Ronchini Gallery London is pleased to present Antipode, an exhibition of new works by Dutch artist Berndnaut Smilde. Smilde makes multidisciplinary work through the synthesis of photography, installation, performance and sculpture.
Smilde has become known for his Nimbus series comprised of striking images of âreal' clouds suspended within empty rooms. Using a fog machine, he carefully adjusts the temperature and humidity to produce clouds just long enough to be photographed. There is a unique ephemeral aspect to the work where the photograph captures a very brief moment before the cloud dissipates, disappearing as mysteriously as it was formed. His choice of lighting and viewing aspect enables him to create a representation of the cloud's physicality.
Smilde's work centres on an impermanent state of being between construction and deconstruction and is often about situations that deal with duality. The exhibition title Antipode takes its name from the geographical term which refers to parts of the earth diametrically opposite each other. By exploring space and playing with perception, he lends his vision to the uncanny. His works question the inside and outside, size, the function of materials and architectural elements.
Working in a site specific way, the artist reacts to the architecture or history of a location. The recent locations Smilde has chosen to work in are all in some way connected to exhibition spaces. For a new work he will produce a cloud inside a gothic cathedral in Cologne, Germany, at the Kunst-Station Sankt Peter, a site previously used by artists including Francis Bacon, Anish Kapoor and Cindy Sherman. Another installation will be created inside The Hallen, a contemporary art museum in Haarlem, The Netherlands. These spaces function as a plinth for the work and the clouds create a collision between the original state of the space and its actual function. Smilde explains:
âIf you take away or reposition objects that occupy buildings and spaces, there is a stronger emphasis on the bare architectural elements that define a space. That's where I start working from.'
In new works Smilde projects colour spectrums onto idealistic landscapes. A rainbow is created through a prism and a small light. The work explores the suggestion of a rainbow and its connotations of perfection and promise.
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