst of transition. Memories become stronger when their relevance increases, and weaker when it diminishes; details come to the fore, major themes disappear, new associations are created, relationships shift. Our memory is not a strong fortress full of facts, but a temporary configuration of impressions. The artist tries to show the loss and the pathos that accompany our awareness of transience, but she also wants to emphasize the positive, inspiring aspects of change and reconstruction.

By exhibiting her sculptures alongside her photographs, the artist creates an environment poised between reality and imagination, expectation and recollection. An object becomes an image, becomes a memory, then an image, and turns back into an object. Sara VanDerBeek’s quest suggests a spiral’s motif: it moves in circles, never repeating itself. Her idiom transcends the difference between the abstract and the figurative, the simultaneous and the unique, the realistic and the visionary.

Sensory Space 6
The artist walked around Rotterdam for several days; she photographed what she saw and built a library of images. She has created a modular installation especially for the Willem van der Vorm Gallery, in which three-dimensional objects, images and materials enter into relationships with one another as natural elements do. A circular and a square-shaped column define the edges of the space, like magnetic poles. On the floor lies an expanse of reflective plates, a distilled interpretation of the sea. Two large photographs printed on fabric were captured during her time in Rotterdam. With a limited range of colors and various materials VanDerBeek has created a compelling ensemble in which forms convey time, at its most fleeting and in its most concrete qualities, resting poised somewhere between its passage and its continuity.

Curator Francesco Stocchi, “What is presented here for Sensory Spaces 6 is the artists’s largest sculptural project to date. A highly personal translation, not of the image of city itself, rather of the flavor, the sound and the sense of scale which is perceived. Some elements are blown up details of encountered moments, some others play with the symbolic conception of Rotterdam: the modular arrangement of the space is inspired by the structure and themes recurrent in e.e. cummings’ poems.”

“i will wade out till my thighs are steeped in burning flowers i will take the sun in my mouth and leap into the ripe air alive with closed eyes to dash against darkness in the sleeping curves of my body […]“
–e.e. cummings

An essay by the accompanies each Sensory Spaces exhibition, also available on our website.

The Sensory Spaces series
Sensory Spaces 7 – Aleksandra Domanović, from 13 June until 18 October

Sensory Spaces 6 – Sara VanDerBeek, until 31 May
Sensory Spaces 5 – Siobhan Hápaska
Sensory Spaces 4 – Liu Wei  
Sensory Spaces 3 – Elad Lassry
Sensory Spaces 2 – Sabine Hornig
Sensory Spaces 1 – Oscar Tuazon 

The Series Sensory Spaces is made possible with the generous support of AMMODO.

For more information please contact the Marketing and Communications Department: 
T +31 0 10 441 9561 / pressoffice [​at​]

Sensory Spaces 6 – Sara VanDerBeek at Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen
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March 19, 2015

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