Nina Canell

Energy Budget | S.M.A.K., Ghent

23 June - 2 September 2018

Nina Canell’s sculpture transcends the quiet and static. Her artistic practice does not revolve around the finished art object but the surprising, movable and inexhaustible capacities of the matter it contains. Throughout the sculptural process, this potential of energy is being managed, placed, moved, distributed, lost and regained, but never fully controlled.

Canell’s sculptures and installations are the result of both chance encounters and careful observations. They generate dynamic connections between solid objects and elusive phenomena that together testify to what has happened or is happening. This mediation between stuff, substances and structures always leaves traces: from the distance that they travelled, the things they bumped into, or the time that passed through them. Canell incorporates such residues as integral aspects of her work. Her plastic experiments are not an attempt to explain the world to us but to densify it with the impurities of process, the impact of experience and the unexpected directions in which they send our attention.

In her exhibition at S.M.A.K., Nina Canell integrates the museum’s architecture, light and relationship with the outside environment, which influences the location of the sculptures and determines the transformation they undergo on site. The arrangements of objects, with their individual characteristics, in turn create a specific atmosphere by which the space is undeniably affected. In the only darkened space of the exhibition, a collaborative video reveals in razor-sharp detail the intoxicating complication of movement and stasis of a leopard slug and a number of dragon holes.

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