What crumbles beneath the weight of time, and what stands resilient against its erosion? In ‘Being embedded in ulterior layers’ artists Iver Uhre Dahl, Marie Civikov, Karla Paredes, Fedrik Vaessen, and Noa Zuidervaart collaboratively weave together a layered landscape. Within this environment, the artists contemplate (fictional) pasts, tumultuous presents and possible futures, rethinking temporality and endurance through artificial remnants.

In the opening chapter of Jane Bennett’s Vibrant Matter, she describes the contents of a storm drain in Chesapeake Bay. Gathered together in liquid currents, object-assemblages oscillate between debris and a thing-in-itself composed of various conglomerate components. The possibility of the autonomy of objects is put into question, as it was defined by modernism and the object of Modern Art. In denying this possibility, the contemporary frames a new paradigm in which a stage acknowledges correlation. Context, proximity, and trace define an entangled landscape made of multiplicities and closely tied to Bruno Latour’s actor-network-theory.

Being Embedded in Ulterior Layers brings together the work of 5 artists who use the exhibition space like archeologists, magicians, foragers, and material poets. The space is conceptually aligned with geological strata - a landscape that can quickly tell an expert eye about millenia of the region’s tellurian history. The visitor is first confronted by a panorama as a thing in itself, but like the curious eye of the archeologist, details reveal their own stories, connections, and keys to the narrative.

The structural element of the exhibition are leftover bricks from the garden surrounding Odapark - remnants from past projects that are reassembled into new forms. The concept of cyclical assemblage runs through the bricks as well as the artist’s work in which objects, elements of old works, and materials from the studio can be reused, altered, and reformulated into new ephemeral art objects. This material philosophy breaks concepts of linearity that ascribe a timeline to artworks and their inviolability in favour of a more flexible circular return of the object and the artwork in organic cycles of life.

This is the latest step in a journey of exhibitions in which the artists have dismantled established forms of authorship in group settings in favour of more fluid constellations, yet materialities and aesthetics still distinguish one from the other. Marie Civikov’s sculptural paintings drape from ceilings like banners or shields and narrate a complex family history entangled with the Netherlands’ histories of migration and colonialism. Iver Uhre Dahl’s wood-carved sculptures oscillate between figuration and abstraction, representing folk stories, myths, and techniques of assemblage. Karla Paredes creates drawings, sculptures, and ceramic objects based off of research into gardening, archeology, and non-human collaborations through the lens of writers such as Rosi Braidotti or Donna Haraway. Fedrik Vaessen presents us with a world of science-fiction where human and non-human combine in imaginative creatures that reference a deep future and deep past. Noa Zuidervaart’s ceramics emerge from the landscape in squiggly wyrm-like uncanny contortions, where sea-shells appear like ancient creatures that have always been in the living, breathing, landscape. 


Text by Àngels Miranda