Hester Oerlemans
Fixing Air
Fixing Air van Hester Oerlemans is te zien bij Collectie DE.GROEN in Arnhem
Oerlemans ging voor een periode van 3 maanden naar Xiamen in China om daar te werken aan een serie Blobs. Door Covid 19 raakte zij in een isolement in de Chinese stad. De 3 maanden werden 6 maanden. Het enige dat zij nog kon doen was doorgaan met haar project.FixingAir, waarbij lucht en ballonnen bepalen hoe het werk eruit gaat zien. Een half jaar lang heeft zij met niet aflatende energie geëxperimenteerd en doorgewerkt. Uiteindelijk zijn al haar Blobs, circa 60 stuks, verscheept naar Berlijn. Daar aangekomen in haar atelier grondig geïnspecteerd en beoordeeld door Oerlemans. Nu liggen, staan en hangen ze hier bij de Groen, samen met tekeningen die zij maakte in Covid-tijd in Xiamen. Voor het eerst in Nederland te zien!
Fixing Air overrompelt in vormen, kleuren, zwart, wit en transparant en tart de zwaartekracht!
 
Wij zijn trots om in een solotentoonstelling het werk van Hester Oerlemans bij ons te laten zien. Natuurlijk hopen we straks na de lockdown binnen de mogelijkheden u weer bij Collectie DE.GROEN te ontmoeten.

nu


Fixing Air

For most of the last decade, Hester Oerlemans has been trying to fix air. Moved by the impossibility of finding form for the intangible and by a longstanding interest in the transformation of one medium to another, the Dutch artist has arrived at a series of quixotic yet critical sculptures.  

Oerlemans’ shiny Blobs (2020) are both bodily and abstract, an index of the invisible. Highly individualized through color and shape, they bulge irregularly and suggest both containment and expansion, control and release. Their irreducible tension arises as much from the artist’s process as from her playful sense of paradox. Each sculpture begins by inflating balloons of various shapes and sizes. These balloon assemblages are then inserted into a larger balloon that is itself already filled with air, which is subsequently removed with a vacuum in order to finalize a form. A studied technique of blowing, sucking and knotting results in a balloons-within-a-balloon form that appears by turns familiar and unsettling. From here, Oerlemans repeatedly pours epoxy resin over the forms to convert rubber and air into a thin but durable layer. The balloons inside eventually deflate, leaving viewers to wonder at an empty carapace, abandoned by hands that might never have been there at all.

Through the Blobs and the also balloon-based Sausage series (2020), the artist experiments at the intersection of fine and applied arts. She relies on both fields, making objects that are poetic and humorous. At times, her gestures are remarkably simple: she ties the ends of an elongated balloon to create a sausage or, in the case of SEAT (2017), heats the back of a plastic chair to bend it into a form that resembles the beak of a well-known cartoon character. 

As clean air continues to be a baseline demand of a hyper-connected, global population, Oerlemans Blobs are gestures to the unseen forces that shape our world. If at first glance they appear as harmless, discarded charms – at second, they become the hollow relics of a precarious era defined by the inflation and deflation of intangible assets.

Fixing air is a fool’s errand, but one that Oerlemans pursues to a serious end. The resulting sculptures reflect on both a universal resource that we can neither own nor live without, as well as on the desires that fuel an insatiable economy, many of which have no real substance at all. 

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