In addition to everything real
AKINCI presents a group exhibition with Ruby Swinney, Molly Palmer, Inge Meijer and Thomas Huber. It extracts its title from a film by Molly Palmer: ‘in addition to everything real’. From this choice of artists, one can expect a hint of the extraordinary. The universe is turned around, modified, dreamed about or in parallel existence. South African artist Ruby Swinney surprises with her mysterious monochrome paintings on silk, whereas Thomas Huber is the master of time in his work, sharing only carefully crafted clues with his viewer. Inge Meijer puts the viewer in a position of power opposite her non-human protagonists. With the contribution of Molly Palmer, this show becomes a place where reality and fiction are destabilised and intertwined.
Molly Palmer (UK, 1984) is currently Artist in Residence at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam. She uses handmade props, sets and costumes, green-screening protagonists into layered video worlds, where music, gesture, and dialogue form cyclical narratives exploring the strangeness concealed within ordinary things. In this exhibition AKINCI shows Molly Palmer’s film ‘In addition to everything real’ alongside a painting, works on paper and a selection of objects. The fractured narratives that unfold within these material environments explore the transformative potential of personal belief, often seeking resolution for difficult events - sorrow, loss, anxiety, mental health challenges or trauma. Although visually dream-like, this work is not intended as fantasy. Instead, it offers a step sideways into parallel worlds that allow us to examine and enjoy the complexity and absurdity of being human. As a special edition for Amsterdam Gallery Weekend, AKINCI and Molly Palmer present a film still from Fountain, a single-channel video about cycles of belief and nihilism.
Inge Meijer’s (The Netherlands, 1986) films, installations and photographs show the uneasy relationship between humankind and its surroundings. An environment that lives and breathes but that humankind continuously tries to bend to its will. The artist often features plants as the main protagonists in her films, of which the latest: Nothing is something to be seen , was recorded in the Biblioteca Luis Ángel Arango in Bogota. Before plants were interned to the interior of the library, they were mediating agents between earth and sky. This peridium of their aerial and subterranean ability to transform solar energy into living matter made them ideal candidates as ‘gatekeepers’ of the library. Living in solitude enclosed in the building the plants have adapted their photosynthesis to strategies of mobility.
Cape Town-based artist Ruby Swinney (South Africa, 1992) is known for her sensitive oil paintings on silk or tracing paper. The semi-recognisable and timeless landscapes she depicts are inhabited by peculiar figures who seem to encapsulate – what? The fragility of our existence? The ethereal nature of her paintings expresses a state of uncertainty and longing for the natural world, one that is slowly vanishing. In her work, Swinney is inspired by the Romantic movement as well as by archetypes of Ancient Greek mythology, but also by Rudolf Steiner’s Anthroposophical ideas on the etheric realm and the human soul. Her use of a mostly monochrome palette further expresses this concept, effectively casting each scene in a haze of nostalgia that longs for a time that could have been. In her own words: ‘I think I have certain responses to the present technological revolution that echo the Romantics earlier responses to industrialisation. They reacted by embracing ideas of the sublime in the natural and spiritual or mythical world… In my work I’m trying to evoke this painful longing and uncertainty of what it is to be human, as we fearfully peer out at a shifting world that is becoming dark and unfamiliar.’
Thomas Huber’s (Switzerland, 1955) paintings transport us to a constructed world, which goes beyond the purely perceptible. The ‘pictorial space’, following Huber’s thought, is a place which can be entered. In the painting ‘Das Meer’, we seem to enter the space at a very specific moment when a red bucket spills water on the floor. In another work, through the words ‘The artist is present’, Thomas Huber plays a game with his viewer questioning the past, present and future. Huber’s visual vocabulary encapsulates many aspects of time and space. In the works presented at AKINCI he creates the notion that the exhibition space, or his own studio, provides timeless moments in which something is, inevitably, going to happen.
Molly Palmer is currently Artist in Residence at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam, where she has exhibited at the Open and prepared solo shows for 1646 in the Hague and Ty Pawb in Wales. She graduated from Royal Academy Schools in 2016, where she was awarded the Gold Medal. She received Arts Council England’s Creative Practice Development Fund and has exhibited widely at galleries and museums in London, Berlin, The Hague, Miami, Mexico, Sao Paolo, Istanbul, Rotterdam and Glasgow. Forthcoming exhibitions include the Rijksakademie Open 2021 and solo shows at AKINCI, Amsterdam and Bosse and Baum, London.
Inge Meijer studied Fine Art at ArtEZ University of the Arts in Arnhem. In 2017, she completed her residency at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam. In collaboration with Roma Publications and graphic designer Roger Willems, Inge Meijer has published a book on the plant collection of the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam from 1945 – 1983. She has exhibited in numerous art institutions and fairs around Europe, e.g.: La Maréchalerie, Versailles, FR (2020); Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, NL (2019); Museum Ijsselstijn, NL (2019); Vleeshal, Middelburg, NL (2019); Unseen, Amsterdam, NL (2019); Art Rotterdam, NL (2019); Garage, Rotterdam, NL (2018); AKINCI, Amsterdam, NL (2018); HHH dimension cultural, Bogota, CO (2018); Museum Arnhem, NL (2017); Museum Kranenburgh, Bergen, NL (2017); Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, DE (2014).
Since graduating from the Michaelis School of Fine Arts in 2015, Ruby Swinney (b. 1992) has hosted two solo exhibitions with WHATIFTHEWORLD in Cape Town, ZA: ‘Hold Still’ in 2019 and ‘Ignis Fatuus’ in 2017. She has also held her solo exhibition ‘Human Nature’ at Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Arts Africa (MOCAA), in Cape Town. In 2021, Ruby Swinney will be having a solo exhibition at AKINCI in April 2021, where in 2018 she was part of the group show ‘Let’s Talk about Nature’. Her work is part of various private and public collections, including the Zeitz MOCAA collection. She currently lives and works in Cape Town, South Africa.
Thomas Huber works and lives in Berlin. Important solo shows include: ‘vis-à -vis’, Art UNLIMITED Basel (2017); Collection display MONA, Tasmania (2016); ‘éxtase’, Centre Cultures Suisse, Paris (2016); ‘Am Horizont’, Kunstmuseum Bonn / Musée des Beaux Arts, Rennes (2016); ‘VOUS ÊTES ICI, THOMAS HUBER EST AU MAMCO’ (‘You are Here. Thomas Huber is in Mamco’) Mamco, Geneva (2011/12); exhibition tour ‘Rauten traurig’ (‘Rhombuses sad’), MARTa Herford, Germany (2008), Carré d’art at Musée d’art Contemporain de Nîmes and Kunsthalle Tübingen; Retrospective ‘Kabinett der Bilder’ (‘Cabinet of Paintings’) in the Aargauer Kunsthaus in Aarau, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam, and the Kaiser Wilhelm Museum and Haus Lange in Krefeld (2004). Previous shows by Thomas Huber in the Netherlands: ‘Der Duft des Geldes’ in the Centraal Museum, Utrecht, in 1992, and ‘Boeken/Books’ in the Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, in 1991.