Slow Slow Kinesis

Slow Slow Kinesis
Author: Simon Würsten Marin
Language: English
Weight: 250 g
Binding: Softcover
Availability: In stock
Price: €6.00
Add Items to Cart
Product Description

What if art wasn’t only human? Imagine a world where creativity would no longer be a hallmark of humankind in comparison to other animals; where the shape of plants would appear like evidence of the existence of a form of vegetal intentionality; where the current of water and the course of the sun in the sky would correspond to a gestuality of nature. In that world, products of nature too would result from a formal intention and an esthetic gesture. They would become as many possible works of art.
In the projects commissioned on the occasion of their duo show at DOC, Marie Griesmar and Brigham Baker invite us to explore the faculty of nature to act as a formal, even discursive agency. All works presented form a landscape where individual narratives give way to a symbiotic universe. It corresponds to the speculative vision of a reality where nature’s movement and objects would be claiming its very existence. Brigham Baker’s glass sculptures filled with a colored liquid are in fact bee feeders. A thick syrup is slowly dripping through the tiny holes in the bottom part of the vessels. Like flowers, they are an invitation to the bees from the hive on the rooftop of DOC to take over the exhibition space and to collect the blue or red nectar. While working on a former project in 2015, Brigham Baker had discovered that part of the honeycombs from the hives he was working with had accidentally become blue from a dye the bees had been gathering. For SLOW SLOW KINESIS he takes this anecdote as a starting point and recreates the conditions of apparition of these “paintings” made by bees. Yet, in confronting the bees with a simple choice of colors, he prompts them at the same time to autonomously make a decision. The preference will become visible through the final coloration of the honeycombs and will thus reflect, not only bees’ way of perceiving and favoring certain dyes over others, but also their social organization, where collectivity systematically takes precedence over the intention and tastes of a single individual. For SLOW SLOW KINESIS, however, the result of this experiment remains concealed. Although the honeycombs are progressively being colored on the rooftop, it is only the creative process that is shown to the visitors. Here, it is the very delegation of the artistic agency to bees that becomes the artwork, while the result will only be displayed in a forthcoming show.
Just like in a scenography set up, the canvases by Marie Griesmar are floating in front of the windows and bathing the exhibition room in a subtle turquoise light. These are paintings inspired from footage of the bottom of the Seine, aiming to recreate sensorial experiences of this place both close and inaccessible to our eyes. For her project at DOC, Marie Griesmar took an interest in the Parisian river ecosystem and more precisely in the plants that are naturally appearing there but are systematically removed. During floods, seeds and plants are dragged by the river before settling on the shores where they start growing. However, the city of Paris prevents them from blooming by cleaning the riverbanks from all vegetation, but for a few discreet traces that remain visible in places that are hard to reach. And yet, beneath the surface, a wild world blossoms. It’s this invisible organic life that Marie Griesmar is making visible in SLOW SLOW KINESIS. The bottom of the pond in the exhibition room is covered with a canvas similar to the ones hanging in front of the windows. It matches the fluvial scenography of the show. In the water, limestone rocks typical of Parisian architecture are a mineral base for the landscape the artist is recreating in DOC. Some of the stones have been previously immersed in the Seine for several month and bear the traces of the underwater organic life. Algae from the Seine are progressively colonizing the water surface and lead us to picture a city where nature and vegetation would take part in the formal definition of the urban landscape. An ecosystem is slowly developing under our eyes while the elements that compose it interact without external constraint. In shifting our attention towards the symbiotic relationships that rule over this biotope’s life rather than the usual parasitic status of these plants, Marie Griesmar encourages us to look differently at this familiar environment and to question the scope of human influence over a landscape, as urban as it may be. Plants always end up reappearing on the shores of the Seine.

On both sides of the exhibition space, what seems to be a sun and a moon watch over the installation.
They are works by Brigham Baker made out of awnings that are commonly found over balconies and
terraces. These old shades are bleached by the sunlight against which they have protected for years. The
circular shape the artist has given them underlines the iconographic relation to the sun. Acting as cosmic
beings within the exhibition, the two large celestial bodies refer to the origin and condition of all earthly
life and remind us of the systemic relationship that unites all beings.
This suggestive universe by Brigham Baker and Marie Griesmar is like suspended – both immersed and out
of the water, garden and river bottom – and at the same time activated and gradually being shaped by the
movement of its composing elements. It can appear like a sort of natural history museum diorama, for it is
an apparatus that recreates, even simulates the outside world and its inhabitants. Yet, this ambiguous
landscape is also immersive and alive. Far from being mere observers, the visitors in the exhibition are also
actors – just as the bees, the sunlight filtered through the canvases or the algae. Not only do they exist in
the space, they also constantly transform it. Although this celebration of nature’s creative power doesn’t
formally exclude human beings, it challenges us to question our position within the system our species
aims to dominate and exploit. In Marie Griesmar and Brigham Baker’s projects, natural elements are
endowed with a form of consciousness, even an authority over the artworks. Natural properties appear
suddenly as an integral part of the creative process. It is the slow, relentless power of nature that becomes
On the occasion of the exhibition, DOC publishes a zine by the artists in collaboration with Swiss graphic designer
Guillaume Mojon.
Brigham Baker (*1989 in Nipomo (CA), US) is an American artist living and working between Zurich and Basel. After
obtaining his Bachelor’s degree in Photography at the ZHdK in Zurich in 2015, he is currently following the Master’s
program in Fine Arts at the Art Institute from the Academy of Art and Design in Basel. Recent solo and group shows
include “On the Road. 10 Years of CARAVAN”, Aargauer Kunsthaus, 2018; “The Photographic”, Museum Folkwang,
Essen, 2018; “Phaenomena Materiae”, Kunstverein Friedrichshafen, 2017; “Arresting Fragments of the
World”, Kunsthaus Langenthal, 2017; Galerie GMK, Zagreb, 2017; Les Urbaines, Lausanne, 2016.
Marie Griesmar (*1992 in Lausanne where she lives and works) studied at the HEAD in Geneva, the Academy of Fine
Arts in Munich and the ZHdK in Zurich, shere she obtained her Master’s degree in Fine Arts in 2016. She recently
exhibited at La Placette, Lausanne (“Hypersthésie des brumes”, 2018). Other shows include: “MATLAB”, Kunstraum
Toni Areal, Zurich, 2017; “Tropical Interzone”, Tart Gallery, Zurich, 2015; KAUST, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, where she was
a fellow of the “artists-in-lab” residency program in 2016. Upcoming in 2018: solo show at Espace Libre, Biel/Bienne
and residency Swissnex in San Francisco.

Exhibition at DOC, Paris 25.05 – 17.06.2018