Edith Dekyndt is an artist who draws inspiration from natural phenomena and, what may be called, “the psychology of machines.” Presented as minimal, highly precise installations, her works tread a fine line between the down-to-earth and the other-worldly, activating the cognitive boundaries of those who come in their midst. Since 2004, her practice has been developed under the umbrella of what she terms Universal Research of Subjectivity. Her solo exhibition, Agnosia, was presented at Witte de With in the spring of 2009.
Witte de With’s 8th Source Book – which generously documents the works in the exhibition – also offers access to Edith Dekyndt’s personal inspirations in literature, film and music. Taking up the ‘source’ in ‘Source Book,’ Dekyndt prepared her own texts and lists of favorites, as well as a recommendation: Norman Mailer’s Of a Fire on the Moon (1971). A significant excerpt of this account of the Apollo 11 mission (from a chapter entitled “The Psychology of Machines”) is thus reproduced and offers a precise poetic key for the artist’s blend of scientific enquiry and subjective reverie. Her selections are further illuminated in an interview with Amira Gad (assistant curator at Witte de With).
In addition to Dekyndt’s personal sources, two curators have been invited to write essays in direct response to the artist’s practice. Renske Janssen confronts the blankness of many of Dekyndt’s images by contextualizing them in her personal encounters with other blank gazes from historical and contemporary artworks – considering how such works release the trigger of subjective consciousness. Wim Waelput draws on his experience of organizing Dekyndt’s recent solo exhibition at KIOSK in Ghent in the Spring of 2010; he particularly focuses on Carousel, a new site-specific installation developed for KIOSK, as a resource for understanding the dimension of time in her practice as a whole.
Edited with an introduction by
Juan A. Gaitán, Nicolaus Schafhausen & Monika Szewczyk
Edith Dekyndt, Amira Gad, Renske Janssen, Norman Mailer, Wim Waelput
paperback, 111 pages; 200 x 125 mm; 16 color images, additional b&w illustrations
Number of copies
Kummer & Herrman, Utrecht
1 November 2010
Printed in The Netherlands
Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art Rotterdam, The Netherlands
All rights reserved. © the artists, authors, and Witte de With, Rotterdam.