potlatch - de ateliers - press text


Text: Ian Kiaer



          I have this image of a coal blackened floor. It was only briefly mentioned in a conversation with Amaral and quite how it appears in the final presentation is still to be decided; yet it seems a god way into his work as a kind of a base. Base, both in the sense of something floor or even earth bound, upon which things rest and rise, but also as something low, with the association of dirt, stain and smudge. I know him for his sense of how time works upon a material, that it’s not so much about imposing oneself as allowing things to emerge and then to be.

          That’s not to say there aren’t moments of decision, of deliberate intervention, whether it be a particular bend in a neon tube or in adding one insoluble liquid to another so as to leave a greasy film of surface tension. It’s just he seems to understand the place for rest in the work, where inactivity becomes potent. This compliments another quality found in certain pieces, a kind of alchemical turn, where a vegetable substance might respond to something more synthetic, suggesting yet another presence altogether, such as mould riddled rings of soil or an abject carbon cloth.

          He is one of four artist in this show to have chosen to exhibit in the same studio where he worked for the last year. This allows for a more sustained intervention, as his knowledge of the room opens up responses to window, wall, floor and ceiling, where space becomes image to then linger after one leaves. As I write this there are inevitable uncertainties, as to what might finally be, what linear elements lie side by side, how the filmic affects of an amphibious creature impose on its surroundings, and whether the work ventures beyond the window…