The gradual disappearance of text that first appeared in Lahuis his 'water texts', reappears in a series of clay tablets that he has shown from 2018 onwards. To produce this work, he adapted the technique of typesetting, that was used to produce books in the pre-digital age, as well as more contemporary techniques such as laser-cutting and CNC milling.
With the help of these techniques Lahuis reproduced a scientific article that describes an erosion process that defined the shape of the European continent. This process took place over the course of thousands of years and separated the UK from mainland Europe geologically. The clay used in the work originates from a quarry in the UK. It is the same kind of clay that eroded to form the Dover-Strait.
The time frame of the erosion process that is described in the text is contrasted with the time frame of the first exhibitions it was shown in, in which water ran over the imprinted clay and eroded the text itself. This ‘deep time’ versus ‘real time’ erosion took place at the same time as the negotiation process that resulted in the separation agreement between the UK and the EU.
Lahuis has presented the eroded and dried version of these tablets in various other exhibitions, as a testament to these different understandings of time and process. These works were part of a wider series in which Lahuis used the elements such as land, water and fire as a lens to look at and understand political concepts and its consequences.
Youri Appelo for When Stones Awake – POST Nijmegen