LAWN DREAMER

Cinnnamon, Rotterdam, NL, 2017

 

Gallery press release:

 

CINNNAMON is proud to host the first solo exhibition of Theis Wendt (Copenhagen, 1981) in the Netherlands. Contemporary communication technologies change our world. To say that the Internet and the screen only broaden our horizons would be an understatement - they shape a new kind of horizon. The novelty lies in the notion that this new horizon does not represent a concept of beyond. When we can see everywhere, the world as an entity bound by bodily experience and physical nearness - disappears. Simultaneously the concept of away disappears in the wake of environmental crises - waste does not simply vanish when its burned or buried and climate change may be more than just a hot topic. In various ways, the three series of works in Lawn Dreamer relate to the imagination of the evaporated landscape in a changing world, but Wendt also aims to enlighten a romantic view on the relation between humanity and human made sublimity.

 

'Render' consists of eight similarly shaped, glass-like rocks made of resin and gravel. The gravel is not evenly distributed within the rocks: floating at the top as if going against gravity, the gravel suggests there is a rendering process going on - as in 3D software. A seamless, artificial landscape in the making, Render turns upside down the notion of physical reality being mimicked in virtual worlds, as a physical body of works that is informed by

digital processes.

 

'Sunk' consists of a series of aluminium casts of partly corroded styrofoam insulation plates. Such plates have since the 1950's been extensively used in buildings worldwide. Styrofoam has many properties, one is to ‘outlive’ a human by hundreds of years. In spite of usually being made invisible, the concept of away indeed doesn’t apply to styrofoam insulation. In Sunk the styrofoam plates have been transformed into their opposite – their lightweight and insulating qualities have been rendered into something cold and fossil-like. They are now placed on the walls instead of having a lurking presence within a building’s structure, their transformed surface reminiscent of landscapes.

 

The series 'Liquids' consists of paintings on transparent textile, stretched on mirror steel plates. The works play with the viewer’s presence and position. Seen from the side, the paintings’ surface appear dense but seen from the front, the pattern of the fabric duplicates in the mirror behind mimicking the monochrome interference that one will experience when reflecting oneself in the surface of a silent lake. Possibly the most ‘romantic’ group of works in the exhibition, Liquids forces the viewer to participate, like the sublime landscape of romanticism could not leave the experiencing subject untouched.

Yet the sublimity of Wendt’s evaporated landscapes is of a different nature. Lying on his back on the lawn - what better symbol for man’s perceived victory over nature? - the contemporary romantic is confined to dreaming about the away and the beyond.

 

'Sunk', nr 1-6, installation view

'Sunk', nr 1, aluminum cast, 120x60x3cm, 2015

'Sunk', nr 3, aluminum cast, 120x60x3cm, 2015

'Sunk', nr 5, aluminum cast, 120x60x3cm, 2015

'Sunk', nr 2, aluminum cast, 120x60x3cm, 2015

'Sunk' nr 4, aluminum cast, 120x60x3cm, 2015

'Sunk', nr 6, aluminum cast, 120x60x3cm, 2015

'Sunk', detail

'Liquids' and 'Render', installation view

'Liquids' and 'Render', installation view

'Render', resin and gravel, 45x25x31cm each, 2015

'Liquids', spray paint, textile, mirror steel and timber, 240x60cm, 2015

'Liquids', spray paint, textile, mirror steel and timber, 240x60cm, 2015

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