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Céline Vahsen

Last minute residency 14/3 > 27/3/2022
Open Studio: za/sat/sam 26/3  14u > 21u

Text by Evelyn Simons, 2021 :

Her artistic research is intertwined with exploring the scope, possibilities and limits
of the materials through which she works. Processing these materials manually,
informs the coming-into-being of her works: both in outlook as well as in duration.
The act of weaving occurs over long stretches of time, and her deconstruction of
each step in the process - selecting the yarns, producing the dyes with natural
materials, and weaving with traditional, artisan techniques and instruments - counts
as a poignant reminder of a time it sometimes takes to arrive somewhere.
Seen up close, the resulting images reveal subtle rhythms, patterns anchored in
the fundamental structure of the fabric itself. The materials have a shared agency
with the artist over their final destination. As the artist doesn’t decide on the final
motif in advance, and rather allows for randomness in the emergence of rhythms
to appear, she challenges her fascination with the tension at play between chance
and order. This methodology unearths the mathematical systems that are at the
origin of society’s technical progress, partially engendered by looms.
The threads themselves are approached arbitrarily, morphing and manifesting
themselves into complex structures and unpredictable motifs. Blurry, nearly
vibrating visual monochrome impressions appear as the artist interacts with visual
perception. Usually, the resulting images hover between samples of traditional
artistry; minimalist grids; and contemporary glitches.
She presents them frontally, the moiré effects stretched on a frame like a screen.
They incorporate the notion of linear progressively, a stacking of gestures,
undulating in constant movement over time - causal, intuitive and per chance.
The final compositions visualize temporality, as well as a hybrid amalgam of cultural
references. Her technical research includes various references and traditions
from geographically dispersed cultures, as well as customs from various periods
throughout history of weaving.
Empirical experimentation brings them together in a personal modus operandi,
hijacking traditional results while paying tribute to them. Natural materials such
as silk, wool, linen and exponentially also untreated copper threads, are all left
to mingle, and are subsequently left to interact with natural phenomena such as
oxidation and colour fading.
This centrifugal presence with no center point nor a singular direction, captures the
gaze, and hypnotizes through a symbiotic fusion of texture, tone, linear time, light
and the environment.

10/2022 upcoming 
Artist-In-Residence, Villa Empain - Boghossian Foundation, Brussels, BE