The practice of New Zealand artist Kate Newby is informed by a spontaneous and direct relationship to the environments or spaces she works with. While the propositions Newby develops emanate from specific dialogues with sites, they seem to always go beyond pure site-specificity toward carrying out a quality of transposable form. This characteristic of ease travels through every action undertaken by the artist who succeeds in setting up situations that appear to exist without the governance of any master.
It’s exactly in this way that Kate Newby decided to approach La Loge’s building. Considering it almost from a geographical point of view, she treats the architecture as a potential landscape, made out of different geological layers. One could say that landscapes are spaces that offer themselves to the viewer without any authority. You can just look at them quietly, simply sharing their reality. Things, spaces and actions in Newby’s work introduce themselves in the same way. Elements of her work such as cotton fabric, ceramic stones fragments of sentences, ropes and carpets all appear in their most
everyday incarnation. However, although what is presented is indeed the thing itself, what you see will often materialize as a slightly different version of the thing in question: fabric is hung, becoming a space, a home, a shelf....
Maybe I won’t go to sleep at all sets up a mood in which the works are introduced as being at the same time present and provisional. It’s a lot about awakening the impulse for minor trips and small events. The works may join in on activities like travelling along with the artist, spending some time with her, hanging out in the streets, getting wet by Brussels’ rain, sunbathing on a roof, moving through the wind or being skimmed on water. As is often the case in her practice, more than producing proper objects and installations, Newby is proposing gestures and behaviors that result in a positive celebration of immediate reality.
Newby’s proposition at La Loge offers a joyful and unfettered environment where neither the building nor the work is submissive or dominating the other. Wandering around the exhibition involves looking and moving through the space, making up your own mind about it and probably also feeling a little tickled by something. In the same way parks, main roads or roundabouts are (thank god) sprinkled by wild paths—marking an impulsive need for a shortcut or a more pleasant walk—Kate Newby’s practice is one that traces desire lines.
Curator: Anne-Claire Schmitz