Although Eke Kriek's resumé is still local, her inspiration comes from far away. After attending the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Den Haag, in 2009 her film Tokyo Blue Screen was chosen for 10 Years - The One Minutes at the Amersfoort Kunsthal. An Investigation is her second solo show at C3, and this time the images she captured come from Iceland and Norway. The Dutch artist is most fascinated with cold colors and open spaces, floating ice and wind-stricken beaches.
While in Japan she had been documenting the zen-infused repetition of simple daily gestures – a man practicing martial arts, another cleaning the facade of a building – in Kriek's most recent works the human figure is totally absent. The gaze, though, is still there.
Eke Kriek, Persona, 2011, c-print on aluminium; Courtesy of C3 Gallery, Amsterdam
Just like in Tokyo Blue Screen, where a Japanese man in a park is projected onto a blue cloth laid against a grey wall - thus breaking its drabness with a green landscape – An Investigation juxtaposes different pictures on the same horizon, trying to create the illusion of a different, moving landscape. What we see is only in part the testimony of an actual trip. The rest is a mental space resulting from the convergence of different experiences.
Eke Kriek, An Investigation, exhibition view; Courtesy of C3 Gallery, Amsterdam.
Kriek presents her travels without words, as fragments. A thirty-second video of a floating piece of ice, somewhere in Iceland, is interrupted by a few seconds of black. A series of photos, depicting different beaches looking very similar to each other, is aligned on the wall. Memory is a series of key frames, still pieces that suggest a vaster world.
If Tokyo Blue Screen used blue as a recurring element, An Investigation uses lines rather than colors: wavy and ever-changing or sharp and solid. There is a sense of place throughout the exhibition, but something seems to be missing: a narration telling us something about the traveler, be it the artist or us visiting the show, and the emotional connection with the physical and mental landscapes we see. Kriek's images are beautiful because so are the subjects she looked for, in both their simplicity and uniqueness. The feeling, though, is that we'll have to wait for another chapter of her work to really see the world she's showing us.
(Image at top: Eke Kriek, Uit De Serie An Investigation 2, 2011; Courtesy of the artist and C3 Gallery)