In January 2014 parts of the US and Canada were hit by a severe winter storm, referred to as the “polar vortex”. As the temperature fell, videos emerged on the internet of people throwing cups of boiling water into the air*. When the hot water hit the freezing cold air it instantly changed state from liquid to vapour, then from vapour to solid; appearing as a puff of steam and a cloud of snow, which slowly fell to the ground. The spectacle of the sudden change of state was reminiscent of sped-up time-lapse footage – like a depiction a flower blossoming; the seasons changing; an Eadweard Muybridge photograph. The crystallisation of a fragment of a motion.
Gabriele De Santis has similarly crystallised motions within the works in this exhibition: one is forced to envisage the prior action and subsequent trajectory of mid-air dolphins, a mid-push skateboard and a rippling Air Jordan t-shirt. De Santis’ motifs serve to vitalise the otherwise stationary materials from which the works have been fabricated. The suggestion of motion is further embodied by the works’ very substance: on a molecular level, the materials are representative of a freeze-frame of a moment, the moment at which the state of their matter happens to be solid. A block of resin that only recently was liquid; cast bronze poured from the molten ore of several metals; and hard marble which, millions of years ago, was sand. Many prior transitions have occurred and many more will.