Ada Van Hoorebeke’s installation, Goods & Services, at Kinderhook & Caracas draws on an ongoing engagement within the artist’s oeuvre. Within the larger series, named “Lace Simulations”, she continuously develops her batik resist dyeing practice, crafting textiles that mimic the patterns of lace and woven fabrics. These imitations are representative of a history of female emancipation, community, and cultural traditions from around the globe. The long-standing practice of women weaving fabrics or lace has frequently been a form of achieving financial independence, knowledge sharing, and community.
Over the last thirteen years, researching batik dyeing techniques lead Van Hoorebeke to travel to Serekunda, The Gambia and Yogyakarta, Indonesia to learn from masters. During her travels, she experienced the production chain that is activated by handiwork and craftsmen and women. Reflecting on this, the artist realized that this chain, much like the traditional techniques used in her work, was disappearing from the contemporary, automated world.
The artist’s materials are frequently natural waste materials, such as urine or pomegranate peels, combined with other forms of contemporary waste, such as car parts. Elements produced by new assembly lines – a car hood or fender – are paired with products from old-world production chains – such as dyed textiles – resulting in a fusion of these old and new worlds. With Goods & Services, as well as other recent installations, the artist invites viewers to physically engage in the research to explore their own relationships towards image, personhood, and objects. The interactions often take place as a group, creating not only a temporary community but also moments of exchange that use the installation as a medium for celebrating these occasions.
The installation at Kinderhook & Cartacas laterally covers every inch of the space including floor and ceiling and is extended to the bathroom where it includes older works such as Indigo -urine collection for personalized items, 2015 and Incantecimi with Pipi – Pots a sound work by Eva Van Deuren (Orphan Fairytale) & Francesco Cavaliere made for Batik Toilet, 2013 by Ada Van Hoorebeke. On view is also a video called Laundering activities 2019 which is a simulation of the dyeing process as seen from the inside of a cab. This is a performance by Ada Van Hoorebeke with Esra Altin, Kinderhook & Caracas and two cab drivers, performed on the opening night of the show in 2019.
This solo exhibition is part of the 2019 Berlin Art Prize.