Shelly Nadashi at 1646


Artist: Shelly Nadashi

Exhibition title: Hide And Seekers

Venue: 1646, The Hague, The Netherlands

Date: December 18, 2015 – January 24, 2016

Photography: images copyright and courtesy of the artist and 1646

Naked Clay is a technical term originating from the world of ceramics, referring to any burnt hardware that hasn’t been glazed, but rather was left “au naturel”. Reminiscent of the biblical idea of clay as flesh, the exhibition Hide and Seekers unfolds a body of naked terracotta elements: low reliefs inhabiting figurative as well as decorative elements composed of tiles; water features; and bowls. Burnt clay, water and the exhibition-goer become the principal components here.

Tiles, characteristically, are stuck to surfaces. As a sort of a skin they adhere to bare and sensitive walls, protecting them against damp and mould, and covering over the cracks. In addition, a surface of tiles produces grids. These two simple features; the skin of the interior and the mapping of the interior, not to mention the plain banality of this ultra-functional, all times object, make the tile an excellent material for meditating on the habitual love-triangle: art-work, art-lover and art-space.

Placed in the main gallery of 1646, the combination of craftily-made tiles and their commercially-made cousins forms an interlocking of two grid systems: namely the surface on which the visitors find themselves, and the surface on which the pieces are located; the one of the perceiver, potentially, and that of the perceived. In the midst of them, fountains, or perhaps scarecrows, stand and pump water, interplaying with what is solid and what is liquid. The lingering of the pieces, located somewhere in between representational art, ordinary ceramic decorations, puppets, and objects for ameliorating public spaces, begs the question: will the calming sound of lapping water within the piscina help the hider avoid the seeker?

Shelly Nadashi lives and works in Paris. Her work juxtaposes video, sculpture, writing and performance. It cab be conceived as a comment on the social role of the artist, hierarchies of values, the relationship between performer, artwork and audience, and the mechanism through which it is assigned. Or rather, as she pompously once announced herself: “My condition is somewhere between clown and hermit”.

After having completed her studies at The School for Visual Theatre in Jerusalem Nadashi moved to Glasgow in 2007 in order to undertake a Master of Fine Art degree at The Glasgow School of Art. Her work has recently been presented at the New Museum Triennial, New York (2015); Gallery Christian Andersen, Copenhagen (2015); Temporary Gallery, Cologne (2014); Etablissement d’en Face, Brussels (2014); Centre for Contemporary Art, Glasgow (2013), Sotoso, Brussels (2013); Performa Biennial, New York (2011); and Transmission Gallery, Glasgow (2011). Next year she will present a new work as part of Manifesta 11 in Zurich.