For her installation “Dust Never Sleeps”, Cinthia Marcelle transforms the Secession‘s Grafisches Kabinett into a seemingly abandoned space in which everything—the floor, walls, and ceiling, the windows, doors, and light fixtures—is thoroughly covered in black soot. Brighter contours stand out; variations in the density of the accumulated material generate a sort of drawing in space, not unlike a photographic negative. Only a narrow corridor has been left blank and is open to visitors. The sense of confinement in the neatly clean walkway and the manifestly unstable condition of the installation, which consists of loose powder, produce a palpable tension; the sharp line separating the two areas, meanwhile, establishes an exterior within the interior.
A photograph on display in the staircase leading up to the Grafisches Kabinett is part of the diptych “The Tempest”. It is a vaguely surreal scene: a dark-skinned woman stands in front of a rock wall in an otherwise empty white room. She holds a cleaning rag in one hand and wears white rubber boots; one foot is stuck in a bucket filled with a dark liquid, and her pant leg is visibly wet up to below the knee. The second part of the diptych, which appears on the invitation card for the exhibition, suggests a blunder (and, in an inversion of the sequence of events, anticipates it): the bucket has been knocked over and a dark wet spot marks the rock wall, while the perpetrator of this mishap is nowhere to be seen. As in a number of her photographs, Marcelle brings the theme of ostensible failure or misfortune into play.
“Dust Never Sleeps”, solo exhibition by Cinthia Marcelle
On view through 2nd November
Friedrichstraße 12, A-1010
T.: +43 1-5875307