Subtle Matter Fluid Hands
For the occasion of Maika Garnica’s Subtle Matter Fluid Hands, she transforms the white cube at Kunsthal into a large pedestal, a stage. Perforating the white walls, she introduces a lightness, porosity; and on a utilitarian level, the perforations become a tool for climbing the chamber. She does so in a performance, which she conceived with her sister Inca Garnica, an artist working intuitively in direct relation to the environment, in her performative actions.
Their collaboration reverberated in the shapes of the ceramic sound sculptures that they perform (with). Thinking about water being passed on endlessly from one carrier to another, this new work builds on Garnica’s acoustic and formal research with clay. In it, she carefully tunes sound, shape and bodily relation to form each instrument. Depending on the shape and the quantity of water, her temporary containers carry out different tones, that here bounce off on the inside belly that is the architecture of Kunsthal Gent. Between form, function and performer, different temporalities are in place.
One of the vessels has two necks so it can be passed on easily while climbing. The water moves through their hands through a dozen instruments back to two connected basins at the bottom of the installation. The basin's transparency allows for the viewer to see how the law of connected vessels keeps them in constant communication, sharing the exact same water level. Moving cyclically, the amount of water in the installation is constant. The two performers wear dip-dyed overalls, almost imitating fading echoes.
The tall building of the Kunsthal is awe-inspiring and transportive, also in its acoustics. During performance downtime, speakers on both sides of the installation, play recordings of the sculptures that keep tickling the walls of the space. Made in collaboration with musician and composer Aiko Devriendt, they used free-standing microphones (the ones that sip frequencies out of the air) and contact mics/hydrophones that record the matter’s frequency directly. Finally, the performance is filmed in one take by the artist’s brother; a video registration that can be seen in the pavilion.
Soft Hands Fluid Matter uses the elasticity of clay and time to shape hollows that are passages for bubbly, vocal, rushing, scraping, rattling transmission, of one to other.
Technical support Atelier Scheldeman, Tomas Lootens, Bieke Criel, Lizzy Brueck, Victor Calame, Valentijn Goethals, Ludwig Billiet
Sound recordings Aiko Devriendt, Inca Garnica, Maika Garnica
Sound design Aiko Devriendt
Text Céline Mathieu
Costume Liesbeth Plettinckx
Special thanks to Valentijn Goethals & Danielle van Zuijlen (Kunsthal Gent), Yalik Garnica, Samuel Saelemakers, Vesna Faassen, Amber Vanluffelen, Ode de Kort, Ans mertens, Adriaan Severins
Maika Garnica (1992) lives and works in Antwerp, Belgium.
Central in Maika Garnica´s practice is the relationship between the environment, the spectator and the artist. She often applies prototypes to comprehend the complex relation between form and matter while instigating the position of the body as a vehicle for social connections. Through various contextual variations the nature of the work shifts spontaneously from sculptures or utilitarian objects to sound installations.