Parker’s Box is delighted to present the first New York solo exhibition by Belgian artist, Edith Dekyndt.
The artist’s practice is pluridisciplinary, involving video, photography and/or sculpture/installation, for example, according to the dictates of her preoccupations and whatever subject she may be exploring. In other words, like many artists whose work has been seen at Parker’s Box, Edith Dekyndt chooses her medium according to the demands of an idea or project, rather than the opposite. While she may use degrees of technology to achieve her ends, her preferred territory of exploration is decidedly and refreshingly low tech. Often concentrating on the kind of visual phenomena that we constantly overlook in the world around us, Dekyndt frequently focuses on ambiguous, even ephemeral bits of matter that tend to teeter on the edge of what we may even read as anti-matter. In filming or photographing a transparent flag, pools of oil breaking surface on the Gowanus Canal, or the erratic movements of a tiny bubble of milk, Dekyndt’s scrutiny is so detailed that its hyper-realism tips into abstraction.
The exhibition’s title immediately homes in on these preoccupations, since most seconds of silence are overlooked and common occurrences, except that as soon as attention is drawn to one of them, its “negative” or empty identity becomes concrete, even positive, or full of substance- rather like notions of the outer reaches of the universe where there can only be nothingness, but we are aware that it must have substance.
Here, Dekyndt’s excitement at exploring the macrocosms that emerge when she puts emptiness under the microscope, has clear parallels with works that interest her, like the film made by Raymond Depardon of the crowds in Central Park during Ten Minutes Silence for John Lennon, 1980, or John Cage’s Four minutes, thirty-three seconds, 1952, where the assembled musicians make no sound with their instruments, forcing the spectator to engage with whatever ambient sounds necessarily fill the “silence”.
In a similar way, Edith Dekyndt has been fascinated by the fact that 372 yards (340 meters) is the distance it takes for a sound to reach someone in one second, in other words that precise distance is a physical dimension of one second of silence. Of course, for her exhibition at Parker’s Box, the artist has been exploring ways to exploit this equation, and other transformative interpretations, in order to endow one second of silence with a tangible, physical presence. Through such tireless curiosity and wonderment, Edith Dekyndt remains one of those admirable artists whose intensive and constant involvement in serious research has far outweighed concerns with visibility. While her work has been shown at a number of prestigious European venues (Venice Biennial, Witte de With, Krinzinger Projekte…) it’s presence in New York is long overdue.