Rachel Koolen and Zinaïda Tchelidze at Kantine Brussels

Rachel Koolen and Zinaïda Tchelidze / Pink Cloud

17 June  –  29 June 2018 

Rue de Manchester, 19
Brussels 1080

Making is a process of misremembering, forgetting, inventing new narratives to take the place of old ones. In this exhibition we have several objects that once existed as one, most likely. Things built and rebuilt; a chaotic neurotic reaction. Pink Cloud is a children’s story about a girl’s desperate attempt to remake a perfect cloud. Her furious construction continues until she forgets her original point of reference…   BUT   and   THEN  this thing exists. There is a break again−debris spinning, pieces lost. Lime was originally used to construct walls; tampon viscose to absorb fluids. The works encapsulate frantic bouts of activity paired with the slowness of curing times. They come together and are pushed apart.
To be incomplete allows space for something still to be said. Full of weight or weightless – they can’t have it either way. The surface is treated, recovered, splintered, polished, dusted. Deformed and reformed. The cloud was the first Rorschach test.

In a collaborative process multiple agents are always at work. Images in (different) brains lashed together, fogged over, retraced. Finding space. The reorientating of two bodies versus one creates a spinning mass. Splitting and hardened; curved and bended; caked layers and adhesive spit. Fermented conversations lacquered onto a patchwork of sticks and tape. Birthed shitting onto a lavender altar next to a pile of accumulated bones. Thoughts become physical acts, congealing and dispersed like an overcast sky. Everything has an orientation. There is no such thing as routine, only work and the right recipes.
Zinaïda Tchelidze and Rachel Koolen first worked together on a project titled The Sun In Our Window (Le Sceptre, 2014). This early work, instigated by an exchange of gifts, consisted of an arrangement of found bricolage objects and materials that preserved the traces of their conversations. Four years later their collaborative practice has developed, and their approach has shifted to stress the body, labour and the construction of space. The works contrast technologies of the body (tampon viscose, clothing, food processing) with technologies of the home (construction materials, cushioning, adornment).
Pink Cloud continues the duo’s interest in domestication: the zone where structure and life meet. For Koolen and Tchelidze, this is importantly not a question of either/or, domestic/wild, but a contested and radical boundary. Pickling is a form of domestication: wild processes are contained but remain uninhibited. The collaboration evolves with an emphasis on process, in conversation with material cues, interpersonal exchanges and spatial play.
Rachel Koolen (b. 1979, Rotterdam, The Netherlands) lives and works in Enschede. She received her M.A. in Fine Art at Piet Zwart Institute in 2011 and was a fellow researcher at the Jan van Eyck Academie from 2007 to 2009.

Zinaïda Tchelidze (b. 1982, Tblisi, Georgia) lives and works in Brussels. She received her M.A. in Visual Arts at the Royal Academy of Fine Art in Brussels in 2008.

All photos courtesy Hugard & Vanoverschelde