The Matter Of It Being a Stone
Rachel de Joode

28.06.14 - 19.07.14
SWG3 Gallery, Glasgow

“Life appears: a complex dampness, destined to an intricate future and charged with secret virtues, capable of challenge and creation. A kind of precarious slime, of surface mildew, in which a ferment is already working. A turbulent, spasmodic sap, a presage and expectation of a new way of being, breaking with mineral perpetuity and boldly exchanging it for the doubtful privilege of being able to tremble, decay, and multiply.” - Roger Caillois.

We came accross Rachel de Joode’s work about 3 years ago; slick but repellent pictures of incongruous and ephemeral displays of rotten fruits, rocks, bones, raw chickens, bodyparts assembled together in the photographic studio. Exploring the 3D to 2D relationship, these semiologic associations progressively gave birth to an abstract pictural merging of these different surfaces and references. It could be named collage, digital patchwork or even skin graft of various organic matters.

"Looking at minerals I tried to be a mineral myself".

‘The matter of it being a stone’ has initially been conceptualized during a residency at the Deutsche Börse Residency at the Frankfurter Kunstverein in 2013. During this period, de Joode conducted research at one of the largest mineral collections of Europe, the Mineralogic Collection of the Senckenberg institute. This research resulted in a series of small (hand-size) sculptures that debate the habits of minerals and their relation to the artist’s human body.

As usual, de Joode’s work can’t set in its initial state, it has to jell, freeze, liquefy or evaporate, take the form of another “thing”. These sculptures made of plaster casts of body parts, gooey and fleshy matters have been photographed, immortalized from one carefully chosen viewpoint, enlarged and printed onto a reflecting surface confirm the artist’s primitive fascination with materiality and imitating the grandness / weirdness of large crystal minerals.

As part of its fabrication process, Rachel’s work appears behind the screen of a computer, in a photo retouching software. This could explain why the computer screen has been a very adequate way of witnessing de Joode’s work over the years subtly questioning the status of the sculpture-object, the pedestal or the photographic-object. In this show, 3D collages becoms 2D surfaces exhibited in a playful 3D context (gallery) ending up being re-photographed and spread on the internet.

Curated by Camille le Houezec & Joey Villemont

Supported by Creative Scotland