“These are intangibles where the moment you name them, their meaning evaporates like jellyfish in the sun.”
Stalker, Andrei Tarkovsky
Edith Dekyndt’s exhibition for the Laennec chapel, Aria of Inertia, is structured like a single assonant word, but also as a near oxymoron or the opening of a chant. It invites us into the artist’s world, one inspired by the precarious balance between air and matter, between sound waves and the silence of things, touching on “life and death, and on the delicate balance between mankind and all living things.”1
Taking on the religious and austere character of this chapel, Edith Dekyndt has displayed a series of works that are invested with the processes of metamorphosis. She breathes an atmosphere, a possible transcendence into this place that was once a hospice for the
“incurable” and a place of worship; she choreographs gestures that evoke those of care and the repetition of daily rituals. Tarkovsky’s poetry, which is based on a mysticism of matter, and the recollec- tion of the imperceptible movements of the elements, shines through in Aria of Inertia.
Through her works, Edith Dekyndt develops a meticulous obser- vation of the natural forces and physical phenomena that interact on a daily basis, while remaining on the edge of the visual percep- tion of those visitors passing through her worlds. She often likens the experience of the exhibition to that of reading: “There are as many novels in a novel as the number of times it has been read. I try to bring about the same thing in an exhibition, where each visitor has a unique physical and mental experience with the place and what is presented there.” 2
Rather than expressing an interior state, all of Edith Dekyndt’s works function as encounters with the outside world that surrounds us; they become part of visual experiences at the edge of the visible and of processes of transformation. In Laennec, Edith Dekyndt summons water, earth, air, light, wine, blood “that move, transform, and even disappear,” evoking the alchemy of milk mixed with muddy water in Andrei Rublev.
1. Kitty Scott, “Edith’s Laboratory,” in Edith Dekyndt. Ombre indigène (Dijon: Les Presses du réel, 2016), 176. 2. Julien Foucart, “Speed of Life – A conversation with Edith Dekyndt,” in Edith Dekyndt. I Remember Earth (Brussels: Facteur Humain, 2009), 42.