Bed Island

Nadia Belerique


Bed Island suggests an analogy between intimate psychological space and the artwork’s construction. Large water-jet cut steel frames dangling on the wall have the dimension of bed sheets (specifically the kind that get bunched up and tangled), or pieces of paper with torn edges. Freestanding steel sculptures punctuate the floor like headboards, or railings, or hurdles; their long shadows suggest it’s getting late. These elements anchor the room, to which are added photographs, each one contributing a subtly vertiginous experience to the exhibition. Looking at them gets the viewer unmoored, so to speak.

With the psychological space of the bed you get vulnerability and autonomy intermingled — sleep, dreams, sex, moments of repose, and bouts of depression. The idea of “bed” connects these things, along with its defining condition of being horizontal. You can fall into bed, but can you fall into an image? The photos are composed with layers of photographs and objects — an image of wood grain, for instance, or scans of a broken pane of glass, combined with bottles or shoes, sawdust or a cup, a roll of film, a metal candle holder that looks like a flower, or cut outs from other images. The combinations create inversions of positive and negative space, an effect that is echoed in the sculptures.

Lurking in this show is a distillation of a psychological state: of coming to people and things in the world. Bed Island is self-awareness as a process. A kind of intimacy that submerges and surfaces for just moments at a time.