Aboutwaterside contemporary is pleased to present Out of the Blues, a solo exhibition by Frederik Van Simaey, his first in the UK.
Van Simaey observes unexpected appearances and realisations. In a sleight of hand, he seizes objects, situations and people at moments when they become aware of their own image and presence, just as their relationship to their surroundings becomes inevitable. In photographs, drawings, and installations, we see the subjects in a curious mirror stage, some intent on establishing their own self, some avoiding it.
This mirror-moment of self-recognition is key as Van Simaey separates out fragments of everyday life. With subtle humour and lightness of touch, the artist nurtures alternative configurations of objects and ideas.
Sometimes, Van Simaey unburdens his subjects of relational existence altogether. In You Never Get a Second Chance to Make a First Impression, a young woman shyly (or perhaps flirtatiously) hides her face in her hands, just as she becomes aware of the presence of the camera.
In Gestures, reproductions of shadow-puppet drawings, the shadows are wiped away, and the imaginary birds remain only imaginary. Elsewhere, the artist allows only the mirror reflection to indicate a presence, bringing the sky in the gallery only as patches of light between trees.
To bring out the moments of self-creation, Van Simaey's works display a peculiar relationship to time itself. It's not just that the artist invites us to slow down but rather reveals that each object contains its own history and memory, independent of man-made ideas and interests. In They have the watch, but we have the time, the artist removes the need for human time altogether, instead allowing light, shadow to define their own terms.
Van Simaey's gestures separate out experiences, ideas and moments. In his collection of notions and hints, the artist invites us on a journey whose destination is determined only along the way.
Frederik Van Simaey (1979, Kortrijk, Belgium) works in installation, sculpture, photography, video and drawing. He is a graduate of HISK, and works in Ghent.