21 April 2016
Look but don’t touch, or at most touch with your eyes. The fascination exerted by the works of Magali Reus, now on show at the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo in Turin and from September at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, is the same as you experience when looking at objects of design on the screen of a computer. Spotless surfaces cloak familiar forms, in a repertory that ranges from tubular structures to benches and container units of the kind you might find at IKEA. In Turin the Dutch-born artist has presented two new series: In Place Of is made up of sculptures set on the ground that resemble sidewalk curbs, thin many-layered membranes profaned by the presence of household articles like clothes hangers, cups, kitchen utensils and even bits of food. Reus has scattered them around a large room as if they were islands, adding low walls of plasterboard that condition the views of visitors and the routes they take as they move around them. Leaves, on the other hand, consists of locks made on an unusual scale, stripped of the covering that conceals their mechanisms and fixed to the walls. It is all make-believe: the sidewalks and locks are constructed by the artist in her studio on the basis of vague chromatic ideas and a taste for experimentation with materials in a way that unequivocally reveals their status as replicas. Missing details help to strip each object of the function that pertains to its model, reinforcing the perceived distance between reality and abstraction. In a society that has reduced humanity to the role of an interface between systems of communication like Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, Reus has imagined bodies in the form of objects in order to reflect on the spaces of negotiation that are left to individuals today between the public and private dimension. It takes a bit of imagination, for sure, but her creations are like portraits: portraits of the 21st century.
Quarters. Magali Reus
Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin
March 31-June 12