Martin van Zomeren is pleased to present ‘The Oil We Eat’,* the first solo exhibition of Anne de Vries at the gallery.
The exhibition ‘The Oil We Eat’ can be experienced as a chemical cocktail made with quotidian ingredients. A mix of fluids flows freely through the space in a three-dimensional composition including several consumption products: beverages, food, body care, medicine, house cleaning products, fuel, etc.
Pieces of earth and soil lay around in the space: pieces of beach, forest soil, city sand, roads and other parts of land seem to be cut out of their environments and ecosystems and brought together in the exhibition space.
Walking around the space, the visitor discovers juxtapositions between what is to be experienced as “nature”, “commodity” and “waste”. Sometimes the three elements are brought together in the same work, which allows to recognize different stages of the life cycles of commodities.
The title ‘The Oil We Eat’ refers to the use of relying on fossil energy once that the primary productivity energy - i.e. the total amount of plant mass created by the Earth in a given year - has been processed.
Fuel is burned, energy is released and we need energy for cars, computers, running, thinking and much more. The tiniest and most insignificant thought needs energy and is rooted in material processes hosted by a living body.
According to Leibniz (1646-1716), whose philosophy challenged the concept of materialism, if we would enlarge our brain and imagine ourselves walking through it and looking around, we would only see processes, electrochemical material events, but we would never find the actual thoughts, hopes, fears, desires or pains.**
The exhibition plays with the interrelations between the material and the by-product of subjective observations. In particular ‘Interface’ is a body of works inspired by the failure to depict the flow of unfocused thoughts occurring in one specific moment, including subconscious associations and glitches, as they come and go by.
Anne de Vries (b. 1977, The Hague) is an alumni of the Rijksakademie voor Beeldende Kunst, Amsterdam. His work has been recently exhibited in institutions such as WallRiss, Fribourg (ongoing),The Moving Museum, Istanbul (2014), De Hallen, Haarlem (2014), Foam, Amsterdam (2014, 2011, 2009, 2008), Museum of Bat Yam (2013), Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow (2013), Nest, The Hague (2013), Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2012).
* From the title of a text by Richard Manning, originally appeared in Public #30, Fall 2004. The full title is ‘The oil we eat: Following the food chain back to Iraq’.
** Goetz S., Taliaferro C. (2011). A Brief History of the Soul. West Sussex, UK: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing.