Rachel de Joode
Soft Inquiry Group
Glazed ceramic and archival inkjet print on PVC
11,5 × 20,5 × 15 cm
Unique work in a series of 15 variations, signed and numbered by the artist on a certificate
about this work
Rachel de Joode’s practise explores the boundaries between sculpture and photography, between the two-dimensional and three-dimensional, rendering materials such as wet clay, marble and skin abstract. She is internationally acclaimed for her ‘photo-sculptures’, questioning issues of object versus representation. This special series of ‘photo-sculptures’ introduces a new duality to the subjects of Rachel de Joode’s work: authenticity versus copy. The works in Soft Inquiry Group are part of a series: every ceramic hook is a handmade original, paired with a mechanically reproduced print of a close-up of clay-like material.
(Please note that each ceramic hook is unique and that the edition you purchase can differ slightly from the one pictured above)
about Rachel de Joode
Rachel de Joode explores the role and aesthetics of the gallery space in relation to the vast circulation of contemporary art online. Her work explores the rapport between the three-dimensional piece of art and its two-dimensional virtual counterpart, blending the techniques of photography and sculpture in a constant play of surfaces and materiality.
As Loney Abrams writes in her 2013 essay Flatland: “as documentation of a finished work of art is posted to the Internet, and then dispersed and multiplied via likes and shares, online viewers become the overwhelming majority of an exhibition’s audience. All works, regardless of their material constituents, are flattened, scaled down to several hundred pixels and the digital image is supplanting the art object.”
For Rachel de Joode, photography is the perfect tool for flattening reality and transforming its sculptures into surfaces, then sculptures once more and then surface again. The sculpted object is reconfigured through the two-dimensional lens only to return to the three-dimensional world. The initial photograph is manipulated, mixed with others and printed in order to continue its journey as a new photograph or sculpture. A long experimental process that brings digital images back to the galleries, where they discover new physical space.
Organic materials, skin, stones and clay: nothing is what it seems. Rachel de Joode’s sculptures generate a sense of dissonance that modifies our expectations of materials and surfaces. Multiple references are interwoven into a single piece that, just like the Internet, offers a fascinating collage of non-correspondent information. Rachel de Joode’s work belongs to our age, drawing on themes such as technology and isolation, and it blurs the lines between the physical and virtual worlds. What remains are questions about the existence and perception of the image in the digital age.
(courtesy of Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Rome)