Matilde Duus: The Inverted Image
The exhibition The Inverted Image is a snapshot from an artistic practice – a lens into the current stage of Matilde Duus’ work. In the exhibition Duus presents a series of all new works, including both wall based and sculptural pieces, all of which are articulations of the most basic element in her practice; exploring the spatial properties of the two dimensional form. The exhibition ripples back almost ten years where Duus, while studying at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, started finding a finished form to her work. Initially, Duus was interested in uncovering the sculptural qualities of the drawn line, exploring how the flatness of a drawing would transform in space. This work intensified her interest in immaterial matters such as time and light, and gave her work a more strict and conceptual expression. Duus has since (almost) parted with the pen, and introduced metal and glass in her work. Working with glass allowed Duus to not only form spatial objects existing in their own right, but to explore the phenomenological nuances of the glass’ transparency and its ability to encapsulate and capture other objects. This interaction between material and motif, between form and subject, is central to Duus’ work. The qualities of the material points to the subject matter, which in turn points back to the material. Her work becomes poetic manifestations, or renderings, of these interconnections.
In The Inverted Image Duus seems to have found a new relation between abstraction and figuration. As a subtle nod to her very first work, Duus is looking to the relationship between, light, material and the viewer and introduces the human eye as both a figurative and biological reference. The human vision, as with a camera, works by capturing light from an external scene through a lens, which is then reproduced and inverted. This dual process is illustrated not only in the literal inversion of the framed images, but travels through Duus’ entire practice, where she intentionally doubles, inverts and repeats sequences and objects.
In the Inverted Image series Duus uses photographs taken from her own travels providing a rare glimpse of herself in the work. Using the window as both a symbolic and art historic reference as a framing of the gaze, the tailored window frame and fittings become just as much part of the work as the photograph. In the bent metal sculptures, Duus appears to have taken the ultimate consequence of making the two dimensional spatial by transferring the drawn line into sculpture. Two glass objects, eye balls or brain halves, are resting on the it. In this work Duus demonstrates her excellent ability to identify connections between allegory, physic phenomena and biological processes. The larger sculpture’s one-to-one relation to the size of the human body makes it almost like a viewer in itself, leaving you to wonder; who is watching who?
Text by Nanna Balslev Strøjer