The exhibition is an exploration site of marvelous erupting potentials for enchantment, connecting various creative, ecological, more-than-human, technological and hand-made propositions that may pose questions, re-imagine relations, offer varied perspectives or shift understandings and knowledges of our contemporary predicament and relation with the natural, the technological, and ourselves. These come together in a visual, aural, spatial, and temporal discourse with a potential for further connections through their relations and the exhibition itself.
This exhibition evolved from the proposition that enchantment may engender ethics – that moments of enchantment in the murk of our contemporary, disenfranchised predicament are possible, available, and vital. Moments of joy and curiosity can still be found and sought out and are even essential to promote ethical, compassionate behaviors toward ourselves, others, and the world around us.
Nicky Broekhuysen has worked with binary code, stamping onto paper and canvas, since 2007 – a time when the digitization of our world made a drastic shift. Her works previously considered the 1 and 0 as building blocks of forms and concepts and embraced the digital going analogue – the painstaking technique of stamping the 1s and the 0s to elicit a shape, then a form, to then re-imagine whole new worlds. In recent years her thinking of binary has shifted toward an understanding of togetherness and connection and one’s respective relationship to the world around us. For this exhibition, she has embarked on a new series of paintings entitled The Sowers, with her work The Sowers: St John’s Wort, inspired by the reciprocity and mutuality of nature, the intelligence and generosity of plants and inevitably, the care plants continually bestow upon us, inviting reciprocity and environmental stewardship in return.3 In the case of St John’s Wort, for example – found not only in the garden at SAP Space but also in the mountains and fields of the Pyrenees where Broekhuysen has resided since 2019 – this species supports other beings with an array of health benefits against depression and anxiety, stress, nerve pain, wounds, menopause, viruses and bacteria. This is an intelligence that is ecological, that is entangled and relational, an intelligence that exists between species and things, made evident here by the awareness and curiosity of the artist, her binary code dissolving into itself and offering itself back in the painting – an essence of the St. John’s Wort – where the pieces of binary code intertwine to become something splendid, that of nature itself.
Curated by Sarah E. Davies