In the gallery, the natural elements that have underpinned Vida Simon’s work for many years come to the foreground. Through various treatments, calling on performance, drawing and installation, the artist establishes a relationship of proximity and distance to these elements. Working out of a study room resembling a Dutch interior, the curator and the artist develop a botanical fiction, hanging and dismantling the backdrop of an unfolding narrative.
Referring to handbooks, they note their observations, weighing, considering and turning over inscrutable specimens: piles of seaweed, fruit, litter, paper, moss are classified as downy, wrinkled, glossy, viscous. They focus on “ways of seeing” nature, combining various narrative and scientific filters through which they consider their samples. They sketch, peel, make marks on the spot.
Yet, the amalgam of specimens on the table, forming a cardboard decor, a shadow play, divulge an excessive presence. Beyond the tools, methods, stories, it is clear that something is showing itself. Is it possible, even if only for an instant, to simultaneously grasp the story’s thread, its mesh and what throbs beneath?