Lennart Lahuis’ third solo exhibition at Dürst Britt and Mayhew brings together three distinct bodies of works, in which present, past, and future appear to be collapsing into each other and different technological eras converge.
Firstly there is ‘Astromelancholia’, an astronomical clock that connects various contemporary images with the course of the planets in our solar system. The 7 photographic images that are shown in relation to this clock are cut in four concentric circles and contain marks that make it possible to use them as functional dials from which astronomical information can be read when mounted on the mechanism. When attached to the clock the image will only return to its original starting position in 18,6 years. The clock is accompanied by a comprehensive manual prepared by graphic design studio Our Polite Society.
In the middle of the exhibition space the viewer encounters an installation consisting of a water boiler, a vessel, a trashbin and a barrel. These various ‘containers’ produce words from water vapour that form the sentence “when is it / that we / feel change / in the air”. The words are only legible for a short time and then evaporate, after which the words are produced again. It conveys a feeling of writing with clouds, as well as reflecting on sudden or opaque, larger or smaller shifts that occur within our societies.
Additionally Lahuis realised various new ‘wax-works’, made with found photographic material from frames, printing equipment and/or calendars. These generic images are printed on the backboard of the frame and are subsequently covered with a layer of wax and paper on glass that is placed in front of the image. This specific material gesture suspends the immediate intelligibility of the images on view. They are frozen in a moment between appearance and disappearance, between absence and presence.
Through a wide variety of materials and techniques Lennart Lahuis subjects texts and photographic iumagery to natural phenomena such as melting, combustion, evaporation and erosion. In recent series of works Lahuis combines material processes that are used in graphic reproduction techniques with scientific disciplines such as earth sciences, astronomy and restoration. These disciplines are traditionally employed to produce or preserve knowledge, but in Lahuis' practice they become part of objects and installations that explore the boundaries of intelligibility, the material conditions for legibility and the potential of disappearance through material decay and fragmentation.