Galerie Fons Welters - Amsterdam

Complex Interiors – Trance-lucent Concrete

Complex Interiors: Trance-lucent Concrete is the expressive, obscuring and poly-interpretable title of Jennifer Tee’s (Arnhem, 1973) second solo exhibition at Galerie Fons Welters. It presents allusions to inner structures and spaces, ostensibly visible but never directly tangible. Tee invites us to transcend the limits of time and space and to enter into ‘another world’.

In her earlier work she takes existing narratives as her point of departure, frequently personal items such as the family secrets in her exhibition Down the Chimney at Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam. The diverse stories are subjected to a kind of anthropological and archaeological scrutiny to form a new mythology. This need to insert herself into the work is still present in her recent installations, but in a more abstracted, intuitive way.

Sculptures stand dispersed around the space. A structure composed of wooden beams is ingeniously held together with ropes, in the shape of a pentangle. The work The unfolding of awareness and opening up / structures of consciousness resembles a complex puzzle, fragile but in a state of equilibrium. The ropes form an ambivalent boundary, enclosing while inviting. The work may be a refuge or resting-place, or a place of departure for a mental journey into a different state of consciousness. The present and imagined elements coalesce here.

Hanging prominently in the middle of the gallery, to the left and the right, are two formations of porcelain plumes entitled Falling Feathers. While each individual element has the characteristic softness of a real feather, together they are transformed into the hard surface of what may be a shield, strong and combative. Falling Feathers might be a symbolic artefact that takes on meaning in a rite or ceremony, defying gravity.

With their purity of lines and shapes and austere palette, the works in this exhibition exude a powerful air of restraint. Jennifer Tee has created a mental space in which time is frozen. Individually, these mental and physical structures are suggestive of new meanings, but they rest on a broad framework of cultural expressions and universal principles.

[Laurie Cluitmans]