exhibition statement: C
C, an installation by Australian artist Amarie Bergman at ParisCONCRET, configures the chemical symbol for carbon using an innovative architectural product called ‘softwall’ by Molo Design to make a translucent white curve of vertical pleats.
Not unlike letters in an alphabet, chemical elements via astrophysics form a language about starlight, and Bergman visually transmits her fascination in several series of work called Stellar Lingualumina. Physically, carbon is the premier building molecule and was created in stars over 13 billion years ago. It is one of the most common elements in our bodies and on Earth, occurring in all organic compounds. C, in its reductive simplicity, aims to place the viewer “in an indeterminate, luminous space, in attentive contemplation”[i] experiencing the light and space of symbolic carbon.
With this project Bergman references Agnes Martin’s “To the Islands” work from 1974-1979: “This kind of color, a lapse in pure whiteness, is an imperfection. Through it, you imagine the perfect "white" of light.”[ii]
Its shape references a 1983 steel work by Richard Serra, Clara-Clara: two mirrored Cs shown in Paris at the Tuileries, Place de la Concorde. Like Serra’s work, this installation is also a phenomenological sculpture that “exists in primary relation to the body, not as its representation but as its activation, in all its senses, all its apperceptions of weight and measure, size and scale.”[iii] C, however, is situational rather than site specific because this work engages ParisCONCRET and redefines its space.
[i] Lynne Cooke, Curator, Dia Foundation, essay: To the Islands; Agnes Martin’s Paintings 1974-79.
[ii] Lynne Cooke, as above
[iii] Hal Foster, The Un/making of Sculpture, Richard Serra, October Files, edited by Hal Foster with Gordon Hughes (Cambridge: The MIT Press, 2000) 178-179.
28 November – 19 December 2009
(The gallery, directed by Richard van der Aa, closed in 2014.)