Annet Gelink Gallery proudly presents the second solo exhibition of Sarah van Sonsbeeck (1976, Utrecht) at the gallery. Van Sonsbeeck returns to the gallery with a series of remarkable new works that may be familiar to the viewer in subject matter, such as silence, the exploration and appropriation of space, the use of gold and seeking of a private environment. Yet the works in this exhibition are taken even further in this exploration, being inspired by current events.
On this occasion the artist presents a selection of new works among which the new series Shelter. In 2013 van Sonsbeeck made the Anti Drone Tent from gold Mylar emergency blankets to hide from the heat scanning gaze of drones. A technique it turned out the Taliban was also using for warfare. Now in 2017 the refugee crisis has given this work new meaning as daily photos arise of refugees wrapped in this same golden material to keep their bodies warm and sheltered from the gaze of others. And yet this shiny shelter also abstracts them into anonymous entities in a similar way as politics needs to abstract them to decide over their fate. Shelter is an attempt to research the emergency blanket in this new context.
Not only the transformation of context, but also the private experience of space is central to the work of Sarah van Sonsbeeck, a former architect. Visitors entering the show are confronted by the notion of space. The concept of sound as a marker of territory is central to her practice, taking silence (which she has called ‘anti-sound’) as a building block of private space. Through her practice, she makes apparent how our private world is encroached upon by the outside space, resulting in claustrophobic, negative experiences. Furthermore, Van Sonsbeeck underlines the importance of privacy and silence as a refuge from these disruptive outside stresses. A new series of spy mirrors function both as artwork and as a means of controlling the gallery space. Though beware, once you gaze into them you will become part of the Security Space they entail.
In this new setting the artist transforms and re-activates two older works literally using the waste of the one to transform the other into Mistakes I’ve made and Remade. Using an existing work she was unhappy with and gold leaf debris, which are strewn into faraday paint (blocking electromagnetic signals), Van Sonsbeeck takes the theme of space to its outer edge, re-creating the universe.