Virginia Wolf’s The Waves has often been cited as a literary masterpiece due to its bold experimentation with the possibilities of the novel form. Wolf presents a dreamlike evocation of the six main characters all of whom are friends and begins with a detailed description of the course of a very symbolic day.

From childhood to adolescence, progressing to adulthood and devastation brought on by the death of a loved one, Lucy Skaer’s first exhibition in The Netherlands, One Remove takes this ‘wave-like’ intermingling of speech and image as her departure point.

One Remove is an installation with a domestic feel but revisits her ongoing interests of dismantling an object’s content in order to intervene with the way viewers engage with works. Singularity is replaced with collectivity so that as you enter the exhibition space, hybridized antique mahogany tables with a long curve of Lapis Lazuli makes a continuous line down its length. On the floor underneath, an irregular Moroccan rug’s woven shapes echo the carved interlocking of the tables thus mimicking continuity. Domestic objects; a rug and a table now give off characteristics of the language of sculpture.

Familiar yet abstracted, with each element manufactured by an artisan* or reconfigured, Skaer encourages viewers to see how seeing takes place which might allow for the reinterpretation of the familiar.

One Remove, Witte de With, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, exhibition continues until 2 October 2016

Presented in the context of Para | Fictions, a cycle of sustained investigations on Witte de With’s ground-floor gallery, each artist has been invited to create new work, which expresses an interaction between the visual arts and literature.
* Ceramics made by Gailan Ngan using her own glazes and Rug weaving by Khadija Hadid.

By Jareh Das