Astrid Mingels

Astrid Mingels
Introverted (2014) | appr. 80 x 60 x 15 cm | folded zebraskin
Fathom (2013) | variable dimensions | cactus - paper - wood
Designed in California (detail) (2014) | 5 objects | appr. 15 x 15 x 8 cm | porcelain-plaster
Time Future Contained in Time Past (2014) | videostill | 3,17 min.
Lucid Ways (2015) | site-specific installation | appr. 600 x 500 x 33 cm
Unfixed exchange #2 (2014) | exhibition view | P////AKT - Amsterdam (solo)
Prospecting (2013) | variable dimensions | ceramics - aventurine
Botergoud (2012) | videostill | 0,45 min.
Flash Crash (2014) | polished nautilus-shell - silicon - ipod with earplugs  | appr. 17 x 13 x 8 cm |  pedestal inlaid with sound insulating-foam | 35 x 35 x 70 cm | audio recording 3,39 min
Text: 

Nowadays we tend to have more intimate relationships with the objects that surround us than we have with each other. As an artist I consider myself, objects/commodities and ideas as equals. I am fascinated by the concept that objects are entities with specific qualities, autonomous from us as humans and from each other - and I feel like a guest within this world of objects.

Our post-Fordist society is all about the production and consumption of goods and the prevailing commodity-fetish is very fascinating to me. In our material world it is a common practice to use objects - including art objects - to express status. This idea of ‘possession’ - a concept that I believe is essentially impossible - intrigues me.

My work focusses on the value of materiality and what I find very interesting is how the value of ‘things’ can shift and change through context and time (history). My work starts with the objects and utensils surrounding me and my practice is an investigation of these objects, their value and their concept. By bringing together seemingly unrelated objects, I associatively look for meaning by creating a certain order. By combining objects and materials I aim for an outcome of more than the mere sum of their parts and attempt to add a surplus value; thereby employing the rhetoric of the economic system and its marketing tools.

Although my installations, including the video works, have a strong material presence, many of my sources (in the broad sense of the term) derive from the digital and the online world, which are secondarily translated into physical objects. After the dematerialization and virtualization that took place within the arts and other fields, I believe that there is now a renewed interest in the material. In relation to this I find the tension between the virtual, immaterial world and the material object an interesting aspect and I attempt to investigate this phenomenon in my artistic practice.

Another important aspect of my artistic practice is the method and act of displaying objects. The ‘exhibition’ (or the display) becomes a format that makes it possible for us to see an object as it is, and gives (art)objects/commodities the opportunity to appear beyond a specific exchange- and use-value.

(I believe this has to do with the fact that objects have their own management of time, which is a sublimely endless period of existence. We experience (art)objects as animated and alive, and I believe this experience is based on the difference in our lifetime’s temporality compared to the object’s temporality; something we are unconsciously aware of.)

With every presentation I try to find a way where the act of display contributes to the specific content of the work, and ‘display’ and ‘work’ become one singular entity. In my practice I approach my subjects/ works as commodities, and often displays them as such. The specific combination of different works and the way they are arranged creates an outline for the (possible) meaning of the presentation. This associative aspect is of great importance to me. I consider my installations contemporary still lives that are like riddles, slowly unfolding in space and time.

Reoccurring, core subjects of my artistic practice are: the value of ‘things’, materiality, history/ancient times in relation to contemporary life, the immaterial/virtual world, the still life, the commodity fetish, economy/industry/marketing.

Astrid Mingels