Windows Katrina Beekhuis
Opening preview: Thursday 8 October, 5.30pm
Free to attend, all welcome.
Like the perceptual process, windows are transparent; seen through, out of or into, invisible membranes which impact and frame how we understand, interpret and interact with the world.
In the “scramble to make sense of nonsensical things” we automatically and unconsciously reduce, distort and codify, delineating objects and subjects in our environment, forming a lifeworld.1 Simplifications and binaries abound in this. One effect is that our conceptual frameworks tend to diverge from models where systems are inherently intertwined and interconnected. Prevailing Western precepts based on binary thinking are easily reproduced and reinforced. Complex ecologies become hard to see, and these reduced units of exchange are easily co-opted by capitalist ethics of consumption and exchange. As perceptual psychologist Rudolf Arnheim writes: “judgments are not added after the seeing is done. They are immediate and indispensable ingredients to the act of seeing itself.”2
Beekhuis’ work worries at the edges of these separations, simulating ghosted forms through methods of re-presentation and compression; “enriched [by] living labour”.3 It is this wedded (webbed) process Windows attempts to highlight, particularly the naming, designation and distinctions of boundaries which rapidly compresses the world into singularities. Working from images photographed on her phone, Beekhuis attempts to unravel and retrace how a thing might come into being and instead reveal and unfold its duplicitous and tenuous character.
Katrina Beekhuis was born in Ōtautahi and lives and works in Tāmaki Makaurau. Her work is concerned with the perceptual processes through which we understand, measure and interpret the world. She frequently re-presents incidental, everyday objects and features of her environment by expanding, contracting, revealing and concealing, seeking to unsettle our experience of them from single, unreflective conceptions.
Beekhuis is currently a Doctoral candidate at Elam School of Fine Arts and works as a teaching assistant in the Critical Studies Programme led by Jon Bywater. Recent exhibitions include Walking backwards, Enjoy Contemporary Art Space, Wellington (2019); Pensieri, SOFA Gallery, Ilam School of Fine Arts, The University of Canterbury (2018); Things i know, Open studios Gasworks, London (2017); Potters pink, Te Tuhi Centre For The Arts, Auckland (2016); grammars, Dunedin Public Art Gallery (2016); Soft Architecture, Malcolm Smith Gallery, Howick, Auckland (2016). In 2017 she was the New Zealand Artist in Residence at Gasworks, London.
1. Maggie Nelson, The Red Parts, 155.
2. Rudolf Arnheim, Art and Visual Perception: A psychology of the creative eye, 2.
3. Isabelle Graw, “Isabelle Graw: The Economy of Painting - Notes on the Vitality of a Success-Medium.”