Marjolijn de Wit

How Things Act

October 26 - December 22, 2017

Marjolijn de Wit, "How Things Act"

Photography by Etienne Frossard

Marjolijn de Wit, "How Things Act"

Photography by Etienne Frossard

Marjolijn de Wit, "How Things Act"

Photography by Etienne Frossard

Marjolijn de Wit, "How Things Act"

Photography by Etienne Frossard

Marjolijn de Wit, "How Things Act"

Photography by Etienne Frossard

Marjolijn de Wit, "How Things Act"

Photography by Etienne Frossard

Press Release

Asya Geisberg Gallery is proud to present "How Things Act", the second solo exhibition of Amsterdam-based Marjolijn de Wit. While De Wit has always worked in diverse media, seamlessly interweaving photography, sculpture, and installation, in "How Things Act", her paintings alternate with and echo smaller ceramic-photo collages. De Wit continues her insight into the field of "future archaeology", creating a trail of crumbs for imaginary viewers millennia from now. She explores these ideas in her collages, layering ceramic shards upon backdrops of textbook reprints or imagery drawn from old National Geographics. In her paintings, enigmatic fragmented shapes sit atop abstracted backgrounds that originate from the same landscapes, or resemble construction material. In each media, De Wit's work causes the viewer to question what exists physically, and what is a translation, representation, or reproduction. With sleight of hand, she lays out a tapestry of visual trickery, reconstructed artifacts, and misinterpreted histories.

De Wit's studio practice can be likened to an archaeological dig. Working with many found images and hand-made ceramics at the same time, she pieces together opaque elements in order to create meaning. On the other hand, museum displays often seamlessly combine authentic artifact with vast reconstructed sections as a simulacrum meant to convince the viewer that they are witnessing a whole structure. De Wit considers this possibility for the future: mistaking the mostly fake for the holistically real, and leaving open the possibility of a wrong interpretation. The artist leaves hope that perhaps her own work will be "believed" in a museum of the future.

De Wit conjures an art museum that collapses, and asks if in future people would be able to tell the difference between its modern art and construction material. These kinds of thought experiments summon forth the complexity, and playfulness, of De Wit's oeuvre. Always, her material and conceptual explorations settle on what people leave behind, whether on purpose or by accident. Each individual work functions as aesthetic object before shifting into parable. Willfully obscured backdrops, trompe l'oeil shadows, and scale shifts all equally confuse. Perception itself becomes the subject, and a parallel to the future historian's propensity for too-neat conclusions, or theories buttressed on necessarily incomplete data. We squint into the distance and try to make out a perhaps fictionalized narrative, to make ourselves at ease with the inevitable murkiness of history.