09
Mar
12

Berndnaut Smilde : ‘Nimbus’ Series (Probe – Exhibition)

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Probe is an exhibition space, with walls no higher then 1,10m and a surface of 6m2. It’s a test lab, an artistic skinner box. Its small and practical dimensions enables artists, to create works on scale, that are unthinkable in real life. The architecture of the space is flexible and wholly subservient to the exhibition: walls can be extended, doors can be removed, a floor made of glass, mirrors or wood, even the lighting situation can be fully controlled. Albeit a physical space, Probe is only accessible on the internet. The registration of the exhibition is the exhibition. Probe’s flexible dimensions proposes questions, as to the nature of space, seeing for example, that Probe can be wholly absorbed by the installation it contains. Exterior or interior, architecture or sculpture become relative notions. Probe can also be used as an exhibition making tool. The height, size and sequence of several works can be researched without having to drill a hole. Sketches used as dummies, scale warps achieved in seconds.

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Berndnaut is fascinated by anything in between… Corridors and clouds, not yet there
and not yet solid. What if a sculpture were to be nothing but thin air, smoke or scent?
We’d discuss the merits of one cloud over the other or would we just shut up in awe.

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‘Nimbus’ Series
Cloud in room, 2010
Lambda print, 75 x 112 cm
Probe#6, Suze May Sho, Arnhem
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‘Nimbus’ Series
Cloud in room, 2010
Lambda print, 75 x 112 cm
Probe#6, Suze May Sho, Arnhem
::

::
‘Nimbus’ Series
Cloud in room, 2010
Lambda print, 75 x 112 cm
Probe#6, Suze May Sho, Arnhem
::

::
‘Nimbus’ Series
Cloud in room, 2010
Lambda print, 75 x 112 cm
Probe#6, Suze May Sho, Arnhem
::

::
‘Nimbus’ Series
Cloud in room, 2010
Lambda print, 75 x 112 cm
Probe#6, Suze May Sho, Arnhem
::

::
‘Nimbus’ Series
Cloud in room, 2010
Lambda print, 75 x 112 cm
Probe#6, Suze May Sho, Arnhem
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Interview with Artist

1. How different was it to work in the space of Probe compared to other exhibition spaces?

I usually make a maquette of the space I’m going to work in. A maquette helps me to control and visualize an idea. It provides a clear overview. Probe itself is a model space, and worked for me in the same way: The manner of working is very direct and functional, and being so close to the subject changes the conception of materials and reality. The space is being emphasized. You create an ideal situation and therefore I think the model can stand for an idea. Working in Probe provides an additional point of view to exhibition making and that is an almost god-like position in which you have control over everything. I think it is similar to why people like model-train-landscaping. It’s having total power.

2. What did you want to create in Probe?

I imagined walking into a museum hall with just empty walls. The place even looked deserted. On the one hand I wanted to create an ominous situation. You could see the cloud as a sign of misfortune. You could also read it as an element out of the Dutch landscape paintings in a physical form in a classical museum hall. At the same time I wanted to make (for once) a very clear image, an almost cliché and cartoon like visualisation of having bad luck.

3. What obstacles did you run into?

The idea I had was going to be an ephemeral work. It would only exist as a photo. I thought this would work very well with the idea of Probe, as the exhibitions only exist in the form of documentation. I didn’t realize there is in fact a very physical aspect about Probe’s presentation. The 9 different perspectives of documentation make it possible for the spectator to wander around the space and create the opportunity of visiting the exhibition. Therefore with every shoot we had to make a new cloud and keep in account approximately the same lighting and position to create the illusion of physically walking through the space.

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Berndnaut Smilde : Website

Project Probe

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2 Responses to “Berndnaut Smilde : ‘Nimbus’ Series (Probe – Exhibition)”


  1. 1 Lynne Otter
    March 9, 2012 at 6:50 am

    Ciao, Great!


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