Galleri Christina Wilson, Copenhagen
I’ve always been somewhat dubious of packaging that bears the labeling “100% Natural,” but it’s never been a feeling I’ve particularly had to analyze. When I came across Vanessa Billy’s exhibition Natural means something like vegetables I started to realize the source of my uneasy doubt about the phrase, or even just the word “natural” itself. On one hand, a belief in the “natural”, kind of like how a belief in a God necessitates a belief in the opposing balance of a Devil, implies the existence of the “unnatural’. Then on the other, albeit connected hand, is the question that Vanessa Billy seems to be getting at; does anyone actually know what natural means? I won’t bother to ask if anyone actually knows then what “unnatural” means.
Working in line with the Arte Povera tradition, but in a poetic and discreet fashion, materials and form are at the center of Billy’s practice. It would be easy to imagine that Billy’s mention of natural is in reference to her unworked, or at least little-worked, materials. It might be too easy. Can plastic ever be natural? And what about the state she’s placed it in for one piece, suspending a small amount of water in a metal can? And if, as her title says, natural is for “something like vegetables”, what is she saying about what she has done herself?
January 14 – March 5, 2011 at Galleri Christina Wilson, Esplanaden 8 B, 1263 Copenhagen. Opening Hours: Tuesday – Friday: 12noon – 5pm, Saturday 12noon – 3pm.
White Line Hotels have got a new home away from home in Copenhagen – The Avenue Hotel. If you missed our announcement of this, shame on you…if you miss the chance to stay there while checking Vanessa out, then I don’t know what to say.
Contributing writer: Melissa Frost