Opening on Thursday September 3, 11am – 9pm
Xippas Geneva is very pleased to announce a new solo exhibition of the Swiss artist Emilie Ding, opening on September 3, 2020.
For this exhibition, the artist will unveil a series of new works in response to the architecture of the gallery and its vocation of entrepreneurial space.
Unfolding between photography, sculpture and installation, Emilie Ding’s practice is inspired by the constituent elements of the spaces that enclose us.
Between fragments of modern architecture and manufactured elements from the field of construction, her works portray a hybrid and systematised reality in which the bodies are trying to find a place.
A group of five sculptures made of several hundred concrete cobblestones punctuates the visit. At issue here is the visitor’s body and its relationship to systematisation; its confrontation with architecture and structure. Through their very pilling up and arrangement, the concrete cobblestones, which are standard elements in the building trade, evoke storage systems – a normalised modular organisation. The structure here transforms into a practical object – taking the dimensions of a bench – yet is unable to be it fully, its physics compelling it to balance forces.
On top of some sculptures are anti-pest devices, peaks reminiscent of discomfort and rejection. They echo the treatment of public space and its transformation into something uncomfortable, a non-zone pushing bodies aside, as with the urban-design strategy of hostile architecture. Ding also evokes this non-zone by placing cement earplugs on both sides of the sculptures. By isolating hearing, blocking it, Ding forces herself to enter her own body too, shutting herself away in a buffer zone. Finally, Proteas, symbols of metamorphosis, are arranged on some of the sculptures and stabilised with vegetal glycerine. Akin to office plastic flowers, they reference the corporate space in which the works would be repeatedly copied and pasted, locked in an endless loop.
The seven photographs shown on the wall are actual views of corridors in former corporate buildings. Slowly deserted, the commercial offices were taken on by real estate agencies and inexpensively turned into cheap dwellings. The signage system and main features of commercial offices (suspended ceilings, synthetic wall-to-wall carpeting, etc.) remained. These spaces also become forms of non-zone.
Each image was shot with an Iphone 8 and enlarged to body scale, thus increasing the photographs’ dramaturgy.
Born in 1981 in Fribourg, Emilie Ding graduated from Geneva University of Arts (HEAD), Switzerland (2008) and from Biel and Bern University of Arts, Switzerland (2003).
Her work was shown in prestigious international institutions, such as Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2014), MAMCO, Geneva (2015) or FRAC Bourgogne, Dijon, France (2017).