BARBARA WILDENBOER: SUPER/NATURAL
Nov 5 – Nov 26, 2020
The exact opening date for this exhibition is 6pm on 12 November 2020. This date and time was pinpointed by the UK based Vedic Astrologer, Richard Alwin Fidler as a collaborative performance piece involving audience participation. It also precedes the astronomical event of a Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn which will take place on 21 Dec 2020. Astrologically this moment marks a great shift for humankind from one way of being to another.
Extract from text by Miranthe Staden Garbett
SUPER/NATURAL consists of a series of collages, sculptures, photographic works, found objects and altered books created by the artist Barbara Wildenboer. The artist’s trademark altered books function as narrative clues, intertexts or subtitles accompanying the other works, referring to subject matter ranging from the History of X-rays, Camera Obscura, Astronomy and Physics.
This body of work invites us to be curious; to dig a little deeper into the mysterious nature of reality and our beliefs about it. Our understanding of the supernatural and science is constantly evolving. While the role of science has been to demystify and decode the supernatural, recent forays into quantum physics - a field of reality that cannot be seen with our physical eyes - continue to reveal strange phenomenon, spooky actions and mysterious entanglements. For example “if you observe a particle in one place, another particle—even one light-years away—will instantly change its properties, as if the two are connected by a mysterious communication channel” (Popkin 2018). There is still much more to be understood about the nature of reality, its invisible forces and connecting patterns and the part we as humans play in observing and co-creating it.
Guided by her intuition, the artist herself is on a quest to understand more. Through participating intentionally in the act of co-creation, she becomes a conduit for synchronistic unfoldings. Delving into the realms of astrology, astronomy, science, karma and kama, the exhibition will explore related themes of superstition, intuition, premonition, predestination and ancestry.
Objects, laden with scientific and spiritual import, have been singled out for our consideration, and the artist’s special attention. Second hand books, old maps, a camera obscura, a telescope, the children’s game of snakes and ladders, a mysterious gift, a carefully positioned ladder – all these have found their way into the body of work, setting an unpredictable chain of events in motion that will culminate in the Super/Natural exhibition- the opening date of which was chosen for its astrological significance. On this auspicious day, we are invited to consider a variety of ways in which humans feel compelled to interpret, fix and navigate the mysteries of life with symbols, maps, scientific devices and occult apparatus.
On this adventure, the artist teases out hidden meanings, correspondences and signs, exploring the contentious territory between what is seen and what is unseen, known and unknown. Both involve levels of nature. The supernatural also operates on 'natural' laws - although we can't see them. Magnetism, gravity and electricity, the celestial orbits and star cycles are all phenomena ‘discovered’ by science, yet their mysteries have not yet been entirely revealed. It is in this liminal space, between what we know, what think we know and what we do not yet know, that the Super/Natural exhibition experience positions us.
Popkin, G. 2018. Einstein’s ‘spooky action at a distance’ spotted in objects almost big enough to see. https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/04/einstein-s-spooky-action-distance-spotted-objects-almost-big-enough-see
*Face masks are required and must be worn when visiting the gallery