Patricia Dauder
January 27 – March 10, 2012

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The will to see and to represent beyond the immediate surrounding visible and object world is the urge that conducts Patricia Dauder’s work. She captures and visualizes what is extremely difficult to retain: time, a fleeting moment, an ephemeral trajectory, an idea, something with no form, a remote place. Her work is essentially visual, a common feature to all the media she uses, whether they are three-dimensional objects, drawings, photos, films, or collected images. Their interpretation does not come through a narrative or textual source but solely through observation, which gives way to multiple associations and subtle meanings. Biomorphic traces, elliptically shaped images, gridded linear constructions, references to natural elements mix with allusions to cinematography, experienced as a tool for the observation and for the sequencing of space and time.

“Balsa is a 5,22 x 5,11 metre circular wood structure made specifically for the Studio space at Galerie Van der Mieden in Antwerp.

The sculpture is made out of 400 units of balsa wood planks that have been coloured black with charcoal. All the parts assembled conform an oval structure spreading out from wall to wall, slightly reminiscent of a ship´s hull, lacking though the strength of a real ship construction, as the material employed, balsa wood, is very fragile.The conception of this piece comes from a fascination with traditional wood construction methods used in shipbuilding and on the other hand with an early obsession: to build a large circle within a real square space.

The first attempts of a similar structure where done last year during a six-month stay in New York City where I started building a wooden platform made out of bass wood, lifted a few centimeters from my studio´s floor. That preliminary horizontal raised floor, later on turned into a more pronunciated curve for the proposal for Studio-03 project at Galerie Van der Mieden.

During my time In NYC I could appreciate, specially in certain peripheral areas, like Rockaway Beach, a peninsula in the borough of Queens, the general use of wood in the ubiquitous old vernacular architecture, as well as in wrecked vessels abandoned at the bay area. I was fascinated by those remains in which I could see the past in the present, New York´s history and its tied relation to the sea. The experience, iconography and literature around sea culture and big expeditions is a recurrent reference in my work, not so much distinguishable with recognisable motifs, but somehow more imbued with the concept of fernweh or wanderlust, “an ache for the distance”, the impulse to wander or travel faraway.

The above mentioned concepts have been a point of reference, but the sculpture has formarlly developed independently during a long construction process somehow similar to that of my drawings. A slow and methodical process, in which each pencil line/wood plank conforms a small but distinctive part within a complex image. It has not been until the whole structure was completed at Galerie Van der Mieden, one day prior to the opening, that I could see for the first time the whole “picture”.

Accompanying Balsa, a drawing, Cast and a slide projection Forward (slides) are shown. Produced in 2010 and 2009 respectively, they share subtle conceptual and formal associations with Balsa.

Forward slides is a 80 35mm black and white slides projection that shows a series of windsurfing maneuvres called Forwards and Backloops which consist on jumping forwards and backwards in the air at high speed under heavy wind and waves conditions. The photos capture the precise moment when man, sail and board turn in the air without showing any other element in the scene, and the time interval between each slide permits the viewer to recreate a certain illusionistic but uncomplete motion because of the frequent sequences intercuts. The photos were taken during the shot of Forward (film), a 16mm black and white film, that shows in a very fragmented time-line, the atmosphere, seascape and the actions ocurring during the 2009 Gran Canaria PWA Grand Prix, at Pozo Izquierdo beach, a worldwide well-known spot for windsurfing due to strong wind and wave conditions throughout the year.”

Patricia Dauder